Sunday, May 25, 2008

Penny Day!?!

"Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth." ~Margaret Thatcher~

“ A Penny wise is often A pound foolish.”
~ French Proverb~

"I would roll up pennies to take the subway to work in Times Square. I was broke, but I was happy." ~Jennifer Garner~

Friday, May 23rd was Penny Day! I was thinking that Morning that a Penny wasn't worth very much any More. That hasn't always been the case. When I was a small child we were tickled to death when Daddy would put a reward on something. You see there were eight of us and somehow, even though we knew better, we would sometimes get a tool of Daddy's or scissors of Mama's and forget to replace them. Daddy would have all of us looking and after a while he would declare the item to have a reward attached. His rewards were usually a nickle or dime in the beginning. A nickel was worth a sack slam full of candy if you shopped carefully.

My Floyd opened the little Country store down the road from our house. He had everything a country family needed from cold drinks to fresh cuts of meat. But best of all he had a well stocked candy county. Sometimes the whole family would take a short walk down there and get a cold drink. Daddy would usually give each of us a dime or a quarter on those days. But at other times if you had a nickel or dime Mama might let you walk down there and shop on your own. I never got past the penny candy section. There were rows and rows of penny candy. I would always look at those first. My Favorite Chick-o-sticks were a penny for a long stick. Mary Janes and Bit-oh-honey were a penny each. There were packs of five Bubble gum balls for a penny as well as many other sweet treats. They had candy Money in long packs for two pennies and sometimes I would get one of those. They were long packs of candy in thin wafers about as big around as a nickle . You could let them melt on your tongue. That way you got a lot of candy for your two pennies. He also had Bubble gum machines that had a wad of gum as big as a golf ball for a penny.

My favorite though was the big tub of two for a penny candy. They were BB bats and caramels and chocolate footballs. My youngest Brother Reuben loved the chocolate footballs. Being that Reuben almost always ran and got the items as son as the reward reached a nickle, He ate lots and lots of those. There were Bubble gums with Comics inside and wax bottles that had a sweet liquid inside. We called those candy cokes. They also had packs that were tiny chocolate balls in long sleeves. A nickles worth of them eaten slow would last a long time.

If you had a penny left over or if you ever got lucky enough to find a penny, you saved it. You wouldn't have to save long to buy a cold drink for a nickle or later for a dime. We would save drink bottles and sell them back to the store owner for a few pennies each. Even after I was a grown up woman and needed some quick cash, I walked along the road and picked up drink bottles to sell. At that time they were a Nickle each. Now we sometimes see people picking up aluminum cans the same way. They aren't making a lot of money at once on those cans but each penny builds up over time. Each penny counts.

I have a can over my washing machine to collect the unwanted penny's that somehow gets left in pockets. I always smile when I find a few pennies in the bottom of the washer. It's a reminder of the times when I stood in awe at Mr. Floyd's; and later after Mr. Floyd died; at My Uncle Oneal's store and jiggle the few penny's in my pocket as I tried to decide how I would spend my few pennies.
Every once in a while I empty that can into a large pickle jar and watch as my pennies grow and grow. Dave and I took our honeymoon on rolled change. Most of it pennies. We had a wonderful time. A few years ago we took all but one of our Children and one Grandson to the beach for a week-end on rolled change. Again most of it pennies. We didn't spend a lot but we had a great time. In Fact that is one of my best beach memories. Paid for mostly with pennies.

I went to the grocery store Friday and asked the cashier if, being that it was Penny day, they had anything for a penny. I had to laugh when she looked at me as if I was for certain retarded if not actually a crazy person. She simply asked with the stricken look on her face... " Mam, Are you OK?" I smiled and told her her believed I was. I was walking out with my purchases when the young man who had bagged my items came running along besides me and said.. " Mam, I think they still sell one cent stamps here... you know because they just went up and you might have had some of the old ones.." I tipped him a whole dollar for that information as I hurried over to the customer service counter to ask for something that I could pay for with a single solitary penny!

Pennies are not worth much alone but still I save them. They allow me to save a tiny bit here and there. I always toss all pennies into a jar. People used to say a Penny saved is a penny earned and I say NO.. A penny saved is just a penny saved. A penny earned takes work and time. Now a found penny saved is even better because you didn't work for it it was a gift. Tiny but a gift none the less. If You find a penny pick it up. If you don't want it drop them into a jar for a needy person somewhere. Even a penny counts in their lives. I don't think there will be many more days when we can Buy anything for a penny. There have been discussions of getting rid of the penny altogether. But I will always remember the wonderful things a penny has bought for me.. From a Mary -Jane when I was a tiny girl to the Honeymoon week-end in the Fancy Hotel years later.

I haven't really been looking but since Friday I have found eleven pennies. I have felt blessed eleven times.Not because I can buy anything with a penny but simply because I feel that they are very tiny gifts. Very tiny blessings can grow into large blessings. I know it can take a long, long time for pennies to amount to much but if you pick up every one you see you just might be surprised. I actually could have bought a piece of my favorite candy; a chick-o-stick; with those eleven, at a store here in town. I tossed them in my jar. Who knows what Dave and I will do with the next batch we roll.

Enjoy life. Remember that Sometimes even small things like a penny can build into something larger.. something richer.. Appreciate the small things in life.
As they used to say "A Penny for your thoughts!" ; May all your thoughts be worth at least a penny!
Have a great day!


Anonymous said...

I always did like Maggie Thatcher

Jeflin said...

Wow, love your blog. I like your final comment about enjoying life. Indeed all great things start small and a penny can build into something larger.

Pblacksaw said...

Robert _ So did I she said some smart things in her time...

Jeflin- Yes all great things begin small and grow..

Thanks for visiting me.. Come again!