When I was growing up, I was always used to seeing loose change everywhere. It fell out of my father’s pockets and was abandoned on the floor. My mother picked it up and deposited into a shoe box in a drawer. Eventually the shoe box bulged from the weight of all the coins.
I think she never did anything with the coins because it was too difficult to cash it in. We didn’t have coin machines in those days; we would have to get coin rolls from the bank and laboriously put each one into it. The bank had us write the account number on the side, too, in case we shorted them.
Now, when I have enough coins to cash in, I use the coin machine and the grocery store so I can spend it on food. Oddly, I always end up with more change to put in my pocket.
I pick up pennies too. I know some people say that pennies aren’t worth it. Every time I go to the coin machine, the pennies add up.
But I have my father’s problem when I get the change. Somehow, loose coins turn up all over the place still. I empty my pockets into a mason jar, but somehow coins manage to escape from their fate, to end up on the carpet. Then I’m vacuuming, and I hear the crackle, bang, bang, as a penny gets sucked up.
Or, as I open the door to the laundry, and hear the thunk, thunk, thunk of a coin in the dryer. That’s after I went through the pockets before I washed everything. Still managed to miss one. Today, it was four. Those coins are sneaky.
The coins come out of the dryer hot. I bounce them from hand to hand, like a hot potato, until they’re cool enough to hide in a pocket again.
And back to finding a way onto the floor.