Friday, June 4, 2010

Find A Penny

by Heather

I was folding laundry with my husband a few nights ago when I found a penny amid the clean clothes. I wondered aloud where it came from (we don’t often find money in the wash), and my husband said he’d found it in a parking lot, picked it up (his dad taught him early on to always pick up pennies), and must have forgotten to take it out of his pocket before doing the laundry.

So of course the first thing I thought of was the scene in Grease with the penny and Kenickie and the knock on the head that kept him from driving at Thunder Rd… Then, after deciding that maybe I’d seen Grease one too many times lately (is that even possible?), I realized it had been a loooooong time since I found a penny, picked it up, and all the day had good luck.
Truth is, I’ve seen pennies on the ground lately. Yet I kept on going. Heaven knows I can use a bit of good luck, so why did I walk on by? I think a lot of this (okay, all of it) has to do with my germophobia. Where has that penny been exactly? Who’s touched it? Stepped on it? Drove over it? Ugh. Shudder. A penny just isn’t worth it to me.

Which begs the question, How much is enough? A nickel? Dime? Quarter? I don’t know. I kind of doubt I’d pick any coin up. But, I did find sixteen dollars on the streets of San Francisco once and didn’t seem to mind that at all! Go figure.

Are you the kind of person to pick up pennies? Or walk on by? And if you walk on by, why? And…when was the last time you watched Grease. Come on, ‘fess up.

~Heather

PS: Did you see our favorite al fresco recipe title winners? Scroll back a post and take a look!

PPS: I still haven't heard from Mary C (Ladybear) about collecting your gift card. Email me--time is running out! (Check post on May 31 for details!)

30 comments:

Dru said...

We were told to only pick up pennies that are heads up, so I'll walk by those first. Will I pick up a penny, not really, but I will a nickle, quarter or dime and most definitely dollar bills. I love finding twenties.

I watched Grease awhile ago, but if you ask the last time I saw "Hello Dolly", that would be last week.

Have a good Friday.

tonya kappes said...

I only pick up pennies if they are heads up and we put it in our shoe. I am SUPER superstitious and have a lot of strange things I do. One of my books is about a girl who lives her life by superstition! Never Tell Your Dreams Before Breakfast is the title and I DON'T tell my dreams before breakfast!!

Heather Webber said...

Dru, you find twenties? I need to walk through that neighborhood! LOL.

Tonya, I love that title! Are you meeting with any agents or editors this weekend? (Gang, you need to check out www.thenakedhero.com -- a fantastic blog that Tonya runs with Misa Ramirez and Lee Lopez).

Dru said...

Tonya, I like that book title. Hmm, I have to venture over to your blog/site and check out your work. I love discovering new authors.

oh you're with Misa...cool. Going over there in a few.

Andrea C. said...

If I see a lone penny I will pick it up b/c of the saying about good luck (although I don't recall it working particularly well). Sadly, as far as other change, I pretty much will only pick up quarters - nickles and dimes don't seem worth it although my logical brain realizes they add up. I did find 5 dollars in a parking lot one time - and I certainly did pick that up! :)

Valerie Consoer said...

I usually pick up the penny if I see it. And yes, I also flash back to the movie, "Grease" when I pick it up. I, too, am a germophobe, but if you pick up the penny and take out a wipe, the germs go bye-bye. If you're a true germophobe, you carry wipes with you like the great Monk did. Anyway, the more pennies you pick up, the quicker they add up. Nickels, dimes, and quarters are wonderful finds, as well!

Wendy Lyn Watson said...

I pick up every dang penny I see. Not for luck. Because I'm greedy. ;)

I get it from my parents. My mom walks with her head down looking for loose change, and my dad has been known to dart into interstate traffic--Frogger style--to pick up a "perfectly good" bungie cord. Apparently, "crazy" is genetic.

Debra said...

I stop for quarters. If they are on dry ground,I pick them up, bring them home and wash them. Puddle quarters I pass by because of germs.

Anonymous said...

I pick up any coin I see, because I am interested in coins and am always on the lookout for wheatback pennies (increasingly rare), silver dimes and quarters, etc. I am a germophobe, but I go on the theory that all coins are filthy, whether or not they've been on the ground, and I always wash my hands after touching money, going shopping, etc.

My husband picks up all kinds of trash (aka, interesting things). His parents do this too. They are farm folk and never throw anything away. Anything they find for free is just a bonus. Once they came upon an unofficial dump in the woods, and they were in heaven browsing through the holey pots and broken tools.

shelley galloway said...

Heather, good post. : )
I haven't thought about picking up pennies in a while, though I always put them in a little jar when I find them in the wash.

I'm not much of a germaphobe...taught school for too long, I guess. (30 12yr olds x 7 hours=you get used to just about anything)
And as for Grease, gosh I don't know when I last saw it last! My favorite scene is when they talk about their summer.

Laurissa Kastle said...

Ha! Funny that you would mention this. Just a few days ago I was out of town with my daughter while she was apartment hunting.

In the hotel lobby she spotted a penny. She remarked that picking up a penny was good luck and was going to pick it up until I stopped her and said that it was dirty, and who knew where it had been. But no sooner than I said to just leave it be, it wasn't worth it, since it was so dirty looking, I became very superstitious and couldn't leave it and we ended up picking it up.

The next morning she found the perfect apartment. We don't know if picking up the penny helped, but it certainly didn't hurt!

Heather Webber said...

Interesting that a lot of us have germ issues! I don't carry around wipes, though--just the liquid sanitizer.

I might start picking up the darn pennies. I can use some extra luck! And, well, those pennie$ do add up. :)

signlady217 said...

I think just finding the penny is good luck in itself! I absolutely pick them up! Actually, any money I see on the ground is mine, and I'm always looking. I've worked as a cashier a lot (you don't even want to know where some people keep their money!) and as a teacher. I just try not to think about the 'germs' too much.

Two different times my brother found a dollar bill in the woods. And of course whoever is doing the laundry gets any money they come across; isn't that a rule? :)

Anyway, lucky us for having such great books to read from you wonderful writers. BTW, Heather, I just read "Truly, Madly" yesterday evening (yeah, in about 3 hours!) and it was awesome! Can't wait till August to grab the new one!

Heather said...

Heather: Yes, I pick up pennies, and any other loose change, I see on the ground. Every bit does add up. Last time I deposited what was in the little bank there was about $25 there.

I've never found paper money lying around, but did once pick up around $16 in change (pennies up to half dollars) while walking home during a summer rain shower. By the time I got home I was soaked, but laughing. Don't you love those serendipitous moments?

Tanya: Love the book title!

Anonymous said...

Since I am legally blind, if I see a coin on the ground, you bet I pick it up. I am thrilled that I saw it. lol
Only watched Grease once, not my cup of tea. Never watched it again. And I must add I am a big fan of musicals, just not Grease. Sorry.
Annette

Anonymous said...

I pick up pennies-after all 100 of them make a dollar!
JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

Rural View said...

We always pick up coins and to heck with germs. If you could see the germs on the money in your wallet, you'd croak. I read somewhere that most $1 bills have cocaine on them! Anyway, our coins add up and we've actually gone on vacation on that money.

Ellery Adams said...

my grandmother taught me that if I found a penny to slide it into my shoe for good luck. I found one on my walk today and it went right in my sneaker. :)

Valerie Consoer said...

i guess i'm just weird to carry around sanitizing wipes with me. maybe i am too much like Adrian Monk. when i find money in an old purse is the best! i go through my purses every now and then and one time, i actually found a $20 bill! the best!! who doesn't like to find free money? not i!

Anonymous said...

Valerie wrote: "I guess I'm just weird to carry around sanitizing wipes with me."

I never go anywhere without my Purel. (Ask Leann!) I always use it after touching money. I worked retail for a while and saw people sneeze and cough into their hands and then hand me money. ICK!

But I pick up pennies because of the luck thing, too. I don't care if they're heads or tails. I toss them in the jar and along November I roll up all the change. Last year we had $98 that went for Christmas presents. Not a lot, but not bad!

Caitlyn Henderson said...

I pick up pennies (for luck) and any other coins I see cuz mom loves coin collecting. Need to feed her habit. I watch Grease at least once a year and so far have not seen it in 2010.

Heather Webber said...

Oh, and isn't rolling pennies the worst chore? Or is that just my take on it? I have a jar that needs to be done and I'm not looking forward to it.

Signlady--thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed Truly, Madly.

And Grease definitely isn't for everyone. There are some parts I'd love to just erase altogether --especially when watching with my kids!

Anonymous said...

I can't pick up pennies because we don't have them, but I do find it odd that so many people walk by money lying around. I pick it up and add it to various collection jars. I don't need the change but someone should get the benefit of it.

Dru said...

That was the worst part when putting the change in a jar...you eventually had to roll them. Luckily we have a local bank that has a coin machine.

Heather Webber said...

Cassandrajade, where do you live? And you're right--someone should benefit. I promise to pick up the pennies from now on!

Dru, I really ought to use that machine... Our grocery store has one.

Judy Alter said...

When my kids were in high school, they routinely threw pennies on the ground as not worth keeping. I was appalled. I'd pick them up and do even today.

Heather Webber said...

Throw them on the ground??? That is appalling, Judy.

tammy said...

I dn't pick up pennies anymore...due to germs...but I used to! I also think of Kenicke each time I see a penny on the ground! I am a Grease junkie! I have watched it over 250 times..that's when I quit counting! lol
Great blogs on here !

Laineshots said...

I can't pick up pennies, or other coins either, because I have this inner-ear imbalance thing, and if I bend over, I'm dizzy all day. But I still feel guilty letting it lie there. Paper money, now...I can pick that up with my toes! :) And yes, I'm a germophobe - wipes, gel, handwashing, the whole nine yards. I'm not Monkish, I'm just aware of germs. But maybe that isn't healthy? Maybe we need to let our immune systems do their job? How much caution is too much?

Lorel Clayton said...

I always pick up pennies (and even strange foreign coins of unknown denomination), because I fully believe in every superstition out there, including "see a penny, pick it up, and all the day you'll have good luck!"