Counting Change

June 8, 2010

~ We could hear the sound of the ice cream truck from a block away. At the notes to “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush,” we’d race inside, yelling for our mom, begging for the right change to buy a treat. Mom would count out the change as we nervously listened for the truck to round our corner. Then we’d race back outside to catch the musical vehicle, panting as we made the choices that our change would allow us.

~ When we were young marrieds, living amidst the bars and apartment complexes, we’d sometimes get a hankering for the tamales sold from the cart down the street. We’d empty our pockets and bags to find an even amount of quarters. Each quarter equalled a tamale. The tamales would be fished out of the sauce, often with whole toes of garlic, then wrapped in newspaper, and carried home where we’d unwrap the oily paper and then the husks, and savor each bite.

~ One day, when the kids were young, our refrigerator broke down for good. We turned the tall plastic Coke bottle bank over on the table, where the kids sorted and counted the change. Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, each in their own pile. When the counting was done and we found we had enough, the kids were delighted. Fifty dollars bought another used refrigerator, and they had counted each coin for its purchase.

A nice thing… the thrill of having just enough.

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5 Responses to “Counting Change”

  1. I love the power of change. Thanks for reminding me. Digging through the winter coats, sweeping under beds…not to mention the 20 bucks or so I make off the laundry every week.

    Trust me: it’s even more fun when your dollar and two dollar coins kick in. Come to Canada!

  2. juliedelio said

    I put all of my change aside and once a year count it and turn it into paper. That’s my gambling money when we go to Las Vegas.

    My kids poo-pooed the value of this idea until once when my son was around when I counted it and it was several hundred dollars.

  3. Gary Spykman said

    I know this piece was about the power of coinage, but I’m stuck on those tamales!

  4. Rhonda Spykman said

    And just as I was reading your blog, I was counting out quarters for laundry when we go to Camp Roger to volunteer next week–and I think there are just enough. Loving your writings, Sarah! Thank you for sharing. Love you all.

  5. Janie said

    Read it. Loved it. This collection is really turning into something wonderful.

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