Monday, June 12, 2006

ChangePot Reflection Post

Today marks exactly 240 days since I've started documenting money that I've found all over the place. Colleagues and relatives shoot me some concerned looks as I recount tales of amazing finds which amount to less than a dollar. Eyes and ears perk up when hubby speaks of his hundred dollar find. My daughter Sandy's 'Dollar magnets' coax a collective chant of 'oohs' and 'aahs' amidst the crowds. No one likes to hear of anything less than that, yet less is what I find MORE of. I like change better. A dime or nickel to me is like a holy grail amidst a sea of coppery corrosion. It jingles. It sings a song of sorts. Yes, my friends, change IS money. One hundred pennies equals one dollar. Sadly, people have long forgotten the value of a dollar. Inflation, oil prices, wars, political tension, and market demand have chipped away at the American foundation. Weren't we the ones who fought to part from England due to taxes?

Who cares if the lincoln pennies are barely recognizable? Some may have years of crud and gunk (thank goodness for gloves!) yet the coin counter machines still recognize it as change- and so do I.

In the past 240 days, I have read many articles about found money and they all seem to echo the same feeling. People are becoming more negligent of their money. I've seen people drop change, look down, shrug their shoulders dismissively at the coins and walk away. Almost immediately, the savvier financiers scoop up the coinage and add it to their change purses/pockets. I feel little shame when it comes to pilfering these freshly dropped pennies on the ground because I know others won't pick it up. Pennies have little or no visual litter value because people are so accustomed to ignoring them. In an effort to survive:

They camouflage themselves in the wild by contracting heavy grime and dirt.
They lean against corners of brick buildings
They hide under the shade of parked cars
They bury themselves under layers of mud in rainstorms in a valiant effort to meet the second layer of Earth (the mantle).

My changepot is half full right now. Tomorrow, I will trade in all of the pennies (ugly and decent) because those take up the most space in my jar. I realize that my half full pot is full of luck and off season coinage (I like to frequent tourist-friendly spots in New York City) and this is why I continue on with my quest. Some bloggers have conducted experiments on finding change with disheartening results. Others have mastered the ability of finding change by recurring trips to specific places where coins thrive unhindered by man or his hand. Our changepot is a little different because:

1/ It has five active change hunters collaborating and accounting their change separately.

2/The family has grown alot closer together due to the increased family activity.

We are all losing weight by incorporating long mall walks, nature hikes, and athletic sports while on the change hunt. (handball, basketball, frisbee, running around in the grass, etc.). Even hubby's Physical therapist is quite proud of his improvements after his back surgery. All the quality time is definitely paying off!

I, for one, am quite proud of the changepot findings because each of us gets some time under the spotlight at dinner to discuss his/her finds on a daily basis. Even on days where one person finds nothing, his/her tale of finding possible change becomes an exaggerated event full of creativity and wonder. I love it!!

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