Sunday, January 17, 2010


For the past week or so I’ve been finding dimes—in the most unexpected places. By this, I mean, not on the floor beside a vending machine for example. There I am, cleaning and straightening books in the nature section of my kids department, and there on the shelf will be a shiny 10-cent piece, winking at me.

The other day, working the cashwrap, I pointed out to a customer that he had left a dime behind on the counter. “Oh, that’s not mine,” he says.

And the list goes on...

A while back I wrote a piece on finding pennies—which also continues, by the way—and what it means to me. In light of this latest development and for the benefit of new readers, I repost that piece below.

pennies from heaven

Pennies make me smile.

No, I’m not one of those people with jars and dishes of pennies stashed around the house.

It’s that pennies like me. Really.

I go through periods in my life when they show up, unannounced.

I don’t go looking for my copper friends, you understand. I don’t stare at the ground, shake pants or empty junk drawers.They just appear. In some of the strangest places.

And literally out of thin air.I walk by the kitchen counter, nothing there.I walk back a few minutes later, and there it is, in plain view, winkin’ at me. I move a jar of cream on a bathroom tray and a Canadian penny shows its face.

And I smile. Every time.

Because they are a reminder of abundance.

But also, I know that money is on its way. It happens every time.I don’t know how, when or how much. But ALWAYS some unexpected cash comes my way. Without fail.

And I am grateful for whatever it turns out to be.It may be a long forgotten rebate check, a gift, a miniscule royalty payment. Recently, I learned I was entitled to a small annuity from my time at the Asbury Park Press along with a cash payment.

Of course, I wouldn’t mind a life-changing extraordinary infusion of green, like a big time lottery win.I allow myself one a week ticket in each of the two Florida games.This permits me to indulge in my favorite game: Fantasy Philanthropy.(Full disclosure-a colleague came up with the name.)

When the jackpot is obscenely huge, I imagine myself the holder of the only winning ticket, then estimate the net amount, say $100 million.Then the fun begins.

I imagine all those I’d like to help and look for unusual ways to do so: paying off various debts, mortgages, setting up trusts to pay real estate taxes, health care, college.

My latest twist is a foundation called Second Acts for those starting over in life. I figure my journalism friends could make use of this, for sure.I also like the idea of paying off all debt for someone, like a Clean start foundation. Spending big money is big fun. And surprising, a lot of work.

But when I can’t sleep or am stuck in line or whatever, I occupy my mind with thoughts of creative giving, each tailored to a particular person’s personality.

Hey, it’s much more fun than fretting over my own economic woes.And when the time comes, I’ll be ready.

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