Friday, January 13, 2012

The Quest for Copper

I wanted to write about a penny, and not just any old penny, but a found penny.

I wanted to write about the funny perils and experiences that stem from when I see a penny and pick it up. If I am not falling over as I capture the copper in my greedy little hands, then I am apologizing to someone who has tripped head over heels over my penny-finding form – not that they would exactly be head over heels in love with me after ending up on the sidewalk on more than just their heels.

I hoped to regale you with stories of dropped coffee mugs, dismembered umbrellas and overturned purses as I would scramble for that rain-soaked one cent.

I find them everywhere, and it is a grander day when the coin of my affections is not copper but silver – 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents. A dollar or a twoonie heads cause for celebration.

So when I came up with the notion to write about the treasured coin, I searched high and low. Well, mostly low. It’s a strange day if you find one on fence post.

And do you think I could find one? No.

I scoured the sidewalks, curbs, gutters and roads. I was even willing to meet my fate with a car bumper and dash out to the middle of the busy road for a picture of the tire trodden copper.

I know the whole thing tinkles with desperation, but I get a kick out of finding one.

With my head down I trudged on, almost bumping into a telephone pole or two, and after a near miss with a bus stop and a fire hydrant, I found…nothing.

Sure, I found things one normally steps over, around or side-steps with a grossed-out hop. Without mentioning the gross things, the ground is littered with age-old gum, gum wrappers, bus transfers, bird seed, cigarette butts, and broken earphone bits.

And many things that have always been there, but never noticed. (This is on a sidewalk I have used a million times, but had never noticed before.)

But alas, no pennies. Penniless and forlorn, I would have nothing to write about at the end of the day.

It would be so easy to throw a penny on the ground, snap a picture of it, and let you think that yes, indeed, I did JUST find that. You would never know the difference.

But that wouldn’t be honest.

My missions served as a reminder to keep my head up, despite all the pennies I could miss (remember the near miss with the bus stop and telephone pole?). It proved that great things happen when you least expect, and not when you are looking for them. And before you know it, something grand comes your way, so enjoy it for what it is.

But I was not to be penniless, forever….

The next day my quest for a found penny and the need to get a picture of one was rekindled with a new determination, and again I kept my eyes peeled. All through my lunch break from work I clocked the miles on the sidewalks, eyes darting back and forth, and this time a little more wary of telephone poles, but found nothing. Resigned to the fact that I wasn’t going to find one because I was looking for it, I relinquished my quest, and carried on with the rest of my day, penniless.

After my day’s work was done, I was leaving for home, and all thoughts of my quest for pennies were replaced with dinner planning. And just as I approached the front door of my building to leave, I spied it.

“Aha!” I proclaimed. I got a strange look from someone walking by, but they don’t know me and I don’t know them so that was just fine.

In the middle of the foyer, purses and bags forgotten at my side, I knelt down on the floor and snapped a few pictures - in case you had never seen a penny before. Folks hustled by heading to their cars or the bus, and luckily no one tripped over me. Happy with my photos, I collected my things, and picked up the penny. As I headed for the bus stop, this time my head held high, I realized that that found penny meant someone was likely going to be short for their coffee the next morning. Oh well….see a penny, and all that.

Mission accomplished!

See, I ended up writing about a penny after all!


  1. A found penny and plenty of good luck!

  2. Thank you, Ryshia! Sending plenty of luck your way for the coming writing year! Thank you for reading. Lisa

  3. What a nice Site, very interesting, keep up the good work

    1. Dear Unknown....Thank you for taking the time to read, and hope you will come back soon! Lisa McManus Lange