Keep Smiling with Rosie Preston

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By Rosie Preston

A penny then and a penny now

So many memories of my childhood evolve around the fact that my younger sisters and I had a wonderful grandmother we called Mawmaw. She was always thoughtful and kind, and most important to us girls, she loved to take each one of us separately when it was about time for school to start so we would get to choose new clothes.

There were several downtown restaurants in downtown Gadsden on Broad Street. Mawmaw gave me the choice where we would eat, and no matter which restaurant we ate lunch at, the food seemed to taste better just to be spending time with Mawmaw.

One year we were in Grants, a retail store. We were in the ladies department when I spotted a small, white and soft plastic purse decorated with pennies. My hand almost picked it up, but I would not have done that without asking Mawmaw. She saw me and smiled as she picked up the purse.

“Do you like this?” she asked.

“Oh yes! I love it!”

I waited and hoped for an answer.

“Okay, I like it, too.”

Mawmaw then asked if I had ever heard the saying, “Find a penny, pick it up, and all day long you will have good luck.”

For many years, I filled my special purse with pennies and was surprised at the weight of it. My grandmother had wondered if I would save my pennies, and I was determined to show how much I treasured it. I kept all those pennies in it for years because I wanted my grandmother to be proud of me.

A penny went much further back then that it does in today’s world. In fact, just five pennies would buy a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup that was the size of my small hand. Nowadays, a one-bite size of the same candy is usually 25 pennies! Oh, how my grandmother and I loved chocolate! We never grew tired of the different ways it could be cooked, served or bought.

Perhaps there is a bit of wisdom I can pass along as I end this story by bringing it together – the penny, the purse and the love of a granddaughter for her grandmother. A penny can be a real bother if it saved in a little purse that gets too heavy to carry. Or, a penny can be a lightweight blessing held in a pocket or purse, an inexpensive reminder of living in a free country because In God We Trust is inscribed on the penny.

You may consider a penny with your own opinion, but I like to think of the many lessons it brings. I’m reminded of another wise saying: “Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers.” After all, a penny saved is a penny earned! You may choose either to keep the blessing or toss it away!

Keep smiling, Rosie

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