Saturday, March 1, 2008

March Begins, Pennies Add UP

Neither a lion, nor a lamb this year, it is the first day nonetheless. A pretty day, a bit chilly compared to Wednesday and Thursday. The daffodils are still beautiful. My mama's hyacinths are blooming too. There seem to be three clusters; there had been two. Wonder if a squirrel dug some up and replanted? I love the spring flowers and miss the red tulips in the Quadrangles of the University of Chicago campus. When those bloomed each year (later than the first of March, of course) we knew we wouldn't freeze for a while. Swelter, yes but freeze no.

March will give us St. Patrick's Day, St. Joseph's Day, Holy Week and Easter. In fact, they will all pretty much coincide in one grand slam bam week from March 16 (Palm Sunday)-March 23( Easter). I feel a little cheated and a little peeved; since I am not the keeper of the calendar there isn't anything that I can do about it anyway. So much of life is this way.

Yesterday a friend came to lunch (as he usually does on Friday) and he came up with this brilliant scheme; (we were talking about the economy) he would like every person in America to give him one penny. His calculation is that would be about 3 million dollars. I just happened to have a bright, shiny penny handy and I gave it to him. Without missing a beat, or cracking a smile he thanked me, pocketed the penny and said, "I knew you'd come through." I laughed and laughed.

What would happen if we all started giving each other our pennies? Several million dollars would circulate. More actually. Of course, it wouldn't be spent, so therefore it wouldn't be counted. On the other hand, it might get those pennies out of the drawers and boxes and jars we've all dumped them into. How to make them count? Maybe every one-hundredth penny that came to us we could keep and then when we had one-hundred we could spend it on something (but the rules would have to include spending it on something local and consumable.) Mine would probably go for an in-out burger. I'm longing for one at the moment and there is nobody available for me to ask today to bring me one.

I know that there are least two projects that have gone through our local church that involved people donating their change. One, Operation Rice Bowl, was begun in the seventies to ask people to eat simpler meals and donate the difference to the project to feed the hungry around the world. Today, I suspect that many of us are eating simpler (cheaper) meals to save money to offset the rise in the cost of everything that has been fueled by the ever increasing increase in the cost of oil. The second project had to do with asking everyone to donate their hoarded change to help build a well in an underdeveloped village. I recall that the church collected $10,000.

Well, I diverged from what I thought I would write about today. If I remember what that was I will post it tomorrow. If not, I will write about something else. For the moment I am grateful that the sun is warming the house and the furnace is still for a little while; that it looks as though somehow by juggling, the March bills will be paid and that I am still alive. Oh yes, and even though there is no in/out burger, there is food in the house. (My spare change would probably add up to $50 too if I were to count it, so even though my cash flow isn't what I'd like it to be I'm not completely broke yet either. Maybe I will roll the change and use it to pay my Sears bill this month--they are one of the few where it is still possible to go in and pay it. Now I just need to find someone to go in. Challenges, challenges, challenges...) Happy March!

No comments: