We toss all our spare change into a flower vase. It’s mostly for getting it out of the way, but I enjoy seeing how it adds up, and when I need money for school lunches it’s right there.
We’ve done this for four years now. The first year, when it filled, Kiddo#1 and I rolled all the change as a rainy-day project and ended up with $136. The second time we rolled change, the vase wasn’t quite full, but he wanted to do it anyhow. That time we rolled about $80.
In the last two years, the vase has stopped filling. I’m not dipping into it any more often than I used to. It’s stayed at a third of the way full, for two years, and the level isn’t rising.
I’m baffled as to a cause. It may be that my daughter is getting fifty cents a week for ice cream, although that doesn’t make a lot of cents (er, sense.) It might be that I’m not spending as much cash as I used to, since every place I might want to buy things is ten miles away and I don’t do little shopping trips any longer (hence, it’s all on the credit card.)
(But by the same “token,” I no longer need six quarters for tolls if I drive to the next-nearest city. So I should have more quarters.)
It might be that for the last 12 months, my Patient Husband is bringing lunch from home more often nowadays, since his commute is shorter and he consistently has time the night before to prepare lunches, hence less change from the cafeteria.
But in my flights of fancy, I have an explanation I like better. It appeals to the novelist and the philangelus in me, and I get warm fuzzies. I’m hoping my guardian angel is taking them.
About two years ago, I was half-asleep and joking around, and I thought, “So hey, if you want to take a quarter from the change jar, you can go light a candle in a church somewhere.”
You guys know how logical I am on a regular basis, so imagine me at two o’clock in the morning. (My poor guardian.) I think I followed it up with, Maybe that quarter would do more good for a homeless guy. I continued that with, American money is probably worth more in other countries, so you could take it around the world. And I know I ended up with “You know I’d give it if you asked, so you don’t have to ask. If you or any of the household angels or your friends need money, just go take it out of the change jar.”
It’s a neat idea, angels raiding the change jar and buying a homeless guy a cup of coffee (and maybe sticking around to talk to him), or angels showing up at a church in need of repair and dropping money into the donation box and then lingering for awhile to pray for my family in an uncluttered environment.
Ideally we should function as a team, right? They have the reach and the knowledge, and I have the spare change. (Cue demented version of a Pet Shop Boys song here.)
The reality is probably more prosaic, as above. But in my heart, I like the idea of angels showing up and saying, “My charge needs a book of stamps. Can you spot me a dollar?”