Thursday, June 14, 2012
I take the dogs for a walk nearly every morning. Once in a while we get wet – had a thunderstorm a few days ago, and all three of us were dripping when we got home, so we cleaned up in the garage to keep the water out of the house. If it’s raining in the early morning we won’t start out, but if rain is predicted we usually make it home dry, because I try to get out before the sun comes up and stay cooler that way. I also don’t have to carry anyone home. We went two and two-thirds miles this morning, and the sun was just coming up when we rounded the last corner coming home.
A couple of days ago we took the same route, but I was late getting out, so the sun was up on our way home, and I saw something shiny on the sidewalk that I hadn’t noticed on the way out. It was a dime, which I picked up and pocketed. I remembered that a dime is worth what a penny was sixty or seventy years ago, and recalled when a lot of people wouldn’t stoop over to pick up a penny because it wasn’t worth anything any more. Then I remembered all the two-for-a-penny candies, and some that were three for a penny. As I recall, you could get two tootsie rolls for a penny, and if you don’t know what they are (or were) they were a stick of fudge, about half an inch thick and four inches long, with four channels molded around them so you could mark off four bites. The last tootsie roll I remember seeing for sale cost a nickel, but I notice now that most of the nickel candy bars cost seventy cents or so.
Then my mind wandered to the cabin on Walden pond – where Thoreau was talking about economy (the cost of the cabin was something like a little more than 12 dollars, quoted to the nearest half cent). He said, “Say a man makes a dollar a day. It may be argued that some make more, but many make less.” His book was published about 1875, and his comment stuck with me. I also remember during the early days of WWII when my father came home late because he had been working several hours of overtime, and told Mom that he had made twelve dollars that day. They couldn’t believe that he could earn that much in one day.
Oh well – there weren’t any coins on the sidewalk today.