11 June 2013

Count Your Blessings Instead of...

Coins. Lots and LOTS of COINS.

I spent most of May in Provo working on a project for my uncle... inventorying my grandmother's coin collection. It was terrifyingly tedious at times, and at others it was a curiously captivating course down memory lane.

My grandmother lived with my family for about 9 years while I was growing up, so I have a plethora of memories of us kids dumping out our piggy banks and scouring our coins (mostly pennies, of course) for the right mint or year of whatever Grandma was looking for. Then we'd help her organize them, count them, etc. I'd never seen the entire extent of her collection though--one she'd been acquiring coin by coin since she was a young girl. And it never occurred to me how her collection really became a family collection over the years, including evidence of all the places her children and grandchildren traveled over the years. She kept meticulous notes, and it wasn't uncommon to see "given to me by________" next to the currency. She also acquired sets for important years in the family, such as births, marriages, deaths, etc. Each of her grandchildren have coin sets from his or her birth year. I realized this was her way of honoring each of us, while simultaneously doing something she loved.

I think of my grandmother quite frequently actually, but this project provided a unique opportunity to delve into one of her passions. Subsequently, I learned a lot about her, and A LOT about coins.

So is it weird that despite my nomadic mantra of "Simplify!" and my determination to only ever take one bag with me when I travel no matter how long the duration--I did just live out of a carry-on sized suitcase for 2.5 months--that I find myself secretly desiring to continue her coin collection with my own? I'm not sure I can permit myself to start collecting anything, let alone MONEY when I'm currently so POOR... but as I'm soon to begin my world travels again, it's definitely something that I will consider. Especially since it would be a great way to honor my grandmother... and continuing her coin collection seems more reasonable than continuing her thimble, spoon, or bell collections...

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