A penny for your thoughts

They were sprinkled on the sidewalk, like Hansel’s breadcrumbs in the woods, leading nowhere.


Pennies from heaven? More likely, some kid who doesn’t value a buck threw them away in disgust, but I stopped on my run this morning to pick them up. Pennies are money, right?

Once I found a $5 bill on one of my runs, but 99% of the time, I come home without any score, so I’ll take 11 cents when I can. And they’re worth a blog post. Here’s a penny’s worth of thoughts for each year represented on my 11 pennies today:

1970: I broke my arm when I was 3. It’s the only time I’ve ever broken a bone. Family lore has it that I was trying to escape to the back yard when I fell off the back step.

1982: After losing as prosecutor in mock court in ninth grade, I decided I no longer wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up. I wanted to be a fashion designer. [This is the year, by the way, featured in my new memoir, which I hope to launch this summer.]

1986: Banner year. But I’ll reveal the big secrets of this year in a memoir some other time. Let’s stick with this: I was a lifeguard at the Sebeka pool the summer of 1986.

1991: I was a newspaper reporter in Middletown, Ohio. Among the stories I wrote that year was one about Lila McClure, a hoarder who was about to be evicted from her home in Lebanon, Ohio.

1994: Moved back to Minnesota after four years living in Ohio. I didn’t dislike living in Ohio, but I was happy to be back in the state I considered home.

2006: Ran my first and only marathon in 2006: Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn. Finishing time: 6:00:23. No, I couldn’t have gone 24 seconds faster.

2006: Moved out of the house I shared with my husband, who soon would become my ex-husband. I remember feeling liberated.

2010: Ironically, the sidewalks on which I was running got a blog post in June of that year, too.

2011: Oh my gosh, has it been three years since we stained the backyard fence?

2013: My stepson graduated from high school in 2013. We threw him an awesome party!

2013: I captured the image of a rainbow one year ago today. And it’s threatening to thunderstorm again today!


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