Maybe I’m responsible for the national coin shortage

By N.A. Booko

Pittsboro, NC – Saturday when I walked out to the mailbox to get my mail, I noticed there, in my driveway, on the gravel, a very tarnished penny. I probably have passed it hundreds of times in the past months. It started me thinking.

quarter penny us currency money
Photo by Jeff Weese

I did drop it? Did someone else drop it? Animated visions of past transactions in that driveway made me wonder. I have had various sales there and just maybe I handed someone change and a penny fell without anyone noticing. Possible. If so, such careless actions could start a chain reaction. After all, a penny is money. Someone had to do without that money all these months. Could be me, or it could be someone that I shortchanged.

I’ve kept that penny in a special place, just in case someone called saying they lost a penny. But of course, one making such a claim must be able to identify that particular penny.

I do have various sales in my gravel driveway. Take for example my Hawaii/tropical shirt sales; a unique event in this area. Generally, in good warm sunny weather, without much breeze, I have on display possibly 250 or more of those great colorful shirts. I mean every color in the rainbow and remarkable patterns. Famous brands and designers are part of it. Pierre Cardin, Big Dog, Puritan, Tommy Hilfiger, Tommy Bahama, Ralph Loren and many more.

Generally I have several of many sizes. Small, medium, large, extra large, extra extra large and even 4 and 5 extra large. Extra large long, etc. All beautifully waving in the gentle breeze. Prices usually start at $12.50 and go all the way up to a whopping $45-$60. Stay turned for dates of actual sales.

And if that weren’t enough, I have a small selection of western inspired shirts. Almost ‘cowboy’ in feeling. Other styles of shirts sometimes find their way into the collection. My shirts, my choice. And like I said, cash sales only.

My shirt sales are a favorite with college age kids, going back and fourth from home to campus. I can’t blame them, they know a good thing when they see it.

Or just maybe that dropped penny that could have set off this national coin shortage was dropped at one of my plant sales. You all remember that I did have several sales of potted tulips. Coins were involved with that too. (No tulips this year. Had to cover my two lips with a mask)

Or just maybe it was one of my hydrangea sales. I always have on hand many potted hydrangeas ready to plant. I am probably best known for my plants of Oak Leaf hydrangeas. I have the native single bloom type and the very rare double flowering type; “Snowflake.” I am probably the only person for miles around that has this rare hydrangea. Of course they are more expensive than the common type. Why wouldn’t they be? But they are, I can assure you, just as easy to grow and the deer don’t pay them any more attention than they do the common single flowering type. They eat both if offered.

And then too, many know me for having ‘lace cap’ hydrangeas. That too is one of my specialties. I have several named varieties. Most notable “Suzi Blue” which is a dazzling and spectacular lace cap with flawless beauty. Easy to grow. In fact, just about all hydrangeas are easy to grown. Usually the problem is with the grower; not knowing what they are doing or not taking care of the plant. Not my responsibility.

I do have a few of other type plants that I sell during the planting season. it varies from time to time and is always interesting.

At at this point, I still haven’t been able to get at raking those leaves. Much too wet. But I must do it soon or growth with start and complicate the process.

I tried counting my pennies to see if I was missing one, but with the coin shortage and having to pay with exact change has left me without much change. But that change will come when folks flood in to see and buy my tropical shirts and hydrangeas. I’ll bet a pretty penny on that. Short of that, I don’t know what to tell you.

Maybe I should get a Bloodhound. They can always pick up a scent.