The other night after our garage sale, I had emptied our piggy bank and was very focused on making my piles of quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies, and 'other stuff'. Vance asked me if I wanted to use his handy-dandy coin sorter that would automatically sort all the coins and then deposit them into the wrappers. I just kind of looked at him, and realized he didn't get it. He didn't know that every summer growing up Shannon and I would spend the first night of our annual trip to Granny and Pa-pa's sprawled across the living room floor, sorting the huge jars of coins that Granny and Pa-pa had accumulated throughout the year. That money was split between the two of us, and we got to spend it when we got to Granny and Pa-pa's place at Myrtle Beach the next day. We played skee-ball, air hockey, and more arcade games than we knew what to do with. More importantly, the sorting that first night soothed our frazzled traveling nerves, and gave us time to catch up with Granny and Pa-pa.
For a little while after Pa-pa died, Granny talked about selling the beach house. I was so torn. I understood the practicality of her idea, that it was really hard to keep up with the property with Pa-pa gone, and the annual fees rising to stay in the area, but so much of my childhood was tied to that little trailer with its porch and golf cart, that I couldn't talk about it without getting upset.
I talked to my cousin the other night for awhile. He and his wife and kids spent the week at the beach with Granny, my aunt and uncle, and another cousin and family. He said he had a new appreciation for what our folks went through to get us all there when we were kids. I hope that Granny hangs on to the beach house so we can take our kids up there every year. The next generation needs those memories too.
Back to the coins...I shared my story with Shannon, and she laughed. Apparently earlier that same week she was sorting and rolling coins when Momma and Daddy came over to see the Dylan monkey. Daddy questioned her about 'wasting time sorting' when she could just take the jar down to one of those Coinstar machines. His comment surprised her on one hand, and not so much on the other. She was surprised our frugal Daddy would waste ~ 8.9 cents on the dollar for convenience's sake, and not surprised that, like Vance, he didn't get it.
So my sister and I will continue sorting our coins, wasting our time, and relishing in the familiarity of our routine that we hope to pass along to our children, should they be so blessed to get to spend a week at the beach at Granny's.