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the scavenger: a repost

-originally published September 2019

Mags was grounded from her phone (practically) all summer. Then, no sooner did she get it back, did she drop it in the toilet. So, the separation continued--only this time for purely practical reasons.

She has an enormous Hershey syrup bottle bank in her room which she has steadily filled with found change. I told her she can buy a new phone as soon as she pays off the old one which is roughly four-hundred-dollars-ish (I'm not a numbers girl). She has determined that she will save up the money in change since--as she puts it--

"If I had a $20 bill I would just spend it. But if I had 60 quarters I wouldn't."

"...which would only give you fifteen dollars," I said and she said,

"I mean 80 quarters. Whatever."

Since embarking on this quest, and having not yet fully comprehanded the possible weight of four-hundred-dollars-ish in change, she has become a world class scavenger.

At the market, she blocks my hand to put hers in front of the cashier.
"Fifty five cents is your change," says the cashier at Walgreens.

"Thank you so much!" Says Maggie.

She has set her sights on a "dollar a day" plus "Confirmation and birthday and market money". Not, perhaps, the purest motivation but fair enough.

Tonight, getting out of the car after a volleyball game, she was carrying a few things and dropped a coin.

"Oh SHOOT I dropped a penny!" She said and squated down to retrieve it.

In the leftover glow of the car's runner lights, she said, "A dime! Mom! It was a dime! TEN PENNIES!!"

I was walking around the car and past her at the time.

"You know this is your most unattractive side..." I said and she LAUGHED.

It was a twitter and a chuckle and a runaway giggle all rolled into one...and all while she attempted to stay upright and focus on organizing her shopping bags, and sports equipment, and her dime.

"That's my favorite thing you say!" She laughed. "It makes me laugh every, every single time!"

Ah, love. It's a beaut.


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