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Once upon a time, a poor college student went shopping with her friends and found beautiful glass piggy bank. He was very sweet and just the type of piggy bank that she was looking for: Solid Glass. Well, not really “solid” because, of course, he was hollow, but the kind of “solid” where he didn’t have a plug in the place of his nose or in his undercarriage where you could pull it out and shake the coins out. Once they were in, they were IN. Period. No cheating possible.

The poor college student phoned her Mum, who laughed at her and told her that it was a silly thing because how could she possibly get the money out in the end but what this student wanted to do was just to save it until it was totally full. She remembered reading a story where someone saved and saved and packed a bank until it was totally full and then bought the thing of their dreams…or gave it all away to charity…it has been a long time since she remembers that story. Either way, she was enamored with that new glass piggy and she used it for all her silver coins for years and years. There were days when she considered tapping into her silver stash but, since the piggy still had space for “one more coin”, it wasn’t his time yet.

And then she moved away from her piggy and it sat, unfed, for quite some time. He was nearly full of quarters, nickels and dimes, the odd penny (though she tried to avoid ‘tainting’ him with the coppers) and a few half dollars. The student had also put in quite a few dollar bills over the years and even a random fiver too. But he was too heavy to pack along with her on her travels so he remained with her Mum and kept her silver safe.

For the past year, the Mums has attempted to reunite the girl with her sweet piggy and has been thwarted multiple times. Until now…sort of. The piggy was lovingly wrapped and packed and shipped and made its journey across the miles. If you never thought that a pig had wings, think again. This one flew for only 3 days to get from Wisconsin to Washington, an especially dramatic feat considering that this is Christmas time! The box containing the piggy made it into the loving hands of the girl who accepted him with joy and love and unwrapped his layers with care until she discovered the horrible truth. The journey had been too much for her fair piggy and he was solid no more. The silver was only a by-product at that moment of discovery and some swinal reconstruction surgery was attempted but, sadly, best efforts were thwarted by the fragility of glass and the dynamics of hollow glass piggy with no interior support avenues construction. It was a sad afternoon.

Since the idea of sitting shiva for a pig was a bit too ironic and I have no intention whatsoever to give up bacon in his honour, I decided to do the next best thing: Put his life savings to good work.  I have been saving that silver since my freshman year in college for a rainy day and one can’t get too much more rainy than a day in a Pacific Northwest winter!  I took the baggy of change with me to the local coin counter machine and let the counting begin.  Actually, the counting had begun at home…There was $30 in bills saved, including one of the old style $5!  It looks really…old…next to the new ones but really, I still like the old style better.  Less Monopoly-like.  Back to the counting:  I let the machine do its work and laughed to myself the whole time I saw those numbers clocking away.  I couldn’t believe the numbers I was seeing.  3- half dollars, 204-quarters, 156-dimes, 129-nickels and 140-pennies (not nearly as few as I though).  For those not counting: $75.95 in change.  For some reason, there was a dime that wouldn’t be taken and, because I was in MI and close to Canada: 0.75 in Canadian change too.  Grand total: 105.95- and I’m amazed.

My piggy money was split, mainly because the change machine wouldn’t take dollars, and put onto an a Amazon card to avoid charges with the $30 in bills going into my bank.  I’m doing the 52 week challenge for savings and while I have a few more weeks to go before I reach the week where I put away just $30, it will help me be ready for that day. I have no plans on what his sacrifice will wrought but I will be very please to make his gift worthwhile.

Maybe I’ll find another piggy and start him off with that odd dime and the old fiver, for old times sake.