Pennies From Heaven

Pennies From Heaven

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You’re going to think I’m a major nutcase, but you wouldn’t be the first one.  I haven’t even told most of my kids about my theories on the afterlife.  They don’t need more evidence of my insanity.

My ex-husband passed away 10 years ago, and ever since, he’s been sending pennies and dimes.  I will find them in very strange and unlikely places.

He was quite the gardener, and he used to use this old Borden’s milk bottle to mix up his homemade plant food.  Does anyone out there remember when the milk man would come and deliver your milk in a special wire holder that held 6 bottles?  He’d come once or twice a week, and my mom would just wash the empty bottles and leave them out for him to pick up and replace with cold milk.  It was awesome.  She could leave a note for him, asking for other dairy products when he came next time.  Sort of a precursor to Amazon!

I kept his old milk bottle because it’s cool and it was a nice reminder of our happier times.

When we moved here, I put the (empty) milk bottle on one of the shelves of my new greenhouse.

We had ordered the greenhouse kit from Korea and had to put it together ourselves.  Those were not the easiest times, to put it mildly.  We had to juggle two mortgages for 8 months because our old house refused to sell.  The real estate market started its now-famous plunge at exactly the worst time for us.  My husband had to stay in our old town during the week, in order to keep the house and yard in tip-top shape for those elusive buyers. He’d come here on the weekends, but it was a lonely and difficult time for both of us.  I was trying to cope with my two grieving and distraught  daughters, who had just lost their dad, as well as a house that had virtually no heating, other than a wood burning fireplace.  Nearly all of our furniture remained back at the old house, so it would look lived-in and inviting.

Once the old house finally sold and my husband moved himself and our stuff here, we ordered the greenhouse.

Well, it came in this ginormous crate, and contained about 800 parts.  We laid all the parts out on the driveway.  I’ll bet there were 10 different lengths of metal rods, each one only an inch shorter than the other.

My husband can be quite the saint (I mean, he put up with my 5 teenagers!), but assembling that greenhouse almost did him in.  The directions were written in some variation of “English” that neither of us had ever encountered, let alone understood.

Somehow we got it built, and he installed shelves inside, both for plants and for decorations.

Front and center went the milk bottle.

Several months went by and one day, I noticed that there were 4 pennies in the bottle.  I just thought, “wow, that is really weird.”  I didn’t particularly connect it with my former, deceased husband.  I didn’t give it all that much thought, honestly.

A couple of months later, I was going through some of the large plastic bins we’d moved.  I came across one that contained every single card that my 5 kids had made for me.  I hadn’t seen that box in years!  I decided to go through all of them and take the time to read them and treasure my memories of their childhoods.

And when I got to the bottom of over 20 years’ worth of cards, there was a shiny, new penny.  Now, that struck me as really odd.

This pattern has continued throughout the years.  I will find a penny or two in the most unlikely spots!  One time, I took down a Tupperware of bulk spices I had bought years before.  I knew most of them were no good anymore, so I started tossing the plastic bags in the garbage.  And there, at the bottom, was – you guessed it – a penny.

I’ll find a penny in the bottom of the washing machine quite often.  It’s just the two of us now, so I’ll ask Bill whether he had had any pennies in his pocket.  Nope.  And it certainly wasn’t me.

Then there is the matter of the wild turkeys.

Day of the DeadMy ex-husband used to drink Wild Turkey, and he also had a dry and wry wit.  He had only died a month before the girls and I had moved here.  One day, I saw a flock of wild turkeys in our pasture.  I had never seen them before, but it turns out they do show up around this neighborhood once in a while.  Even so, I immediately thought they were a sign from my kids’ dad.

One year (and I’m not making this stuff up!  Honest!), my daughter looked out her window and there was one, lone turkey.

Only one, but he stayed right outside of her window for some time, about 20 feet from the house.  It was her dad’s birthday.

A month later, another lone turkey showed up in the yard.  He grazed for about 20 minutes near our back deck, until the dog got out and chased him away.

It was the day before Father’s Day.

So, on this Halloween, consider the possibility that the Dead do have their ways of saying “All is well.”  I sure hope so.


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