Friday, December 12, 2008

State quarters and happy memories

I know more than a few people who collect the state quarters. I don't know if it's much of an investment; I suspect that in 40 years, a complete set of 50 will be worth something less than what you'd get investing $12.50 in the bank for 40 years. But I enjoy the state quarters anyway. They function as a memory trigger for me; every time I pick up a state quarter, I think of people I know who live there, or good times I had visiting there. In a few cases, I think of trips I'd like to take or places I'd like to visit. I've got a personal association for almost all 50 states -- the only exceptions are Arkansas, New Hampshire, Delaware, and Kansas. Some of them were things I had almost forgotten about until I saw the quarter. I went to a friend's wedding in Connecticut; I stopped in Rugby, North Dakota, to stand at the geographical center of North America; I've got an old friend in Texas; I took a vacation in Oregon to visit Laura on tour; another friend moved to Atlanta for a surreal job offer; I got spectacularly lost on Minneapolis's interstate system. The list is long and broad, and thinking and remembering make me happy. So whenever I dig through a handful of change to feed a meter, I think of old friends, good times, and future plans. It's nice, having a pocketful of memories....

Does anybody else do this with state quarters?

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