I think every ten-degree increment has its own, distinctive personality.
The teens are cruel, and the 20s are unforgiving. The 30s are bone-chilling, and the 40s are gloomy. The 50s are hopeful, and the 60s . . . well, the 60s are joyful. When the 60s come after a long winter, giving us an early — albeit brief — taste of the spring to come, the effect is magical.
We took a leisurely afternoon stroll today as the thermometer hit the 60s, and it was as if a sleuth of bears had awoken after a long, cold winter of hibernation. People were out jogging, riding their bikes, and skateboarding in the unfamiliar sunshine. People clad in shorts were washing their cars, with the radio playing in the background. And children’s toys had been removed from basements and garages and put outside where they belong, to add some color and fun and shouts to the suburban milieu.
The 60s will be gone tomorrow, as our temperature once again plunges downward. But I sure enjoyed today’s brief glimpse of warm weather.
I keep a coin box on a dresser in our bedroom. When I come home with change in my pocket, I put it in the coin box. Then, when the coin box is filled to overflowing, I get to experience one of my great little pleasures — counting the coins and putting them into coin rolls.
Why do I enjoy this little chore so much? Well, for one, it’s tangible evidence of our thrift. We’ve saved the coins, after all, rather than frittered them away on lottery tickets or video games, and it’s nice to tote up the amounts every once in a while and see the fruits of our frugality.
There’s also a tactile, sensory element that is enjoyable. You dump all of the coins out on a surface and hear their jingle and clatter. You grab a flattened coin sleeve — I usually start with pennies, because there are more of them than any other coin — and pop it open. My right index finger goes into one end of the coin roll, to stop and straighten the coins that are inserted into the other end. Then the counting begins, and what a joy it is to count again, to 40 or 50 depending on the coin, like you are back sitting attentively at your desk in first grade.
The counting continues, the rolls fill up, the dollar coins that are given as change at automatic change dispensers get stacked, and the excess coins get put back into the empty coin box, to be counted next time. Hey, more then $30. Not bad!