One of the things I miss now that I've grown older, is having a grandmother. I really miss their quirky little gifts I'd get at Christmas. They would give me stuff like crocheted blankets, jars of unique canned fruits and jams, and little, leather coin purses.
This day and age people hardly carry cash, much less coins. But to those wise ladies, coins were money and it added up. When I was young I used to think coin purses were old fashioned and strange. I would always remember the man in The Grapes of Wrath that pulled out his little coin purse so he could buy his grandkids some candy. I appreciate the little purses now that I'm older
My mother adored coin purses. Whenever we shopped at flea markets or bargain basements she gravitated to them. "Oh look at this one," she'd say with glee, then pinch the little twisted clasp open and shut. Some of them were just smooth leather, others were like a patchwork quilt of different shades of material. After she passed a way I helped my dad sort through her things. I found a collection of them in a special drawer she had saved through out the years.
I remembered this story she would tell me about buying a bowl of beans for a nickle to go with her meager sandwich for lunch as a school girl. Her father was a heavy drinker and a lot of the money was blown before the family was properly taken care of. She would often collect bottles and give the money to her mother to help towards the end of the week. She was seldom allowed to buy lunch at school, but when she was fortunate enough to have a spare nickle, she'd go to a special place in the corner of the lunch line and a jolly, chubby and kind cafateria lady would serve my mom a hearty bowl of beans for just a nickle. I must have been told that story over a hundred times. It never grew old to me. The older I got, with each time I heard it, it grew in sentiment and value. I'm sure my mother valued her little coin purses as a girl and the precious nickles they would hold.