“Dirt — Can You Dig It?”

 . . . are the words written on a tee shirt I have decorating the back of a desk chair at the Elkridge Heritage Society.  I love archaeology, particularly any chance to do so in or around Elkridge, and I’ve always wanted to wear the tee on a hike or on such an archaeological expedition.  But the tee appears to have shrunk  (that’s my polite story version and I’m sticking to it).  Nonetheless, it brings back to my recollection the first time I had hiked and scavenged (not to be confused with any tedious archaeological principles) in the local dirt with a friend.

 Before we went, I had announced several times to him that I wanted to find money.   I had thought to myself — “just a Colonial era coin, if nothing else” — since I had lofty visions to dig up an early colonist’s British farthing, pfennig, pence, or whatever, and on it engraved a stoic profile of a king or queen.  I know that almost nothing is left from that century or if it is, it’s buried deep.  So, for the fun of it, I’d have settled for finding Queen Latifah’s profile on a slot machine token.

What we found was broken colored bits of glass bottles, clam shells, pieces of slag, interesting rocks and uninteresting cinder blocks. And, oh yes, I found a COIN!  

 Well, probably a penny as it’s made of copper – and I found it sitting on the very top of the ground as I walked on the trail. Unfortunately, both sides of the coin had been worn smoother than a pancake to the point of having zip king, zilch queen, nada Lincoln, nothing Washington and no date. So I couldn’t identify it except as a coin in shape and color of rusty copper tarnished blue-green.

 STILL, no matter. The point is, after I announced to the universe that I wanted to find a coin, I FOUND it, and IT WAS (well, had been) MONEY.  Goosebumps.

 HOWEVER, before my literal dancing around in circles upon this momentous discovery, my thoughtful friend apparently had already planted a recognizable quarter on the trail for me to find so I would not be disappointed, as he of little faith thought I would be. I was well behind him in distance, looking on the ground as I walked, so I didn’t see him leave it. But as hard as I was looking for any money, I did not come across his quarter.  

After my finding the flattened coin, he confessed to planting his own quarter for me, and with much teasing and laughter from me about that, I urged him to retrieve it — but he couldn’t find his quarter either.


 It was a delightful hike. Maybe someone in the distant future, who wants to find money and has a little faith, WILL FIND his quarter.

 P.S.   As I wrote in the previous post “Go Take A Hike,” I found a squished penny on top of a railroad track. Apparently now I have the ability to only find flattened unidentifiable coins. > sigh <

One thought on ““Dirt — Can You Dig It?”

  1. Brings back memories. I was convinced that there was gold under the floor in my childhood home. My brother and I, much to the dismay of my father, removed the facing brick on the fireplace. When we got to the brick beneath, we gave up and left the mess. Big trouble awaited this 12 year old and her six year old brother.

    I liked the story, Mary. I found a coin in the back yard that said “Aint it hell to be poor!” Maybe from the great depression?

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