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  • "You're just gonna love me..." was my introduction to the cashier at the doughnut shop this morning. I began counting out change from my big clear Ziploc bag that rides beside me in my car. "25, 50, 75, a dollar... There. Eight dollars and fifty-three cents, all in change." I stopped by to get the doughnuts as a special surprise for my children to wake up to this morning.

    "Well whaddidya do? Empty out your piggy bank just for some doughnuts?", the cashier inquired.

    "Well, no, not exactly... my grandmother collects change for me and gives it too me every time I come by to visit her. I use the money for special treats for my kids."

    "Dimes do still make dollars, I guess," she replied.

    "Yeah, it really does add up," I said as I wrapped up our exchange.

    Dimes do make dollars, it all does add up. Not just money, but my grandmother's thoughtfulness. Over the years, even way back in college, she has sent me small perforated notes, all signed with "I love you", recipes from Wednesday's paper, "Helpful Hints from Heloise" on topics she thought I might like, and other bits of local news from my hometown newspaper. I still have them all kept in their original, but now yellowing envelopes with postmarks from long ago in my cedar chest.

    Nowadays I rarely get letters, her hand is too shaky to write. Besides, she no longer takes the local paper, calling it a "trashy rag". But she has always kept a little cup, the plastic kind that once held ice cream that you eat with a little wooden hourglass spoon, sitting on her kitchen table, collecting pocket change like the bottom of a wishing well. She does this just for me, among so many other small things I am just now beginning to see as an amassed collection. I've never asked her why and I've never had the heart to tell her to stop because I know this is just how she loves me.

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