The Pickle Jar

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by TDawgNOk, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    The Pickle Jar
    The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside
    the
    dresser in my parents' bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would
    empty
    his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.



    As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as
    they
    were dropped into the jar. They landed with a merry jingle when the
    jar
    was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the
    jar
    was filled.



    I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and admire the copper
    and
    silver circles that glinted like a pirate's treasure when the sun
    poured
    through the bedroom window. When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at
    the
    kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank.
    Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production. Stacked
    neatly
    in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on
    the
    seat of his old truck.

    Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me
    hopefully. "Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile
    mill,
    son. You're going to do better than me. This old mill town's not
    going to
    hold you back."

    Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across
    the
    counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly "These
    are
    for my son's college fund. He'll never work at the mill all his life
    like
    me."

    We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream
    cone.
    I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk at the
    ice
    cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins
    nestled
    in his palm. "When we get home, we'll start filling the jar again."
    He
    always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they
    rattled
    around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. "You'll
    get
    to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters," he said. "But
    you'll
    get there. I'll see to that."

    The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another
    town.
    Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom,
    and
    noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and
    had
    been removed.

    A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser
    where
    the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words, and never
    lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith.
    The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than
    the
    most flowery of words could have done. When I married, I told my wife
    Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my
    life
    as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my
    dad
    had loved me.

    No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop
    his
    coins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the
    mill,
    and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single
    dime
    was taken from the jar.

    To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup
    over
    my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than
    ever
    to make a way out for me. "When you finish college, Son," he told me,
    his
    eyes glistening, "You'll never have to eat beans again - unless you
    want
    to."

    The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the
    holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each
    other
    on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica
    began
    to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad's arms.

    "She probably needs to be changed," she said, carrying the baby into
    my
    parents' bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living
    room,
    there was a strange mist in her eyes.

    She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me
    into
    the room. "Look," she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on
    the
    floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never
    been
    removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with
    coins.
    I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled
    out a
    fistful of coins. With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the
    coins
    into the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had
    slipped
    quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the
    same
    emotions I felt. Neither one of us could speak.
     
  2. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Messages:
    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    Tony, that's a good one. Thanks for sharing.
     

  3. Cherokee

    Cherokee New Member

    Messages:
    1,743
    State:
    Salyersville,Ke
    Tks Tony for the story very nice.
     
  4. Hope

    Hope New Member

    Messages:
    1,177
    State:
    Oklahoma
    That's a great one, Tony. Thanks for the inspiration!
     
  5. Flintman

    Flintman New Member

    Messages:
    710
    State:
    OKC, OKLA.
    Tony, that was a great story. It brings back memories of my own kids. I used a a coffee can, to chunk the change in. When my kids were teens they would rob the can to put gas in their car. Lucky gas was cheaper back then, wouldn't go far today.
    Thanks for the memories.
     
  6. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Thank you for that Tony
     
  7. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Thanks Tony for an excellent story, A pickle Crock was used at our house too.This article brought back forgotten memories.:big_smile:
     
  8. Pastor E

    Pastor E New Member

    Messages:
    3,194
    State:
    Beebe AR
    Great story thanks for shareing
     
  9. pythonjohn

    pythonjohn New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,533
    State:
    F L A Swamps
    Good story Tony.
    Thanks.
     
  10. catman529

    catman529 New Member

    Messages:
    817
    State:
    Tennessee
    That is one of the best ones I have read in a while. Thanks a lot
     
  11. waterwalker

    waterwalker New Member

    Messages:
    604
    State:
    Louisville Ohio
    Nice story, well written, thanks for sharing.
     
  12. Jay Jay

    Jay Jay New Member

    Messages:
    136
    State:
    Wisconsin
    Up here they call those type of stories (tear jerkers)