No, they’re never far away. This morning at 7-Eleven, a boy didn’t appear to have enough change for milk and I offered to pay immediately. (BTW/Turned out it was a misunderstanding and he did he have enough to get the milk.)
But it reminded me of being 6-8 and my mother and I, left on our own sometimes by my wayward father, down to spare change basically. I can recall us cobbling together 15-20 cents to buy a loaf of bread or a quart of milk in the ’50s. That change was a direct means to survival.
Something I relearned with my wife in our first year of relatively stony-broke young marriage, cobbling together 20 cents thereabouts to buy an A & W kids’ meal to feed both of us supper. (This in 1971-72 before Chargex was introduced. We lived hand to mouth. Not much seemed to have changed in two decades except that I/we were poor but happy.)
These daze, I still pick up change off the sidewalk and street whenever I see it. A nickel, a dime, a quarter still mean something. And always remind me of the old days when we didn’t have too nickels to rub together quite literally.