A few years ago I bought an old Saab 900 Turbo convertible. She is awesome! Even though she’s officially an antique, we drive her every year. Each spring we liberate her from the barn where she hibernates during the winter.
When I bought her I knew I had to name her Penny. It was a few months after my Mom died and she loved the name Penny. She also loved the color green and that happened to be Penny’s color.
During my childhood, many things in my life were named Penny. I think every single boat my Dad had was named and he had a lot of boats. Even my guinea pig was named Penny! I never really thought about it then; having the name Penny everywhere was just normal.
It wasn’t till I was an adult that I learned how Mom’s fondness for all things Penny started. It seems my parents were on their honeymoon and they stayed in what was known then as a “housekeeping cottage.” My Dad was an ardent fisherman and my mother was ardent about making my Dad happy. So my fisherman Dad and my city Mom went off on a fishing honeymoon. They both had a ball.
As my Mom was telling me this story, I kept wondering where the Penny part came in. Come to find out, the people who rented out the housekeeping cottages had a dog named Penny. I said “That’s it? That’s all there is to this long line of Pennys? There was a dog you knew for one week in the 1950’s and we’ve been naming everything Penny since then?” I was a bit nonplussed. Ok, I was a lot nonplussed. Then I started to wonder why I wasn’t named Penny. I guess even my Mom didn’t want to name me after a dog, but I suppose it would have been an honor, all things considered. That Golden Retriever had such an impact on my Mom. She must have been one hell of a dog!
When we first got Penny, she had wonky lights. I’d open the back and the trunk lights would blink. I’d touch the brake and the inside lights would blink. I was convinced my mother was haunting me through Penny. It was a happy haunting. It pleased me everytime it happened. It was like she was winking at me from beyond the grave.
Penny had a problem though. The driver’s seat wouldn’t go back all the way. I lived with it for a while but finally took it to the mechanic to see what was up. He took the seat apart and fixed it. When I asked him what was causing the trouble he showed me a badly crushed coin. It was a penny.