This post is written by my amazing and talented husband, Ryan. I love hiim dearly for the joy, humor, wit, and other fun he brings to my life! He really could/should have his own blog but I'm excited to have him share here!
It all started with a rock in my shoe, or so I thought. My steel toe boots have seen some better days but still have some life in them, despite what Tamara says. Anyway I noticed something abnormal in the sole of my boot and thought a rock or something must have wriggled down into the boot. I removed the boot, turned it upside down, and shook it vigorously. Nothing fell out.
Rumor has it that my feet may have a bit of an odor problem because of excessive sweat when I wear these boots. That means you take the health of your fingers into your own hands (no pun intended) when you reach down into my boots. I had no choice, that little thing was extremely irritating (kind of like a two year old after a couple of pixie sticks). I reached in hoping to dislodge the rock only to find that whatever was there was located below the insole. This didn't look good.
I pulled the insole up and fished around for the offending object, located it, and pulled it out. To my surprise a piece of rusted metal came out. That is never a good sign. Apparently these steel toed boots have some sort of shank that runs the length of the sole just below the insole. Not the greatest design if you ask me. Since moisture and salt do a great job of rusting out metal, and sweat is both moisture AND salt, that shank didn't have a chance in my boot.
Regardless I thought I had solved my problem only to put my boot back on and find out that the problem had escalated. Now instead of having two parts of a metal shank that were not aligned perfectly, I had two ends of a shank that were separated by over an inch and both were rubbing against my foot. After unlacing my boots again (made me wish I had zip up boots that looked like they were laced much like my friend, the county deputy) I was able to remove the part of the shank from the heel forward. That improved the situation some but still left one end of a shank rubbing against my instep.
After suffering through it for a couple of hours I decided something had to be done. I needed an insert! Great, where do you get one of those when the nearest Wal-Mart is 45 minutes away? The local pharmacy, it is only a brief 10 minute drive. If I did it right I could hit Subway for lunch. The day was starting to look up!
My clinic does some work with the pharmacy so the pharmacist and I have a good relationship. I walked in and was immediately greeted by the pharmacist, "What can I do for you today?"
"I think I have a bill, can you tell me what it is?" He proceeds to the computer and looks it up.
"Wow, can't believe you didn't sic collections on me for that. Probably wasn't a merry Christmas at your home this year with dead beat like me out there."
I handed him four ones and he opened the register to make change. I noticed immediately that he pulled a beat up coin out of the penny compartment and slipped it into his pocket. He handed my change over to me and I immediately noted that one of the pennies was slightly smaller and also darker in color. "Whoa, what kind of crap are you trying to pull here" I joked. "Are you trying to pass off a Canadian penny to me?"
He takes it back and looks at it a little closer, "I don't know what that is but it's the second foreign coin I've seen in that drawer."
He handed it over to me and I looked at it closer. "This is a Deutcsh Mark."
"Do you think it's worth anything?" he asked.
"I doubt it. Not only is it a penny equivalent, that's a dead currency. They use Euros over there now."
He handed it back to me and told me to take it for the kids to look up. I thanked him, he helped me find my insert, and I left.
I took the coin out of my pocket later and realized it was minted in 1905. That got me thinking about its history. This coin could have passed through the hands of the King of Germany before WWI, or a soldier fighting in the trenches may have sent it home with some other money. It went from being worth a fair amount in the early 1920's to being worth less than nothing in the late twenties because of German inflation. Adolf Hitler, or another higher-up in the Nazi party, may have handled this coin. Perhaps Albert Enstein used that penny to buy coffee when he was taking a break from his work on the theory of relativity. A Jewish German may have dropped it when they were being herded onto the train for Auschwitz, or an American GI may have found it along the road during the liberation of Germany. Maybe this coin had traveled across the ocean with a German immigrant when they came to America in search of a better life.
The story that little coin could have told really impressed me. After leaving the pharmacy, my mind wandered as I thought of the story this coin could tell. I shared my thoughts with Tamara and she added, "or it could have been hidden in a wall for the last 80 years and someone just found it." It's always good to have someone around who can keep you grounded, I guess.