Picking up Nails. . . .

When I walk from my house to the train station in the morning, I walk in the street.  Every day.  I like the street.  There’s little traffic and while conscientious folks hoof on the sidewalk with a 48 inch path, I have my own white carpet boulevard – 20 feet wide.  I walk against traffic.  Near the curb.  And as I walk, I keep my eyes peeled.  I’ve found coins, bills, wallets, watches, cell phones, jewelry, a diamond ring (yep).  And nails.

Life for me started in the cramped attic of a Chicago brownstone on Byron Street.  Watching for pennies (and nails in the street) was inspired by my parents (see post of August 2, 2012).  So I still pick up the pennies.  And I still pick up nails.  Whenever.  Wherever.  On my walk to the train station – or downtown.  Or on vacation.  I stoop over and pick ’em up.  The file cabinet in my office at home sports a few of the more exceptional specimens (including a 9 inch monster).  

Why do I still pick up nails?  Maybe it’s my upbringing (we can’t escape some things).  Maybe it’s the Boy Scout in me.   I don’t want you, your child or my daughter.  To drive over one of those sharpies and have a (potentially big) problem.  Over the years, I’ve picked up hundreds of nails.  And pitched them in the garbage.  And displayed a few on my file cabinet.    

We are told that small things we do can make a big difference.  I know that everyone who reads these words – does small things.  Big things.  And more.  Picking up nails doesn’t sound like a big thing.  But who knows? 

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