free money in the hay

so, this is one more reason micah uses to call me “city girl:”  i have never been to a money scramble.  i was as surprised and awe struck as eliza (the other kids knew all about it).  hay is spread out on the cement between the bank and library and before each age group, a cup of money is sprinkled over the hay, then the kids all go at it for a few minutes collecting as much money as they can.  then they get to keep. the. money.  jaw dropping amazing.

the youngest went first, we didn’t have any in that category.  5-7 year olds were next.  step up, eliza.

this is eliza’s slightly embarrassed expression.  i think she wishes we weren’t cheering her on so loudly.


micah waited with his friends for the oldest age group.  jerry recalled his fine tuned technique from his childhood.  i wish micah could have heard it before he went in.  jerry would kneel over an area, sweep the top layer of hay away, then pick up.  move, sweep, pick up.  move, sweep, pick up.  and he did it right there in that town 30 years ago.  amazing.


the big kids moved surprisingly slowly.


half dollars and golden dollars were the most coveted coins.  the shiny 2010 penny was cool too.


after all the age groups went and money was counted, with $4.42 eliza was determined the winner for her age group.  she won a piggy bank.  this was an opportunity to practice the oh-so-hard task of “sharing in your sibling’s joy.”


the kids were invited to help pick up the hay and any money that was found could be kept.  being too old for any of the age groups, naomi got in on that part. with money to spend, we visited booths.

an old metal coleman cooler, a measuring tape from the 50s and 20 cent gourds were purchased.


i wish i had this collection.  but at $3 a piece, i simply took a picture.



it doesn’t take too many “my you’ve grown” comments from old men in cowboy hats to jerry or seeing people wander from their grass bare yard to their neighbor’s or bluegrass music being played on the stage in front of the library to praises for the  pizza from the local hilltop stop to make me teary and grateful.  a peek into this tight knit and determined community was a gift.


3 thoughts on “free money in the hay

  1. For the record, I was born and raised a country girl and have never heard of a money scramble. Though it bears a strong resemblance to a Serbian Orthodox Christmas tradition – that is, if the participants were “peep”ing like chicks.


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