I often joke about picking up coins while ralking. But seriously, I do realize that there is a fine line between what I do and pocketing money that doesn't belong to me. Bleason and I seem to be travelling the same paths many time zones apart and he has touched on the ethics of our strange hobby.
About five years ago I started daily walking, at first finding random coins in gutters that I thought were quirks. As my walking continued and I ventured out onto other streets I began to realize that there was coinage all over the place, a person just had to know how and where to look for it. For a while I didn't talk much about it to others but then my finds became common knowledge to those around me. Oh yes, I have taken a fair amount of teasing, mostly good-natured and always deserved.
Along the way I have developed my own "rules" for numismatizing, most of which are similar to Bleason's. I will share a few of these with you.
1. Walk early and fast. Most of the fast food establishments have not even opened when I go under the windows. Coinage that has been left outside all night is fair game, right??? Regarding "window wardens", I've seen all kinds of them, from the fun woman at a McDs who called me back to tell me that I missed a quarter to the guy who threatened to call the cops. That was in a different city and I never went back. Oh wait, there was one really rude guy who I told to catch me if he wanted his nickel back. He didn't. Also, I won't interfere with business. Coinage in the street, all mine, baby!
2. Safety. I've been on a morning ralking hiatus this week partly due to the pitch black darkness that lasts until seven. Of the three places I frequent one is scary in the dark and the other two are unsafe due to traffic. I wear ID and reflective clothing and have learned to never trust drivers making right turns. This weekend the time changes. Hallelujah!
3. Never miss an opportunity. Vending machines, telephone booths, parking lots, car washes, they all are ripe and ready for picking. Learn to laugh when others look at me quizzically.
4. Smile and say good morning to everyone I pass. It's a challenge to see who will reply.
5. Relish the sunny days and enjoy the rain. Endure the bone-chilling cold with more layers and thinsulate. Sleep in on the windy or icy days or hit the pool.
6. Realize that numismatizing provides needed motivation to get outdoors and enjoy the solitude. Who could have guessed that I would love mornings?
7. Mostly, be grateful that in my senior years (ouch!!) I can still ralk and that the circumstances of my life allow the time and luxury to do it. Also, the support of Zeus is priceless.