It started with reading books about places near and far. It didn’t matter where it was – Meggie wanted to go there! She had a little suitcase that had belonged to her older sister and she was always ready for adventure. Whether it was a visit in the family car to see her grandmother in Pennsylvania or a day trip to the beach, she was the first one in the car saying “Are we there yet?” After she read Alice in Wonderland she wanted to go to England and see hedgehogs. When she was nine her family moved from Massachusetts to California and they traveled on Route 66. Meggie liked seeing the mountains, the desert and the interesting places to stop along the way. And after all these adventures she still likes to travel!
After it snowed Meggie would think about what she should do first. Would she go skating at the pond down the road, build a snowman in the yard, or go sledding on the hill by her school? First she needed to see how cold it was. If it was extra cold staying near the house would be the best choice, although Meggie didn’t pay attention to the temperature until she couldn’t feel her nose or fingers! But her Mom always made sure she had on a hat, mittens and a scarf as well as boots. This took a long time to accomplish.
Sometimes her choice depended on whether there were other kids out sledding or making snowballs. She loved sledding down the hill as fast as she could but didn’t like climbing back up pulling the sled. That was hard work.
Once the snow started to fall Meggie liked to play outdoors as much as possible. It made the winter months go by quickly, and it was lots of fun!
When Meggie went to the department store in her town she would see things that she liked. One day she saw a small corduroy purse and thought it would be perfect for carrying her new lace handkerchief from her aunt. She asked her Mom if she could get it, but Mom said that Meggie should save her own money to buy it. This made Meggie think about her pink ceramic piggy bank. It felt pretty full but it didn’t have an opening in the bottom so she wasn’t sure how to tell how much money there was without breaking it open. Besides, she thought it might mostly be pennies so it wouldn’t be enough. How could she get more coins and dollar bills to buy this purse?
Mom suggested several things Meggie could do to earn money toward the purse. She also said, “You could save your money instead of spending it on penny candy.” Now this was something Meggie hadn’t thought about. She loved going to the corner store where she could get candy necklaces, caramels, lollipops, and taffy for a penny or a nickel. But she decided that she wanted the purse enough to save the money instead.
Over the next few weeks she didn’t buy any candy (this was difficult) and she walked the dog and kept her room tidy. She carefully put all the dimes and quarters she earned in the piggy bank. It seemed like it was taking forever to save money! Finally she thought it was time to check, and she shook all the coins out of her bank so she wouldn’t have to break it. After counting her money several times she had enough! Her Mom took her back to the department store and Meggie proudly paid for the purse. She admired it so much she almost didn’t want to put anything in it, but soon she was carrying it everywhere. She also started dividing the money she got for her allowance and birthdays into categories. She kept some for buying candy and saved the rest for things she might want in the future. It was so much fun picking up the piggy bank and shaking it to hear the coins inside jingle. What would she save for next?
Every summer Meggie went with her family to the beach on Saturdays. There were lots of beaches to choose from, and if they left early enough they could drive all the way to New Hampshire or Maine. Meggie thought the water was cold in Maine, even in August. But she always brought a pail and shovel so she could either build a sand castle or collect shells to take home. She had a large collection of broken shells, but she did sometimes find clam shells that were in one piece. Some of her favorites were shiny and orange, and she kept them in a small glass jar on her dresser.
When it was late afternoon Meggie’s family would gather everything up and head back to their station wagon to go home. Meggie clutched her pail full of cheery seashells to keep as souvenirs. Although it had been an exciting day, she always fell asleep in the car and was surprised to find herself home so quickly. It had been a wonderful adventure.