In my update, I mentioned to mi padre that I had been returned to my cash-only diet. I told him I've been counting my pennies, naming them one by one. His heart felt pity on me, so he said I could cash out the change he'd been storing in his pink paper mache piggy bank.
"Take the pig and keep the change," he said.
"I wouldn't dare. Remember when I did that a few years ago without asking? And then I got so busted?" I said.
"Take the pig, Katy."
So we did. We marched down to Stater Bros' Coinstar and cashed in the change: $170.00. I tried giving the money back to him, but he refused, saying, "Just go enjoy yourself." My eyes are going misty, right now, thinking about how generous he is (you too, Madre). What would I do without the two of you?
When we returned home to Arizona, I listened to phone messages, checked my e-mail, and thumbed through the snail mail. I found the notice pictured below, and all of the California sweetness drained from my veins as reality set in: Yours Truly needs to settle down and start focusing on important details like her household's water supply. Thank heavens for mi madre and padre and their little pink pig. They're always there to sweeten life's bitter shots of reality.