As Luck Would Have It…


My wife has “radar vision” when it comes to spotting coins on the floor or in a parking lot.

But, when it comes to pennies, she won’t pick up “Abe” if she can’t see his face; that’s bad luck.

So much for that old mantra, “Find a penny, pick it up and all that day, you’ll have good luck.”

However, a Leap Year Mercury dime and any U.S. silver dollar is supposed to be lucky, even of they’re not face-up.

If that dime, minted from 1916 through 1945 and that year is divisible by the number 4, the luck is yours.

If you happen to have a 1916 Mercury dime, there’s even more luck.

Coin collectors value that one at $41,000.

We seem to want to send good luck to folks.

“All the best”.

“Best of luck”.

“Wishing you all the best”.

“Wishing you lots of luck”.

“Lots of luck”.

“Fingers crossed”.

As kids, when we played “Tag”, my sisters would cross their fingers and yell, “Kings!” which meant they couldn’t be tagged.

Crossing fingers comes from European Christian culture with the cross being the symbol of unity; therefore crossing fingers manifests luck.

I never understood why a rabbit’s foot was good luck.

Did anyone ask the rabbit if he felt lucky to lose a foot?

Hoodoo magic has it that the left hind foot of a rabbit, caught in a cemetery at night during a new moon, will ward off evil magic.

Probably not so much for “Stumpy the Hare” though.

According to Irish folklore, horseshoes are lucky.

They require 7 nails to attach them properly and 7 is a lucky number.

Since they’re made of iron, mischievous fairies can’t stand to touch them, thereby keeping “bad luck” at bay.

But, if you hang that horseshoe over a doorway, make sure the ends are pointed up or all the good look simply falls out.

(BTW, my Father-in-law, Ted, was a pretty good horseshoe “thrower”).

(I also did “Horseshoe-Throwing” play-by-play when I was stationed with the USSAF in Greenland. I mean, what else can you do in Greenland? Chase caribou? Yep! Did that, too!)

My Dad said he grew up in a rough neighborhood.

They pitched horseshoes with the horses still wearing them.

Now four-leaf clovers are also supposed to be lucky. The four leaves stand for “Hope, faith, love and luck”.

You have about a 1 in 10,000 chance of finding one in your yard.

I mentioned the number 7 earlier.

Greeks called it the perfect number because the sum of the sides of the perfect forms (square-4 and triangle-3), add up to 7.

Seven is considered lucky because that’s the number of colors in a rainbow, the number of days God took to create our world (even with a day of rest), the 7 planets that can be seen with the naked eye and the story about Christ feeding the masses with 5 leaves and 2 fish.

The acorn is also believed to be lucky.

According to Norse folklore, Thor gave special power to oak trees since they were often struck by lightning.

Odin reportedly hung himself from an oak tree to gain knowledge.

There’s some trutch in that.

I have an oak tree in my backyard and I’ve learned to not walk beneath it in my bare feet.

Those acorns hurt!

The deeper the red and the more black spots on a ladybug, the greater the luck factor is.

If one lands on you don’t brush it away and your luck will improve.

The Germans call them “Glueckskaefer” or “lucky bugs”.

Sprechen sie Deutsche?

Back in the late 50’s and 60’s, lucky fuzzy dice were the rage to hang on your car’s rearview mirror.

That’s connected to the practice of WWII fighter pilots who carried things into the cockpits for luck, including playing cards and dice.

Certain birds are thought to be lucky, including ravens, hummingbirds and storks which we know carry babies in soft cloth bags to new parents.

But beware the owl, believed to be a harbinger of death.

However, you can expect protection and safety if bats fly around your house, and, 5 bats at one time represent 5 blessings; long life, wealth, health, love of virtue and a peaceful death.

Other “lucky” critters are dolphins, elephants, frogs, pigs, tigers, dragonflies, turtles, tortoises, gold fish and crickets.

By the way, in parts of Europe, it’s considered bad luck to kill a cricket.

Don’t forget in the holiday season about that big bird’s wishbone.

Whoever gets the largest piece when it’s broken gets the good luck.

Luck probably depends on how you look at it.

President Franklin Roosevelt said, “I think we consider too much, the luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.”

American author Robert Collier said, “All of us have bad luck and good luck. The man who persists through the bad luck – who keeps right on going is the man who is there when the good luck comes – and is ready to receive it.”

So who’s playing the Powerball?

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