If a penny for your thoughts is still the going rate, you have to wonder what a dime might get you these days.
Bob Evans certainly does. For the longtime Greencastle businessman has been preoccupied by the strange, random appearance of dimes for the better part of the past two months.
"My story of shiny dimes," he calls it.
That doesn't mean he can explain it, other than his belief it is strangely connected to the recent illness and ultimate passing of his beloved wife of 40 years, Sharon.
After all, that's when it all began as Sharon was admitted to Bay Medical Hospital in Panama City, Fla., the morning of March 29.
"The next morning I went to Mexico Beach to load the car and check out of our motel," Evans recalled. "As I was loading the car, I saw a shiny dime by the driver's side door."
Evans thought nothing of it, putting the dime in his pocket and checking into another hotel closer to the hospital. But it began to get a little stranger with each day.
"When I went to the hospital the next day, I parked in the parking lot, opened the car door and looked down at a shiny dime on the ground," he continued, adding that he returned to the hotel to find a shiny dime on the lobby floor.
"The following day," Evans said, calmly continuing his odd account, "when I went to my car in the parking lot at the hotel, a shiny dime was beside the driver's door.
"The next day, on returning to my room, I found a shiny dime in the middle of my chair," the veteran realtor added.
Returning home the Saturday before Easter, after the family had left the house, a tired Evans started up the two steps to the bedroom, only to find another shiny dime on the bedroom floor.
Let's pause here to say Evans -- one of the most level-headed men you could ever meet -- admits at first he was "spooked" by the whole thing.
"It gives me goose bumps," he said, explaining it was his son who convinced him to write down the details.
"It's a personal story, but I've shared it with several people, and you could just see them getting goose bumps."
Meanwhile, back at the dime discoveries, it started to affect others in the Evans family and his circle of friends.
"A few days later Stan, my oldest son, told me that he had walked through the front door of his office on Washington Street in Indy, and right before him was a shiny dime."
But it didn't stop for Bob, either.
"On April 18," he said, "I put on a pair of slacks that had just returned from the laundry (with laundry tag still attached). That evening when emptying my pockets, a shiny dime fell out of a pocket in which I do not keep change."
Scott Evans came home April 20, and the next day he put on a Culver Academy jacket to go to breakfast since it was cold outside. In the pocket was a dime -- although for once, not shiny.
"At the Double Decker as I walked to our table," Evans unbelievably continued, "I stepped on a shiny dime.
"Then Stan called me on the evening of the 21st to tell me that he was putting on a pair of shoes from his closet and a shiny dime fell out of one of the shoes."
The discoveries of dimes continued into May with relatives, friends and co-workers inexplicably finding shiny dimes in odd places.
Evans said he shared his strange story with a business associate one day at lunch, advising her she was likely to find a shiny dime.
"About 2 p.m. I received an email from her saying she had found one," he noted.
Dimes kept coming ... in change at the gas station. Four at once from a vending machine. Under his foot at the checkout counter. Again from a pants pockets.
It was like: Next stop, The Twilight Zone ...
"I had a massage last week," he said, "and was telling the masseuse about shiny dimes and said, 'You will find one soon.' She said, 'I found it earlier today.'"
It gets better ...
Evans' grandson Shelby called him before the sectional track meet to report he had found a shiny dime at practice that day.
"He said he would give it to me to keep with the others," Evans said.
"By this time I was becoming convinced that something beyond my comprehension was happening, so I told him to keep the dime as a sign from Sharon.
"He is a discus thrower. I told him that his throw in the sectional meet would have the advantage of riding on the wings of an angel. The next evening his throw topped his personal best -- by 11 feet."
The morning Sharon died, Sunday, May 6, Evans and son Scott were on their way to Indy to see her.
"I received a call from the hospital a little before nine o'clock," he said. "I was told that she had 'flat-lined,' and asked if I wanted them to attempt to resuscitate her."
Of course, he said yes. But a bit later a second call from the hospital indicated that they could not revive her.
"Scott looked at the clock on the dashboard. The time was 9:22 a.m. Sharon's birthday is Sept. 22. Later I was looking through her planner and noticed that our youngest granddaughter was born Dec. 27, 2011 at 9:22 p.m."
Sharon Evans passed away at Seton Hospital, a small facility adjacent to St. Vincent Hospital at Indianapolis. The parking lot there is tiny, and on that Sunday Evans estimated only about five cars were parked in it.
"I pulled in next to Stan's car," he said, "and directly in front of Stan's car was a maroon minivan with an Illinois license plate which read 'ILUVBOB.' What are the odds?"
Evans admits he's mystified. He's wracked his brain trying to think of any connection to dimes in his and Sharon's past. But to no avail.
"I'm not a terribly religious, Bible-thumping kind of guy," Evans said. "I believe in God, but this ...
"There are just too many things involved here. If it were three or four dimes, I wouldn't think anything about it. But 40!?
"Something is going on here."
And on it goes, Evans says. "God's hugs -- and perhaps Sharon's -- with His help," is how he sees it.
Penny for your thoughts? Or would a dime work?