January 21 Day 1049: Of Rogues and Rabbits

Happy Lunar New Years Eve. That means it’s time to get excited for Monkeyshines in Tacoma.

Thanks to Ms. Monkey and her monkey business, Tacoma gets the best present around Lunar New Year. She and her family make and hide glass medallions and orbs pressed with the Chinese zodiac symbol for the coming year. Over 2000 of them. And other Tacoma makers, artists, and rogues hide more trinkets about town.

In olden days, I used to get up before dawn and drag my young sons on dark adventures looking for monkeyshine treasures with flashlights. We were never successful finding official glass monkeyshines. But we occasionally found rogues. A cache of marbles from the Marbleman. A ping pong ball decorated to look like a rooster’s eye.

As they got older and I started looking on my own, Lunar New Year became the time to walk more and drive less. I’d take the bus and get off two blocks before my stop. I found more rogues: A pink plastic dog. A golden rat on a red coin. A wooden tiger coin. A positive affirmation. I even found a clear glass paw medallion in a planter box on Pacific Avenue walking to my 8 am class (in the year of the dog).

Last year, my enterprising husband managed to arrange for a tiger orb to be hidden in my own front yard (many months after the official event.) He is a darling and I am so grateful to finally have a monkeyshine orb.

Tiger orb

I had heard that Monkeyshines might be going out last night. So I was excited to take a morning walk. I found a rogue rabbit coin near the Point Defiance Ferry Terminal. It was wonderful to see families checking under benches and beneath piles of leaves, enjoying the beauty of this amazing place.

Rogue Rabbit

It’s raining now. But you can be assured I will go out and about again—greeting neighbors and sharing wishes for the New Year. Thank you Ms. Monkey for starting this magic in Tacoma.

Welcome to the Year of the Water Rabbit. May it bring you luck beyond measure.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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