It was absolutely lovely being up at an early hour. The sky was clear, the breeze brisk, and the feel of morning surrounded me so nicely. There's something great about being up before everyone else and noticing how the earth looks before it's been touched by human life. Nature abounds and calls out - it's really wonderful and peaceful.
Now that it's summer, the boat gradually pulls in light from the morning sun beginning at about 5 AM which wakes the pooch and then consequently the pooch wakes me. If I'm not already stirring, the sound of the dog's claws tapping on the floorboards (as he walks in circles) definitely does. I think he's learned that his paws make noise and noise wakes up his humans. With school out for the summer, the husband and I have been sleeping in until 6 AM as our summer schedule has adjusted; but, since laundry was on this morning's eagenda, I crawled out of bed with the first sign on daylight. After what occured throughout the morning, I'm really happy that I did.
The night before, I exchanged a crisp $10 bill for a roll of quarters at the grocery store and absent-mindedly left the money in the car. My husband used the car to drive over to his parents' house to do some air conditioning work, and without quarters my laundry plan was kaput. When I noticed my lapse in planning, it was already 5 pm, and I knew that doing laundry at 8 PM or later was going to prevent other important things from getting done (i.e., evening relaxing). I decided to get up early the next morning and begin laundry in the midst of doing my every morning tasks: walking the dog, making breakfast, getting showered at the bath house. Laundry would be a fine fit as I'd already be up and outside.
When I started to pull clothes out of the dryer to fold, I was alone and decided that I would about leave four quarters ready-to-go in the dryer so the next person to come into the laundry room would have a pleasant surprise. I had plenty of quarters on this trip, so four less would be nice for someone else and not take too much away from me. I noticed that a bag lay on top of the washing machine and I assumed that someone had washed some clothes and would be drying. The quarters for drying would be needed.
The owner of the bag walked into the laundry room a few moments later wearing a nice red mesh polo shirt (which resembles the gifts our good liveaboard friends made for us this spring). We said hello and he inquired about the laundry machines - specifically how they accepted money. "Quarters," I replied and noticed a bummer-type expression on his face. "Do you need quarters?" I asked, to which he replied with a smile and an affirmative nod. He hadn't begun the wash yet because the machines didn't take dollar bills.
I gave to him the $2.75 in quarters that it costs to complete a full wash and dry, and as boaters do, we discussed the common get-to-know-you-politely talk that is common: From where are you visiting? What type of boat do you have? You live aboard? I learned that this man and another friend were sailing their two sailboats on a three-week excursion, following the narrative of an explorer who did the same course 150 years ago. The crews planned on comparing the explorer's descriptions to what they would find during their trip. The plan is to examine the specific places that were included in the observations (which are in a published book) and capture photographic evidence of the changes as well as what has remained the same. There wasn't any indication or information that suggested that this man was on a professional trip - this is for fun and to satisfy personal curiosity. I think it's such a great idea.
It's also interesting to me that my laundry plan for yesterday did not work out at all, and my intention to share quarters with another manifested in a very different and wonderful way. Not only was I able to still share (and in a better way since the sailor I met needed not only four but additional quarters for the washing machine), but I also gained a great idea for the cruising that my husband and I can do together. Not only will we sail and appreciate the beauty of the landscape in which we live, but we can incorporate seeing the land and water through eyes that viewed it long before us. A connection between present and past is a valuable experience to have - as is, as I now realize, doing laundry in the morning.