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Laundry? Quarters to the Rescue!

by jeanne clarke
(baltimore, maryland)

This past winter we had not one but two blizzards hit our city, Baltimore. I live right smack in the city and travel in and out was fairly impossible. My husband was off work for over a week as the University where he is employed was closed - along with everything else. Luckily we had stocked up on food and essentials before the blizzard(s) struck - having plenty of warning.

But there was one thing I forgot - or at least, didn't anticipate. "The laundry."

Our building has a laundry room that runs on quarters and there is no change machine in it. Just two washers and two dryers. There is a laundromat several blocks away, but, as I said, everything was closed and there would have been no way to get there anyway. Since we live on what is considered a "side street" we weren't plowed for a long long time.

At least the internet still worked!

My good friend, Jody, lives clear across the country in Oregon. She on the west coast; me on the east coast. Yet somehow we are always there for each other. And this was no exception. I told her of my dilemma - the laundry was up to the ceiling - we are a family of four. And I had no quarters. And even though at that point enough was clear that I could walk the mile to the bank, all the banks were out of change since traffic wasn't able to get through.

"No problem", was her reply.

From my visit to her last September I knew she tossed her spare change into jars, on the counter, on plates - anywhere there was room. She had containers overflowing with change. As she told me later, she went through every single container and got out every single quarter.

There was almost five hundred quarters - which is roughly over a hundred dollars worth. Or at least ten rolls of quarters. She put all the quarters in a pretty Christmas "treasure box" she had bought at the dollar store. Then she went to the post office and shipped it two day delivery. And luckily, by then, the mail trucks were getting through. I got the quarters two days later and twenty four hours later had gotten most of the laundry done. Washed and dried. And I still had quarters left, which I gave to some neighbors in need.

When I offered to send Jody the cash for the quarters she declined - wouldn't let me think of it. As she said, I would have done the same for her. And I would have. After all, that's what friends do.

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