Sunday, August 2, 2015

Day 8.124 Laundry for Free

I am doing laundry.

Not a chore that I enjoy.

It is Sunday afternoon, we started the day at 0600, drove 50 miles, offloaded our bikes, rode 36 challenging miles, 17 up the ridge the hardest, got stuck in open bridge traffic (again) on the way, but made it in one, smelly and fatigued piece, home.

And then this.

I have nothing clean to wear for our 0530 spin class tomorrow. I go through 15 kits a week.  If I don't do it, nothing gets cleaned. We do not fold.'s drone service notwithstanding, I have few options.

I collect quarters from my change tray, grab the dirty clothes bin and head out.

This moment I am 16:10 into the wash cycle.

I come to this laundry mat for a couple of reasons. It is still relatively cheap (2.25 per load) and whoever the owner is, he, or she, has decorated the walls with images from a tropical paradise, roughly six degrees south of the equator, in the middle of the Indian Ocean. God Bless.

Every time I come here to sit & spin I look at the murals and drift back to those good old days.

Fifteen years has gone by, but not a single one of those days has passed without some reminder of that incredible experience.

There was purpose, there was effort, there was teamwork, there was camaraderie. We used to say, One Team - One Mission. We were the footprint of freedom. We rocked.

It was my job to balance the military tension with R&R. That meant morale, welfare and recreation. That was my job. Provide for the troops. Try to keep them in the gym vice on a bar stool.

And I loved every minute of it despite the oppressive and relentless scrutiny of a division known as Navy Quality Assurance Evaluators, whose only job it was to grade the way that I managed, and later directed, the entire department.

This grade so that the American taxpayers could rest comfortable and secure in the knowledge that DOD dollars were being spent well.

In this case, I believe that they were.

But I still miss doing laundry every Sunday night for free.

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