So, this morning pretty much began like any other….Breakfast with Noakai and a little bit of TV. As it was such a lovely, sunny morning I decided that it would be nice to go to the beach. I began to get things together….so as Noakai is running around I make sure he has his water and snacks…at least 2 different kinds as you never know what he will like (!)…actually maybe I will take 3 today..better safe than sorry….he has a couple of beach toys, a hat, of course extra diapers and wipes….he has his shoes on. Ok he is fed and dressed and ready! Oh wait, but am I? ! Sometimes I am so focused on him that I forget the things I need to take too! OK, I am ready and we are set to go! Oh no…then a scent fills the air and I know he needs to be “freshened up!” Great…ok shoes off, new diaper…I give him my cellphone and play a video of him that I took the other day at the Pumpkin Patch when he played with the animals there – he loves it and it works like a charm! He is still while I change him and button him up, shoes on again…OK we are ready!

We have not been to the beach in a little while and I am excited! We park and I go to pay for parking. Four quarters are needed for an hour (which is what I want)…the minimum is 2 quarters. I open my wallet to see one quarter inside. What?! Where are the 12 quarters I put in there yesterday when I got change from the bank!! Er, hello?! Seriously, someone took my quarters! I stood there for a good few minutes pondering the very mysterious disappearance of my 12 quarters….it really was the great quarter mystery. Noakai was very patient as I pondered this. He looked at me a little strangely for a moment there though…What on earth is she doing?! I want to go to the beach!! After I finally accepted the fact that I did not even have enough quarters for the minimum amount required…I began to feel a little desperate I admit. I just want to go to the beach with my baby! (I would like to add here that I am quite premenstrual)…So, as I had no cash on me whatsoever (typical)….I decided I needed to focus and get me some quarters!! So, off I went with Noakai in the carrier, big, heavy bag on one shoulder laden to the top with all his necessities and my things, and bucket and truck and spade in the other. First I stopped at this German store on Main Street…surely they had an ATM machine. They did not. Well, maybe the guy working there would be able to sympathise with my (very serious) need to go to the beach with my baby and loan me 3 quarters? ! (I had one already remember?!)…. He looked at me a bit sternly though as he told me where I could find an ATM and I decided I dare not ask him to lend me 3 quarters.

So off I went to the store next door where he had told me the ATM machine was located. Great! It told it was going to charge me $2.50 for this transaction. Not so great, but fine! I needed to get to the beach!! I pressed the button which I believed was to type in the amount you want (I just wanted $10), but instead $80 came out! Sigh…but move on.

Now I just needed those bl**dy quarters!! I went back to the German store thinking the guy there would now realize how desperately I needed quarters and just give them to me! (And…my mother is German I am thinking as if that thought in my head will win him over). No. He said no! I do not have any change this early in the morning he stated quite sternly again (but with a smile)…As I leave his store I contemplate asking one of the customers there for 3 quarters. Yes, I really just want to go to the beach!

Next I head to the Urth Cafe across the street, which of course is packed. I am on a mission though to find that one person that will help me! I see an employee who has an air of clamness about him despite the craziness and I make a beeline for him. He looks at me and I tell him very calmly ($20 bill in hand)  that I really need “just 3 quarters”.

“So just a dollars worth?” he asks.

“Yes! Just a dollars worth.”

He returns with my change very gracefully, amongst which are 4 quarters! I am so happy I tip him a dollar and joyfully head off to pay for my parking. I just pray that I have not received a ticket in the meantime. I have not. Phew! I begin to insert the quarters. I get to the last quarter and it won’t go into the machine. I look at it more closely now and see that it is “slashed” through the middle (yes, really) with some very thin wire attached to one end. It truly is the weirdest thing I have ever seen. I don’t even know how someone would /could slash the middle of a coin, but it’s true. It will not go into the machine. Thankfully I remember very quickly, that I actually have another quarter in my wallet! Finally one hour is paid for and we head to the beach. Noakai has been very patient throughout.

We sit down by the ocean and it was all so worth it! It is calm and beautiful. All nothing really in the grand scheme of things, but this is life and sometimes these little things get to us. But I am very grateful though as I sit on the beach with Noakai playing happily, watching the surfers, the birds and the waves crashing on the shore. And I make a promise to myself that I will always have enough quarters in my wallet from this moment forth!!