After having an awesome weekend of fun and visiting with friends, today I took on a mission of visiting a laundromat. I have been blessed to have had a washing machine and dryer at home for pretty much all of my life, but today I got the chance to experience something completely new. I first visited one where they were closing in just a few minutes, so I asked them if they might know where there was one that might be opened a little longer. They mentioned a couple and even offered to phone them to see if they would be open for me if I were to pop over right away. What a very nice thing to do... sharing a service between businesses and not thinking twice about losing my laundry business for today.
There was indeed another laundromat opened until 8pm and so I made the choice to head over there and see about getting what I desired to get done today rather than wait for another day to sort it all out. I walked into the building and the owner of the store immediately welcomed me by saying... "oh, you're the fella with the sleeping bags to be cleaned... c'mon in." She promptly led me to the commercial sized machines where she pointed out that it would handle both of the sleeping bags and cost less and take less time. Wow! How amazing. I mentioned that I was a virgin when I came to laundromats and she pleasantly guided me through the process of where to put the detergent, how to insert the coins, and a myriad of other little facts about their services. They even do a mending/sewing service here to really add to the whole experience. She chatted for a bit as I waited for a machine to become available and then she and a client helped with some other people's loads of laundry as well... shuffling between washer and dryer and putting clothes here and there for a single dad and his son that had a LOT of laundry to do.
The atmosphere is warm not only from the temperature of the machines, nor just from the hum and constant energy from the rolling of the dryers as they roll, roll, roll some more. The people here are incredibly hospitable and friendly. From a kind, "see you and have a great night"... to checking on my washing machine to make sure that it is finished and guiding me to some just finished and previously warmed dryers near to where I am sitting and typing my story.
OH, and yes, I wasn't sure if there would be internet here and was hoping to be able to type up some miracle-share notes while I wait... and to my wonderful surprise the woman excitedly reports that yes, they just installed high-speed wireless internet for their patrons to use while they wait. So the book, and the typing only to send later, is all something that I need not worry about. I am now more than half done my laundry and also almost through this next miracle-share ... able to send it off to the rest of the group all in a matter of minutes.
Next miracle...to find that I have the EXACT number of quarters for the dryer. I thought that I would only be needing one dollars and didn't stock up on quarters. My little change purse had just the right amount needed... thank goodness my little guides tapped me on the shoulder before leaving the house and mentioned to take the change purse just in case. ;) Brilliant little guides they are!
Anyhoo... It feels like I'm on a short haul flight from Calgary to Vancouver. I've brought all of these little things to while away the time, but I've not needed any of them really. I could have comfortably sat here and watched the activities or chatted with other patrons, or read one of the many bits of ready reading materials. There is so much positive and happy energy here, nothing to see of the original thoughts that I had of what I might experience here... of people making laundry such a drudgery of work and worry. Everyone is so giving and even the man next to me with his son helping him fold clothes has offered to leave a tip for the owner of the shop. There is so much "pay-it-forward" connections here and I am overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness for this unique and beautiful experience.
So, if you're ever passing through Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada... swing on my The Kings Coin Laundry shop... a place FILLED to the brim with miraculous energy, love and compassion for others. Oh what a hum of a place this is.