We are in the process of remodeling our mudroom. Even though I’m excited about this project, it comes with inconveniences….like my washer/dryer are temporarily in the garage and apparently this does not excuse me from still doing laundry. Can’t we just buy more underwear? With laundry piling up I decided to make a trip to the local laundromat…..ugh!
So I find myself at the local laundromat that came highly recommended from a couple of my girlfriends…first impression…wow this isn’t so bad! It is a fairly new place and the owners were so helpful and friendly.
Here’s what I witnessed while there...
There was an older gentleman with a walker there minding his own business. At one point he approached me asking to use a basket that happened to be near me. I offered to help and ended up moving it to a spot more convenient for him. He was very grateful, said thank you and proceeded to sit near his washing machine and kept to himself. The owner noticed him, said hello and had a small conversation. I got the impression that he was a regular.
Next came a mother and her two young boys. It was clear the owner knew this woman because she introduced her to a friend that happened to stop by the laundromat. At this point you must be thinking I’m a stalker, but all this was happening right by my pile of clothes I was tending to!
The owner explained to her friend that this woman helps her keep the place clean. I could tell she was very grateful to have her help. The boys were so excited to show her the books they had just checked out from the local library. The owner told her friend that the older boy loves to read. He sat down and did not pull out any electronic device but read his book instead. She also said that the woman does not have a car because her husband needs it for work so she walks her boys everywhere. The local library was going to be closed for a while for remodeling and they were discussing other library options. The woman said that the train was a possibility but it would be too expensive for all three of them to go. The owner offered to take her and her sons to check out other libraries.
Then the subject came up about sending the younger boy to preschool this fall to help him continue to learn english, but the woman explained that she had been doing her research and it is unfortunately too expensive.
Here are a couple of my observations…
1. We have three cars and it is an inconvenience when someone needs to borrow mine.
2. My girls do not particularly like to read and we have shelves of books.
3. When it was time for my girls to go to preschool, it never occurred to me that they could not go because of the expense.
I wanted to share this with you because I saw REALLY good people in this world. A mom doing her best for her children. A friend trying to help this mom in her community. A local owner befriending a customer that seemed lonely. It was beautiful. I got in my car and had tears in my eyes, not out of guilt for what I had, but grateful to witness these stories. Stories right here in my community. Stories of goodness. Stories of reality. Stories of love. Stories of happiness.
We can help people right here. Right now. Whether it is a smile for a stranger, a prayer for a friend, a donation for something you care about. You just have to look around you...it’s right here.
I plan on going back to the laundromat. Not just for the amazing machines, but to hear more stories. To maybe meet some people in my community that don’t run in the same circle as me. To just get out of the bubble I sometimes bury myself in.
YOU are good, PEOPLE are good. You just have to take a minute to see it.
Okay... so I didn’t have an Ah-Hah moment this week. I worked and went to Iowa and played soccer, that was about it (oh plus a Kenny Chesney concert, that was just incredible). So I don’t have any motivational words of wisdom except to reread what my mom just wrote and think about how you view your life. Good stuff mom, good stuff.