Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Shiela Stops in at the Laundromat

Shiela and Frank taking a well deserved break
Laundry day at the laundromat makes me feel like a student again. I toss sheets, towels, gotchies and other assorted apparel into the washer, throw in the detergent and take off for one of any the 6 cafés within the radius of the block (though there weren't' such an assortment anywhere to choose from in the '70's). Today I worked on my Spanish homework but last week, that was a different story.

I don't usually like hanging around laundromats. You're uncomfortably crammed into the spare chairs butted arm to arm against each other, so close that you invade another's space no matter how hard you try and make yourself small…and I'm 4'10" tall and around 100 lbs.

People talk to themselves.


Sometimes it's me, though I try to be mindful.

Though talking to one's self is perfectly normal when done in the confines of one's own home, one comes across as just plain weird when you engage yourself in conversation in public. I know. I give "those" people a wide berth.

People who frequent laundromats come from all walks of life.

Some, like us, are renting places with inadequate laundry facilities - meaning amongst other priorities they are lacking a full service café nearby.

Many laundromatophiles in Victoria are travellers passing through who barely speak or read English. And since no 2 types of washers or dryers operate the same way anywhere I thank God for universal body language which I've used to demonstrate: how much change is needed and what it looks like, where the laundry detergent/liquid goes and the very precise sweet spot to whack with one's fist in order to spur some of the washers into action.

And then there are the dishevelled types like Frank who look like they came out from under a rock. I tend to avoid those too. To be precise, Frank could have come out from under a bush in Beacon Hill Park at 7 a.m. that morning (Here's a little known fact - people are allowed to camp from 7p.m. to 7a.m. in Beacon Hill Park but they have to pack up camp during the day leaving no trace of their presence).

I know this because his dog introduced me to him.

Seven year old, German Shepherd, Shiela lay on a comfy mat placed by the all to close chairs, keeping an eye on Frank as he sorted his laundry. The cluster of chairs was pretty crowded so off to the café I was heading when I came across Frank's gear and asked him to tell me his story.

Franks walks his bike with Shiela at his side
Basically he's walking to make Shiela known for being the first dog to walk across Canada to prove that anyone can achieve their goals no matter what the challenge and if he dies before she does his hope is that her fame will land her a loving home.

Frank has prostate cancer.

Rather than endure chemo and ingest medications he's chosen to walk with her and be supported by the grace of God and the kindness of strangers.

Read about his amazing story here - WALKING THE DOG ACROSS CANADA - (CFJC News) where you will also see how to support Shiela's journey and Frank's dream and you'll access his blog - Shiela's Cross Country Trip. If you can't access his blog from this link, copy the link from the article WALKING THE DOG ACROSS CANADA and paste it into your browser as I had difficulty accessing it any other way.

As a dreamer myself I can't help but support Frank and Shiela's dream. Blessings to you Frank and all the best to you and Shiela on your journey may God go with you.

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