Staying in a shelter was a new experience for us. We weren’t really sure what to expect. Overall we were pleasantly surprised.
Here are the lessons we can share with others:
- Be neighborly. Everyone was great at the shelter. The first night, though, there was a family stationed in the corner of the gym. They were a nice family, never spoke harshly to each other, brought plenty to keep themselves busy, over all just seemed nice. Once the lights went out, however, I was very surprised that this family, although very nice, didn’t know how to be neighborly. They kept waking people up with their talking. They turned on a big oscillating fan by them. It blew gale force wind on everyone around. Their h “flashlight” was more like a headlight off an airplane. When they turned it on, it filled the whole gym. I could see it with my eyes closed. Not only that, the man was reading with it. So every time he flipped his page, he flipped the light across the entire gym, waking everyone in its path. Dude, you’re not alone in your living room. Turn that thing off!
- You’re no better than anyone else. In situations like this, there is no status, class or rank. Everyone is in the same situation whether you own a mansion or a trailer, drive a jalopy or a Porsche, are a VP or janitor. We all slept in the same room, used the same bathroom, ate the same food. We all had the same need to be safe. I loved it!
- Never eat cold bacon before going to bed. This one was funny. Cody, just before turning in, wanted a snack. He opted for the cold bacon I had brought, foregoing the warnings that he had already brushed his teeth. Somewhere in between 1:00AM and the search light waking me up for the umpteenth time, I couldn’t take it any more. Cody’s breath had become a heavy CO2 cloud hanging over our heads. I couldn’t escape it. It didn’t matter which way I turned, it was suffocating me! I finally sat up and dug around in my purse for a peppermint beadlette. Thank God for DoTerra! We both had a good laugh and went back to sleep.
- Don’t eat high school cafeteria pizza. This was Cody’s first experience eating high school cafeteria food. He made the rookie mistake of falling for the pizza. Afterwards, while talking to a young man in the hall who went to the high school, he confessed he didn’t like it. The young man smiles a knowing smiling and said, “yeah, they get you with the smell.” He was right. Cody fell for it.
- Bring your own toilet paper. You never know how long you will be there. Supplies can run short. Bring your own and share!
- Blow up your inflatable mattress in the hall. Mattress pumps aren’t quiet. When everyone has settled down for the night it can sound like the Harrier Jump Jet hovering overhead.