So, the phone rings and I hear my daughter yelling, “Mom you need to get to Tampa because Venice is really going to be bad!” Irma, the Yeti of all hurricanes, was freewheeling up the west coast of pristine Florida. After checking the weather, I chose to shelter instead. I called for directions to the nearest shelter but never asked about bringing anything for comfort. First thing I noticed was NO COTS! We were packed in the hall like a pack of rats. This was not going to be fun! Yes, I slept in the hallway of a school on the hardest, coldest spot of a concrete floor. Actually, my body is just too damned old to deal with that sort of camping out.
Thank goodness, I had picked up one of my walking sticks to bring along with a LED flashlight. Without that stick I’m sure I would not have been able to walk the next day. I go into the cafeteria for dinner. Much to my horror about 3/4 of the room was filled with people who were sleeping. The odor of dinner brought my senses to the height of dirty feet, sweat, and bad breath. I got a clear vision of what Hillary would call deplorables. That definitely helped take away hunger much better than a diet pill.
The following night the storm had taken out all the lights. Backup lights lasted only one hour. Sometime during the night, I saw what appeared to be an older gray-haired lady trying to navigate her way in the narrow isle. Soon she was shuffling her way back from where she had gone. She noticed my sitting on the edge of an air mattress that another older lady had invited me to use for the night. She bent over and asked me where a water fountain was so she could take her heart medicine. I felt obligated to play nursemaid!
I took her, with flashlight in hand, into the nearest restroom. I told her to put the medicine in her mouth and cup her hands to sup enough water to get her pills swallowed. We get back into the hallway and I asked her if she knew how to get back to her bed. She said it was down where the bank is. I knew without a doubt that I had an Alzheimer victim on my hands. However, I walked her all the way to the other end of the hall. I did not see an empty space nor did she recognize anything. I felt if I had to take her into another direction that I’d end up like her, just roaming around until daylight.
There is a saying that God will send an angel when needed? Don’t you know the lady and I both were in need! All of a sudden POOF! there appeared a Red Cross nurse! After relating the story, the nurse said she would take the lady to where she should be. The next morning three people asked me where the nurse came from because they did not see any figure walking by. I guess the nurse was the angel who appeared in time before a fallen rose petal could occur!