Well, it’s been a while since we’ve updated and we put the blame squarely on our move to South Carolina. Don’t get us wrong, South Carolina is beautiful, the people friendly, and the food delicious. We just had a difficult time adjusting to the Southern way of life.
Our original plan to build our sanctuary at Lake Keowee called for erecting large, air-conditioned tents, and focusing our stick-built efforts on the kitchen area and intake center. The tents went up fine, a traveling circus crew and local catering company quickly erected five large tents that comfortably fit twenty-five zombie children each. The installation of air conditioning was another story.
It’s not that the zombie kids need air conditioning. They’re pretty resilient to extremes of temperature. Only prolonged subzero weather causes them to freeze up into a state we call “zombisicles.” Once defrosted, they function without any loss of movement, only needing a little stitching to tighten up the areas that expand when frozen. Extreme heat, we theorized, might cause their decomposition to accelerate. Air conditioning was a strategy to prevent that possibility.
Unfortunately, our air conditioning contractors decided that the current weather (hazy, hot, and humid with intermittent thunderstorms) was more amenable to fishing and story telling. They would come by each day, do a little work, and then head off to the lake to cool down. Said cooling down taking the majority of the day. As the temperature in the tents skyrocketed, so did our impatience to have air conditioning. We had a timeline, a to do list, and a guilty conscience. What we didn’t have was time to slow down.
Luckily, before things escalated to a point of no return, one of our staff members noticed our zombie kids were slowing down. They rose a little later each day, found a cool spot to nap each afternoon, and spent less time walking around aimlessly and more time sitting pensively in the hot, still air. The heat not only sapped their ambition to walk constantly, it also tempered their aggression. Some of the z kids who had been on restrictions due to their unpredictabile behavior, now became as placid and even-tempered as our most well-behaved kids. Even meal time, which sometimes caused a volcanic explosion of kids rushing the serving tables, took on a more languid pace. After we discussed the changes at a staff meeting, we all pledged to follow the example being set for us and take things a little slower.
Since we started, the petty annoyances and unfinished to-do lists seem less important. We start the day with a leisurely breakfast and chat over several cups of coffee before heading out to the day’s chores. We take frequent rests, keep hydrated, and savor the feel of the lake breezes. The change in the zombie kids has meant we don’t need to suit up in anti-bite attire as often and we’ve all become comfortable in flip-flops, light shorts, and thin cotton t-shirts. It’s not unusual to find a staff member enjoying a late afternoon nap in the hammocks we’ve strung along the shoreline or reclining on the sandy beach reading a book.
Our project continues to move forward, only it is not at the breakneck pace our New England Puritan forefathers kept. Instead we’re learning the ways of our new homeland and slowly adapting to the most welcome change of pace. Once again, our zombie children led the way and we followed.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off for some sweet tea.
Your friends at the Zombie Emergency Relief Organization