Food. Water. Shelter.
Just like humans, the zookeeper told me, animals need food, water, and shelter to survive.
As a seven-year-old, I spent a week of my summer at zoo camp. The San Diego Wild Animal Park (i.e., Safari Park) was just a few miles from my house and seeing as how I loved to ask questions, my parents were happy to let someone else answer them for a few days.
“What about love?” I asked the zookeeper.
Long-term shelter-seeking in the DC area can be a stressful predicament. Rent is high, rooms are small, and landlords are rough.
But since I moved to the DC area, I’ve made my home under the roofs of some incredible people. The stability they provided in the form of food, water, and shelter allowed me to focus first on graduate school and, more recently, on triathlon.
Just over a year ago, I was in need of shelter after love lost a good fight. My teammate Eugene, who had just purchased a beautiful home, offered to make me a tenant in his basement apartment. He quickly became the most impressive landlord ever–he fixes garbage disposals and installs garage door openers with gusto. He built a bike room. He never angers when my trainer sessions leave sweat all over the floor of his garage–and sometimes on his Mercedes.
And with another personal fave (Sam, blondie below) also renting in Casa de Eugene, and a door always open to other good friends, Eugene’s house quickly became home.
“Food, shelter, water,” the zookeeper said.
“But what about love?” the seven-year-old me asked.
I don’t actually remember how the zookeeper responded, or if she ignored my 63rd question of the day like most adults did. But in writing my childhood memoirs, I like to imagine her response went something like this:
“Yes, love too, little Kgo. What good are food, water, and shelter if you don’t have someone to share them with?”
Giving thanks to Eugene and Sam for being such supportive roommies! Team Poppy Tony succeeds because of your love.
To learn more about Team Poppy Tony, click here: