At Least They Had A Shower  
At Least There Is a Shower

On the first Pocket Full of Quarters journey, some of the campgrounds I stayed in had no showers. I found out there was life after not taking a shower. The good news is that all campgrounds on this journey so far have had showers. The bad news is that these showers have presented new problems.

First, there was the communal shower. Knowing the campground had showers and a promise of hot water, I decided to make this the day I emptied Haplessí (the camper van) ďblack and grey waterĒ holding tanks. Iíll spare you the gory details and suffice it to say that Iím not good at that yet.

Afterward, I trudged over to the bathhouse, gingerly holding a clean towel, clothes, and soap. Imagine my surprise to walk into a room that had 4 showers in 4 corners with no doors or curtains. Adding insult to injury, the shower room itself had no door and opened directly into the common area where everyone washed their hands. It was possible for an open bathhouse door to provide outsiders a peek into the shower room. God, is this a joke? It wasnít until later that I could enjoy His joke.

Iíve always tried to abide by a few simple life rules. One of them is: Keep your clothes on around strangers.

Now that Iím traveling in Hapless, Iíve added a new rule: Shower after you empty holding tanks.

Iíve never liked it when rules conflict. I did a quick priority matrix and the shower won.

If you are a man and reading this, you may be wondering what the big deal is. Iím told that in male locker rooms, communal showers are not uncommon. This is not true for women. Yes, I know itís not logical since women, when traveling, donít mind bunking up with as many as four women in a hotel room (something most men would never do). However, we women like privacy in the powder room.

After studying the layout of the showers, I found the one that seemed to offer no view of an opening bathhouse door. The plan was to make this a quick shower and leave before anyone else entered. I undressed, tried to turn on the water, but alas, it didnít work. I picked up my clothes and darted across the room to another shower. It didnít work either. My worst fear happened and someone entered the room. I raced to the 3rd shower, making sure I arrived before the other woman had time to claim it. Thankfully, the third shower worked. This was the shortest shower Iíve ever taken and the fastest Iíve ever dressed. My husbandís comment to my whining was, ďAt least they had showers. Be grateful they werenít co-ed.Ē He obviously didnít feel my pain.

The next night was primitive camping Ė which means the sites have no water or electric. This is no problem since Hapless has a fresh-water holding tank and a generator. There was a beach behind me and an inlet across the highway from me. Hapless sat snuggled up against yellow sand dunes, which turned orange with the shimmering sunset. Belle and I climbed the rows of sand dunes, sinking deep in sand, to arrive at the beach beyond. There we spent an hour playing Frisbee, chasing waves, and talking with people. I thanked God for His beauty and prayed for the people I met as Belle and I skipped along the shore. On my way back, I stopped to offer moral support to a large group trying to dig a stuck truck out of the sand. I suggested they put cardboard under the wheels. Surely, with all the campers around, someone had cardboard. I would have gone on a hunt but I got the look that men give women when they make suggestions about cars. Oh well, Iíve been stuck before and cardboard did the trick. Another one of my life rules is: Say something once and leave it alone. They were still working on rescuing the truck when I left.

When I got back to the campsite, I walked over to the bathhouse to find no showers. But the sign said showers, I thought. I went on a hunt. A wooden building that looked like an outhouse stood beside what I thought was the bathhouse. This small wooden building was what this campground called a shower.

If you werenít too tall, and didnít mind the world seeing your feet, you had privacy. A pull cord that you had to hold to keep the water running activated the cold shower. Recognizing this shower from the television show Beverly Hillbillies, I walked around back to see if there was a bucket attached to the cord. Nope Ė at least it was running water. The top and the bottom of this shower was open to the air. (see pictures on website in the Photo Gallery under North Carolina Ė Outer Banks) There was a nip in the air and ocean winds whipped around me as I took a quick and freezing shower, hoping a basketball player didnít walk by.

I thought about my Sanctuary (my Jacksonville home) and went to laughing. My powder room is my favorite room in the house. It contains a large whirlpool bathtub and a separate shower stall. Sanctuary has 5 showers and Animal House (our condo in Gainesville) has 2. For those of you that are wondering where the name Animal House came from, my husband is a full time Ph.D. student. Our Gainesville condo also houses mostly freshman and sophomore University of Florida students. Need I say more?

What am I doing here with all those showers back home? I asked.

Godís answer was simple. ďYouíre being obedient." I wouldnít trade the peace that accompanies obedience for a private, hot shower, even after emptying a ďblack waterĒ holding tank.

Deut 28:1-2
If you listen obediently to the Voice of GOD, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today, GOD, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of GOD, your God: (from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)


Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to or call Cheryle Touchton at 904-614-3585.

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