Spending such a long amount of time in Hawai`i after being away for three years has been a wonderful, grounding experience. It has reminded me of all of the things I love about the ‘āina, the people, and the sense of ‘ohana that is so dominant in this beautiful land. On Sunday we enjoyed the best picnic dinner ever – after swimming at Ko Olina, we had a Zippy’s bento box while the sun went down over the ocean – can’t beat that!
We’ve been catching up with old friends we haven’t seen in years. Inevitably, we are asked if we’re thinking of moving back to the islands. I have to admit, the prospect is intriguing. BUT – we have a few requirements for our next semi-permanent residence – it must have efficient public transportation, strong environmental support systems, and be a bike friendly city. Unfortunately Honolulu doesn’t have any of these. There are no bike lanes to speak of and like Seattle, they have been arguing about the installation of a train system for twenty years. Yes, they too have spent millions of dollars studying the prospect and have gotten exactly no where. More central to our decision, however, is the total and complete lack of environmental support. Homes do not have curbside recycling and the center at the middle school up the road only recycles paper, no mixed use or plastic items, no phone books, no food packages. We rant almost daily about the fact that we live on an island and yet they make it very hard to do the right thing.
In the first few days of our arrival, we had a jarring experience that reminded us that we are no longer in Bellevue. The neighbors who just bought the house next door and were preparing to spend their first night in their first home experienced a robbery – a break in that stripped them of their precious possessions. He and his pregnant wife are teachers and were gone when it happened at 9:30 in the morning – while we were home next door working with all of the windows open. We never heard anything and had no reason to investigate the house to make sure everything was okay. Once I got past the horror of their first experience in their new neighborhood, all I could think of is that “we’re not in Bellevue anymore”. Today they installed a home security system and I’m so glad they did, it’s just too bad it had to come to that.
After being away for so long, it’s easier to be objective about my adopted home. I see all of the good and all of the beauty and keep that close while acknowledging the parts I might wish would change. This begs the question – should I wait for someone else to make a difference or should I endeavor instead to be a part of that change?
Eyes wide open….
It wasn’t until the plane turned away from Rainier heading west that it hit me– I was gonna miss this place. It’s been almost eight years since we packed up our lives and, on a whim, risked everything for a brand new start in the great Pacific Northwest. Naivete served us well as we left one struggling economy for another in the aftermath of the DotCom Bust of 2001. And if I could, MayleneNow would thank MayleneThen for the incredible experiences, friends, and success.
Now, we’re off on another adventure, ready for new experiences and to make new friends along the way. I hope you’ll follow along with us and perhaps provide your own insights and advice.
E komo mai– welcome!!
in the 14 plus years that we have been together, Maylene and i have moved 17 times. we agreed that we have finally paid off some really bad moving karma because this one went relatively well. aside from the occasional “omg…the lightbulbs haven’t gone out in a year and they choose to do so en masse the day after we sold all the extra ones in a garage sale….” or “we just packed the batteries and they went out on the cleaning supplies” moments – we had no real calamities as experienced in moves of recent past (city-wide power outages and downed trees making roads impassable / elevators out so three-stories later we hate our stuff, etc). after finally acquiring all of the perfect household belongings, we decided to sell it all in an effort to downsize to a 10×10 storage unit. we are now living out of four suitcases and two laptop bags. yipes!
after a frenetic sprint to the finish, we are finally able to take a break and breathe on the eve of our flight home to Hawai`i. staying at the beautiful home of our good friends Bill & Tammy in Puyallup, WA – we enjoyed a restful day of reflection (are you sure we didn’t forget anything – you sure we don’t need to go back to storage?) thanks guys for everything – we’ll miss camping with you during the beautiful WA summers – the best kept secret about Seattle…
we are excited about going home thoguht – we haven’t been in almost 3 years! Maylene’s requested a greasy, green cheeseburger from Byron‘s for her bday lunch. yummmm…. it’s the special sauce that makes it.
our remaining kitty, Pua found a great home with Jenna – he’s settling right in and enjoys watching the ducks in the pond out back. we miss him but know that he has a great foster mom and a room with a view! 😉
after my job as a Humn Resources Manager with Open Text ends at the end of June, we will be heading out to europe for six months of travel – it’s a bucket list item and we have the perfect opportunity to make it happen. thank you Rick Steves for the little bit of travel know-how we have…..this should be fun.
we are going to firm up the itenerary soon so let us know if you have any must-see recommendations so we can sketch them in. right now the goal is to get all the travel must-haves we need before leaving – we have high hopes that we’ll be able to fill in the remaining gaps in Hawai`i – we shall see! gotta love purposeful shopping! 😉
as you can tell – this entry is written by Charity – we will both be posting to it so enjoy the different points of view and writing styles. Maylene is still tricking out the details of the website so stay tuned for more information!