Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. We got quite a show on Friday evening as an all-day storm finished up and blew away.
Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!
It’s been a somewhat tumultuous week. Last Sunday evening Meiling called us in tears to say she and her boyfriend had broken up. We talked with her for a long time, until we were sure she would be OK and that she would be able to move ahead. She is going to, as she says for now, spend time nurturing her relationship with herself. We are of course sad because we all thought her boyfriend was “the one.” They had been together for several years, but being cooped up together for the past year in a small apartment brought out things in both of them that they might have not discovered until much later, when things would have been far more complicated to get out of or fix. She went up to Massachusetts this weekend and is now staying with WenYu and her partner but is making appointments to view apartments in Boston next week and will relocate there as soon as it’s possible. We were very relieved to hear that she will be continuing with her current employer and working remotely. She loves her job, they love her, and she makes a very good income and has great benefits. She amassed an impressive amount in her savings account over the past year, so has a good cushion for her move and settling in.
Many, many thanks to so many for the support and many suggestions I received following this past week’s Facing Reality post. It was very helpful to read others’ experiences and ideas, and gave us a lot more to think about, something we are thankful to have time to do. We are not leaving Hawaii any time soon, or at all if we can work things out here – we love our life here and it’s a good fit in so many ways for us. Plus, the thought of organizing another big move is overwhelming, and we’ve barely gotten ourselves settled again. It was an expensive operation too and we’d like to enjoy it for a while. However, the desire to be nearer to our children is a strong pull, and the housing situation here is discouraging, so for now we will keep investigating and saving and see where we end up. Our kids want us to stay here for now as it gives them all a reason to travel to Hawaii! Early 2023 is our target for making a firm decision on whether to stay or relocate, so we’re going to take our time and get it right.
From the No Good Deed Goes Unpunished files, Hawaii is still moving slowly with getting its population vaccinated, with only essential workers and those over 75 still eligible to get the shots, and new shipments of the vaccine going for second doses to those populations. When the vaccine first came out, Hawaii’s allotment was slashed nearly in half because of its successful efforts in keeping COVID levels down (“you don’t need so much”), with vaccines instead going to states who were experiencing excessive outbreaks (because of poor management decisions). Our tier (65 and above) is up next though and we’re hopefully things will start moving in the next couple of weeks. Brett and I are beyond ready to receive our jabs!
This morning I am:
- Reading: I finished Searching for Sylvie Lee and The Ice Beneath Her this past week and was looking forward to only having one book to read but no . . . another book came off of hold at the library! So now The Thursday Murder Club is my evening book, and I’m reading Still Life by Louise Penney during the day. I’m hoping for a break after these two so I can finish The Woman in White before I forget everything I’ve already read.
- Listening to: There’s a brisk wind blowing outside but we’ve got the windows and French doors closed for a change so it’s nice and quiet (and warm) except for the sound of the trees. Gray clouds are still hanging around but I can see a bit of blue as well so hopefully we’ll be able to get out for our walk today. Later on I’ll have the washing machine and dryer going but otherwise I think it’s going to be a very quiet day. Our upstairs neighbor came back last night after a week away – we hadn’t really noticed he was gone until we heard footsteps upstairs last night. He’s a pretty quiet guy so we hadn’t noticed he was gone. Quite a change from the previous tenant and his stomping!
- Watching: We finished watching The Umbrella Academy and I immediately started watching The Great British Menu (via Amazon Prime), a cooking show where top British chefs compete to prepare a four-course banquet. It’s like a combination of The Great British Bake-Off and Top Chef, and I love it. Brett is not as enamored as I am with cooking shows, but he has other things to keep him busy while I watch. I’m thrilled there are several seasons to binge on as well. We’ve got Crime Scene: The Vanishing At the Cecil Hotel on tap for when we’re done with Call My Agent (final episode is tonight). A line in the preview caught our attention and made us want to check out the show: “Is there a room in this hotel where someone hasn’t died?” We’re also hearing good things about WandaVision so it’s been put on the list as well.
- Happy I accomplished this past week: Not a big week for big accomplishments, although I did get everything filled in on my activity card which always makes me happy. I also prepared a big pot of meat sauce for pasta, and put seven servings for Brett and I into the freezer and one into the refrigerator for this week. I prepared our shopping list – fingers crossed we can find everything and fit it into our budget because we have a nearly three-week stretch coming up until we shop again. Brett got his scans done for the surgeon on Thursday – took the better part of a day – so now he’s waiting to hear when the surgery will be scheduled.
- Looking forward to next week: Better weather? We’ve had everything from the sublime to the ridiculous this week. We’d love to get a beach-worthy day.
- Thinking of good things that happened: We took a wonderful hike last Sunday down on the Barking Sands base, on the Waiokapua Trail and are looking forward to doing that again in the future. Our son and DIL closed on their house, and are now in the process of getting their remodeling projects going (new floors, kitchen remodel, and some other projects). Although the new house has fewer bedrooms than their current one (three versus five), it’s basically the same size overall so they have a lot of space. The living room looks positively massive, there’s a separate dining room, and the kitchen is big enough to have an island, very unusual for Japan. We’re excited to see it after everything gets done.
- Thinking of frugal things we did: We put $7.44 into the change/$1 bill jar, leftover from our grocery shopping and farmers’ market trips. We stuck to our shopping list, but Costco unexpectedly had six-pound packages of fresh ground pork available (they rarely put it out – it usually all goes to restaurants), so we bought one of those as we use ground pork in recipes fairly frequently and the price was much lower compared to what we pay out in town. I earned 1,830 Swagbucks, we ate all the leftovers, I made and froze 7 packages of meat sauce for pasta, and we didn’t throw away any food. In other words, a pretty normal week for frugality.
- Grateful for: This was a week that could have gone off the rails very quickly for Meiling, but we’re grateful that 1) WenYu lives close by and has the space to for Meiling; 2) Meiling has a great employer that can work remotely and keep all her benefits; and 3) her foresight in building such a solid savings account this past year. While it remains an emotionally difficult time for her, we’re all thankful she has a solid foundation and plan, and we believe she’s going to land on her feet and start moving forward quickly. Something like this in the past would have completely devastated her but her maturity and ability to move herself through a big change like this now makes us proud (and yes, relieved).
- Bonus question: How did you meet your spouse/partner? I met Brett on May 25, 1977, in Millington, Tennessee – he was one of my instructors for a two-week lab course on transistor theory. I can still close my eyes and distinctly remember what he looked like the first time I saw him. We talked with each other during the course – ethically he could not ask me out, but we had our first date (to a movie) right after I finished the course and moved on to the next one. It was pretty much love at first sight for both of us, and we knew in a couple of months that we were going to get married, although that took a bit longer to accomplish because I was sent to Pensacola for my first duty station and we did not want a long-distance marriage. I learned later that before I walked into Brett’s classroom that first day he had seen me out the window while I was taking a break from my previous class, and he told his friend and fellow teacher that I was the girl he was going to marry! He wasn’t sure how we would meet, but then I walked into his classroom and the rest, as they say, is history.
Not the weather we had hoped for this week.
When we see what the weather has been doing in other parts of the country we know we honestly have nothing to complain about, but the weather here has been nuts this past week, from the sublime (last Sunday) to the ridiculous (Friday) and everything in between. Spring has always had the potential to get pretty wild on the island (like the rain and flooding back in April of 2018), but we know things will eventually settle down and sunny, warm days will be back. I’ve been nursing a sinus headache most of this past week thanks to the weather, and am looking forward to that getting resolved. Brett’s sister and BIL live in Dallas, and had no power for a week but we just heard from them and they’re OK, thank goodness. There are just no words for what’s been happening in the Midwest and Texas, and suffering that’s occurred and the reasons for that.
Anyway, here’s looking forward to a better week coming up for all, no matter where you live or what’s been going on!