Good morning! Aloha kakahiaka!
YaYu headed back to Pennsylvania (and cold weather) on Friday, and the apartment feels very empty and so big without her. We loved having our girls here for a month, together or in different combinations, but once again it’s back to just Brett and me. YaYu’s departure was bittersweet for her; Kaua’i has been her home, even when we weren’t here, for the past seven years. Her time here got her to where she is now, but she has no idea when or if she will ever be able to return. She asked to go to the beach one last time on Thursday to swim in the ocean once more and the weather obliged and we returned to Salt Pond beach for a long, lovely afternoon. She was thankful to be able to eat all her favorite local foods when she was here, and had lots of quality time with Allie the cat during her stay. And, her flight gave her one last beautiful view back at the island as she departed, an emotional moment for her but a wonderful memory. She told us before she left that Kaua’i is the place where she always knows where she is and how to go somewhere and come home. We reminded her that even if she doesn’t make it back for 20 years she will still know where she is on the island and how to get to wherever she needs to be no matter what has changed – that’s what’s so special about Kaua’i.
We feel the same way about leaving Kaua’i, wondering if we’ll ever be able to come back, even for a visit, but feeling very grateful for all our time here. It has been a most wonderful period in our lives, with or without COVID. Brett and I admitted that if things were different we could happily stay, but because we can’t we’re looking forward to traveling once again. We hope to be able to get together the girls in an overseas location one of these days and we talked a bit about that when they were here. They all said they plan to come to visit Japan whenever we get there, and my fantasy is having our entire family together there one year for Christmas.
Although we are moving along with all that needs to be done before the end of April, on some days it all seems to be too much or we’ll remember something that needs to happen and add it to a growing list of Things We Have To Do. I hope we can remember it all. Right now our efforts on focused on getting the items we want to store packaged and ready for shipment, and making sure we have all the provisions needed to get started (shave cream, curl cream, deodorant, etc.). Everything came together before and I’m mostly confident it will again but when I think of all that needs to get done it still puts a knot in my stomach some days.
This morning I am:
- Reading: I finished The Last Thing He Told Me on Tuesday – great book! – and am now reading The Girls in the Garden, also very good. I hope to finish it early next week so I can get going on the last book from the library.
- Listening to: For some reasons there were loads of chickens going on about something outside when I woke up. Not right in our yard, but in one of the yards behind us. Thankfully that was over quickly and now it’s blissfully quiet. It’s a beautiful morning too – blue skies, light breezes, and not too cool. Brett’s sort of banging around in the kitchen though because he’s making pancakes for our breakfast!
- Watching: Dexter: New Blood’s final episode last Sunday was a satisfying ending, and Cobra Kai’s last show for the season left us eager to see what comes next (we’ll be able to stream Netflix overseas). The plot/premise of You took a twist in it’s third season, and we’ll finish it either tomorrow or Tuesday. We watched the movie Encanto with YaYu on Monday (great music, story not as good), and then three nights of the documentary, The Beatles: Get Back. I’m so glad we had the chance to see it . . . so may memories for Brett and me, so much we didn’t know about their final months together. YaYu liked it but it took her a while to figure out who was who! However, when she visited us in England in 2019 she didn’t even know the Beatles were British, so I guess we’ve made some progress.
- Happy I accomplished this past week: 1) All of YaYu’s packages were mailed back to Pennsylvania – they’re scheduled to arrive the same day she does. The rest of her stuff will go into a couple of carry-on bags that we’ll check and carry with us when we go to her graduation. The cost of checking the bags is less than what it would cost to mail everything. 2) I packed six more boxes for storage and we are going through packing supplies like water. 3) I went through my sewing box and created a small travel kit with thread in six colors, needles, a small pair of scissors, 10 safety pins, a few buttons, and some snaps. The rest of my old kit will go to the thrift store. 4) Never my favorite thing, but I got my blood drawn on Friday for my annual cholesterol check – I’m always happy when that’s over. I should hear from the doctor next week and get a new prescription to carry along with us. 5) We did our Big Shop last Wednesday (a week early) as we seemed to have run out of everything at once, especially produce. Other than having to buy some more produce in a couple of weeks, Brett and I are good to go though until the end of the month. 6) I finally finished my last goal with Swagbucks, a $50 Amazon gift card which I’ll use to buy a few books for my Kindle. After over a year of heading to their website every evening, I am very glad to be done with it.
- Looking forward to next week: 1) I’m getting my annual skin check done this week, the next-to-last health-related matter to take care of before we leave (I still have a dental cleaning and exam the last week of this month). 2) We were so happy to have our girls here and spend time with them, but are also glad to have the apartment to ourselves again, especially with all we have to get done in the next few months.
- Thinking of good things that happened: 1) We had another wonderful, long beach day last Sunday at Salt Pond beach park, and then again on Thursday, giving us four beach days in a ten-day period. That’s something that’s never happened before! 2) I had one sale on Etsy, again unexpected but always a good thing. I have so few hashioki left (somewhere around 50 now) that any sale these days is a reason to celebrate.
- Thinking of frugal things we did: 1) Brett had some expensive dental work done last Monday. We paid cash and saved $30. 2) I’m not sure whether I can call our Big Shop last week frugal or not. We spent more than usual but that was expected because we bought more non-food items than usual, some of it for packing (bubble wrap, tape, boxes) and other things we’ll need when we travel (vitamins, shaving cream, deodorant, etc.). I couldn’t get over how many things I walked past at Costco that I used to always buy, but are now too big for us to finish before we go. 3) I found three $1 pills buried in a pocket in my purse – I have no idea where they came from or how long they’d been there – and we turned in all the bottles and cans we’ve been collecting for ages and got $6.35 for those so $9.35 went into the change/$1 bill bag this week. 4) There were no leftovers and no food was thrown away.
- Adding up what we sold: I sold five hashioki and $31.09 will be going into our travel account tomorrow. I am going to keep the Etsy store open until the end of February and then shut it down. WenYu had agreed to keep it open for me, but it will be easier all around to close it for good and put the remaining chopstick rests for sale at our yard sale.
- Grateful for: Brett and I are both so very thankful for the wonderful time we had with our daughters in December and this month. We had all missed each other so much and had so much fun together. We are so proud of the accomplished young women all three have become, and can’t wait to see them again in May, at YaYu’s graduation.
- Bonus question: What are your favorite and least favorite household chores? I enjoy doing the laundry, from the sorting all the way to folding things and putting them away. I always feel when I’m done as if I have truly accomplished something important even though I know that I’m going to be doing it all again in a few days. My least favorite chore is dusting, something else I know I am going to have to do again in a couple of days. Thankfully because our apartment is at the back of the our building and away from the road we get far less dust here than any place we have lived in the past (and for a small island in the middle of the ocean, Kaua’i generates an awful lot of dust). Anyway, I prefer just about any other chore there is to dusting.
After we returned from the beach on Thursday, Allie the cat was waiting for YaYu in the driveway and they spent over an hour relaxing together one last time. Allie was positively despondent on Friday and yesterday though when she came by and there was no YaYu. She tolerates us (barely) but the two of them forged a genuine bond. We have always wondered who feeds Allie because she has always been fairly chonky for a street cat, but we learned this past week it’s our next door neighbors! They also give her a safe place to sleep when the weather’s bad which is why she has remained in such good health. We were all so happy to learn that she’s cared for but for being loved there was no one for her like YaYu.
And that’s a wrap for another week! Four months from today we will be on our way to France – our remaining time on Kaua’i is moving along very quickly. I hope everyone enjoyed an equally productive week, one filled with good things, and is looking forward to the once coming up!