The Sunday Morning post is back! I’ve dropped a few things to streamline it a bit which I hope will keep it from becoming overwhelming, which was what was happening back in January. Most of the news will still be here, but in a more compact format.
Things are moving along as we get closer to our departure. We’ve sold almost all of our furniture . . . to one family! They are moving to Kaua’i at the end of this month (the house they bought is currently being refurbished) and it will basically be furnished with our stuff – the buyers’ and our style match up pretty well and it’s a win-win situation for both of us. We’re also happy to be able to keep our furniture a little longer than we expected before having to live with our patio furniture and sleep on the inflatable mattress. There are only three items left to list on Buy & Sell (which will get done this coming week), and we’ll hold a yard sale at the end of April to get rid of the rest of our stuff. The car will be listed for sale the second week of April, giving us a month to get it sold. Used car prices on the island are high right now, and we’ll be able to ask what we paid for it two years ago! We have rented a car beginning April 22 to use until we leave in May. Rentals are crazy expensive here now and we got the best deal we could using our military discount with Budget, but we’re still paying around five times what we paid before we left in 2018. Friends have offered to loan us a car to get through to the 22nd if we need it, but hopefully we can work out the timing with a buyer.
We’re closely following the situation in Ukraine and will make a call on whether we should to go to France or to Mexico around the end of this month. We very much want to go to France, but also are feeling a bit uncomfortable, and that this may not be the best time to travel to Europe. For now we’re more concerned about the people in Ukraine and all their suffering than our travels. What’s going on there makes whining about wearing a mask or inflation seem very petty. The destruction of the nuclear power plant this past Thursday is especially concerning as are the citizens fleeing, and the destruction of Mariupol. The entire situation in Ukraine is heartbreaking and tension-inducing, and like most of the world, we hope it can be resolved but for now it’s hard to know the direction things will go. We continue to pray for an end to conflict and for peace.
Thinking about this past week, this morning I am:
- Thinking of what we accomplished: 1) We sold our barbecue in less than an hour after it was listed last Sunday. Used barbecue grills typically take a while to sell here but we had nine full price offers in less than 30 minutes! I spent all day last Saturday cleaning the grill so it looked almost new (a truly awful, messy chore) and we included the gas we had left in our tank as well as our barbecue tools so maybe that’s what did the trick. 2) At our suggestion, the woman who bought the grill also bought our fire pit as well! 3) I’ve been reading like a house afire every day, and am currently having to read two books thanks to the library sending them out at the same time. 4) I play Wordle every day, and Brett and I continue to study French every day as well. 5) We dumped Duolingo last month and are now working with Memrise every day, which is providing some good listening practice. Neither program is really very good, but they’re what’s available to us here.
- Thinking of good things that happened: 1) Learning I didn’t have to get a root canal last week was the best news of all. The pain I had been having turned out to be from the temporary crown and once the permanent crown was attached the pain disappeared. 2) Selling the grill and fire pit was also a good thing – we’re glad to see things go these days as it means less of a scramble as we prepare to move out. 3) We enjoyed two long days in a row at the beach, and saw whales breaching and then got to watch one whale roll and whack the water with its fin 10 times in a row! These animals are absolutely magnificent – watching a Hawaiian humpback whale breach is like watching a bus come up out of the ocean; they’re that big.
- Thinking of ways we saved: 1) We kept our food spending at $48 under budget this past week and have enough food to get us through until the middle of the month when it will be time to shop again. 2) We’re on a quest to use up as much of the food as possible out of the pantry and freezer, and especially as many condiments as possible before we leave and we’re making good progress which is also saving us $. 3) Once the grill was cleaned (so. much. work!) I raised the asking price by $50. 4) Other than our food shopping trip and a tank of gas for the car we had a no-spend week. 5) Using funds from our travel savings, the first round of packages (14 of them) were sent to Massachusetts for a little less than estimated and another seven are ready to go this coming week. 6) We received a surprise $20 gift card from Costco – apparently they had renegotiated the price of the laptop Brett bought and sent him the difference between what he paid and the new price. Sweet!
- Looking forward to next week: We don’t have any appointments on the calendar for next week and are hopeful for more good beach weather although the forecast is not looking good. I’m going to list the TV, the hibachi table, and our sake jug lamp for sale on Buy & Sell and see what happens, and we’ll get a few more packages mailed off to the mainland. Otherwise there’s nothing much exciting happening next week.
- Sharing family news: All is well or better than well. Meiling is getting ready to move out of her tiny studio in downtown Boston and into a lovely apartment in Cambridge with her long-time boyfriend. After a year+ stretch apart they are ready to live together again. I believe marriage is also being discussed. WenYu and her partner both caught COVID last month (both vaxxed and boosted) but they recovered quickly. She said she’s had worse colds, but COVID left them feeling very, very tired. YaYu is feeling somewhat overwhelmed as she finishes things up before graduation. She has a job interview for a research position at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital coming up, so we’ve all got our fingers crossed for her. And, our son and family are all well, and the grandkids thriving. Brett and our grandson had a Zoom conference yesterday – C is writing a paper for school about aircraft carriers and he wanted to get some information from Grandpa. Hopes are high that we’ll be able to see them all in Japan at the end of the year.
The sections I took out from the old Sunday posts were mostly ones that were either boring, difficult, or a chore to write (i.e. the bonus question). We’re not watching much TV these days, the books I’m reading can be found in the 2022 Reading List at the top of the page, and it seems all we’re listening to now are the feral chickens who have made a home in the far back corner of the yard, under the orange tree. They’re obnoxious, and I told Brett that once we had noisy chickens in the yard again I knew it was time to go. The most difficult section to let go of was Grateful For, but it always felt sort of strange to pull one thing out each week as we feel thankful for so many things. Anyway, for now it will be a shorter post overall, but all the news will still be there!
It was a great week here and we’re looking forward to the one coming up. We hope to get more accomplished, more packages mailed, more things sold, and more reading done. I hope everyone had a great week as well!