Slow burn

We had friends in from out of town recently. Last year only a couple of people came to visit. This year there’s a steady march of people coming in from NY.

My friends, at our suggestion, came into Kailua one afternoon and because of a combination of unfortunate circumstances lost their wallet, iphone, license, money, and credit cards. We felt terrible for them.

They believed that they were bamboozled by locals that had the stereotypical signs of being crystal meth addicts. I have no reason to disbelieve them–they’re very reasonable, level-headed people. I’ve been thinking about it alot because it’s so different from our experience of Kailua. Would I feel the same way about this place if I hadn’t had the opportunity to slowly develop a love for it?

Their misfortune left me a little sad about Kailua but more sad that they would leave associating it with unhappy things. My friend encouraged us to get a guard dog in our new place. His wife added that we might consider a pitbull.

On the flip side we went to a dinner party the other night for a writer that was also visiting from out of town. He and his family had spent his two year sabbatical on Oahu. After his sabbatical ended they came back a couple of months later. This visit is their second vacation here in less than six months.

I asked K if he thought we would be like them after this year is done– coming back to Hawaii every few months because we miss it so much. He answered that he thought we’d probably be busy trying to establish a real home for ourselves in NY.

In the meantime, Kailua continues to be a revelation to me. I’m pretty certain that wherever we go and whatever happens to us I’ll always see this time as key in shaping my idea of home.   Despite bouncing from place to place, I feel a sense of belonging here that I haven’t felt anywhere else.



Yesterday morning I realized that I suddenly felt at home in our temporary sublet. I thought the shift was worth noting because it’s not an unfamiliar feeling. I’ve felt it before –pretty much every time we return to NY.

A couple of days ago when we arrived at the rental, I felt a little nutso. I kept asking myself how I could feel so uncomfortable when my circumstances are basically like I’m on a permanent vacation. I’ve mentioned that the place felt cold. But it’s more than that. All my germaphobe tendencies were kicked into high gear and I hardly wanted to touch anything. Much less put any of my belongings in the drawers or closets.

It happened yesterday while I was sitting on the couch sketching and watching CNN. All of a sudden I realized I was comfortable. I spent the rest of the day making macaroni salad and putting things away as if we’re going to be here for more than the week we have left.

I guess the good thing is that since we don’t really have a place that our things can stay for more than a few months at time we don’t feel homesick for one place. The closest place we’ve felt that way about was our rental last year, which was very much someone else’s home.

I said to K a couple of days ago that for two people that need such specific circumstances to feel comfortable we sure do challenge ourselves to constantly adjust.



K got his haircut by Joe Randazzo at J Salon today.  He trimmed my bangs for me since I recently had a haricut.  I like Joe.  He lived in NY for a period of time and there’s a shared sensibility that I really appreciate.  He asked me how I wanted my bangs to look.  I told him and in five minutes, voila.  Done and done.  Bangs make a gigantic difference to my face.  I feel more like myself.

On our own


We did our Meals on Wheels route on our own this week.  We didn’t see Gladys at the pick-up point which was kind of sad.  We were looking forward to seeing her again.  The route took us a long time for some reason.  And the senior lady K felt a small connection to was busy being read to by a neighbor.  So we made all of our deliveries with minimal interaction.  It doesn’t seem like much, driving around and delivering frozen food, but I was dog-tired at the end.  I think it’ll probably get easier as we get more familiar with the different addresses.

Clean Living


Many years ago, I had a beloved little white top from a store called Language on Mulberry St.  It was a white silky bandeau that fit me perfectly.  I wore it for many fancy occasions.  When it was time,  I brought it to the dry cleaner across the street from my apartment in NY.  It was nothing special, just your average neighborhood dry cleaner.

A few weeks later I was getting ready for a party and brought it out,  still wrapped in the dry cleaner’s plastic.   I put it on…I mean,  I tried to put it on.   After the initial shock I realized it had shrunk to a fraction of it’s original size and would have fit a 5 year old snugly.

Since then I’m more careful.  It’s not so easy here in Hawaii to find things by researching online.  As I’ve mentioned before, the best way to find anything is by word of mouth.

I called my favorite store in town, Aloha Rag, and asked them if they could recommend a good cleaner.  They came back with Hayukosha Royal.

We have to attend a restaurant opening on Saturday so we took our fancy duds to be cleaned today.  Their website says they use a GreenEarth system of dry cleaning– detail oriented and environmentally aware. Best of both worlds.


K’s family is arriving in a couple of weeks.  We agreed we need some help getting the house in order..

It’s 6AM. Where am I?


K was out of the house at 5:50AM this morning– another early call. When we first moved here I would often wake up around this time to answer emails from NY and chat online with friends–even when K wasn’t working early.   I believed that I could continue managing projects there from here.  The time difference is so extreme that I would aim to wake up at 5AM just to respond to people before lunch time.  I’ve come to like the feeling of being up while it’s still dark outside; the sounds of everything waking up around me, particularly the birds chirping around the same time every morning, the sky getting lighter and lighter.  Across the way, our neighbor leaves at the same time everyday, 6:30 their wood gate slams.  It’s a comforting sound.

When I was little, there was a time that my parents would leave me with a babysitter on Long Island and commute into the city for work.  My parents were fastidiously punctual.  We would leave the house in the wee hours so that they could make it to work before 7AM.  I never slept after they left me.  I would lay awake in whatever guest bedroom I was kept in, trying to think of comforting things, listening for any sound that would indicate that my caretakers for that day were waking up: a bathroom door, slippered footsteps, muted conversation, someone beginning to work in the kitchen.

Even though I still wake up with K every time he has an early morning, I don’t try to keep up my life in NY.  It’s been 8 months.  At some point it occurred to me that we live here now.  Which is funny because in few weeks we’re headed back to NY for the summer.