Monthly Archives: February 2013

home, home on the moon

The flight in was a long five and a half hours from Oakland to Kailua Kona, made a little faster by watching The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Judi Dench and Maggie Smith — what’s not to like?) Predictably, I loved it. Retired old pharts headed off to exotic locations made me wish, almost, that I was headed for India rather than to a mountainside in exotic Hawaii. My sister soon changed that. Lobster for dinner! Num!

Island time has apparently affected my car and my stuff, though. The car was supposed to be available yesterday, then today, and is now promised for tomorrow. So instead of driving back up to Kailua-Kona to get the car and collect the insurance cards, I spent the day putting furniture together and organizing stuff. You know how you can tell that at some point a guy has been in residence? Five junk drawers – now organized down to one. We’ll see how long I can resist the urge to fill drawers with junk myself.

My stuff, originally scheduled to arrive on the 25th, is probably showing up the first weekend in March, instead. Luckily, over the past three years I have managed to accumulate what I need to survive here, and my sister has loaned me a t.v. so that I can veg out.

The weather pattern seems typical for this time of year and this part of the island. Beautiful, sunny mornings filled with birdsong, windy at mid-day and clouding up, and now grey with occasional small rains. It smells like water and rocks, and I love it.

I’d be lying, though, if I didn’t report that now that the rush of planning, packing, and leaving is over, this relative inactivity doesn’t feel a bit daunting. I miss my pets. But I’m looking forward to starting work on Monday.

The stuff I’ll miss, part 1



I’ve been pretty happy in Petaluma these past 23 years and there will definitely be things I will miss about it after I move. Luckily, moving to the Big Island is not like banishment and I will always be able to come back, and see some of the sights that brought me special pleasure.

One is Ganesha, to the right. Every holiday season, he sports shiny-bright holiday bulbs from arms, hands, and trunk. They go very well with the delicately raised foot, about to take the first step of a dance. The decorations usually stay up for a couple of months, so I’m pretty sure these will come down soon.


This is not so much a favorite sight as it is a sadly missed opportunity to make some fun. I pass the Moose lodge at least twice a day, and each time I am filled with the urge to arrive some moonless midnight and hang another rectangular sign just below the one that says MOOSE.

Mine would say SQUIRREL.

Boxes in the streetOn Tuesday, the container guys showed up with this 20 foot, rust-red container on a big truck, and proceeded to make off with my stuff. It had taken me a number of months to pack it all (by myself and with help from my amazing daughter-in-law) so it was kinda awesome to see them carefully fit it all into the container in a little under three hours.

Inside the container





Almost done

During our last walk-through, I realized that I had forgotten to tell them about the heavy butcher-block dining table, but the head packer said it wouldn’t be a problem, and it wasn’t — they laid it on its side and slid it into the container, and it went in like buttah.

When I expressed my admiration, the packer grinned and said, “I like Tetris.” It shows.



Empty livingroomOnce they were gone, the living room looked empty, but in a big-breath, arms-wide, freeing kinda way. I have enough furniture and housewares to see me through until I go, and that’s all I really need.


That afternoon, my friend Marion followed me to the Port of Oakland, where they are working on the roadway and sent us to a detour that took us entirely around the port before we found the Matson dock. The port’s fascinating: those huge cranes that manage to look both pre-historic and futuristic, and containers piled on containers, and immense trucks growling down the asphalt. I left my little silver Fit to Matson and we drove home, having successfully evaded rush-hour traffic. That’s true friendship: driving for two hours in return for a mediocre Chinese lunch and an opportunity to talk books non-stop through the meal and on the way home. No doubt about it: I’m gonna miss having my circle of friends close by, even though I expect to make other ones on the Big Island.