Today is a picture perfect day. I’m working in my screened-in porch, watching for whales every once in a while in the distance. I don’t ever see them, but I look. I just heard the cow down the hill mooing. It is such a blessing to finally have screened the mosquitoes out
of this space. I laughed out loud at a quote from Mark Twain’s first letter from Hawaii. He remarked that “there are a good many mosquitoes around tonight and they are rather troublesome; but it is a source of unalloyed satisfaction to me to know that the two million I sat down on a minute ago will never sing again.”[i]
The trade winds are blowing, maybe a bit too hard. Three fronds came down off my palm trees. Good thing no one was underneath them. They’re as heavy as sin – would kill a person for sure. That front frond in the picture is at least 25 feet long; the others are about 20 feet.
We finally got a full day of rain yesterday. We hadn’t seen any for about six weeks – so much for being on the wet side. I’ve actually had to water my garden. The lettuce is abundant, the new beets and basil are prospering, but the peas, beans and kohlrabi seeds are doing nothing. I think the chickens got them.
Normally we get rain at least once or twice a week, usually at night. As the temperature drops in the evening, the moisture is pulled out of the clouds and we hear beautiful sleeping music. The patter of the rain on the ti leaves and palm fronds is so comforting.
But November marks the start of the rainy season with a different pattern. It rains all day, often a few days in a row. That’s when I get out the dehumidifiers and finally close all the windows. But I open them again as soon as the sun shines. It’s a dance all winter with my water drinking mechanical friends. The dehumidifiers also warm up the house a bit on chilly mornings. With no heat (or air conditioning), we’ve learned to wear socks, sweats, and even hats first thing in the morning. Who’d have thought we’d need socks in Hawai’i? It all comes off by afternoon when we’re wearing shorts.
November also signals the grocery store wars in Waimea. KTA and Foodland battle it out for the hearts of holiday shoppers. Foodland is again offering free turkeys (up to 16 lbs.) for Thanksgiving in exchange for their shopper reward coupons. I’ve been saving mine since July.
When I came home with my second frozen turkey yesterday, BG said we’d have to eat the stuff we already have in the freezer before I got any more – there’s no room. Actually, he’s been lusting after a freezer for years. But until he takes a heavy hand to the carport where he still has unopened boxes from the move, we have no room for a freezer.
At least he doesn’t bring stuff home on his walks anymore. Back in Wisconsin, trash day was his favorite day to walk. He’d bring home all kinds of junk and filled our 1904 house from basement to third floor. But on most of the Big Island, there is no trash day – we have to drive our recyclables and trash to the solid waste transfer station up the hill on the far edge of town. Even in Paradise one has to deal with trash. On the other hand, our property taxes are low – no municipal garbage hauling.
I’ll be walking up to the high school to vote, then probably go swimming at the pool, as I didn’t go to water aerobics in the rain yesterday. Someone said to me, “but you’re already wet in the pool. What difference does a little rain make?” True, but I’d rather swim in the sunshine, because I can.
Postscript: This picture was taken the next day because I found out that Hawai’i has yet another state holiday – Election Day. The pool was closed along with the library and the schools.