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Bugs. ( I need therapy for this phobia)

We have bugs in Paradise! Not your average big city USA bugs, but Plus- size bugs, large enough to thrill any entomologist. (that is a bug scientist, isn’t it? )

Here in Paradise we have the infamous cockroach, also known as B-52 bombers, 747’s, roaches, and by common profanity. You haven’t seen bigger roaches unless you have possibly been to Samoa, where I have seen the largest  in my life. Our roaches live outside for the most part but sneak in to your house and procreate inside dark cupboards, in cardboard boxes, almost anywhere they can. You may think you don’t have roaches in you home, but the true test to find out is to wake up in the middle of the night, turn on the kitchen light, and if you see anything moving, you’ve likely got them. If you interrupt their snacking on your crumbs they quickly scurry off to darkness such as under the baseboards until it is safe to reappear.

I hate roaches! Hate them with a passion!  My dream has been to make money off of them in revenge for all the nightmares they have put me through. I have thought of selling the huge devils encased in resin as paperweights, writing best-selling books showcasing their evil ways, and other entrepreneurial risk-taking in the hopes of carrying out my revenge. Instead, I have reached a point of calling a cease-fire. Maybe it’s my age, I am tired of swearing bloody murder while whacking an evil roach with a broom, the only way I can squash one in earnest. People think locals in Paradise just love rubber slippers, “slippahs”. No, they are our roach killing secret weapon!  That we wear them daily is just a side benefit.

I have been fortunate in the house I now live in. No roaches!  If there are any making babies inside my cupboards, I have not seen them. I think I have found the anti-dote to roach populations. My house exterior is infested instead with African Snails!  These are not your average USA snails, but Plus-size snails, large enough to thrill any snail-ologist. God bless their big appetites!


Chicago, here we come!

The big day arrived. The Subaru was packed; the ladder stuffed into the rear to ensure we could reach our suitcases piled on top of the car. The long awaited road trip with my daughter, my ex and I was about to begin!  Baby Boy in Chicago was about to get a most important visitor, his Grandma!  That is, if we make it in one piece, driving across four states in a compact car on a limited budget.

The Ex thoughtfully suggested we might camp along the way. I expected that suggestion long before the trip so I took a preemptive strike with a brand-spanking new credit card in tow, blue color with a chip, and with  a cash-back feature. Positively will only use this card on this trip, I told myself, as insurance against having to camp outside along the way. Ask anyone my age if they enjoy sleeping on the ground. There may be someone, but it’s not me! Ex does, and he is older than I am!

Just ten minutes into the trip, after settling into the back seat surrounded by purses, blueberries, trail mix, Diet Dr Pepper and piles of other “must-haves” my worst fear came true!  My daughter and her dad had conspired against me!  Blaring from the front  came  a slow talking southern drawl something like this: “y’all know he is real”. I am being forced against my will to endure days of BIG FOOT stories, I thought. My ex has, for many years, colluded with our five children to believe in Big Foot, UFO’s, Sasquatch, and conspiracy theories, all to my annoyance.

I am a nice person. I thoughtfully prepared for this trip, keeping in mind that Ex doesn’t like Hawaiian music, “Hawaiian yodeling” he calls it. I had planned to bring my stash of Hawaiian music for my enjoyment on this long car trip but thoughtfully left all my CDs at home, instead bringing only a few Hawaiian tunes on my iPhone. A lot of good it did me to be so thoughtful! I was being bombarded by the thing I hate most;  Big Foot stories being told for hours in a slow southern drawl, from a carefully prepared stash of nonsense directed from a tablet through the car speakers.  Being the nice person I am, I suffered through twangs, y’alls, fake fears and Sasquatch sightings for about two hours, until I could no longer take it, and finally burst out “please turn it off! I can’t take it anymore!”

Leaving Idaho and on to Jackson, Wyoming!….. to be continued……………

The Road Trip continues…..on the mainland.

I landed in the city of forest fire smoke, wide streets and drought for weeks or months… Boise, Idaho. The City of Trees it is famously called.  A bit difficult and out of the way to get to from Hawaii or anywhere and so different from my home in Paradise.

Mom was there on time to pick me up at the Boise airport. She is a young eighty seven years and yes, she still drives!  There is no one on this planet that will be able to convince her to give up driving so don’t even try.  She must have been wearing her hearing aid because we made it safely to her house across town. I asked to drive, you know, to give her a break, but she wouldn’t hear of it!  “Caryn, I can still drive! It’s the one thing I can still do!”

This trip was going to be different. Each year I travel from Paradise to visit mom and my many family members on the mainland but this year was the big road trip!  I gently broke the news to mom that I would only be staying with her one night as I was leaving on a road trip to Chicago the next day.  She tried, as my mom always does, to sound supportive and happy for my upcoming adventure, but I am sure she was hoping I was going to spend more time with her. Last year I took her on an eight hour road trip to Utah to visit her older brother , age ninety four, who was healthy and happy during our visit, and who has since passed away peacefully in his sleep. Grateful we took that road trip, I will forever be, as that was the last time I saw my beloved uncle in this lifetime.

“You are doing what?” mom shouted, her hearing aid possibly not in. ” I am going on a road trip with my daughter and my ex-husband” I replied.  Mom was clearly unsettled, unsure of whether to support me as she always does, or to ask how I could be contemplating two weeks in the same car and hotel rooms with her ex-son-in-law.  I assured her I would be fine, and that the trip would be great for everyone involved. She shyly asked, “you mean you are staying in the same hotel rooms?” as if I was contemplating the moral disgrace of the century. You see, we are divorced and now “single persons”, who in the church norms, should not be sleeping in the same room, for reasons of impropriety. Never mind that we were married for thirty years, know each others bathroom habits, and that our adult daughter was going to be sharing the same room with us to save on costs.

The next day arrived with the expectation that Mr. C., my ex-husband , would be arriving  about noon.  I hurriedly told mom I needed to borrow her car to do a quick errand, and was out the door, to speed across town to the mall, where a glorious choice of “Woman Size” clothing awaited my perusal, an experience lacking sorely in my little corner of Paradise. I snapped up several “clearance ” priced summer clothing items from Macy’s and made a pit stop to See’s for my “free sample”, doesn’t everyone go in there for that?  We don’t have a See’s in Paradise, so this trip into the black and white heaven, sampling, and purchasing is my annual ritual for sanity.   I was back from my “errand” before Mom really noticed I was gone, so suitcase packed again, I was ready for Mr. C’s arrival.

to be continued…………………



The Real Road Trip

DSC02497.JPGIn August this year I took a real road trip. Not just a trip across this island all the way  to Costco.  A real drive- for- days road trip across four states.

The plan was to go meet my seventh grandchild, a newborn baby boy , first born of my youngest son and daughter in law.  The plan was that I would fly into Idaho from Hawaii, ride with my adult daughter and share expenses from Idaho to Chicago, where the darling  three week old baby lives and to a city we had never been to.

I look forward with great excitement each year for my annual trip “off the rock” (Paradise) and to see all my children, grandchildren and loved ones on the “mainland.” My two weeks get away from work and other peoples’ problems as well as the change in scenery and renewing family bonds is a life saver for me. But here is nothing simple about a simple flight to Boise, Idaho.

I finished work at 5:00 pm on Tuesday and was dropped off at  our little airport in Hilo to begin my much anticipated adventure. It was hot, humid, and the sofas smelled of a wet baby diaper, mildew combo. We eventually boarded for the fifty minute  flight from Hilo to Honolulu, then a wait of two hours until I could get soaring over the “big pond” for five hours landing in San Fransisco. A wait again and then the last remaining flight to Boise.

Flying is fun you say. Flying is an adventure. Flying sucks. I have a fear of using the lavatory (correct term of airplane pee spot?) so I have not used one in six years!  I should not have watched “Castaway”. Ever since that scene in the plane where the lavatory blows up I have been determined to never use one again!  How do I manage the over five hours of non-stop flight over the Pacific?  No Diet Dr. Pepper for hours before or during the flight. Sip only enough water to keep my throat from drying up and try to nap to make the flight seem faster. I did it!   No blowing up in the bathroom on this trip!

To be continued………