I’m moving to Maui.”
I shared this declaration with my parents on our way down Haleakala after watching the sunrise over the volcano’s crater last week.
Granted, I’m already “grown up” but there are some things that I must do before I make my move to the island.
First and foremost, it’s a 6 month mandatory quarantine for animals going from the mainland to the island. I don’t want to do that to the Barky Boys … they’d die of loneliness in quarantine … so it’ll be at least another decade before I can leave Texas to begin my new adventure. I want my sweet pups to live out their days in the home they’ve known since, well (in their eyes), forever.
I also need to build up a little nest-egg for a house. Living in the islands isn’t cheap! The Pilot & his wife rented a farmhouse up on Haleakala for the week. It’s a fair guess they didn’t expect the long drive to everywhere from where they were staying, but the idea of living up at a higher elevation appeals to me, so I’ll want to look for property either on Haleakala or in the West Maui mountains.
Can I work as an educator in Hawaii? Most definitely! There is always a need for a good teacher and/or a good administrator. I bet my certification would even transfer without me having to re-certify under Hawaii’s system. I’ll still check on that, though. Hawaii has year-round school, and that is right up my alley. Eight & nine week breaks are too long for me. I was telling Hub this morning that I’m ready to head back to work and I still have another 1.5 weeks of vacation before my new contract year begins.
I doubt I’d get bored living on Maui, though. Don’t want to work at home? Head to the beach! That’s what I did when we lived in Florida. Ate lunch on the beach as often as I could, too. It was nice. Our condo was across the street from the beach and so I headed over several mornings last week, if only to stand and daydream. Even went swimming one morning as the sun was rising. The shadows in the water startled me and so I didn’t stay in very long (visions of sharks and the “Jaws” theme danced through my thoughts … dah dum, dah dum). But I digress …
I have known forever that I have family on Maui. One of the first things my uncle asked me was, “Are you glad to meet your uncle?” I thought it an odd question, but I said I was and I asked him if he was glad to meet his niece. He said he was. I asked Mum about that later and she didn’t know why her brother had asked, either. Not being from those parts, I figured it best to just “go with the flow.”
I have cousins on the island as well and I got to meet my youngest cousin and his family. He’s a lifeguard and has done this for over 20 years. Being a lifeguard on the beaches of Hawaii, I learned, is as important as being an EMT or firefighter. I’m impressed! He said he’s always wanted to visit his family in San Antonio and quickly asked, “How close are you to the surfing?” I could see his face cloud in disappointment when I told him we were about 4 hours from any good waves. Trust me, Cousin, I feel your pain.
His wife shared with me and Mum all the work she has been doing to prove my cousin’s Hawaiian ancestry. Impressed with all she had found, I asked her why she had decided to work on the family history. She explained that in order for them to build their house on ancestral land, they had to prove his lineage through his mother’s side. Wow! I don’t have any Hawaiian blood, and so I wouldn’t be allowed to build on the ancestral land but that doesn’t bother me. I’ve always known I’m not Hawaiian; what was really cool, though, was to hear my mom and uncle “talk story” about growing up in Upper Paia and the different camps and plantations that existed at that time. There were the Philipino, the Chinese and the Puerto Rican camps as well as one camp which was a mixture of cultures. Their parents were from two different camps (Philipino & Puerto Rican) and I imagine it was scandalous when my grandparents married.
My cousin shared with Mum & me that he tends to my grandfather & great-grandfather’s gravestones in the cemetery around the corner from their house. He asked if we wanted to go see them Mum & I said we did, so we headed over to the cemetery where they are buried. It was a solemn moment for me when I heard my Mum’s sudden intake of breath when we arrived at her father’s grave. Remembering it now still makes me tear up.
Moving to Maui isn’t about the fantasy of living on an island. I don’t plan to live out my days being a “beach bum” or sitting in a hut making leis for the tourists. I truly want to work and be a productive member of the community, whichever little town I live in on the island. Those few days I spent on Maui were a homecoming and an awakening for me.
For the first time in a very long time, I wasn’t judged for how I look. I allowed myself to learn how to relax. I felt my blood pressure lower several points. And for the briefest of moments … I was truly happy.
I shared all this with Hub and that I want to move to Maui. He asked, “What about me?”
My response was simply:
“When I grow up, I’m moving to Maui.”
Silly man … I expect him to come with me. 🙂