Thoughts on Living in Hawaii
We’re woken by roosters most mornings. Who knows where they come from or where they wander during the day. There’s no mistaking that when the sun is near the roosters are loud and alive. They don’t keep us from any sleep we might otherwise have. Our youngest daughter is up at the cool of the day when darkness is thick and almost nobody is awake. When we first moved to Hawaii a co-worker told me that the Hawaiian day starts early before the light then ends with the sun dipping below the horizon. Apparently, my daughter figured half of that out. I’m still holding out hope for the other half.
We live on the slopes of Hualalai, a volcano that last erupted in 1801. Some geologists believe another explosion is almost a certainty. Needless to say, we bought the lava insurance. From our lanai, which is the Hawaiian word for porch or veranda, one can see the evidence of 1801’s blast; lava strangling land then emptying itself into the blue pacific ocean. Most nights we eat dinner out here and watch the sky turn from blue to red to black by the time we’ve taken our last bite.
My favorite part about living in Hawaii is undoubtedly the unchanging temperature. It is almost always a perfect day for the beach. Quite naturally the weather lends itself to a way of life that seems simpler than most. I no longer own a pair of smart long pants or shirts that stick to your stomach like cellophane. The only shoes that close are my tennis and running ones while the rest are flip-flops or none. It is also always or close to always a good day for exercising outside. While our neighborhood rises above 1600 feet at slopes that are less than gradual, there are constantly people walking their dogs or running across the flatter side streets that move from east to west. Whether it be golf, tennis, running, surfing, or hiking, activity seems to be Hawaii’s favorite past time.
I’d be amiss to forget to mention the ocean and the high cost of living. It’s as though these two work together. Prices are high because the ocean is beautiful and a world unto itself. We try to visit the beach at least once a week, but often times more. The alluring power of the sand in our feet and the salt stuck to our skin moves beyond just mom and dad. Our girls are instantly entertained and happy when at the sea; free babysitting with the warning that you don’t turn your back on it.
And yes it’s true, things are expensive here; at least compared to mid-west or southern America. We probably could have bought 3 houses in Kansas for the price of the home we currently own. Who knew sunsets falling into the sea were worth so much? Grocery shopping isn’t as inflated as one might think. Of course, there are certain items that make you wonder if they mixed up their prices tags. Milk and cereal are commodities that carry a number at which you begin to do some simple math in your head. Might it be cheaper to grow the corn in a corner space of my tiny lot or own the cow and milk it myself? For these items, it is an absolute necessity to spend $60, or $120 for the gold card, on an annual Costco membership. Just don’t go there on the weekend or after 4 pm and expect to be in and out devoid a spike in your blood pressure.
We’ve been living here for about three years and will certainly be here for many more. Hawaii is our home. It’s a very simple life and we are most happy with it. We work and play then rest under pleasant skies and a warm sun that never gets tired of coming around.