Almost time to go…

Wow. Trace got his orders. He leaves on 29 October, which is a short 7 weeks away. Even crazier, is 6 weeks after that, the kids and I leave! I keep thinking about this and wondering what it’s going to be like when it’s finally time to head out. I know it will be so bittersweet.

I’ve made 2 lists as I reminisce over the last 2 years–things I will not be missing here in paradise, and things I don’t know what I’m gonna do without.

Things I will not miss about Hawaii:
1. Humidity~crawling into bed and the sheets are damp. Climbing out of bed and the carpet is damp. Drying off from the shower and your towel is still damp from the day before. Having a film of sweat on your entire body every minute of the day, except for that 10 minutes after you’ve gotten out of the shower.
2. The critter factor~our first house was overrun by centipedes. You’ve looked into the face of evil when you’ve seen a Hawaiian centipede. We also had millipedes that came out of the woodwork–if you get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, you WILL step on one. They pop when you step on them, and they leave a yellow stain on your foot and the tile. We moved off base and yay! no more centipedes and millipedes. However, we have ants–3 different kinds to include the micro-ants that crawl into any package in the cabinet, opened or new, and eat through the plastic lids to get to peanut butter. I have to keep my pb in the refrigerator. We also have “B-52” size cockroaches. At work and in many other homes and businesses there’s a mouse and rat problem. It cracks me up, because on the mainland, you DO NOT talk about problems you have with cockroaches or mice. It’s not something you want other people to know, and only “dirty” people have pest problems. Here, it’s so common, that we talk about it all the time! People I know that have million dollar houses talk about conking mice on the head with their high heels! They’re just everywhere, and a factor for everyone, every walk of life, no matter how clean and neat you are.
3. Being so far away from my family. Having an ocean between you is a sad and daunting thing.
4. Ukus. Enough said.
5. No Sonic, no Target…

Thing I WILL miss about Hawaii:
1. Food~Spam Musubi, Li Hing Mui, Good Japanese food wherever and whenever I want it, poke I can buy even at the commissary, lemon peel, crack seed places in the mall :), toasted nori sheets you can buy like chips, shoyu (it will again become soy sauce when I go back home), huli huli chicken, fried noodles, also eating rice with every meal no matter what it is–at restaraunts, you can get rice instead of fries, Coco Champs and Acai Bowls at Lanikai Juice (I’m still hoping to see some cast member of Lost before I leave), Aloha Salads and their awesome Asian salad.
2. Driving with locals who care about people other than themselves. As a rule of thumb, you stop and let someone make their left turn at least once when you’re in the car, no matter where and how far you are going. I would never get home from work were it not for the kindness of strangers. Pedestrians actually have the right of way, and everyone waves at everyone else as a thank you and you’re welcome. If you’re lost or miss a turn or need into the next line at a stoplight, just stick your head out the window, wave your hand in the direction you need to go, and you’re in like Flynn. Shaka when you drive away, and it’s all good.
3. The beautiful scenery. No matter where you go, it’s gorgeous, from the beach to the mountains, from the fields to the jungles, God is so present and obvious wherever you may look.
4. Access to a beach wherever and whenever you want it.
5. Aunties and Uncles… no matter who it is, if they’re older than you they are either an auntie or an uncle, whether you know them or not. Whether you’re 30 or 3, you always have an auntie or uncle around. I love the fact when I tell my kids, “Go ask Auntie…” and they say, “Which auntie?”
6. My job. I love my kiddos, I love being so close to my own children, I love the people I work with and for, and I love the fact that at work, I can go tell someone, “I need prayer”, and they will all join in and cover the situation.
7. My extended family–my surrogate mother, Auntie Pam, and my surrogate sisters, Rachel, and Teri…the Yuen family has become my family away from family, and I don’t know how I’m going to live without them. Py, Jocelyn, Jacob, Earl, you all have also become like family to us, and we will miss you all fiercely. I know I’ve made some lifelong friends, friends I will visit for years to come, and friends I know will visit me, wherever I may be.

This list is not all-inclusive, and I’m sure over the coming weeks, I’ll be adding to it. I just can’t believe our time is almost up.