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Furniture Arrives

Our Stuff We arrived March 1st but our furniture didn't arrive until the 8th.  It only takes five days for the ship to float across the ocean from Long Beach to Honolulu.  From there our container was loaded onto a barge for the trip to Kawaihae, the closest port on this island.  Hawaiians are known for their "Hang Loose" attitude and that certainly seemed to apply to the arrival of our furniture.  It was originally supposed to arrive on the Friday the 4th but it "missed the barge" so it spent an extra weekend in Honolulu.  The "Monday" barge arrived on Tuesday.  The truck driver said he'd deliver the container some time in the morning, or at least before noon.  It finally arrived about an hour before sunset.  I had to meet the truck driver at the bottom of the hill and reassure him that he could make it up the hill without getting stuck.  I drove ahead of him and warned any oncoming traffic that they better get out of the way.  It's a narrow, winding road that is quite steep in places with no room to pass an oncoming semi.  Once up the hill, the next challenge was to convince the driver to back the truck down our 600 foot driveway.  It's quite overgrown in places and the banana bushes got all tangled in the truck's exhaust stack and mirror.  The driver repeatedly complained that I should have trimmed the bushes first.  I politely explained that all my pruning equipment was in the back of his truck.

It took over an hour but the driver did finally manage to get the truck backed all the way up our driveway.  There is conveniently a four foot retaining wall right near the house that made unloading the container much easier than loading it was.  Valerie's china cabinet is large, heavy and delicate so I had loaded it first and used our bed mattresses as cushions to hold it in place.  That meant that we had to unload the entire container before we could sleep in our bed again.  Perfect incentive to get the entire container unloaded in record time.

Clouds It was nice to finally have all our stuff.  It's amazing how having your own bed can make a place feel like home.  And our own kitchen table, and all our favorite books, and Sarah's stuffed kitties, and Emily's princess mirror.

Unpacking is just the beginning.  We still had to get all the utilities started, I needed to replace the mailbox, the kids needed the TV, and getting the computer up and running was a priority.  Before leaving Santa Clarita, I made sure my computer's old modem was still in working order and I looked up the ISP's dial-up numbers.  I got the computer all plugged in on this end and it seemed to connect ok but it kept rebooting on me for no apparent reason.  Very frustrating.  After about the fifth unsolicited reboot I was ready to sacrifice the computer to the volcano.  Then I realized that the dish washer was running and whenever it started a new cycle it would kick on the water pump (we don't have city water) which would cause a momentary power drop which caused the computer to reboot.  So I had to implement the new rule that whenever I was using the computer, nobody could run the dishwasher or flush the toilet or wash their hands or do anything that required water.  Eventually, I got the DSL modem working (DSL has a very limited range so we are lucky to have a telephone transfer station right at the bottom of the hill).  For some reason, the computer doesn't reboot when I'm using the DSL modem like it did when using the dial-up modem.  So we can once again use the toilet.

We've been busy and had many challenges but in general life here is good  The scenery and weather can't be beat.  We have a great ocean view from the lani (that's Hawaiian for porch).  The sunsets can be spectacular.  It's quite typical to wake up to a bright, sunny morning, then just when it starts to get too hot in the afternoon the clouds will roll in with maybe a quick shower or two.  The clouds usually clear out again by nightfall.  On a clear night, the stars are absolutely incredible.  Someday I'll build myself that giant telescope that I've always wanted.


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