Aloha, Dogs and Cats

Aloha!
Thinking of bringing a dog or kitty to Hawaii? Well for starters, be sure to Google all the hoopla surrounding Johnny Depp trying to smuggle his dogs into Australia on his private jet. You don’t want to go THERE!

I myself postponed moving to Hawaii because of my aged kitty. This was back before a 5-day quarantine even existed…it was 120 days. For those of you not familiar, it’s because Hawaii does not have rabies, that all animals must be quarantined. I have heard so many stories of people determined to move to Hawaii who had to have one, two or three pets shut up in quarantine cells on Oahu… people who would fly over from Maui just to visit their pets. And what depressed pets they were, also!

So the good news is, if you are planning to move and have pets, you can get it down to a five – day quarantine if you follow all the policies and procedures.
Here is the website: http://www.hawaiiag.org.
A puppy or kitten will be about 10 months of age by the time all the preparations are completed. Puppies and kittens not able to meet all of the requirements for the five – day – or less program will be quarantined for 120 days.
This site offers FAQs, a dog and cat import form, and a Hawaii Rabies Quarantine Information Brochure,which contains important information about pre-arrival requirements, quarantine stations, procedures, policies, rules, operations and fees.
There are ways to possibly do a direct airport release, but note: due to limitation in interisland service on the weekend, pets arriving on Thursday or Friday may not be transferred to satellite quarantine stations and approved hospitals on neighbor islands till the following Monday.

You can email your questions to: rabiesfree@hawaii.gov

Miss Lili says follow the rules….
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…and have a happy move to Hawaii with your pets!

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage.

Aloha! Jamaica

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Has the Rest of the Country Caught Up With Hawaii?

Aloha!
So we get into a cab at the airport on Maui, and it looks a bit like a traveling circus wagon. The driver nods a lot and laughs a lot, as there is a language barrier.
But she certainly understands the local way in Hawaii, according to a worn, printed sticker on the passenger door:
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It says (in pidgin)
8 am Supposed to start work
8:14 We come dragging in
9 to 10 am COFFEE BREAK
10:30 to 11 am We “talk story”
12 noon KAU KAU…time for eat
1 to 3 pm Rest up from lunch
3 to 4 o’clock Coffee Break
4 to 4:30 Shoot da bull on da phone
5 pm. PAU HANA!! Time for quit work

When you move to Hawaii, one of the adjustments is the sssllllooow pace. Things get done when they get done, regardless of your schedule.
But maybe the rest of the country has caught on. Between checking email, surfing the web, and surreptitiously shopping online while at work, -(okay, admit it…are you reading this at work? 😁) how many mainland workers have their own version of that sticker in the taxi?

The world is becoming homogenous. Now workers can pretend that they, too, are on “Hawaii time.” Now all they need is a palm tree outside their window…

A hui hou! Thanks for reading along. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage.

Aloha! Jamaica

Happy Feet (not)

Aloha!
Is there anything more delicious than the feeling of summertime, running around in shorts and flip-flops… (known as “slippahs” in the islands)?
I often say that the reason I moved to Maui was because I never wanted to wear real shoes again – – and that wasn’t much of an exaggeration. My feet and I have been at war since day one, since I wear a triple A with a quad heel. Yeah, try finding those on sale at Target. And those shoes had to house an impossibly high arch.

Flip-flops were the solution, and I had happy, happy feet…or so I thought.

As I sat in the podiatrist’s office, he took my bony little foot in his hand and said, “How long in Hawaii?”
Silly me, I thought he was just making conversation. “16 years,” I replied.
“Well, that’s the whole problem, then,” he said. He pointed to my arch, then pushed down on my foot, and it kind of squished out sideways. “Fallen arches. Flat feet…”luau feet”, they’re called here. Comes from running around barefoot, or wearing slippahs all the time. Big problem here.”

The solution is closed shoes and orthotic inserts. Not very island-friendly! In fact, anyone running around the islands in tennis shoes and socks will be suspected of being a tourist.

I had a friend who was about 4’10”, and she wore 4 inch heels her entire life. Then they bought a condo in Hawaii. They spent six weeks renovating it, and she ran around barefoot the whole time. Her arches fell within that amount of time, and she had to have surgery on her feet. Paradise lost!

As Gilda Radnor would say, “It’s always something!”

A hui hou. If you like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

The Lure of the Islands

Aloha!
“She had loved islands from the time she spent her first summer on one. She was eight at the time. Thirty-four now, she still felt the island aura – – an isolation that made worries seem distant, a separation from the real world that lent itself to dreams.”
From “Sweet Salt Air” by Barbara Delinsky

And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
When I was a sophomore in high school, my family had the good fortune to spend Christmas break on one of the Florida Keys. Having left snow, sleet, and icy roads behind in the Midwest, I was immediately hooked. Why doesn’t everybody live here? I wondered. And when I first came to Maui, I wondered the same thing. But being so far from the mainland isn’t for everyone. Or how slow the pace of life is. Or how hard it is to get things. Or, and this is a biggee…the high cost of everything, particularly real estate.

So what draws those who live on islands to be there? With the pace of life today, I offer another quote, this one from Oliver Wendell Holmes: “I would not give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.”

So maybe THAT’s what it’s all about. I get letters weekly from people who want to move to Maui and have many questions. Is everyone just really trying to get to the simplicity on the other side of the complexity that our world has become?

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

I Wish You Peace

Aloha!

Many of you have written to ask where the blog has been. Thank you!
To answer, this last half of 2015 has been stuffed full of stress, not the least of which was Mike’s mom being diagnosed with stage – four cancer, then passing away.

Because our plates have been so full, I have been trying to uni- task, instead of multi-task. Can you remember back when we all gave something our full attention instead of scattershot one-eye-on-the-ball attention? I do. I remember that feeling in the distant past… and I’m trying to find it again.

I also know (from taking care of my ailing parents and being Executor of their estate) that it really only takes one major incident for life to slide off the plate. The last five years have been like a fire drill for us, in that four parents passed away… and we really need to regroup. Interestingly, this has been the same time period since I started writing this blog.

I really appreciate all the interest you have shown in the blog. Thank you for writing, for asking, for caring. I will get it back up and running when life calms down a little.

Because no matter what, no matter what the movies would have us believe….no matter how beautiful the scenery is on “Hawaii 5-0”, life on Maui and on all the islands, is still REAL LIFE. A friend who lived here for six years, and then moved away, made this comment: “People really have themselves talked into believing that if they could just move to Hawaii life would be PERFECT. No more worries, no more stress, just a kicked – back lifestyle where life is just really good. But that’s not the reality. People still get really sick here, people still die here, people lose their jobs here, people get eaten by sharks here!” (I had to laugh about that last part!)

So wherever you are during this holiday season, I wish you peace. I hope that you can stop for a moment during this busy, busy time and truly appreciate what you have been given…particularly those you hold dear.

May 2016 bring you joy.

Aloha, Jamaica

I’ll Be There For You

Aloha!

The 20 – some things I know are obsessed with the show “Friends.”
The catchy theme song alone will speak to that age group, and since fashion has been stuck in the skinny jeans/pin – straight hair rut for-ev-er, they can see themselves up on screen – – but with one major difference.

I happened to catch the episode recently where Rachel gives birth and the Friends get to come see little Emma Geller – Green for the first time. There is a reverent moment as they stand around the hospital bed and watch Rachel hold her… then they begin carefully passing Emma around. (Joey, of course, breaks the gravity of the moment by saying, “But, she looks so REAL!”)

And then it hit me. The Friends were having a moment, and no one had a camera or a cell phone. They said, “Me, next!” to hold the baby, not to snap a selfie with her so they could post it immediately. They were PRESENT. You could feel their very strong bond as a group. And wouldn’t those selfies be all about them and their reaction to Emma, instead of the joy of Emma herself?

And that’s why “Friends” wouldn’t get made today – – unless they did it as a retro show. I submitted a Family script to a producer who complained that there wasn’t enough technology in it.”But the character is TWELVE,” I said. “I did that on purpose.”

What does this have to do with Maui? When I moved here in 1999, I didn’t have a cell phone (just like the Friends.) I had to pay per call to talk to my mother. Today if she were still alive, we could Facetime each other in our kitchens.

And that is what makes a move to Maui easier these days – – you don’t have to lose touch with friends and family back home.

But, what about touch?

My friend Becky in California’s 98-year-old mother just fell and broke her hip in Minnesota. Do we really think mom is going to be happy with a FaceTime chat from her hospital bed? Of course not. Becky is making a plane reservation as we speak.

Maybe the 20 – somethings are so enamored with “Friends” for a subconscious reason: the very lack of technology. The Friends go hang out in each other’s apartments. They go to Central Perk and actually talk to each other, instead of staring at their screens.

The theme song says, “I’ll be there for you…” It meant in person.

Has that gotten lost in translation?

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right. Mahalo for readin along!

Aloha, Jamaica

Reader Question on Housing Answered

Aloha!

A reader recently wrote with this question:

“I just accepted a job as a court reporter at the courthouse in Wailuku. Will it be any easier for me to find a place to rent because I am working for the State? I also am not a kid. I am 40 years old, and plan on living there for the rest of my life.”

Here’s my answer:

Well, the good news, Gerri-Jo, is that you got a job! (The second good news is that it’s with the State of Hawaii.) So here’s the bad news: it probably won’t make much difference as you hunt for a place to live.

Here’s a local example: I know a lady who is about 65 and has lived on Maui almost 30 years. The place where she lives is being sold so she must move out. She is trying unsuccessfully to find a new place to live. Her comment to me was, “None of the local people want to rent to a haole lady.” Now to be fair, this also works in reverse. The haole landlords may say, “I don’t want to rent to a local because they are loud and will have 10 family members over all the time.” So it’s a pretty delicate balance.

When people move to Maui from wherever, it takes a while to realize that none of the former rules apply. So people may think, “I have a good job, this will get my foot in the door for housing…” but it doesn’t seem to work that way. (Just as dressing too nicely can make people here suspicious.)

The proven method to get housing is always through a friend or word-of-mouth… which is easier said than done when you’re sitting on the mainland and you don’t know anyone in Hawaii. Your best bet might be to go through anyone you’ve had contact with at your new job. If they’re going to work with you or employ you, they will have a vested interest in seeing you housed.

Also, is there any group you are affiliated with currently, such as Toastmasters, a sorority, or a house of worship, where you could call ahead and contact members in that group, to see if anyone knew of anything coming available?

Be aware that the rental market is very tight right now. Start early and be relentless with follow-up. If you can afford it, you might even offer a little higher rent then they are asking, to show how serious you are.

Food always helps in any situation in Hawaii!

Be patient and kind and always respectful.

If all else fails, start by living in a vacation rental. And call every realtor you find online to see if any do rental placements.

I wish you all the best and hope you find something soon! Congratulations on your new job and new life in Hawaii.

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button to the right, or on the Homepage. Mahalo for reading along.

Aloha, Jamaica