As usual, we’ve been very busy. We hosted friends from Madison, Herb and Melanie Hannam came and stayed with us for a few days, we had lots of fun introducing them to our island.
During their visit, a big change came to the south shore, a second lifeguard tower was added to Poipu Beach park. Not only that, but Herb and Mel had their picture posted in the local newspaper…..for two separate days. The new tower was celebrated by multiple politicians, a blessing, and cake….and we happened to be photographed by the local news photographer covering the celebration. This was lauded as a major safety improvement since that beach has had the most drownings of any beach on Kauai (41 fatalities in 42 years). We’ve interacted with the newspaper photographer previously, so that probably helped in getting our pictures in the paper.
These are all the dignitaries in attendance, along with all of the Poipu lifeguards. It was a BIG deal (on a small island).
Another huge development was the birth of PK1, the first pup born in 2018 in Kauai. Born to K13, Mauka Kea (white eye, she’s blind in one eye), PK1 is a cute little female
Here she is, just before weaning….she’s fatter than mom. This is one of the reasons we’ve been so busy. When we have a new pup, the mom and pup need to be monitored all daylight hours to make sure they’re safe from wandering dogs and too curious tourists. Since we are very short of volunteers at this time of the year, we’ve been putting in many hours of beach time. Most of the part-time volunteers are only here in the winter, so we are sparse now. Mom left and came back twice before leaving for good….now we’ll watch the weaner for another month to make sure everything is ok. She was weaned at 5 weeks, a little early, so she needs to be watched for a while yet. She has been tagged and her name is now K42….K is the designation for seals born in 2018.
The other huge news are two major disasters, luckily neither has affected us. The whole island had several days of major rain storms in April, resulting in large scale flooding, especially on the north shore. One day Hanalei had 49 inches of rain….a record single amount for 24 hours. Numerous houses, even on stilts, lost their foundations and now lean crazily due to the flooding. Poipu/Koloa also had a section that was flooded, not far from our old house; some acquaintances from softball own a house there and had severe water damage.
The second disaster was and is the eruption of Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii. Many friends have asked if we’re affected, however, the Big Island is a couple hundred miles from us here in Kauai so, unless we get a southeast wind (pretty unusual) we aren’t. Whenever we get wind from the SE, a Kona wind, we get vog (volcanic haze) that affects breathing for people with asthma.
I finished my cardio rehab and got a diploma (suitable for framing). Wilcox Hospital, here on the island provides free rehab for heart patients that includes supervised exercise and nutrition classes and I got to participate in it. It was very useful in regaining confidence in running….in fact, for the first time in several years I’ve been able to run, without walking, for at least 3 miles.
Both of us have also joined an over-70’s softball pickup game every Wednesday. Team members are from all of the senior softball teams and we even have umpires. Our visitor Herb came out and pitched to me to help my batting when he was here and I discovered that there is a group that has batting practice twice a week that I’ve also joined. The group goes to a batting cage and even has a volunteer coach who used to play with the Dodgers A team, he’s helped my batting. It’s been loads of fun, even though I’m the only female. I became an accepted member of the group when I slipped running to first base on my first batting trip, and fell flat on my face. The sight of my knees, elbows and hands bleeding gave me instant respect from the locals! Needless to say, my ‘flop’ has been a topic of discussion for several weeks.
As if we didn’t have enough going on, we also went through Hazwop training to be prepared in case of a hazardous waste spill and another training for response to strandings of whales and other marine mammals. Each of these training sessions took most of a Saturday.
It seems like we are addicted to volunteering so to cap it all off, we volunteered for the Pedal to the Meadow event on Memorial Day weekend. Our family doc organizes this hill climb every year and Charlie and I were stationed at the 14 mile point of the 16 mile race from Kekaka uphill to Kokee State Park. Our responsibility, besides cheering, was to protect the “chicken” who each year functions as cheerleader to the participants, and to also relay contact to the team at the finish line in case of emergencies. (there is no cell phone coverage at the finish line and mile 14 is the closest spot with coverage). It was a blast! Anne Coyle was this year’s chicken and she took the responsibility to heart. Flapping her way up the road, she drew a smile from not only the racers, but also any tourists driving by on their way to the park.
That evening we went to a play, entitled Angel Street, put on by the local theater group and who held the starring role but our “chicken”. From clown to abused wife……What an actress! Our lives seem to get stranger by the day!
We’ve also continued down the path of down-sizing. This past month we decided to go from 2 vehicles to 1. We almost always go every where together, so 2 vehicles weren’t really necessary. And now we really fit in with the locals, as it seems almost all locals drive pickup trucks. We don’t drive a lot of miles, but I’m sure we’ll notice the drop off in MPGs, from 57 in the Prius to 19 in the new pickup.
We’re almost through making changes to the house – we bought hurricane fabric for the front of the house (gambling that any storm will have the decency to come at us from the front of the house) as well as braces for the garage door. Hopefully we’ll never have to use them.