July 09, 2004
Hale Pu'uhonua (House in the Place of Safety)
people have emailed me asking if I live in a grass shack... No but that might happen one day...in answer to the question I have a few pics
for you to see and a few thoughts about my home on the edge of the forest in Puna.
I have thought a lot about writing about our home here in Puna. Woody said as he came home July 4 that he really feels like he is starting to connect with this house being home because he is away from it so much. I feel like I need to connect to it more by being in it, but feel a bit more territorial about it having been told this week that the foreclosure papers were drawn up two months ago and I forstalled them by making a very difficult to make extra payment...Graciously I am being allowed to make up the other fees and back payments 50.00 at a time. The payment is so low I blush for having to feel so helpless that I cant make it on time and in full. In our lives in California this would have been nothing. Here is is impossible.
Today (7-6) as I start this post, its hot and sunny and so beautiful outside...woody is mowing the lawn so I cant sit out as I am so allergic to the grass. A strong breeze is blowing from the south east or Makai (from the ocean) and its cool inside the house. The tall ceilings draw in every breeze. We have neither heating or airconditioning.
When we bought the house, in the summer of 2001, we had no idea that we would be moving here so soon or that we would call this home a refuge of safety in a world that changed so dramatically so suddenly with the events of 9-11. In many ways it is. I know that life is much slower here and in many ways much safer here. There are no drive by shootings, no police helecopters circling over head, and there is this aura of calm, even in our neighborhood that is supposed to be so bad, cause of all the drugs. Its the newest nicest place I have ever lived in, and I am grateful to God everyday to just be here even when I complain about it...
The house was built by a couple of refugees from Missouri, who build a new house livine in it for a bit and then sell it. Mrs Campbel is a local real estate agent and Mr. Campbell is a general contractor but is really a finishing specialist. The last time we had the house appraised, the guy said that you dont see details like rounded edges and carfully fitted window ledges...(for their cats to lay in). He was a passionate gardener and had a sunken Japanese rock garden (now gone to ruin by time, earth settling and neglect) and lovely plants and trees. I find all of this gardening amazing as it is done with no soil hardly. The house is built on the remains of a lava flow that occured about 1000 years ago. Yes it could happen again, But I have lived in earthquake country and think that there are scarier things nature can kick up!
Mr. Campbell built sun lanais open porches with little latticed walls all around it. Should I stay here and get some funds I will enclose these and turn them into screened in lanais as I am eated alive by the bugs even now three years later.
There was dingy grey carpet in the house. The sun and mildew fades it right away so I had wall to wall ceramic tile laid down and I love it so that what ever house I own in whatever climate I move to I will lay this sort of thing as it is nearly maintanance free and a mopping and dusing and thats all. When I see the dirt I sweep up and think of that trapped in my carpets I want to gag... We have two fountains , a large rock fountain on the lanai that is not operational now and I think I will be trying to find it a home, and a small one in the entry way that provides a delicate background noise... Imagine living in a place with so little noise that your own breathing startles you...
We are 12 air miles from the ocean vent are for the Kilauea Volcano. Mrs Campbell said that in 1998 the volcanoes activity increased and a huge fountain of lava sprang up over 1000 ft into the air. The red glow was visible from the house and at night you could hear the roar of it. I found that amazing. We are a mile away from the ocean so we cant hear it and contrary to the name of the subdivision "Hawaiian Beaches" there are no true beaches in the area. Instead there are huge rugged cliffs that seem to plunge into the ocean. I used to go down ther often and look at the sea, and think about the future. There is so much building going on down there now that the peacefulness is gone which is sad.
I have several wishes for the house. I wish that I had more storage, but I am learning to throw things away and not keep them past a usefull life, so that helps. I wish that I could grow things, but I have yet to really understand the tropical soiless gardens... its more about what you dont want to grow here than what you want to grow. Round Up is as important a gardening tool as a shovel. I wish that I felt that we had neighbors, not these hostile people with angry sons and loud rudenesses that drive me up a wall. But what would Paradise be with out a snake or two..BORRING thats what.
So in Honor of aloha friday, My peice of the Hawaiian dream. God gave it to me now its up to me to keep it.