October 31, 2004
I Am Not a Failure....
The Island of Healing, Coconut Island Hilo Bay
Leaving the scene of disappointments has often meant that I have failed. I wasn't "enough" I didnt "try hard enough." or that I was weak and wasn't up to the task at hand.
I have had countless jobs... Many where it was said "hey we couldn't have done it without you..." but I never was promoted or given the needed and deserved raise. I saw women that were cuter and smaller and perhaps more clever than I go ahead of me... Not to mention the men... I have worked 100+ hour weeks, sleeping in my office. I worked my last office job for a Christian Organization till the Carpal Tunnel was so bad that I was screaming then was told that it was my fault that I didnt say something or get myself a better chair... It all got fixed when I told them I needed a better lawyer... (Sometimes faith is more than the things hoped for, its the evidence of the things not seen... Like "back up"... This is sort of a joke out of the most unjokable books in the New testament, Hebrews...)
I have beat myself, and allowed others to beat me up for love, for money, for security, and for the perverse pleasure of being a beaten up doormat. Both mentally and sadly, physically.
I have given my all to people, some of whom said that they loved me, others were more honest and took what I offered without thanks. the ones that told me how much they loved me and that what I did was great and above and beyond, but here is the door hurt so much worse. This includes parents and sibling, a husband, "friends" employers and life in general...
So this week I have been walking around in a fog of numbness... Numbing myself for the "failure" of Hawaii. My failure to ajust, to go with the flow, to have Aloha,. Woody's lack of motivation and lack of Special Skills (whatever the heck that means, you have to do something totally indispensable to beat out cousin Chuckie for any job...If I hear the words "just get a flunkie job at WalMart" again, I will scream!)My lack of "specialness" that kept my from getting a decent job... the only two jobs I have held here one I left after three months when the office manager told me that I would have to start "cooking the books " and fudging on cash sales to avoid taxes, and the other at the Black Pearl Galleries where I was the only GIA certificated sales person, but was the lowest paid, and was never compensated for the design work ro the training that I gave to others. I had to quit to get them to even consider giving me an hourly raise and that was so paltry compared to what they have given others that I burst out laughing at it... It was that abuse that birthed Azure Seas Jewelry, and all that it has meant to me.
My Child, my Beloved... I fear idolatry has set in so placing it on the altar is the best thing in the world... Selling the store, and moving on is the best thing for me no matter what. Even if we could stay which we cant...
We had a Real Estate guy in and after he went over the numbers and looked everything over he said that no matter how you slice it, by the actual profits or the cash flow... We have been a profitable business from the beginning...a flat out miracle. A terrible location and two moves not withstanding, we turned a real profit enough for him to base a selling price that is nearly 5 times current inventory and twice our cash investment... I nearly fell on the floor...
Could be salesmanship BS...Maybe, but what sold me was how when I said that "I felt like I had failed as I couldn't hold out till the store could support us,by way of the repair business" he was so cool and said " Hey, you just cant do this anymore, its hard and you are tired and you didnt fail at all... You did incredibly well"
He said that again before he left. The fog has lifted somewhat. I think I can do this. Sell my dream...
As Woody and I drove home I saw a glimpse of Wailoa Park that I have not seen before looking at it from the harbor side of Monono St. We have had torrential rains and Mauna Kea was wreathed in Dark Grey Clouds over her SNOW blanket... I failed to tell you that we came home to snow on the mountain. It is going to be a rough winter I think. I was struck by how beautiful it was and I remembered how wonderful the four months were after my former husband told me he was leaving, until he left... Im sure now that we have said "Yes we are leaving..." That the jobs will come and all will be well... Life is perverse like that.
The separation finally came then the divorce finally came for Jeff and I, and it will come for me and my beloved Hawaii. Once we leave, sell our house, there will be no return to live here. I know that. What I love is the superficial, like Disneyland you love the outward show, but you go behind the facade and you see how ugly and ...Well you get the picture... I so long for my version of this place that the painful reality is very hard.
I had no clue... We met so many people that warned us, but we couldn't comprehend what they were talking about. Woody likens it to the Church that we were a part of when we met. Sometimes people would just stop comming. They had been asked to not come back for one reason or another... There were other things like that that I could hardly believe until the day it happened to me. "Nothing gets you till the door hit YOU in the rear and knocks you out..." he said.
Woody made a generous offer to me to stay here use his inheritance money to supplement his earnings and I could get a job and we would try some more... I said no that its not right that he is still unhappy and that isn't going to change... Its time to go and I am ready now.
I can go with my head held high. I am not a failure, I did the nearly impossible with the help of Almighty God. He has lead me all the way safe thus far and can be depended upon to stay the course and lead me safely home... Where ever that may be...
October 30, 2004
Woody and I went and voted yesterday. For all of its apathy... heavens! there is no excuse to not vote here. You can go down to city hall anytime and vote before the election. Just show ID. Better than absentee ballot that may or may not get processed... They were (wonder of wonders) using the paperless voting machine I went for paper ballots not quite ready for that yet. ... Yes it was painless took two minutes and is so important.
I have admired how the Bush people and the President himself have handled the whole campaign thing. I wouldnt have the nerve. I wouldnt have stood for the insults and the smear. I will be so glad when its over...
I found this pic of Pres Bush and really loved it Hope you do too A Hui Hou!
October 29, 2004
Wake of a power boat on hilo bay
I heard this recited tonight and it made me sad and yet hungry to get it over with Moving that is...
Now as the year turns
toward its darkness
the car is packed,
and time come
to start driving west.
We have lived here
for many years
and been more or less content;
now we are going away.
That is how things happen,
and how into new places,
among other people,
we shall carry our lives
with their peculiar memories
both happy and unhappy
but either way, touched
with a strange tonality
of what is gone
the clear and level light
of a late afternoon
out on the terrace,
looking to the mountains,
drinking with friends.
Voices and laughter
lifted in still air,
in a light
that seemed to paralyze time.
We have had kindness here,
and some unkindness;
now we are going on.
Though we are young enough still
And militant enough to be resolved,
Keeping our faces to the front,
after saying all farewells,
when we taste the dry
and bitter dust
that we have said and done
for many years,
and our mouths are dumb,
and the easy tears will not do.
the north wind
will shake the leaves,
the leaves will fall.
It may be
that we shall see them,
who stand on the steps,
smiling and waving,
before the screen doors
of their suddenly
Poem: "Going Away," by Howard Nemerov, from "New Poems
" (University of Chicago Press).
October 28, 2004
Seeing Paradise through Different Eyes
Outrigger canoes and team tents line Hilo's Bayfront on Sunday, Aug. 15, the last day of the 2004 IVF Hilo World Sprints competition. In back is Wailoa River State Park in the center of Hilo. The aerial photo was taken from a Blue Hawaiian tour helicopter. The international competition drew more than 1,500 paddlers.
This photo has become famous, its a view of the canoe launch from the air and what a great sight it is. Many have told me that they didnt realize that Hilo was so beautiful... Of course that is because they are Local long term residents and have been here so long that they fail to see the beauty of their home. I understand this too well.
While in Ohio we ran into this all the time. Once people realized that we were from Hawaii they would gush and wonder why we were there and how did we like it and they were really shocked when we told them that we loved the country and the turning leaves and the golden fields that were being harvested and that they were lucky as Hawaii is beautiful but your home has beauties all of its own... Most would dwell on the winters and the cloudiness...
Just as I have dwelled on our difficulties, I suppose. But one cannot live on Cachet, the cachet that Hawaii brings...In Ohio part of the beauty was the fruitfulness of it all, the good inexpensive food ( I gained 10 more pounds... Uggh I am gigantic!) Every "tourist" attraction we visited was free, no one trying to make a buck off us...
Yes Ohio has its tremendous problems. They have lost much of the heavy industry they once had to off shoring of the jobs...People are angry about it..." Yeah there are jobs if you want to work at WalMart!" they would tell us... Here in Hawaii, we have the lowest unemployment in the states cause we all work for the government or Walmart or both!...
They are a bitter battle ground state with 95 percent of they voting population registered to vote... but there is one catch. Some counties have more voters registered than there are eligible citizens. The lawsuits are being filed, and things are under investigation ... Corruption is everywhere and not just here in the Aloha State... Where I think they biggest source of corruption is the horrendous apathy among the voters here.
We saw cheap land, good cheap land, and good houses that wouldn't cost a lot... but there has to be a job waiting or forget it... When we told people what the price of milk is and how much houses cost and things like that, they agreed that life is good there. When we spoke of the 4% tax on everything you buy or sell, they were aghast... and saw that life was very good for them...
Then there is winter. Three months of it. Snow ice and subzero... Burr! But with out that cold you would have no flowers or fruit trees. No green fields or autumn leaves... Its all a part of it... when I said this to my incredulous listeners they agreed that this was true and they had a new insight into something they have been taught to run away from since babyhood. Cold weather... like its a curse or something. We met many retirees who had once moved to Florida then moved back to Ohio saying how much they missed the life there. I thought to myself..." and the culture and the medical care and the cheap groceries and housing costs..."
Is it true then that we all want what we cannot have?
Woody went to check in with his employer to get his hours for next week only to find that he was suspended because someone at the dump complained that he wanted them to clean up the spilled trash they had dumped all over... Woody laughed at his boss and asked if the local guys that sleep on the job and dont show up get suspended. We know of dozens of cases of this stuff that the State people are upset about and no discipline to those slackers why??? They are related to the boss... Because Woody missed more than a week of work he has lost his medical coverage until he works 4 weeks of 20 hours and no one is saying if they will put him back on the roster. Because they say he is still employed he isn't eligible for unemployment. Its dirty trick and Im surprised he didnt cuss them out and quit... He's at the point where he might.
While in Ohio, Woody admitted that he sees this "Paradise" we live in as his prison. A place where he has been abused and where he will never be able to be himself. He gets angry and takes it out on me with the silent treatment, and admitted that he knows that this is wrong...but its how he feels... He misses the mainland, sports, golf his friends and his life there. I told him that I am not keeping him here and if he wants to move than lets do it. God above I love this place but not to the place of self destruction... So its in Woody's court. He has been different for the last three weeks, I think its good. He seems motivated to be the husband finally...
Woody thinks Ohio is Paradise. He sees himself in the other people he met. In the pace of life and the openness that we experienced. He likes the idea that he might be able to get a job there that would allow me to stay home and do what I love to do in a place that would allow me to do that. I love being outside, gardening and having time to meditate, none of that is currently possible. Here, churches have been closed to us as Malahini, newcomers that are not committed to staying in the community and therefore not worthy of personal investment... Either you burn yourself out trying to convince them you are committed or they ignore you till you leave. We had a dozen invitations to worship in the 17 days were there. I think that speaks volumes.
I see a challenge coming, maybe the biggest one of my life, and only God can get me through it. I told Woody that I would go to Ohio if he wanted to go there. He will have to be the driving force not me as this is not going to be a picnic by any means. But I think that God will honor this as I see it as truly the submission that is Biblical. The husband makes a decision that is for the family good and has the final say. It is right... Its for our mutual good.
Paradise is in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes its a matter of seeing the Paradise in the unexpected and the ordinary... I feel that I have that gift and know that it will stand me in good stead in the coming days.
October 27, 2004
The Happy Reunion
the birthday twins
Nobody I mean Nobody is more overjoyed to have us home than Makoa and Nani. After 17 days at the Cat Hotel, they were practically leaping into my arms. We have spent much of the last 24 hours being licked, purred at, nuzzled and "happy pawed" with a lavish abandon. I know how they feel I have missed them too
Working on the photo blog... am having my photo cards down loaded at walmart as we speak. No 1 hour service here..., I think its going to be nice...
October 26, 2004
sunday on Hilo Bay
While I was away the great group of writers at Metroblogging Hawaii
go the site up and running. I am honored to be a part of this group blog. Check it out for great pics and stories about all of the islands.
Awesome clouds over Mansfield Ohio Webshots photo
Im back... Im BEAT but I have had a awesome time, learned a ton of things, many of which had nothing to do with jewelry repair. Will be updating this post later on today but I did want to let everyone know we are ok...
I am taking a tip from Celestial Blue
and will be setting up a separate blog with photos. I have around 200 "keepers". I was maintaining my journal as well so I will have some good comentary as well.This Webshots pic is pretty, and shows the awesomeness of the weather there. I loved it...
The Ohio Journey is just beginning....stay tuned
October 06, 2004
Looking for Signs of Life
photo looking for signs of life
I saw this image and had to kipe it for my blog. I have felt like I have done this a lot these days...but its paid off. I got my taxes back FINALLY from the CPA and if you take the rapid depreciation that we took on the shop, all of the expenses ect...well we broke even... a miracle and a half for the forst 6 months of a baby businesses life and its bungling parents...So far this year we are on track for 20 plus percent growth in the new location, even with being closed for the three weeks this month... Boy I cant wait to get on that airplane!!!
Yet I will miss this place and my kitties a lot. But I am intralled with the idea of having an adventure. I have missed traveling. I raveled alone prior to marraige to Woody and we were always going some where until we settled here. I think that restlessness is part of the drive to do something about moving, not to mention the near poverty level that we lived at last year... that amazed the CPA lady that we got on with less than 10k income... thats cause we sold things...
I have been a bit if a bummer in the last few post so I wont go there... We did get a bit of good news and that is good. I looked over the financials and realized that there is the pontential for a banner holiday that will do much to launch the business into 2005 in good sted. Thank You God...
I dont know how much posting that I will be able to do while I am on the mainland...but stay tuned. I have loaded pics from the school and the area websites so if I cant write a lot I can post on the premade posts...( I love Hello and how it does this) I also have a dozen ideas for poems rattling around in my head so I know I will have some to post when I get back.
I have added a few new items to the MWBS store... new pics including the much requested Bloom where you are planted photo on the blogs masthead... will do more soon before the holidays...
I bid you all a big Aloha and will stay in touch.. You are such a huge part of my life my readers... You make me smile!
October 05, 2004
I Owe My soul to the Company Store...
Sara at the bench setting stones, at the studio
This is Sara, Doug Glenn's neice that helped me at the studio where I took my first steps in jewelry repair. She is setting diamonds into an earring, I got to sit and do the other one and that was really neat...
I show her photo because she is very fortunate. She came here to learn her trade and Doug sees that she is paid well, and she lives in provided housing above their shop in Honoka'a. Sweet deal and I am happy for her, but for most of us its not that way.
Woody and I saw this article in the Honolulu Advertiser as we were waiting to be seated at Loquin's Mexican Resturant in Pahoa. I sat and read with heavy heart, because this is the story that we are dealing with. Yes Hawaii has very low in fact the lowest unemployment figures in the nation... but all of us are working our butts off in low wage or worse jobs, some people have three and four part time jobs or are doing rather heroic things like Woody driving to Kona, and my staying the course at my business to make ends meet. There is no end in sight. If we can make the repair side of the store work, I am still not sure that it will be enough to overcome the deficet so that Woody can get off the road... It is so scary. Here is the article
Hawai'i's workers struggle with low pay, low-level jobs
By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer
A 2.9 percent unemployment rate means nothing to Randy and Billie Lueder, two college-educated, full-time workers who are frustrated with Hawai'i's job market.
Randy and Billie Lueder are frustrated with Hawai'i's economy. Randy makes less now than he did as a college student, and Billie worked four part-time jobs during summer break as a school career couselor.
Richard Ambo • The Honolulu Advertiser
The Lueders were among the 612,700 people who had jobs in August when Hawai'i posted the lowest unemployment rate in America for the fourth consecutive month.
But Billie, a full-time career counselor at Kaimuki and McKinley high schools, still had to work four part-time jobs during her summer break. At the same time her husband, Randy, was bringing home a smaller paycheck than the one he earned as a college student three years ago in the same field, security.
In the world of labor data, Billie is considered a "multiple job holder." Randy is "under-employed," meaning his salary and job don't match his qualifications and ambitions.
Billie and Randy represent the frustrated human faces masked by favorable, statewide employment numbers. For them, low unemployment statistics are meaningless if they can't earn enough to leave their rented, three-bedroom house in Kaimuki and buy their own home somewhere on O'ahu.
"We have to move beyond the illusion that unemployment statistics have become," said Alex McGehee, executive vice president of Enterprise Honolulu, an economic development agency.
"People need to stop counting the large number of jobs and start talking about the quality of the jobs. The reason we have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation is because we have a lot of people carrying bags to (hotel) rooms. ... They're not bad jobs, but if you can't buy a house and support a family without two or three jobs, that's a problem."
Interviews with job counselors, recruiters, economists and workers across the state also suggest several other shortcomings in Hawai'i's job market:
Pay and benefits remain relatively stagnant even as employers scramble to fill thousands of vacancies — a demand that's expected to continue at least through the holiday retail season. Employers looking for specialized skills in areas such as information technology still see a gap between their needs and a workforce largely based on tourism.
And communities on all islands continue to have lots of people cobbling together full- and part-time jobs to keep up with rising home costs.
Both the number and percentage of people with multiple jobs have dropped in the past few years, from 9.3 percent of the workforce in 2000 to 7.6 percent last year, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
But 7.6 percent still meant that 44,977 people had more than one job in 2003.
"A lot of them are state and county workers who also work in retail or as bartenders and waitresses," said Mia Ako, cooperative education coordinator at Kaua'i Community College. "You see them in their office jobs and then you might see them behind the counter at Borders."
Ako is trying to woo locally born expatriates home through summer internships with sub-contractors for the Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility.
Out of roughly 80 interns over four years, however, only a handful have returned to full-time jobs.
Enterprise Honolulu officials are talking to Kamehameha, Iolani and Punahou schools and several public high schools, including Farrington and McKinley, to conduct a survey of 8,000 to 12,000 alumni.
They hope to get a picture of the ex-students' skills in industries such as life sciences, technology and film and digital by the end of the year, McGehee said, to perhaps one day expand those industries to complement tourism and the military.
The idea is to create new, high-paying professions that would reduce the number of people working multiple jobs, McGehee said.
"We're one of the leading states when it comes to multiple jobs," McGehee said. "I've seen reports where we're at the top and other studies where we're fifth or sixth. Whatever the case, it's a perennial problem and it will never change in an economy supported by military and tourism."
The growth of big box retailers won't help, said Lawrence Boyd, a labor economist at the University of Hawai'i-West O'ahu.
"They represent a whole big sector that's undergoing structural change," Boyd said. "They tend to have entry-level positions with little advancement, despite what their commercials say. Even with 40 hours of work per week, a lot of people are still going to have to work two and three jobs."
Eugene Kaneshiro, a 54-year-old former operations, personnel and sales manager, has the opposite problem.
Like dozens of other baby boomer professionals, Kaneshiro was disappointed by his prospects at a recent job fair where a record number of recruiters were looking to hire mostly entry-level workers.
"There's plenty of openings if I want to start over at the bottom," Kaneshiro said. "But they're very picky when it comes to upper management. They say I'm overqualified or they can't match my (previous) salary."
The Lueders, who were both raised on O'ahu and were married in August, are tempted by higher-paying, more challenging jobs on the Mainland where they can buy a decent home — maybe even on only one salary.
Billie, a 28-year-old, Miss Hawai'i 2000, tries to line up jobs and careers for McKinley and Kaimuki high school students. She's studying for a master's degree in secondary education at Chaminade University while working a wide range of side jobs, such as dancing for a cruise line and teaching modeling and etiquette classes at a modeling agency.
"A lot of employers — a lot — are calling the schools looking for part-time help," Billie said. "They want clerks, stock people, cashiers, definitely entry-level. ... It's not much better the higher you go. Even people with masters degrees are fairly disappointed that to stay in Hawai'i you have to take a low-paying job."
Her husband, Randy, 31, works as a plainclothes loss prevention investigator for an upscale store at Ala Moana Center. He likes the challenge of investigating internal fraud but would rather design computer security systems, develop security plans and trouble-shoot companies' bigger security problems.
"After all these years, I'm basically still doing security guard work, just without a uniform," Randy said.
Randy got his criminal justice degree from George Mason University in Virginia in May 2001 and has five years of supervisory/management experience. Since he moved back to O'ahu in 2002, Randy has been unable to find a good-paying, management position.
Today, back home, Randy earns less than he did while going to school in Virginia. So he continues to send out resumes every day.
"I thought that if I got a degree, I should be able to get a decent job, make a pretty good salary and be challenged at work, doing something that motivated me," Randy said. "I never thought I'd be basically doing the same job. This is crazy."
Parent watch their children leave Hawaii and not be able to return... they have to be able to pay for the needs of a family...I see the writing on the wall. No matter what, I cant see how we can stay here. It breaks my heart. How would you like to go all through school to get a degree and make 2000.00 a month and this is average? I know professionals that moonlight as bartenders, waitresses, security guards, and dancers. Advertisments for Psycologists to work with troubled youth, 2500.00 a month minimum 200 hours a month... Jobs for engineers and IT people go unfilled at the county and state level and of course Doctors nurses, teachers and police and firemen are underpaid and in short supply as a result. They also dont want to hire people that have made the higher wages as they feel that they wont stay. This has been a difficulty for both Woody and myself. I have interviewd for jobs at banks, offices and at the harbor. 6.50 was the average pay... and these werent entry level jobs.
Something that wasnt mentioned in the article was that most jobs here only are "part time" 19 hours a week or less. Even office jobs ect... Reason is that we have manditory employer insurance at 20 hours or more. If your state ever thinks about doing this dont vote for it as this is a great vehicle for employers to create a lower waged no insurance workforce and the insurance premiums go through the ceiling! California is toying with this and it is a nightmare that will only make the non insured worse off by cutting their hours as well as coverage.
There is money here to pay people. Here on this island, Kailua-Kona was listed as the 10th most expensive place to buy a home in America, average price 1,000.000.00. Yeah a million. That was on Ap Network News last week. we get tax money to pay the service people, so we should pay what they are worth. If people could hold out, that might bring wages up. In Kailua Kona, a dishwasher makes 14.00 per hour at many of the high end resturants. Its a labor shortage as the housing is so high and the commute is so long... thats why Woody was able to get a job there, as he was willing to stay overnight at a flop house.
The meeting last thursday and how ineffective the county management is in dealing with the problems that are facing the community is another issue. Woody wants to sell out and move to someplace were we can try again with lower costs of living...Sell before the word gets out about the drugs and the full garbage dumps and 1 policeman for every 50 square miles ( I kid you not, that is what it works out to, there is money but no bodies, they are down 20 officers for this island 1 in 5 positions is not filled...)and they need to add more positions. The fact that there may be housing now for you but when your kids grow up they will either have to live with you or go back to the mainland as the market is so tight here for everything from jobs to rental housing... The retirees we are meeting are shocked at the medical care situation... "What do you mean I need to fly to Oahu two months
from now for a stress test...or a colonoscopy... or an open MRI..." or my friend that went for a stress test and was kept on Oahu for 5 way bypass surgery and didnt see his wife for 4 weeks until he could go through all of the airport crap and come home. She didnt have the money or the ability to be off work to be with him... Its scary and scarier as I try to look at it objectively.
We took a drive yesterday to see a state park that we had not visited before and it was lovely. I will miss all of this so much that my heart is breaking but it cant be helped. The miracle has happened...and ark is being prepared and I need to be ready to board when the time is right...
October 04, 2004
Trickling lava dripping into the sea foam HVNP Photo
I cried out to God with my voice--
To God with my voice;
And He gave ear to me.
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing;
My soul refused to be comforted.
I remembered God, and was troubled;
I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed.
You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I have considered the days of old,
The years of ancient times.
I call to remembrance my song in the night;
I meditate within my heart,
And my spirit makes diligent search.
Will the Lord cast off forever?
And will He be favorable no more?
Has His mercy ceased forever?
Has His promise failed forevermore?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies?
And I said, "This is my anguish;
But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High."
I will remember the works of the Lord;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
I will also meditate on all Your work,
And talk of Your deeds.
Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary;
Who is so great a God as our God?
You are the God who does wonders;
You have declared Your strength among the peoples.
You have with Your arm redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph.
The waters saw You, O God;
The waters saw You, they were afraid;
The depths also trembled.
The clouds poured out water;
The skies sent out a sound;
Your arrows also flashed about.
The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind;
The lightnings lit up the world;
The earth trembled and shook.
Your way was in the sea,
Your path in the great waters,
And Your footsteps were not known.
You led Your people like a flock
By the hand of Moses and Aaron.
October 02, 2004
I Need a Vacation from Paradise
I woke up this morening to the sounds of torrential rain and pulled the sheet back over my head. I was late for some reason I failed to hear the radio alarm for a full two hours likely drownd out by the rain.
So I stayed home. I have gone to the garage and found my "Cold Weather" clothes I dont know why i failed to do this before but I finally checked the weather for Mansfield Ohio today and its going to be a balmy 59 degrees... mercy do I still have a jacket? I dont know?
Woodys packing plan is to buy stuff when he gets there. I have never found that to work for me so I am washing out jeans and sweat clothes and hopefully that will be enough. Its ultra casual at the school, in fact we were told not to wear anything that we would be worried about ruining. Fine about 2/3 of my wardrobe will fit this description
2 pm the rain has stopped. I have done little except do something I thought Id never do. I am opening a online shop with Cafe Press. I have had emails wanting copies of my photos and encouragement to market them. So this is an easy way. If you want a particular picture on an item let me know and I will do what I need to do to get in to the online store. I did a tile trinket box just for an experiment. I will be doing note cards and stuff like that If you want a shirt or ball cap let me know I wasnt planning on doing them but will do anything that my loyal readers want. After I have paid for my little camera I will donate part of the profits, I havent decided where yet.
3pm stopped for a minute... I am so weary... I think I have been sick or something its like nothing agrees with me when I eat and I am swollen up like a balloon... I had a very not expert opinion form a lady in NC that encouraged me to get to a doctor, I was in the throses of the menopause... thought that I was all done eith that but it makes sense.
Earlier this week I went to a neighborhood meeting with the mayor and the councilman regarding all of the problems in our subdivision... Frankly we are very fortunate to live where we do as we dont have all of the problems that people do closer down to the ocean. Our subdivision is arranged with the streets named alphabetically in Hawaiian and all have fish names like Ahi for A and Honu for H ect...so if you live on an A street you are pretty ok but you get down to the O and P streets that is very bad whole neighborhoods are victimized by the ICE heads and the drug runners . I get angry just thinking about it. The County wants us to form a neighborhood watch and do all of the policing ourselves, but I think that is really unfair as it singles out those that do the snitching, and they have an even harder time of it. Our courts have to let these guys go until trial so they get picked up and are out in a day... big deal. A lot of the cases never get to trial as the statute of limitations runs out. Still, I think the cops, who are understaffed and underpaid, try and there just isnt enough of them to go around...
We are locking things up really tight and placing Mak and Nani into boarding insted of having a cat sitter. There are a lot of professional house sitters here on the island for the above reasons. I still dont like a stranger in my house and would rather chance the break in than have to deal with that.
5 pm What I think is a worse problem is what is going on now someone on the block burns their trash. I almost want to get on neighborhood watch just to have a means to get on them. Its as illegal as sin and I dont know why they cant just go to the transfere station like the rest of us.
getting bitchy so Id better sign off for now, will go make a bit of dinner for the mister when he gets home in a few hours...
October 01, 2004
The Path of the Righteous- the journey continues
Glorious Sunset at Seal Beach courtesy of Webshots
I went looking for photos of the Whittier area where I was living in 1987 when the earthquake struck 16 years ago today and really set the course for the chain of events that I have been speaking of in my last few posts. I know that I took photos of the house and likely I will find them as I am preparing to embark on a digital capturing of the best of my paper photos before they mildew and rot away in this damp climate. If I find one I will post it.
Ther other thing is that the picture that I wish I could show you is that of me on October 15-16 1988, at 2 am walking through my house alone, electricy off from the magnatude 5.1 aftershock a year later
holding my loveable tiger kitty Creature, and singing to her the new song that I had learned at church that day...
The path of the righteous
is like the light of dawn that shines brighter
brighter and brighter
The path of the righteous
is like the light of dawn that shines brighter
brighter to the full day brighter to the full day
brighter to the full day...
(song by Danny Devenny, God Bless, wherever you are!)
I was walking in a light that was unseen to the naked eye. The song was simple and I had not heard such in a church before. I remember now that my parents had forbidden me to go to Rives Park to that "hippie church" which grew to become one of the largest fellowships in America Calvary Chapel of Downey, would to God that they had my life would have been so different. I would have found my way much sooner I think. I was to find that way at another off shoot of that denomination, and in a way I am glad for the church was smaller and I was absorbed into the family quickly much more so than I would have been had I gone to Downey with its morning attendance of thousands.
But in the 20/20 hindsight, I see that it was the music that scared them. It wasnt just the electronics and the drums and the clapping (irreverence they said)but it was the freedom of expression...The fruit of the changes that came in the 60's flowered in this church that was founded by a burnt out druggie that was mentored by a little bald guy that had church on the beach in a tent so the hippies and the surfers could come in shorts and bare feet. That freedom of expression in the worship was what eventually kept me there all those years later, and certainly, once I was allowed to become a part of leading that worship myself, the music changed me and formed me spiritually. Eventually at Hosanna, the music and the message failed to match up and there was a hypocracy that I fought hard to deny until it hit me in the face... We all learn that our "parents" (so to speak) arent all we thought they were...We all grow up and have to leave home and find our way in the world both physically and spiritually. I am doing that now. I find comfort in knowing that God hasnt changed, He promised to stay with me and He has...even when it seems that I cant perceive it...
I carried Makoa around last night and sang to him in remaniciance. I was awake at that 2o'clock hour, wasnt feeling well and he likes that, mostly the carrying part but if I sing to them the kitties swish their tails in a happy way so I think they like it. It was so still in the house..., just the fountain in the entry way running and the sounds of the frogs in the trees. We are getting rains now good as it has been so dry...
But in my minds ear, I can hear the sounds of those two Octobers, I can feel the record setting heat of that October 1st 1987, it was 104 at 7:42 am and reached a record setting 112 degrees and many scientist thought that the heat set off the new fault under the Whittier Narrows Dam, and along the San Gabriel River. I had lived a stones throw from that river nearly all of my life and never had such an experience, neither had anyone else that we knew...the sickening roar from under the earth, the first shock wave hit our house sending water from our swimming pool tsunami fashion, up against the house so hard, and in such volume that water pour in throught the open windows facing the back and was dripping off the eves of the roof... the pool was missing 3 feet of water, thats how much got pitched out... The sound of timbers breaking in the garage, and things falling in there damaging my car... the block wall fences colapsing...the smell of wet earth and sweat and burnt coffee on the hot coffee maker that was on the top of the pile of everything that had been inside my kitchen cabinets that was now in a heap on my kitchen floor.
The terror that my husband newly back to work was going to be in the testing lab powering up a new room sized pump for a nuclear reactor cooling system that morning with 1000's of pounds of steam pressure...( it held under the shaking, Jeff had been under it looking at welds, broken ankle and all he scrambled out but the welds held, a miracle really)
It took weeks to clean up and the three of us, in our twenties but really emotionally very immature, were tramatized beyond the norm. We sustained the only major damage to a house in the city of Norwalk, and inspectors scratched their heads at it... But it was a perfect storm so to speak, that did the damage. A soil engineer later saw right way that the pool maganified the shockwave and the house foundation was right up against it. Same with the more casually built garage. It was like a 6.5 to 7.5 quake hit the house, with all of the subsequent damage that goes with an event like that.
By the 2nd October, the house had been through over 300 aftershocks, many above a 3, which doesnt sound like much but if you are right on top of a three it feels like a 10. It creaked, plaster cracks, We had rebuilt the wall, and the pool was partially full to prevent someone from falling in and getting too hurt but also to limit more damage to the foundation, The sounds were frightening to someone that had never been alone overnight before and that had fears of people coming into the house that were not nice... The peace that came over me on that beach allowed me to sleep soundly for the first time in my adult life. I remember feeling that the earth could do its worse and it didnt matter anymore...
16 years later I see how we were running from God, We loved that house and perhaps that was where God needed to start to deal with us. I know that sometimes happens. I hope that I never hold a earthly thing so tight that God has to deal with me in that way again.
I have had some email on the previous posts... in answer to some of the more skeptical, I cant answer you why God chose to interact with me the way that He did. I do know that from the time that I was 8 years old I began to think that God was a distant being that had little concern for me other than to allow me to live on the earth, for what purpose I didnt know. It was easy to make the progression to the rejection of God that I made at 15 when I was raped twice in a 9 month period by two different men in two very different circumstances. I didnt feel that anyone would believe me so it went unreported. At this point I felt that God had abandoned me. It was to continue to sprial downward...
I think I needed to hear from God directly, and He came to me at a time when I was able to hear Him. I had been demonically oppressed for as long as I could remember, once the Holy Spirit interviened (because I asked for it) "the voices in my head" have not returned since. That in addition to other indicators that were documented by mental health professionals involved in my case, indicated a "event" that radically changed my mental health. I was heading for institutionalzation, the abrupt change was a watershed moment that radically altered my mental state. I was a different person and over the longterm the change has proven to be permanant.
My parents particularly my Mom, while they are willing to say that they made mistakes, are to this day (or were, my Dad's been dead for 12 years) unwilling to accept that they were responsible for our wholesale neglect. I cannot understand why my Mom would take two toddlers to the beach alone and why she didnt try to save me. We can all fill in the blanks. In writing these post I have had to deal with that. In trying to talk about it recently, she admitted to trying to get an abortion rather than marry my Dad. I can understand, but that understanding does little to help me, at 42, deal with the lonliness and the lack of acceptance that seems to be a life long condition. Knowing that God is with you goes a long way, but the very human ache is still there. The fact that you are unwanted by your parents and that was evident certainly contributed to my mental illness as a teen.
As to what God sounds like...God is Spirit, it says in His Word... the voice was the sound of music and water and rainfall all rolled into one. He spoke 7 times, the number of completness. There is no need for Him to speak to me again. It was enough.
He is enough. He is my hope and His path is brighter than the full day...