The Unthinkable Has Happened
January 20, 2012
Aloha Nui! Maybe some of you who have been following my Blog have noticed my absence over the last two months? Hey, like the kid whose dog ate his homework, I have a brilliant excuse!
Well, maybe not so brilliant, but it's anyway and excuse. I got sidetracked. Seriously sidetracked. And in the process, my Lovely Bride and I are now residing in the awesome redwood forests of Sonoma County's Russian River, in Northern California.
I've been blogging about this possible move for a long time. It's a bit ironic, after all the times we've heard the same story over and over, “We're moving back to the Mainland to be closer to our grandkids.” and the advice we were always so quick to offer, “Let them come to you!”
Years ago when I had young kids of my own, we always made the 500 mile trip to see our parents. They “were old,” and it was not even questioned that they were not about to drive that far to come see us. Well, things have (apparently) changed, and now the kids call the shots.
Which is only fair, I guess, since our grandkids control their parents, why not have our kids control us? It's the new way.
Well, I've pretty much covered all that in the two previous updates, so I'll just stop ranting and move on.
Except for freezing in this cavernous house while burining over $300 a month worth of gas to keep the house at a chilly 65 degrees (it's 45 outside), we're confortable here. We were way more comfortable last summer and are very much looking forward to warmer weather again. If we're still in this house approaching next winter, we'll have to do something about the very inefficient furnace.
This was never intended to be "our home," but rather a stopping off place while we found the little cabin we really want to call our home. This house is nearly new, all sheetrock and sterile white paint inside, 10' ceilings that are, (I guess) supposed to look impressive, but it's totally not "us."
Our home will have knotty pine walls, low ceilings, cozy-sized rooms, a big wood-burning heat stove, and a nice view off into the forest, or better yet, maybe across a little canyon. It will be on the side of a hill with a south-west exposure, since sunshine is gold here in the Redwoods in winter.
In a previous update, I promised I'd mention a few things we miss about Hawaii, and even some we do not. The first list is way bigger and is headed up by our friends; that wonderful, easy-going, kick-back Island life style; the wooby mix of ethnicities in which we always felt everybody is a minority; how everywhere we went we saw the smiling faces of people we knew; and of course, that awesome-beyond-words, warm and friendly ocean. We especially miss the beautiful little beach parks out Four Mile way. We spent a lot of time there . . .
What don't we miss? First and foremost, I gotta say, Coqui. Having lived there before they arrived means we knew the peaceful quiet of night. As that started going away and we started our war-on-frogs, our peace began to fade.
We knew lots of folks who claimed the frogs didn't bother them, and even some who said they didn't even hear them. What, are you DEAF?! :)
During our last several years in Hilo, we and our neighbors, all of whom fought the war valiantly, spent many hours and dollars every week spraying frogs. We did manage to keep our neighborhood quiet, but at what cost? We don't enjoy killing anything, and this was not fun.
Now when we talk to our East Hawaii friends on the phone in the evening, we can always hear the chorus of frogs in the background, and no, we do not miss them. It was a personal thing, though, as even now, our friends there seem to be getting along with the frogs just fine. When the little critters get into the house, though, not so much.
In an upcoming update, I'll put some numbers out there to any doubters who still feel that the cost of living in Hawaii is too high and that they can't afford to live there. Affordable Paradise is as valid as ever, and in my humble opinion, Hawaii is still the best place to live! We SO envy those who have their families there with them and don't have to deal with the ocean between them. We even have friends in Hilo whose families are moving over from the Mainland to be closer to them! What a concept!
So how is this all going to affect Affordable Paradise, future editions, and my interest in keeping alive the concept of affordable living in Hawaii? Hawaii will always be a part of me. I love Hawaii. I love everything about Hawaii. I love her people, her culture, the climate, the peace, the aloha. Were it not for the grandkids syndrome, we'd be there forever. So my interest in helping folks find ways to live affordably in Hawaii is as strong as ever. And at this point, I believe that when the Fourth Edition of Affordable Paradise is sold out, the Fifth Edition will probably be published as an eBook only. The sales of the print version do not justify shelling out the thousands of dollars necessary to get another print edition going.

If you have any thoughts on this that you would like to share, The Affordable Paradise Blog is on hold for now, but I am always available by email.

With abundant aloha always,

Skip & Camille
We wish you all the best, and never forget to
Please Live Aloha!
Mahalo for "listening."
Skip Thomsen & Ohana
Updated 1/20/2013