In case you missed it, I live in Hawaii, on Oahu to be exact. I get to live in a place that people spend thousands of dollars to visit for a few short days sometimes once in their lifetime. This fact rarely escapes me. I’m also very aware that my time in this beautiful place will soon be over. I tease Ray and say I’m already pouting. I’ve told him that for years people will find my claw marks in the tarmac after he makes me leave. Can you tell I’m sad just thinking about it? In spite of my nightly pleading to my husband, it seems that there are no other jobs for him here. 

I’ve learned something in my 40 years. There is a saying between navy spouses. “Live like he deploys tomorrow.” It’s a good thing to remember and provides multiple lessons about love and preparedness. I’ve just discovered something that most military families try to do but we never mention. Everyone should remember to live like you PCS tomorrow. For all you nonmilitary people, that means pack a bag and move away from everything you are just getting comfortable with all while being aware that it may be years or even the last time you set foot in a place you’ve called home for at least a couple of years. 

For reasons that I couldn’t control…weird kidney disease, Tye’s death and unexpected trips home, Jack’s eye surgery and complications keeping him out of water…I feel like I wasted a year. It went by in a blur or a foggy haze. I found my footing, caught my breath and jumped in with the sharks quite literally. (You know I can’t not mention that.) Ray started taking a day here and there off work and we’ve been checking things off our Hawaii bucket list. We’ve hiked all over the islands, hung out in lagoons, snorkeled with sea turtles, and there are still a few hundred things we need to pack in. 

One of our bucket list items was recently checked off when we went to the top of Mauna Kea. In spite of signs everywhere saying not to go, especially with kids, we went. The kids will never forget their daddy running back to the van with a pile of snow, throwing it in a cooler so they could play with it on the beach. 

DSCF0248Jack’s teacher recently said she’s jealous. She’s a local who grew up here. They never take advantage of what’s at their back door. Life gets in the way. I want my kids to grow up without fear of what other people will think, without fear of what might go wrong and to experience life around them. I don’t always do a good job but I try. 

I have lots to share about our Big Island Adventures but right now, I have a few more things to check off my list.