Complaining?…Not I!…One year ago…A colorful visitor comes to call…

Cloudy skies are common on Kauai. One of the rainiest spots in the world is located at the center of the island at Mount Waialae, with an average rainfall of 472 inches a year, with a record of 683 inches in 1912.

It’s Sunday morning at 9:15 as I write this. An occasional bit of sun peeks through billowy clouds giving us hope that the day will prove sunny. But, who’s to complain when last week we had sunshine the entire week, spending a few hours most days by the pool at the golf club, then off to explore the island.

A cloudy sunset creates an interesting scene.

Now, as we sit here, with roosters crowing every minute or so, birds singing in the dense forest behind us, we can’t help but smile. Even cloudy days like today are a treasure.

Only moments later it changes.

I can’t help but think back to Kenya, only 14 months ago, when we had no living room and we spent 15 hours a day outside on the open-air veranda. There were bugs constantly landing on us, the heat was in the humid 90’s and poisonous centipedes slithered near our feet. We had no AC in the bedroom and no screens to open windows at night. Only a ceiling fan offering little relief.

Later, in South Africa, we spent all of our days outside on the veranda when we had two living rooms indoors, in the humid ’90s, bugs hovering near our heads, snakes at our feet and yet we stayed outside awaiting the visitors.

The boat launch at Hanalei Beach.

Oh, how we’ve adapted. And now, as we languish indoors, no bugs, screened windows open to a cooling breeze on a cloudy day and for a moment, I whine about the lack of sunshine. But, only for a moment, when I’m reminded by a troll inside my head that screams, “How quickly you forget!”

Notice the lifeguard to the right as other jet skis enter the water at the river.

No, we won’t forget. Nor will we diminish the reality that in a little over four months we’ll be living in Australia at the edge of a rainforest where the mozzies and the wild things are. Surely, once again we’ll adapt. Living in Australia means wildlife, insects, snakes, and other unknown creatures many have never seen in a lifetime.

Trees hanging over the river.

In our reality, the most excitement and fun we’ve had has been when we’ve been most uncomfortable; hot, sticky, flies in our faces, stinky from repellent, clothing wet with sweat with adrenaline pumping through our veins with anticipation over the next breath sucking adventure.

Ah, I do miss that. And yet, we sit here in luxurious Princeville, in an easy-to- keep-spotless-condo with AC (which we seldom use), screens, no bugs to speak of, with nary a thought but when the sun will shine so we can go to the pool and on a drive to take sunny-day photos or when our next social event will transpire. 

Beach near the Hanalei River.

Yes, we are adaptable but in both directions; the roughing it variety or the ease of carefree luxury. Good grief, we’re only one hour from a Costco store when in Kenya, we had but a limited little grocer who didn’t carry celery and the tomatoes were too ripe and with guards with rifles who frisked us at the door as we entered.

In all, we’re grateful.  Grateful for the vast array of experiences, grateful for the people we meet, and grateful for the life we’ve lived thus far. And most of all, we’re grateful for each other.

Oh, oh. The sun’s out. Gotta go…the pool is calling us!

                                          Photo from one year ago today, January 25, 2014:

These Helmeted Guinea Hens were frequent visitors in Marloth Park. In fact, as often as we saw them, we assumed they lived in the bush in our yard. Their colors are amazing, although their chicks didn’t acquire the colorful helmet until they’ve matured. For details from that day’s post, please click here.

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