a new do.

I’ve been on quite a respite from my writing. If that’s what you call over a year off – eek. But I’m back. With a new look, a new title, and a new place. Over the past 11 months, Pat and I moved to Florence, South Carolina and changed roles at Teach For America. Other significant accomplishments include:

  • Pat learned to cook (good, too…think shrimp and grits, parmesan encrusted pork chops…)
  • Pat started liking Socrates (even though he won’t admit it)
  • Biscuit started barking a lot. If you know Biscuit of the past, you know this is a small miracle as he used to cower at his own shadow. Yep people, he full out barks all afternoon long in our yard.

The most significant of all of the above accomplishments is definitely Biscuit’s newfound barking ability.

Anyway, I’m writing again. This all started because Pat and I were on vacation last week in Kauai, Hawaii and were sitting by the pool daydreaming about where we’d be and what we’d be doing in five years.

When I think about where I see myself in five years – I want to be a writer. I’m not sure what kind of writer. Not fiction. I’ve never liked writing fiction. But I love other kinds of writing – whether it’s a blog, a journal, projects for work (where bullet point plans are elaborated into full-length narratives), notes at church, letters (the old-fashioned paper ones), online reviews of restaurants and hotels we’ve visited … it doesn’t matter what kind of writing, I love it.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved reading and writing. In second grade, I’d lay belly down in the window seat in my bedroom and spend hours writing stories.  I wanted to write a chapter book. The problem was that I’d get as far as chapter two of each story and get bored and decide to start an entirely new book.  So there are a lot of single chapter chapter books from my elementary school years.  When it came to reading, I’d read anything I could get my hands on as a kid. My favorite outing was when my mom would take me to the library downtown to check out books. I loved the smell of the library – that old, musty, librarary smell. I loved that the bindings of the books were already broken in and I loved the smell of the browning pages. I still love going to the library – even after moving five times in six years, one of the first things I do when I get to a new place is get a library card.

So, my love affair with writing and reading has been a long one.  But if I want to be a serious writer, I guess I should start writing more often. Not for anyone to read necessarily, but just to get into the habit. As a bonus, it also means doing more of something I feel genuine love and happiness from. That’s fun.

What to write about?

Well, we did just get back from Kauai and quite a few interesting things happened while we were there. I’m not sure if I should say, “happened to us” or “we happened to it (the land?)” – regardless, we had fun and adventure.

We stayed at the Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach in Lihue. I never done a resort before; in the past, I’ve snubbed my nose at resorts or anything resort-ish and opted for small, quainter inns or bed and breakfasts. But for this vacation, after a year of big transitions for both of us, I said to heck with small and quaint – we’re going all out. Ha. In retrospect, I really do love small and quaint and will probably always be a small and quaint person…but doing the resort experience was worth it this once.

The pool was pretty spectacular. It was at least 56 times the size of any pool I’ve been in before – okay, well maybe not 56, but it was really, really big. The pool and the Mai Tais we drank by the pool were the highlight of the resort.  And – miracle of miracles – they had the first coffee that I’ve genuinely enjoyed (ever) at a hotel. And it was grown on the island. Fancy.

What wasn’t the highlight of the resort was the initial room they placed us in. We’d booked an “ocean view” room. Be wary of what “ocean view” can mean for a resort – for us, it meant bottom floor with a giant view of the bushes with a sliver of the ocean in sight if you looked at just the right angle standing on the far right hand side of the room.  We requested to be moved to a higher floor and the man at the hotel front desk said he’d work on it for the second day of our trip. I know this is an embarrassingly accurate example of a first world problem, but this was supposed to be our last hurrah and we were going to have it even if I had to sweet talk (e.g. bully) the hotel staff.

So, on the promised second day (we were supposed to get a call at 8am letting us know if they could change the room or not), I opened up the shades and got myself in the angled position to see the ocean and – squawk squawk squawk – a chicken frantically runs into the glass door with a bang and is followed by a dog. The dog bites the chicken – feathers flying, blood spurting, and squawking commencing and I shriek, “Pat! Pat! Pat!!!! Ahhh … a chicken is being murdered on our patio. Do something!” Pat, not phased by blood or dead chickens (numbed from the site of blood from all the zombie shows he watches), walks unhurriedly to the door, yells “Scat!” to the dog and the dog runs off. Leaving a bleeding, dying chicken on our patio.

And if they weren’t going to move our room already – surely this had to have supplied extra ammunition for a room change. We called the front desk and requested that someone come to clean up the dead chicken, blood, and feathers. Yes it was odd. And yes, a cheerful man came and cleaned it up. We left for breakfast. Looking back, I’m surprised we were hungry. But, then again, we’re always hungry.

Needless to say, our room was changed and we had a much better view and no chickens or dogs or animals of any kind.

Oh, and by the way, breakfast was delish. We had malasadas (a Portugese confection of sugar coated, fried-dough perfection ). More to come soon on our Kauai adventures. Until next time, thanks for rejoining me friends, I missed you.



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