"Nice rack," I said. He seemed to appreciate the compliment. The next day this five-point buck was accompanied by a four-point buddy. The day after that, the day of this photo, there were three. Since then, I've witnessed these musketeers several times near the big, Colorado blue spruce in the southwest corner of my yard. Sometimes, the two smaller ones lower their heads and lock horns, but not fiercely. It's as though they're going through the motions because it's expected of them, but really they'd rather break out the cigars and play a friendly game of poker or something. Hang out here, guys, and you're safe from the camo-clad, neon-hatted crowd milling around this time of year. Of course, a sage, five point buck probably knows that.
I'm told I've missed scads of action in my other, mid-Pacific community. Our neighbors' son was spotted at a recent county council meeting in Puna, chanting and wielding a lai o mano, a tradition Hawaiian weapon, best described as a hardwood club edged with sharks' teeth. He was deemed harmless at the meeting, but later assaulted a large Samoan man at a local beach park and was arrested a few days later. The neighborhood is all atwitter about this. As I understand it, it's lucky for him the cops got to him before the Samoans.
The pack of dogs has returned, too, some distance down the road from us. They have killed again, this time the grandma sheep from the farm I featured a few weeks ago in this very blog. So sad. Humans are once again on vigilant watch. You'd think the best approach would be to contact the humane society and ask them to trap the dogs. The sheep farmers did that immediately after the first attack, only to land themselves at the bottom of a months-long waiting list. The humane society is overwhelmed by nuisance wild dog complaints on Hawaii Island.
All our stuff is out of storage now, and it feels a bit like Christmas as I rediscover some old favorite sweaters and shirts, which I will enjoy in the coming chilly weeks. That said, there's plenty to shake my head over, too. What were we thinking, packing this stuff for eventual transport to Hawaii? The truth is, if you haven't looked at something in six years, you probably don't need it and should toss it or give it to someone who does. Except, of course, what the IRS and the SEC require you to keep for 10 years. In that case, you have no choice. But much of that has expired now, too, so into the burn barrel it goes.
The house is in great shape. Everything works: the furnace (yay!), the original stove and oven, circa 1951, the fridge, the water heater. I've got some winterizing to do, a little touch up and sealing of the south-facing windows, some pipe wrapping and insulation. But really, this house is solid. It'll stand and provide shelter forever, and would really thrive in the hands of someone who enjoys restoring good old homes. The red oak floors and knotty pine ceilings are amazing. That old growth oak no longer exists on planet earth, other than in classic homes like this one. I just ripped the carpeting out of the office and found more of that beautiful wood underneath, in excellent condition. It's the perfect location for a home/business, too. If this sounds like a sales pitch, it is. I do love this place, but maintaining it from 3500 miles away is impractical. It deserves attention. It's really an awesome house.
My hunt for a seasonal job on the mountain has not panned out. I've gotten raves from interviewers who tell me I was their second choice (not good enough), that it was a tough decision, they will make complimentary notes in my application file and forward it to the next position in which I express interest, but they've chosen the applicant with "direct experience with the job." My guess is that people who worked those positions last year, having not found year-round, permanent positions out in the world, are returning to seasonal work. I have a few prospects in Gunnison, and one very attractive offer I'm mulling over that will enable me to work remotely and still have time to pick up a class to teach online if the opportunity presents itself, so I am still hopeful. I do miss my family. BeeCee the trouble cat is misbehaving and trying Ron's patience, but mostly, they're all fine, and so am I. Ron continues to tend the farm, and is preparing a spot to plant another 20 trees or so, no doubt dodging raindrops as he plants. Here, the sun is shining, the bucks and I are chillin', and the sky's so blue you'd swear you were halfway to outer space.
A hui hou. Aloha!