Simple pleasures….warmth of the morning sun. Giant Sunflowers everywhere. Song of the birds. Buzzing of the bees. Butterflies dancing in the sky. Lizards, squirrels, my dog, and my chicken, hung out with me this morning, as I took our clothes off the clothesline. Something about the morning was blissful….I love having a clothesline.
Whenever my mom comes to visit, all she wants to do is my laundry, because she says it reminds her of growing up in the Azores. There really is something peaceful about hanging clothes. I highly recommend getting a clothesline, for many reasons (sustainable living being one of them). Although, if you live in Washington State, your clothes will probably never dry. Ha!
When my son was really young, we lived in Washington State with another single mom and her kids, and I was finishing my Associates degree. I was happy in the Northwest, but I knew I was being called back to Hawaii. I was also broke..as the single mom/college student, tends to be. But I knew somehow, I was going to move back there. I applied to the University of Hawaii. My boyfriend at the time, laughed it off, “Tiff, you don’t have any money, how are you going to move there?” My reply was “somehow, it will happen.” Anyways, my uncle who worked for Delta, gave me two buddy passes.Buddy passes are cheap tickets you can only use if there are empty seats. We drove up to the Seattle airport four days in a row, just trying to get a flight to Hawaii. They were booked. On the fifth attempt, We finally got a flight out of Seattle. We made it as far as Los Angeles… Then we waited. There were four Hawaii bound flights that day. The first three came and went. There was no room. The airport was closing for the night, my cute little baby was nursing wrapped to my body in an old purple sling (an over the shoulder baby holder). I was worried. I was exhausted. If I didn’t get on that flight, I was going to have to leave the airport, and get a hotel I couldn’t afford. I closed my eyes, and fighting off the tears, I prayed. “Universe, please help me…. if I am not supposed to move to Hawaii, I will listen, go back to Washington, and figure out something else… But, if I am supposed to follow this path, help me get on a flight!” I was 24 years old, alone with a two-year old in Los Angeles airport, late at night. I had five hundred dollars (to my name), a college acceptance letter, and a low-income housing voucher. There was one vacant seat on the plane. We waited. They called our name to the counter….We got on that flight. Thank you universe.
Anyways, within a matter of two days, I found an apartment in Honolulu, in the ghetto. Project housing. I didn’t care. I was so happy. It was a two bedroom cement block apartment, at the end of a dead-end road. I didn’t realize just how much of a ghetto it was until, I called to order pizza. I told them my address… the response was “Ooooo, we don’t drive down Kaipu’u street, too dangerous.” Seriously. But, my apartment was close to the University of Hawaii, close to Waikiki, close to a grocery store, and close to the laundromat. Which was perfect, because I didn’t have a car. And my neighbors looked out for me. There was one guy who kept everyone in line, he was a huge Samoan guy, who everyone called “The Enforcer.” He walked around the neighborhood shirtless, muscles bulging, wearing his lavalava (wrap around skirt), and an expression of “I don’t like to fight, but I will fight, and you will lose.” Luckily, he loved me and my son. Ahhh…. memories. Anyways, my apartment was on the bottom floor, and it had a tiny little patio. There was a clothesline..and a hook-up for a washer, but no washer. I remember the days of carrying my baby in a sling, and pushing his stroller piled with our clothes, as I made the trek to the laundromat. Exhausted and often hot… I would daydream of a day when I owned my very own washer. Sometimes, I would wash our clothes by hand in the bathtub, just so I could avoid the laudromat, and because I liked to hang clothes on my clothesline.
After a few months of cleaning houses (baby strapped to my back), I had enough money. We bought a used washer… it felt like heaven. So luxurious. No more laundromat! . Dreams really do come true. Ha! There is something so beautiful about clothes blowing in the wind. I look back on my life in that ghetto, and I enjoy the memories more than I can express ..
So many things on my mind, so many things to write about. But today, I wanted to share a little about my past, and the happiness that can be found in the little things… Beauty is everywhere….