Ukulele Family Finds An Ukulele Teacher

This is one of those things in life that you couldn’t make up. I’ve written before about the universe affirming positive decisions – almost like the reward systems on credit cards. If you make a bad choice, no points, just debt – a neutral choice leaves you neutral – a positive choice brings you points – the right positive choice brings you triple points – or more!

Here is a real world example of what I’m talking about. I’m in Hawai’i right now – actually, I’m on Hawai’i (the Big Island) in Hilo. I like it here, but it isn’t where we are meant to be at this moment in time. Oahu is not done with me. This trip has been rushed – in fact – at times it felt like it would be impossible – but I did everything I could and trusted God to lead me in the right direction. I researched jobs and tried to land interviews, I researched housing and neighborhoods, and I kept in mind what I wanted as I moved forward and avoided the temptation to get sidetracked.

One of my goals in 2017 has been to start using points and credit cards effectively. With that in mind, I paid off my credit card debt and have paid attention to my credit score. At the end of May, I applied for two new credit cards – a Hawaiian Airlines credit card which awards 50k points if you spend $1000 in the first three months and a Hilton Honors credit card that awards 100k if you spend $3k in the first three months. In early June, I booked my trip here to find a house and a job. I only gave myself 5 days because there is a lot to still be done in Oregon. The Oahu portion and airfare took care of the $1000 on the Hawaiian Airlines card. 50k points will purchase two one way tickets from the mainland to Hawai’i…or upgrade two regular fares to 1st class…so, I actually just got most of our airfare to Hawai’i paid. The Hilton Honors points will come later – but shipping our items to Hawai’i should cover the $3k requirement.

Now, on a different level from the points – I’ve mentioned before that life apparently didn’t want me to take my family on a crazy pell-mell adventure around the world – and I had to listen to it. Instead, it became really clear that the right decision was to slow down – make the adventure more of a long term journey – the first step of that journey was to get ukuleles. The next step was to learn how to play them – and there really isn’t a better place to learn to play than in Hawai’i. To live here, I needed a job, a career really – so I looked at the online job ads and one of the first to come up was Archaeologist – some of the requirements were a degree in Anthropology (I have that) and a knowledge of Hawaiian history and culture (I have that too from being a guide and from classes I took at the University of Hawai’i. So I applied with my initial idea of bringing the family here in September – they wanted someone sooner – so I pushed my agenda closer and here I am and we will be moving in a very short time – and guess what? I had the interview the other day and I was hired!

Another thing I wanted to accomplish on my five days in Hawai’i was to find a home for us. There was a really cool piece of property for sale on Hilo with a wreck of a house – it’s part of why I came to Hilo – I had it in my mind that it might be a neat adventure to bring my family here and learn to make it work on the land – but the property was not right for us. I knew that when I saw it. I had looked at three properties on Oahu – they were not perfect, but one stood out above the others. It was located close to where I will be working, the rent was reasonable by Oahu standards and included utilities, it wasn’t a tiny closet with no windows, and this was the kicker – the landlady was really cool. She had me fill out the application and one of the questions was “Do you have any musical instruments?” I hesitantly told her that we have three ukuleles and she burst into smiles. “That’s so cool! I love ukulele. In fact, I’m an ukulele teacher!”

At that moment, I knew that this was meant to be. I had found our home. Still, I had to come here and see the farm on the Big Island – I really wanted the farm, I loved the idea of it, but I knew it wasn’t right. So I made the calls to accept the job and accept the apartment from the ukulele teacher. As if to reward me for making the right decision, when I checked into my hotel my room was not ready – so I was upgraded to a lanai room with a view of the bay. Seriously. This stuff works.

The Universe Will Guide You

Wow. That’s all I can really say at the moment. I don’t want to presume to tell where the universe is sending us, but it all seems good. At the moment, things are really in flux. We had decided to accelerate the rate of our movement and no sooner were we positively moving forward than our landlord of four years decided to put her house on the market and gave us a 60-day eviction notice. We’ve been great tenants and she has been a great landlord – so there are no hard feelings about that. In fact, it’s a good decision on her part and for us, it is an affirmation from the universe that we have made the right decision – the decision to go to Hawai’i. So, in the house we found ourselves with a necessity to move by the end of July and since Solarfest is in mid-August – we decided to let our tickets go and let ourselves go to Hawai’i in July…which means all the stuff has to go by the end of June. With our decision to slow down and not rush pull-mell into a trip around the world – came the decision to get Sophia in school once we get in Hawai’i. Classes start there August 1 – so the Solarfest no-go decision was affirmed as well. I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed to miss the eclipse and festival but after seeing the Frye Festival melt down – I am a bit doubtful about the small Oregon town’s hosting for the eclipse being prepared to deal with a Burning Man or bigger type of festival…lord knows that the little Oregon town we live in would be a mess and the festival would probably be a huge disaster and we are already in a tourist area…so, those are my tiny little sour grapes…it will probably suck anyway. I hope not. My sister and her kids are still going and I hope they have a wonderful time – we, in the meantime will be having a wonderful time in Hawai’i as we figure out our life there. And that seems to be where the universe has been pointing us all along – to build a life in the islands. My heart has always considered Kailua on windward Oahu home – but after nearly a decade of not being there – friends tell me that it has become another Waikiki – I love Waikiki as well – but it’s not what I dream about when I dream of Kailua. I dream of a slow and easy, laid back beach town with empty beaches and easy smiles – which is not what Kailua is known for these days. I will head to Hawai’i in a couple of days to lay the groundwork for our future. I will spend a couple of days on Oahu and then head over to Hilo on the Big Island – something has been pulling me towards Hilo for a while now…I have a very strong feeling that we are going to end up not very far from there.

So, there is a lot going on and a lot to do. We’ve also been playing our ukuleles quite a lot. I play more than Sophia and Sophia plays more than Hanane, but Hanane is playing more than she was. Part of the problem was that her Martin Smith ukulele sounded terrible. She wasn’t playing it at all so I sold it (and made a profit on it!) and then I saw an estate sale with an old vintage Harmony uke from the 1940s – it was dusty and the strings sounded horrible and I grabbed it for $7.50! Once I cleaned and polished it and put new strings on it – it became a real beauty with a classic tone that sounds wonderful. And now, Hanane is starting to get into the feel of it. So, we really are the Ukulele Family and we really are getting ready to go to Hawai’i.

I’m trying to learn to navigate the world of hotel and airline credit cards and points while at the same time reducing, reducing, reducing and making the plans for our forthcoming life-changing adventure. There is more happening than I can write about right now because I don’t want to jinx anything by spilling the beans or presuming to know where the universe is sending us. I have changed my motto from “All there is to it, is to do it” which fostered a sort of all speed and no control lifestyle to “Tie your camel and trust God” which means to do as much as you humanly can to move towards the life you want but then to trust the universal guide to put you where you need to be. It’s a positive change. My old motto fostered a sort of young man’s devil may care attitude and my new motto is more of a wiseman’s approach to life. I’ve evolved from Aesop’s hare to Aesop’s turtle. Or maybe that’s a bad analogy….anyway, I’ve gone from all speed and no control to the fastest speed possible while maintaining as much control as is possible. Approaching the wisdom of the serenity prayer. God grant me the strength and courage to make the changes I can. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. God grant me the wisdom to know the difference.