Day 7,8 and 9 – Struggles, Sunsets and Talking it Through

I’ve decided that God was a great artist.  Everyday on our walks I notice plants with patterns and colors and complex formations that defy all imagination.  Clear evidence of a thoughtful Father in Heaven that left us clues as to his love.  I’ll take some tomorrow.

For three days Bob and I have been reading and talking and maybe I’ve done a little crying.  But the clouds are lifting metaphorically and literally.  The urge to come home is subsiding and I am finding this time a crucial part of deciding what is next in a healthier emotional space.  Our reading has been enlightening and helpful and we do it everyday with several hours of conversation that follows.  I don’t think very many husbands would spend this kind of thoughtful time with their wife but Bob is for me and it has meant the world to me.

Just another “sunset” in paradise…

Sunset #1

Our community sunsetters.

Community sunset

I found out today that Bob had a pet goose when he was young.  I asked him what you do with a pet goose.  He informed me “You don’t let them bite you.  They have really sharp teeth.”  I’m thinking, “Did you stick your finger in their mouths often?”

I imagine they don’t play fetch very well either.

Reef below our house

This is the literal view from our living room.  The window is the length of the wall and opens up for this kind of evening every night.  It helps me take deep breaths!

Beach view from our house

The sun setting…on our faces!

Bob and Christi at Sunset

Last night we walked through picture memory lane.  I’m not going to post all my homemade easter dresses my Mom made…I just want my girls to know that I came by it honestly.  This is why you always got matching homemade dresses and not baskets!

Yellow pocket dots and yellow rickrack.  I remember as if it were yesterday.  It was also a time when blonde came naturally to me.

Little Christi and Easter dresses

This is one of my favorite pictures of Kendras wedding.  This is Grandpa Worsleys hand.  Such a sweet tender man and might I add gorgeous daughter!

Grandpa and Kendra

Day 6 – Rain and Deep Dives

It’s green here for a reason!  Torrential rain all day and it looks as though it will not be letting up for the next few days.  The good news is that my sunscreen will be particularly effective today.

Hawaii weather forecast

Think deeply

So it was an indoor day of reading and talking.  Deep honest conversations that sort of rocked my view of what I thought I knew and what really is.  How I want to feel and how I honestly feel.  The truth is, I don’t feel much like writing today.  They say that the first few weeks of a sabbatical is a time to detox.  Staring things down can be painful.  That it is voluntary keeps the escape door open for me.  Reading helps.

This is what I learned today.

Define what you value.

I’ll skip to the list:

  1. Deep down, what really matters to me?
  2. What relationships do I want to build?
  3. What do I want my life to be about?
  4. How do I feel most of the time?
  5. What kinds of situations make me feel most vital?


I loved this story…

“When Irena Sendler was a 17 year old living in Poland, her father, a doctor, told her: “If you see someone drowning, you must jump in and save them.” When the Nazis invaded her town during World War II, this value of helping that she held so dearly led her to shelter and feed her Jewish neighbor.

As the war progressed, Sendler moved on to creating, with her like-minded friends, thousands of false papers to aid Jewish families in escaping from the notorious Warsaw Ghetto.  From there, disguised as a social worker checking for typhus, she started smuggling children out of the ghetto herself.

It was terrifying, but she never wavered, not even when the Gestapo arrested her and sentenced her to death.  She later described a sense of relief at the news; at last she would be free from the fear that had come with the brave path she had chosen.

Then a guard helped her escape and go into hiding.  Yet, instead of protecting herself for the remainder of the war, Sendler remained true to her values and continued, at enormous risk, to work to save Jewish children – at least 2,500 in all.  She stayed the course when it would have been far easier, and safer, to duck and run.  But Sendler knew that without action, a value is just an aspiration, rather than the way we really are.”

The questions in red are surprisingly hard for me to answer.  Especially #4.  I’m dancing but I’m not hearing the music.  I hope, in the end of all of this I can hear the music again.

They say that you need to be honest in your writing.  I’m hoping no one reads this.

Day 5 – Rameumptom, Roosters, T,G,B, Jennie’s Eyes and Family

Looking for some Zoramites cause we just found their rameumpton on our walk this morning!  Getting closer to God has its advantages if this is the view…


Legend has it that years ago a hurricane destroyed a chicken farm on the island of Kauai and these roosters and chickens have populated the island.  You see them everywhere.  They eat great here around the pool at St. Regis.

It was a lovely day by the beach.  My favorite lesson from the book today was the need to be present every day.  “Be here now.”  The idea is that the undisciplined mind is easily distracted, whip-sawing back and forth in time, engaging with “push” memories of the past and “pull” projections of the future.

I realize the difficulty of enjoying the now is when I am always worried about yesterday and more importantly tomorrow.  I tried to be mindful today, to breath, to observe deeply and even got in the pool for a bit.  It was surprisingly helpful.


Thankful – Grateful – Blessed

This stopped me in my tracks as we passed the gift shop on our way to breakfast.  It inspired and then confused me.  What is the difference between these three words.  I asked Dad and we were both surprised that we really didn’t know.  So here it is:

ThankfulRelief.  When something unpleasant or dangerous did not happen.  Getting news that Charlie’s heart was just fine and that Poppy’s just needed occasional monitoring…well I was thankful that all was well.

Grateful – Gratitude for a service or favor.  I’m grateful for the videos my children post on hangouts of my grandchildren.  One of the best parts of my day.  I watch them over and over.

Blessed – Holy – a blessed life – My faith and my family…

thankful grateful blessed

Jennie Slade’s eyes.  

This is a poster in one of the shops here.  Everytime I walk by it I think of Jennie…

Jennies eyes

I’m going to get this T-shirt.  I never wear clothes with words on them but this made me smile.

Vibe Tribe


We just got word tonight that the home we were going to stay in for the rest of our stay here in Hawaii just got a long term lease and he is begging us to let him lease the home to this other group.  So we are once again homeless…time to buy that tent!

Day 4 – Homeless and Power of not Knowing

We have finally found a place to stay for the rest of our time here in Hawaii!  We are no longer homeless.

So here are some things to know before you come to Hawaii in the summer.  Only hotels have A/C.  All the homes and condos have fans.  The only source of cooling beyond that are the tradewinds.  Condos through the facility rent out for $250 and up a night.  If you go through a realtor that manages them it is a half the cost.

I’ll be sad to the leave the north end of the island.  Bali Hai will be sung all the way down the lane.

We found a home on the south side of the island.  Not as green but a decent deal for a month’s rent and we overlook the ocean.  I’m just glad we didn’t have to go buy a tent and some cots and sleep on the beach!   It has been difficult to keep it together today.  There are moments I just want to come home and be hot there instead of here.  Dad, on the other hand has been very patient with my “moments”.  He seems unflappable.

I pray for peace in the journey.

tent - homeless

Embracing the Beginners Minds…

Little girl on swing More musings from my reading.  This is about the value of not knowing:

“Inflated confidence leads old hands to ignore contextual information, and the more familiar an expert is with a particular kind of problem, the more likely he is to pull a prefabricated solution out of his memory bank rather than respond to the specific case at hand.”

“The freshest and most interesting solutions often come when we embrace “the beginner’s mind,” approaching novel experiences with fresh eyes.  This is a cornerstone of emotional agility.”

It dawned on me that if you are an expert at something, it’s time to consider a new path full of questions and doubts.  That’s how we keep growing.

As I read this on the plane I realized that Consolari could never have been developed by an expert.  Their preconceived idea of what a hall “is” would have gotten in the way of the development and programming of what is needed.  The expert would have built a music hall, Consolari will care first about human impact than music and the space.  Music is just the tool.

Day 3 – Parasites, Fences and Waterholes

My first book for the sabbatical is a book Kendra recommended called “Emotional Agility” . The author references “Hooks” (think fishing) in our lives which are defined as being caught by a self-defeating emotion, thought or behavior.  Here is an example to help understand:

(Follow the degradation of thought that get’s us hooked)

“I’m sitting at my desk writing a book, and progressing slowly.”

“I’m a slow writer.”

“I’m too slow at writing.”

“I’m slower than most writers.”

“I’m falling behind.”

“I’m kidding myself about how much I can write before this deadline.  Why can’t I be honest with myself?  I’m done for.”

Dad spotted this parasite plant on our walk yesterday.  You can see it’s foreign roots are leaching the strength of the tree.  Negative thoughts behave in the same way.  They will leach from you as long as you let them.  The author asks a profound question…”Who is in charge, the THINKER or the THOUGHT?  We have quick internal discussions that can spiral if we let the “thought” control our sense of self and value.  Instead of acting upon our cherished values and long term goals we allow parasitic thoughts to derail us.

Time to get the pruners…

Tree with parasite plant

One more thing.  Bob and I were listening to a podcast about two young men, turned ministers that have a large following.  In their quest for truth they came to understand the difference between a well and a fence spiritually.  Ranchers generally know that if they have a watering hole they don’t need a fence to keep the cows in.  The cows won’t stray far from their true source of life – the watering hole.  They came to understand that Christ is the well.  He is the one true source of life.  What these two young men had determined in their youth was that their churches just build fences to keep them in the faith.  The pastors were operating out of fear of sin and not love of Christ.  I thought about raising children.  As parents are we building fences or watering holes?  I think the greatest chance of success is that your children see you going to the true source of life enough to trust that they don’t need a fence.  They will learn to be self governed because they see light and joy in your example.  Just for the record, all my children do a marvelous job of this…

Day 2 – Kauai from tip to toe

Did you know that Hawaii is three hours behind us?  If not for the dark sky, 3:30am seemed the perfect time to get up.  Instead I laid awake and made some decisions.  First of all, this is not a vacation, this is a sabbatical which by definition is a time to rest, renew and think deeply. With us both struggling to sleep through the rest of the night we eventually got up and took an early morning walk to the edge of the island and sat on some adirondack chairs and soaked up the early morning air and sun that was just cresting over the horizon.  I was able to check all three…rest, renew and think deeply off my list for the day.  Just what I needed.  I, without shame, listened to Moana.  She sings my mantra with these lyrics “The call isn’t out there at all, it’s inside me…and come what may I know the way.”  Movie theme songs are so inspiring for me.   So “knowing” the way is still a bit ambiguous.  I want to rush to the peace and perspective fully being aware that is not how this works and there is much to do.  So I have a list of certain things I will do before I close my eyes each night.  Writing about our day and thoughts in this blog is one of them…

With still no place to call home here in Hawaii we set out to find something.  Our challenge has several faces.  First of all, being late in the game most every rental is partially booked through out the 4 months we were going to stay.  This would require a lot of moving around, skipping from one unit to another for the guests that actually planned ahead.  Second, they charge by the night at the same rate as a hotel would charge.  This would make it a very expensive sabbatical!  We found a home that might work (much cheaper).  We will stay at Saint Regis for a couple of days to wait and see.  If we are able to secure the home we will stay until our flight back to Utah June 21st.  If not, we will head to New Zealand next week.  It’s been a dizzying day.  Tomorrow it may all change and I can’t wait until the blog post that will tell me what in the world we decided.  In the meantime we were able to drive from end to end of the island.  One of our stops was at the DMB project.  Beautiful property and very gracious hosts.

(Note…I found this perfect Plumeria and carried it with me to enjoy on our morning walk at which time we enjoyed our breakfast with this little red topped bird!  The Plumeria tree is everywhere on this island which makes me wish that Bath and Body would bring that scented lotion back!  The flower is beautifully fragrant)

Time to read…


Day 1 and I am a little anxious

I’m sitting with Bob at Saint Regis hotel restaurant.  The beach is where they filmed South Pacific.  The sun was setting and it was breathtaking.  I am wondering what my deal is.  The only paradise I feel is knowing that I have my husband close and that feels like the only home and comfort I have right now.

We landed to 90 degrees and humidity…deep breath…it’s just a fluke in May.  Got our rental and off to see the green house we found on google for rent.  It was tiny and darling.  Really the perfect size and feel for what would make me comfortable with one small problem.  The home had no A/C.   The owner was quite delightful but warned us of the heat and mosquitoes that “eat her alive…especially in August and September”.  Hmmm…she should get someone else to show the house I think.

Bob sits next to me as I hold back the tears and he assures me that we will find the perfect place tomorrow.  This is the deal.  I imagined a cottage on a beach, quiet with the sound of the ocean.  Tonight we are in a condo, surrounded by hundreds of other condos.  There may be a beach close or even a pool but I’m too busy trying not to panic.  The worst part, they checked us in and sent us to a desk to get a “parking pass” AND to hard sell me to listen to a pitch for a timeshare.

The good news is that I anticipated this would be hard.  Not sure how to get comfortable. Tomorrow we go in search of a place to call home…

Stay tuned…

The day before we leave

Bob is in bed.

We are leaving for our long-planned sabbatical tomorrow.

It took me two days to decide what to pack. He is going to pack in the morning. Our flight leaves at 10:00. Such is the life of a man. I am anxious for the adventure and Bob can hardly wait. I just need to get there, see my new 6 month nest and I’ll be fine.  kukuiulafarm-1200x832