And what might lie ahead…
But first, since my last activity was more or less when I checked in as we saw Moby off from Chile, I reckon I should catch anyone up who hasn’t kept up with us via other channels.
It was an unsure time for me when we made the decision to ship Moby back to North America and frankly, looking back on it, I was in denial. I also hoped that if I willed it hard enough, the trip wouldn’t have to end. Anyhow, long story short, we came back to Hawaii to facilitate the death of my mother. On that day in March 2019, in the port city of San Antonio, Chile, I had every expectation that we’d be making a quick stop in Hawaii to check in while we awaited Moby’s arrival to the mainland and then we’d have a good 6 months or maybe even more. I had hoped to at least be able to squeeze in a summer of national park visits before my presence was actually required in Hawaii. That’s not how things turned out. My mother passed on 21 Dec, 2019. And then Covid-19 happened. As a consequence, we still haven’t gotten closure.
So…that catches us up to 2020. The start of the “cool times” if one were to be reading about the history to come, I believe.
I had decided that an appropriate way to blow off some steam would be to snag a last-minute cruise deal. We booked on the 24th and sailed on the 28th. Don’t make those kinds of decisions while grieving, though the challenge of making sure the “drinks package” actually paid off was helpful in a time of grieving. We also met some other folks who live on the big island. They have become great friends. I’m glad I was able to have the experience of going on a cruise, and now I know I don’t ever want to again. Awful experience. 0 stars. Would not do again. Well, maybe if it were the only way out of Costa Rica.
I had a work trip to Taiwan in late January and I ended up tacking on an extra week and Cate and I spent that week enjoying all that we could about Taiwan and also witnessing first-hand what an appropriate response to a viral pandemic looks like. It’s very clear to me that providing health care to your citizenry is far less expensive than not providing health care to your citizenry. Masks work. Closing schools works. Enforcing quarantines works.
A pandemic was declared while we were in Taiwan and it was rather questionable at the time whether we would be able to make it back to Hawaii. A workmate of mine ended up in a travel nightmare. We got back though, without issue.
Then the lockdown.
I had sabbatical from work. I needed the time off so it’s fine that I didn’t really get to “do” anything. In fact, I found out how fond of not doing anything I really am. I also like being in the kitchen which is kind of a new thing for me.
For the most part, we’ve been continuing as if lockdown never ended. I only ever go out for groceries or to go visit with my dad in the jungle and tinker in the yard a bit. I haven’t been to a barber since January and likely never will again. Haven’t eaten in a restaurant, haven’t been to the bar, haven’t hosted or attended gatherings or events. It might be for the best. It’s expensive to live here. A burden actually. It’s much different for my dad. When you have no income to tax, you get to keep all of your income. I pay a hefty sum just for the simple act of existing on this island and for that ransom, I get to see homeless camps expand to the point of likely electing a central government soon. At the same time, police abuse overtime and harass people with covid citations that will not be prosecuted. Meanwhile, people in need (i.e. unemployed) can’t get the assistance they need and our Senator’s greatest concern is making sure that people who “illegally stream content” can be charged with a felony. In protest, I intend to withdraw my income from this state.
That brings me to what might lie ahead…
For some background, I have this memory of a comic in one of the various magazines that we had around the house when I was a kid. In short, it portrayed a rancher and a banker discussing the rancher’s financial goals. The rancher was explaining that sure, he did have enough money to retire on provided he dies next Thursday. That comic, coupled with always having been told that social security was going bankrupt, impacted me in many ways and likely drove my decisions to live a full life during my youth. I’ve always assumed though, that much like the rancher, my retirement plan was pretty much work until I die.
Somehow or another though, I’ve managed to stumble my way into something that looks like hope of being able to quit work one day. I can see the finish line at this point and I have a plan.
In broad strokes, this looks like reducing living expenses which would start by moving back to the mainland to a state that doesn’t have income tax and living in a hovel (or possible mobile hovel) for awhile and taking that income that would otherwise be spent on overtime abuse by the police and putting that in appreciable assets (I’m looking at you Bitcoin).
Anyhow, that’s the start of a plan to move from empty existence to something more purposeful. Here’s to the “cool times” to come!!
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