Thursday, June 21, 2018

Phil's Birthday -- Juxtaposition

Photo by our fellow evacuee, The Great Clive Cardozo, Hawaii Aerial Visions LLC, Licensed Drone Pilot
What a strange life we are living!

It's Phil's Birthday this week and while he's glad to have some tools to begin making some art, the reality of this New Life is continuing to shake us to the core.

On the one hand we have an amazing geological Lava Event -- a process of destruction and creation. And in the other hand, we are attempting to re-create our own lives after the mind-blowing obliteration of our retirement/investment dream.

Phil with his new purchases (with generous donations)
First stage: Rough Cut new fish
The photo above shows where we are living. We are living about 15 miles from Luana street in Leilani Estates, where Fissure #8 (current source of all the flowing lave) is spewing huge fountains out of  what was formerly our front yard. This is the view from where we live -- taken by our friend and fellow evacuee, Clive Cardozo with his high-tech drone. The plume on the far left is from lava (flowing at 15-25 mph) into a wide swath of ocean front. The inland plume is from Fissure #8. Watch for the "Night shot" coming soon...."
Just a sample of over 25 finished Hawaiian Reef Fish  ($30 + shipping)

More on the creative side of this equation, Phil was able to buy some necessary tools through a fellow artist from One Gallery in Hilo (where Phil's art is being sold.) He is moving back to California and was selling his good quality used tools.

See Phil's Art - Click HERE

Phil has now managed to gather enough pieces of equipment and tools (also through generous gifts) to continue making his beautiful Hawaiian reef fish again -- sawdust being in his veins from  his Grandpa Dorr Scott, who was a builder and worked with wood.

(PS - Phil is not overly sure about turning 77, but since he is now living here with a 96 year old WW2 decorated bomber pilot named Walter who is teaching him TiChi, he is a bit more encouraged.)

Pretty "Biblical" huh!?! We won't be following this pillar of fire to the promised land -- that's for sure!
(Clive Cardozo, Hawaii Aerial Visions LLC, Licensed Drone Pilot)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Waiting Is: I Grok (or not)

Of course losing our lovely retirement home in the lava flow has been devastating. And in the midst of this loss we are blessed to be finding the "diamonds" that Lunel's dream envisioned while she was in the ICU, what seems a long time ago, but was only May 2nd -- only hours before the lost of our home.

We so appreciate the kindness we have been afforded by staying with a lovely family. Yes, the loss of our dog, Reba, was another hard reality to face. And, we know that she is in her original home where she will be loved and cared for -- another blessing and relief. Of course many people, some of whom we don't even know personally, have contributed to the Go-Fund-Me account that was set up for us by Astra at Many Hands Gallery in Eureka. Others donated through Amazon or Home Depot -- most of which has been used to purchase wood-working tools for Phil.

Our gracious host in our temporary home has set up a space for Phil to continue "making sawdust" that is a way for him to process the loss of the amazing wood shop we had built, and the people we bought koa wood from donated a lovely stack of wood he will use to continue making fish for the gallery he sells through.

Lunel continues to process her grief through her art in a new journal -- a few pages of which are here, and through some reading. She is also writing short pieces about her internal process and the magnitude of such a loss. The dogs are constantly by her side and now that there are only three there is less stress and more comfort.

People ask about insurance. Well, yes, we had insurance of a typical kind, but on Social Security income the outlay of an additional $5000+ per year was a hard choice, and we did not have that specific lava coverage. We have submitted a claim however, and now all we can do is wait. There is a small possibility that Lloyds will offer a percentage of the claim, but it will be some time until we know.

In the meantime, life goes on -- Lunel is getting therapy to help with anxiety/depression etc., all associated with PTSD. Her cataract surgery, that had been postponed due to the seizure/coma incident has been rescheduled which will be very helpful as her contacts and bifocals are now under 25 feet of cooling lava with everything else. Phil did good: He got the dogs and the computer, without which we would really feel isolated. We've lost all addresses, phone numbers and birthdays, but will have to let that go for now.

There is current state and county discussion about setting up a new sub-division for those of us who lost our primary residence, but, as with most government processes, it will take time and "due process." Until then:  "Waiting IS...."  We are fortunate that our mutual life-philosophies include the concepts that life is unpredictable, that nothing is certain, and that all we can be sure of is CHANGE. A quote from someplace: "It takes courage to be done with the old and to seek the new." We did that once, leaving Humboldt County, so it seems we still have something to learn.

For those following our blog -- maybe this is more than you wanted or needed to know, but for now it is our primary way of answering questions many people have asked -- it continues to be a challenge for us to repeat all of this information to individuals over the phone -- and we appreciate your understanding. Mahalo to everyone!

For those who want a brief overview of Haysmer's Famous Fissure #8 here's the latest Utube:
Lava News June 14

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Room By Room

When we moved from Eureka in Humboldt County, we left a wonderful network of friends who wanted to share in our excitement of setting up a new household. 

So, that's when we began taking pictures of what we bought and how we set things up. Now those photos are proving more helpful than we ever imagined as we attempt to compile a list of personal items we lost -- room by room.

In some ways, the process is both emotionally painful and, oddly enough, therapeutic at the same time. While Phil is out buying new tools with Home Depot gift certificates from generous contributors (thank you one and all!) my job is to work on these room-by-room lists -- trying to recall where we bought what, hopefully recall the brand, manufacturer or model. 

Unfortunately all our records, statements, receipts and warranty files were all lost in the fire. At least I can use the internet to establish some reasonable guesstimates on prices. 

Things insurance won't cover are all the lovely antiques -- two kitchen tables from each of his grandmother's. A blanket made by my great-grandmother that was made with wool from her own sheep, carded, spun, dyed and loom woven. Or, all the wonderful masks and art from countries all over the world, collected over our 32 years together, including wedding rings. We have our memories of these treasures -- and we have today, and hopefully tomorrow to begin again.

Friday, June 8, 2018

And Another Loss

Today is a sad day for us.The stress of relocation not only affects humans, but our beloved four-legged family members as well. 

We are so grateful for our temporary housing situation here in Kea'au, but the additional stress of so many dogs and neighbor dogs as well has been too much for our Tu-Tu girl Reba, who we nicknamed Reba-Bo-Beba. Today she will be moving back to her original family in Captain Cook who love her and will take good care of her. 

She has never really "played well with others" and there have been scuffles in years past, but this has placed too great a strain on all of us. She will be in a beautiful setting with lots of grass and trees and a place that will smell familiar to her.

A good friend offered to pick her up at our place and take her to her new home for us. After our final goodbye, we decided that a trip down to the ocean would be in order -- and, it matched our mood pretty well. Grey clouds scudding across the sky -- rain dripping down the windshield and the ocean -- the slate color of tombstones.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Listen to Our Morning Prayer

Aunty Pua Kanakaole Kanahele -Chant

One of the reasons we chose to live and remain here -- on this living land.

And, to see what Haysmer's Infamous Fissure #8 is still doing:
The Fissure #8 current activity

Facts: "Pu'u Luana" (as we are calling it) is producing 6-9 MILLION cubic meters per day.

Scientists report that this is 15-25 times the rate of flow when Pu'u O'o erupted over 30 years ago.

Learn more about the Hawaiian cultural reverence for the land and Pele Family:
Learn More:

Sunday, June 3, 2018

One Month Later

Phil looking at "Magma Chamber"
Looking back -- one month later. Time has a different dimension and life has radically changed shape, not only for us, but for hundreds of friends and neighbors. While we did not have the emotional fortitude to attend Wailoa's "First Friday"  open house, (on June 1st) yesterday we managed to gather enough courage to go see the piece Phil submitted for their current  juried exhibit "State Wide Annual All Media."

The reason for the delay in attending was because a month ago our house burned and a few days later was covered with lava -- including Phil's piece entitled "Magma Chamber." Wailoa Center graciously offered to use a photograph of the piece and frame it -- in order to include it in the show. Of course we wanted to see it.

As we approached the piece, I took a photo of Phil as he stood looking at it, but I did not realized until we returned home how aptly it illustrated or how dramatically it captured how we both feel about our loss -- one month later. It feels like everything we have built and known has been "framed" for us to look at -- look back at -- as though it is hanging on a wall -- and we are standing in some vague shadow at what was our life.

On the other side of that loss is the amazement, wonder and beauty of the earth's own cycle of destruction and creation witnessed in the graphic images being documented and shared around the world. Like other friends and artists we meet, we feel that we stand on the edge of this awesome process, and if there were a "prayer" it would be that the overwhelming pain we feel at our personal loss will eventually subside and something new will be created as emotions, like the lava, cool and we begin to envision a new life and path ahead -- one month later -- one year later.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Practicing Normality

Our healing view of ocean from yesterday's outting
In the midst of the obvious chaos of our lives, the last couple of days we have tried to focus on "practicing normality." Attending to the business of medical tests, making doctors appointments for Lunel's health and well being, getting insurance forms completed, working with inspectors, adjusters and -- buying underwear and a toaster has been a bit crazy.

Our new Hawaiian host family have been unbelievable gracious in letting us share their kitchen for group meals and we have been taking turns with prep and clean up. Phil bought a dog pooper-scooper and walks the 3/4 acre property doing doggy-duty -- for a total of seven furry family members. They have nearly completed an additional 300 sf of screened in space that allows us to have some fresh air in our tiny room -- so we six (us and corgyn) are not all so tightly packed.

Yesterday, our Exercise In Normality was to drive down to the ocean -- NOT an area where lava is involved and set up chairs and just b-r-e-a-t-h-e in the fresh sea breeze. The dogs are used to a full one acre area to romp in, but here, we are taking them out every couple hours for a walk around the grounds which include a small hydroponic garden, small orchard and surprising sprays of orchids.

Lunel in bottom left -- surrounded by all her girlfriends
If you are visiting our BLOG for the first time -- the latest images of the corner of Leilani and Luana (where our house was - scroll down a few entries...) is now a 20 foot deep lake of lava. (we are not putting those on this blog entry again) In the last few days 200' foot high fountains of molten lava have been shooting up right at what was our corner of Luana and Leilani. Lava continues to follow its own course covering acres and homes on the way to the ocean.
Link #1 to our corner of Luana and Leilani 
Link.  #2 what was our corner Luana & Leilani. 

FOR NOW: Although we are homeless, living out of a few bags and boxes, we have been the recipients of amazing generosity -- clothes, gift cards to Home Depot and Amazon and the Go-Fund-Me account that was set up for us by Astra (present owner of Many Hands in Eureka.) Lunel was gifted with a small box of jewelry which she wore on Tuesday night to her "Girlie Girl" night -- a tremendous support network for her.