Yesterday afternoon, I stopped by the house I’m going to be renting near the Anahola mountains next month to check on the telecommunications service.
When I moved to Ha`ena 20 years ago, I was satisfied with a party-line, as it was the only phone service I could get, and watched whatever TV shows I could pick up from the satellite dish at Billie Jean King’s house, down the road.
Now lack of high-speed Internet service would be a deal-breaker, as I’m so dependent upon it in my work. Fortunately, the house has it — along with fabulous views, lots of greenery and blessed silence, if you don’t count chickens, birds and the gurgle of the river.
The driveway, half-a-mile of rough dirt, was another issue, but my landlord assured me my two-wheel-drive car could get out, even in the rain. “Well, I suppose I could always leave my car on the road and walk down if it got too bad,” I mused, but he immediately dismissed that idea.
“Within hours the windows would be shot out and the tires slashed, and then it would be set on fire,” he warned. It’s not that it’s a “bad” neighborhood, or dangerous in any way, but sometimes the Anahola boyz get out of hand, and unattended cars on their turf are apparently fair game.
Those issues aside, I’m looking forward to the move. I like my current house, but after enduring an eight-month kitchen remodel — and still facing the prospect of an upcoming bathroom renovation and other repairs — I’m ready to dig.
Besides, I like living off the beaten track, literally and figuratively.
Speaking of off the beaten track, I slipped off the trail by my house and into the cattle pastures yesterday to avoid other hikers and enjoy the splendid mountain views and golden afternoon sunlight. I was sitting down a little slope, screened by guava trees, when I heard voices getting closer, saying words like, heel, heel, and come on now, boy, flush it out.
Suddenly I realized I was being tracked. Koko was fully alert, but wisely stayed quiet and hidden, as I rose slowly to see a guy holding a shotgun. He still hadn’t seen me, so I picked up Koko and quickly yelled out, hey!
I could see the disappointment on the two hunters’ faces —they had flushed a bird, but it wasn’t the pheasant they fancied.
I apologized at disrupting their hunt, and they said no problem; they were training a new dog, and pleased he had picked up a scent. The little boy tagging along in his orange hunting vest smiled in delight at Koko, and all was well as I got back on the trail and they got back to business.
I'm going to miss this neighborhood.