October 23, 2019 – Mililani, Hawaii
In this age of planes, trains, and automobiles, the body can be transported to a new environment while the brain lags behind, like a small child struggling to catch up to her mother. I’d barely had time to get used to the rolling desert of Arizona, when I was suddenly plunged into tropical Hawaii. This was a completely different world—one where dishes could be washed with hot running water, huge supplies of food stored in refrigerators, and showers taken on demand. I could quickly get used to this easy living, but I missed the wide open spaces, and most of all I missed Brent. I’d been with him 24/7 for so long now, it felt like an essential part of me was missing. As I watch myself writing this, I see the irony of my statement. I swore to myself I’d never need a relationship to make me feel whole, and here I am feeling empty inside. What the hell is going on?
Back in Arizona we have a new spot dug out for the trailer, with its own road, but we haven’t yet moved it. We’ll do that when we get back on the 5th. The view isn’t as nice as the one we have now, but it’s close to the well and power lines, and has better phone reception. Our friends keep asking when we’re putting in a septic system, but I don’t think they understand that we have absolutely no money to work with. We’ll be living in our makeshift trailer for some time until we can find work and start saving.
This time, I’m moving slowly and carefully. My success rate in building houses is nothing to be proud of. First, there was the 2,000 square-foot home I was building with my husband back in the 80’s on a five-acre plot of land near Arlington, Washington. The company we bought the construction package from was a fly-by-night operation which I later learned had numerous lawsuits pending against them for unfair business practices. As part of the contract we signed, we had only a few months to complete the construction, otherwise they’d take possession of our five acres. For a marriage that was already floundering, all this pressure was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.”
On top of that, we’d paid a thousand dollars for a rat-shit infested trailer we planned to clean up and live in, but the task proved too disgusting and we abandoned the idea in favor of living in the framed basement of our new home. The pressure mounted as the deadline for completion drew closer. There was simply no time to sit back and have a beer after work with all that work looming over us, and we argued non-stop. Finally, I packed up my stuff and moved out. I figured he’d sell the house and the land, but he didn’t. The company took possession of the land and we were left with nothing. At least we’d had sense enough to rent out our existing home instead of selling it.
Then there was the Mandan Hut in Italy. Diego proudly constructed its framework based on the earth-covered Mandan tribal lodges that dotted South Dakota in the 1800’s. Without assistance, he somehow managed to raise the logs and make a sturdy frame. We added windows, a sleeping loft, and an entry-way. Five years later, he suffered a breakdown and the project was abandoned. Our building sat there unfinished as our relationship crumbled. My daughter and her husband have bought the house, and hopefully they’ll bring our project to fruition. I can’t wait to stay there as a guest.
Now we have a trailer. It can’t be taken away from us, it follows us wherever we go, taking us to new adventures with each turn of the wheels. Maybe it’s not the money that’s stopping us from putting in a septic. Maybe it’s the fear that everything will be pulled out from under us and we’ll be left with nothing. But, as usual, I’m over-analyzing. All that matters right now is being with the ones I love and living for the moment. Carpe Diem!!