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The Road to Hawaii, or how we sold (almost) everything, quit our jobs and moved to Oahu, as told by one family who is experiencing it.

So, halfway to Chicago to drop off “A” and “H” for their flight to Honolulu via Las Vegas, we received a text from the Wonder Women, our realtors.  Our closing is this Friday at 1:00!  At last.  True, it’s only one day later than what the buyers wished, but it seems as if we’d be stuck here until snow flies (and we don’t want that).

Using the app Hotel Tonight, we reserved a room at the Hilton Double Tree for less than half the normal price.  The app locates rooms available that night only, the hotels trying to fill them up and get some money, at least.  The Hilton DT was a nice place to stay, great hot tub and pool, not much nearby where you can eat.  “A” and “H” left about 7:20 Central  on the shuttle to the airport, breezed through security but had their flight bumped back an hour.  They’re now in Vegas, where we hope to be next weekend.

Moving activities this morning (completed): stop service for internet, electric, gas, newspaper and put mail on hold.

To Do: Contact the shipping company for the car and backdate our flight info and road trip itinerary based on it.  We hope to be in Honolulu by the 21st or 22nd.  Then on to job searching 24/7.  Also to do: clean out the pantry, fridge and freezer, donate non perishables, wash and oil car, haircuts and pack everything.  We’ve decided to mail all of our stuff, probably in the next three days to General Delivery in Aiea, which is midpoint to where “A” and “H” are staying and where we think we’ll finally settle.

I’ll update as I have time, but it’s going to be three days of crazy.

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The Road to Hawaii, or how we sold (almost) everything, quit our jobs and moved to Oahu, as told by one family who is experiencing it.

Today marks a pivotal point on our road to Hawaii.  “H” and “A” are leaving Michigan to start their life in Hawaii.  “L” and I are driving them to Chicago to catch a late night flight.

See, the universe has an odd sense of humor.  Last month, it was all “hey, dudes, here’s an offer that is so ridiculous in price, you’ll reject it.”  Which we did.  Then we made the bold move of telling “A” and “H” to go on without us, it might take months before we’d get another offer (the condo had been for sale for 2-1/2 years without a nibble).  So they made plane reservations.  But Mr. Universe came back the next day.  “Kidding about yesterday.  My mind was screwed with the international date line, or the upcoming Olympics or sunspots.  Here’s another offer.  Take it. Oh, and you won’t have a signing date for awhile.  Man up.”

That’s why they’re leaving today and we’re “cheerfully” seeing them off at the airport.  Of course, in a delayed gratification kind of way, we’re driving cross country and will see America, while they’re just cruising over it.

And no, the giant ball of twine in Cauwker, KS, isn’t on the list of back road sights we’ll see.  Been there, done that, not worth the trip.  Still taking suggestions for Kansas, Missouri and Colorado.

Aloha!

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I wake at 4 a.m.-ish with a migraine, an old enemy who has lately decided on random drive-by shootings after a long absence.  I know to the exact millimeter on my forehead where he stabs me with a hot knife, jagged spears of pain shooting into each eye, the bridge of my nose and across my skull to its base.

I blame the sushi from last night.  I block out that he’s returned because yesterday I retired after 32 years.  I’m an official retiree.  Retiree, what a strange word, as if I’d once been in the pit at Daytona and have now been regaled to pulling out nails and patching bald tires, puttering around an abandoned racetrack.  Retired.  Impossible. I still have a mortgage and a condo, empty as it might be.  I still have financial obligations.  And now, no paycheck.  We have no closing date, which means no arrival date in Hawaii, which means no starting date on a new job.

It must be the sushi.  Note to self – sushi causes migraines.

I stagger to the kitchen and tentatively click on the light on the refrigerator door.  Brilliance swings toward me like a spotlight on the Academy Awards stage.  “The Oscar goes to Front Temporal Lobe for its portrayal of Jack the Ripper.”  I reach for a bottle of generic migraine pills and brace myself to open the refrigerator for a cold drink.

The eye of Sauron blinds me in the three seconds it takes to grab the grape juice and pour some into a plastic cup.  I swallow the pills and juice, entrusting in four ounces of anti-oxidants to do its job.

After a trip to the bathroom, I dissolve onto my pathetic air mattress, the only bedroom “furniture” left, if you don’t count the nightstand constructed of cardboard boxes.  I don’t move my head.  It’s the tip of a nuclear missile, loosely wired, ready to detonate at the slightest offset.

I awake again at 5:54. “L” is up, I don’t mention the pain.  He knows I’m not a morning person and will not get up.

Somewhere around 9:00 I’m awake again, the victim of a full bladder.   Note to self – migraines are diuretics.  I want to crawl, but make it upright and walk the Green Mile to the next room.  I wish I had the stamina or courage to take a shower and wash away the pain.  I move, oh so carefully, back to the kitchen, each step measured, like my feet have fallen asleep and I’m trying to make them work without falling over.

This time I go for the big guns – Excedrin migraine relief.  Three magical pills.  So what if I overdose?  It can’t get worse.  This time, I chose Vitamin water, trusting in electrolytes to dull the ache, knowing it won’t.  “A” and “H” are up, I’m supposed to go with them to the post office this morning.  I apologize in advance, I think.  My memory is fuzzy.

Back on the bed, I experiment with a cold washcloth over my eyes and forehead, but the pressure is too great.  I drop it on the floor.  I’ve opened the window, needing fresh air and oxygen.  The road noise outside doesn’t bother me, only the northern sunlight.  I try to fashion a tent with a spare blanket, but give up on the attempt.  It’s too much work.

My head is a crater. I’ve never experienced migraine auras, but red and white blobs move across my eyelids like a twisted lava lamp.  I pretend to breathe in through the bottom of my lungs, steering the air from my upper sinuses, where it might bump into my brain and send off a firestorm of lightning.  Each breath is exactly the same, no deviation.  To move my head at all sends a new knife through my skull.  I worry about brain tumors.

My body is perfectly still.  I worry about bedsores.  I’ll be trapped in this position for weeks.  I wait for the Excedrin to kick in.  It’s never failed before.

I breathe some more, using a trick that’s come in handy with occasional insomnia.  Pull good energy from the air and earth, circulate it through my body to pick up the toxins, then exhale.  Usually, I breathe though the top of my head, but today, it would be suicide, so I breathe through my feet, as far away from ground zero as possible.  The good air stretches to brush against the pain in my head.  I feel it start work, slowly,  like millennium of sandstorms covering the Sphinx in a picture I once saw.

My stomach growls.  Hunger or the pills dissolving?  Not hunger, I decide, not wanting to get up yet again.

I move my hand to my chest, and nothing hurts.  I don’t sleep, it’s always easier if I can sleep and wake up without pain, but it’s not in the cards today.  After awhile, I turn my head five degrees, a brave endeavor.  I feel like I’ve run a marathon.  The continual stabbing has stopped and morphed to an ache I think I can contain.  I build a wall around it, a two-centimeter barricade starting at the corner of my right eyebrow.  I wait awhile to see if the enemy breaches it, but it holds.

I turn to my other side without preplanning the move.  Other parts of my body take precedence over my forehead.  I scratch an itch on my arm.  My stomach rumbles again.  I start to notice the noise from outside.  The alarm clock, always twenty minutes fast, reads 11:50.  I decide the worst is over.

In the bathroom again, and I feel brave enough to take a shower.  I find the sweet spot where the shower spray hits the base of my skull, and I try to wash without moving from it.

Excedrin is my new BFF.  What company owns it? I have money in with Scottrade that should be used.

I dress and emerge into the living room.  It’s almost noon.  The pain is at DEFCON 5, lowest state of readiness.  I’m ready to face the day.

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