View From The Ridge

View From The Ridge

Thursday, March 9, 2017


 A Travel Odyssey:  Part 1

Our adventure starts out at 4 a.m. for Jeri's first pill of the day.  We stay up because Tom and Judy have graciously volunteered to take us to the LAX airport for our flight to Kona Hawaii.  We have to be there at 8 a.m. for a 10 a.m. flight.  They meet us at 5:45 and we are on our way.  Traffic is heavy but no accidents to slow us down.  We arrive at 8 a.m.

Baggage check-in is a nightmare.  American Airlines has all these stations where you can print off your boarding past and baggage tags.  So I pick one where I see this happening and all I get is boarding passes.  It doesn't give me a choice for tags and I already have my boarding pass, why do I need more?  I go through the routine twice on another monitor and now have three boarding passes for each of us.  Finding help is like finding hens teeth but finally someone shows up and tells me that my ticket, booked through Alaska Airlines shows two free bags but AA doesn't  honor that, thank you very much, and you will have to check the luggage at the counter.  Isn't that special. 

The man at the counter tells me I owe them $50. I point out that I booked this flight through Alaska and I have no idea why I am on American airlines. He has no idea, so I forgo the $50 and get all the baggage checked. Turns out Alaska doesn't fly from LA to Kona so Alaska contracts with American and Delta for their flights to Hawaii.

I go back to where Jeri is and she is frantically going through her purse and carry-on looking for her drivers license and credit cards. I start going through everything and we can't find them. I am now beginning to think we are going to have a difficult time going through security.  The lady pushing Jeri's wheelchair suggest that we go to security and see what they can do.  We explain to the officer of homeland security what our situation is, that her credit cards and ID are packed in our checked luggage. Then he asked for a credit card or something with her name on it. In her purse we find a JC Penney card that he says might work, but - there is always a but - he will have to call his supervisor.  20 minutes later this very nice homeland security supervisor shows up and gently talks with Jeri about her card, where she was going, what kind of things she be doing, where she was from, etc etc. Then he says that everything is good, enjoy your trip.  WHEW!!

The flight to Kona was uneventful except for some turbulence leaving LAX and some coming into Kona.  Our friend picked us up at the airport, ate a sub sandwich for dinner and in bed by 8:30, 10:30 pacific. A long day but we made it.

At 1 a.m. I get up to give Jeri a pill and I happen to look in the mirror to see my left eye starting to swell.  By 7 it is showing signs of infection.  My neighbor Ken takes us to Dick's - my brother-in-law - place as he has offered to let us use his car while we are in Hawaii.  Turns out the battery is dead and there is no charger. 

Some friends of ours just happen to live across the street so I go over there to borrow a charger.  They don't have one either.  Seriously, no one owns a battery charger any more?

Fortunately Ken had a set of jumper cables and we pushed the car out of the garage.  Took a while for enough juice to charge the battery but we got it to where it would run and then took off for the Waimea hospital.  There they did blood test and a CT scan, put me on 2 kinds of antibiotics, gave me prescriptions for three oral antibiotics and sent me on my way.

Went back to the car and even after driving for 30 minuets and leaving it running for another hour, the battery was dead.  So I called Mercedes Benz roadside assistance and they said they would start working on it.  I then get a text asking for an address and that someone would be calling giving an estimated time of arrival momentarily.  30 minutes later I texted back "I don't know what your definition of momentarily is but 30 minutes is not mine".   15 minutes later I get a call saying he would be arriving in -- 45 minutes.  I am not going to wait another 45 minutes so I start working on plan B.  Two young guys walking by offer to give us a jump, and then I drive a block to a tire shop and buy another battery.  I call twice to cancel the road service.

We go to Costco for pizza and to pick up prescriptions for the antibiotics.  They fill two of the three, but the third one they are out of and it will be ready after 2 tomorrow.  We go to target to pick up some snacks and food, then home.  So ends the first two days.  Can't wait to see what comes next.

Mikey Q


The last time I wrote was about our trip to Southern California to visit Jeri’s 100 year old Mother. Most of you probably assumed that we returned to Portland. Not happening! I had one way tickets from L.A. to Kona leaving on the 27th. The reason for one way tickets was I was not sure when we would leave Hawaii, since we could stay in our house that was in escrow until it closed and the new owners took possession.

We are now into Wednesday and the statement that I made on the above story comes full circle. What came next was a call from the escrow office wanting us to come in and sign the closing papers. I asked when will escrow close, She replied the first part of next week. Whoa Nellie, that’s not gonna fly!! I was told that we would close around the 20th, not the 10th or 12th. We just got here, not going back in less than a week! I call Tanya, our realtor, and she says that is not going to work. She calls escrow and tells them it can’t close before the 17th period. The appraisal hasn’t come back, therefore the loan has not been approved or even sent to underwriting. She calls me back and says our appointment for the next day is cancelled, relax, you have a place to stay until the 16th. 

Speaking of appraisals, the appraiser came by today and wanted to take pictures of our smoke detectors which was requested by the lending bank. The appraiser said that was a first for her as no one had ever requested pictures. 

She then took a call from our realtor and they discussed the unpermitted structures on our place. One of the nuances of Hawaii construction is, if you apply for a permit they will come out and inspect and tell you if the structure meets the building, electrical or plumbing requirements. New home construction is pretty much permitted, but add ons, out buildings and expansions are seldom under permit. The owners just build what they want and go merrily on their way. When we bought this place we were informed of what was unpermitted, the bank didn’t care, nor did we. It is difficult to find houses over here that don’t have something that is unpermitted. We have a carport that has been enclosed to form a two-car garage, a master bedroom that was almost doubled in size, a lania and over hanging cover, and a car port, all without permit, all built by the former owner except for the car port. Seems that the lending bank has raised some questions which of course concerns yours truly.

The termite inspector was also out today and the house it’s self is termite free, but it seems some of the furniture is infested. Didn’t say what furniture, that will be in the report, but if we were moving and taking the furniture, no problem, but since the furniture is staying, he wasn’t sure how that was going to be handled. Great!!

So we are back in limbo not knowing if any of this will kibosh the sale or if it is just a bump in the road or what. 

Meanwhile, when stressed I go and play golf, or something resembling golf. I had visited the driving range twice and the first outing looked like I was playing golf for the very first time. Ugly with a capital U. Not sure it was pretty enough for ugly. Second time was better but not by much. Called a couple of friends and made a tee time for last Tuesday to play. I planned on playing 9 holes and see where I was physically and go from there. Turns out I felt great but my score looked like a bowling score. I ended up playing a full 18 and felt good at the end, except for my hip joints which were in great pain. Shot a 60(holy catfish!!) on the front nine and a 53 on the back. Lost 10 balls, maybe more, lost count but by the back nine I was definitely hitting the ball better, but was directionally challenged.  

Not sure what challenges will come up in the last week we are here but I am glad we are over here dealing with it and not long distance from Portland. The weather here has been overcast in the afternoons, some rain, cooler than normal, - the natives are complaining – but still about 30 degrees or more warmer than Portland. I feel better now than I have since before we moved to the mainland and Portland. The gray days, rain and/or snow and ice, the cold was depressing. A foot of snow and 13 degree temperatures will do that. Hawaii has been a nice break, seeing all our friends has been very good for my morale. While I miss all of this terribly, I know without a doubt that God has good plans for Jeri and I and we look forward to what that will look like. He had brought us here for a purpose and I treasure the years we lived here, and now He has moved us to where He needs us to serve in the future. To God be all the praise and glory, Amen.

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