This week, Matt was able to take some much-needed leave from work. He had gone straight from one super busy job to another, and I think part of my overwhelmed feelings upon arrival here were due to the fact that besides having sick kids the first week, I was running around trying to do all the little errands that come with moving in. Plus, having Matt around to explore this new place we're calling home... Well, it's been much better.
But, we're still looking for a house, and base housing is still saying, "How does waiting forever sound?" (Me: "So tempting. NOT!")
And the thing that's killing me is that you might be sitting there, thinking, But you're in Hawaii... whiner. Until you have experienced having six people in one tiny hotel space, while on Mission: Impossible a.k.a. finding a house that will fit/ allow four kids and two dogs, I beg you not to judge. We have been able to incrementally extend our stay at the Navy Lodge, (thank You, Lord!) but the prospect of living in our cars once we can't extend here, or staying in an expensive hotel, or taking one of the not-so-nice places that are available as temp rentals is as (read: un-)appealing in Hawaii as it would be anywhere else. Believe me.
I can only describe house-hunting here as some crazy mix of HGTV's House Hunters, The Bachelor/ette, American Idol, and a little bit of Hunger Games thrown in. It goes like this: I wake up, scan the listings, first checking for "pets ok" then moving on to other issues like number of bedrooms or square footage or price, then I call. Nine out of ten times (and it has definitely been that many times, a few times over), voicemail answers. I leave my name and number, trying to sound positive, peppy, and upbeat, but not desperate. Because Jayna said yesterday I'm starting to sound desperate. But it's just because I really liked the looks of the place.
I try to decide how many times I should call this number/ e-mail this individual. I eat and feed the kids. I check the ads again. If anything has popped up, I repeat the steps listed above. By this time, I have at least had my cup of tea, so peppiness isn't so challenging. I work out. Repeat. Do homeschool. Repeat. Go out to scope a neighborhood. Repeat. Meanwhile... waiting for those people to call me back. All. Day. Long. And I would say only three out of four do. Then half of those seem to have some reason not to want to rent to us (already rented, don't want to rent to someone with a 50-lb dog, don't want to rent to someone with that many kids -- yeah, seriously, it happened).
So if you're doing the math, this results in a very small number of houses we can actually see. To date, we have viewed the inside of four. In three weeks. Three of those, we realized upon viewing, would not work for us (i.e., no yard, weird fake grass in the "lawn", too short of a lease, etc.). One of those was so awful, I'm still literally shuddering at the thought. And I'm pretty pragmatic about this whole thing -- I mean, if I actually get to see the inside of a place, I try to figure out how we could make it work. It was only when we were back out of it that I realized there is no -- no, absoutely not ever! -- NO WAY I would rent that place. I think the only way the girl who is renting it can get away with asking what she is for it ($3300!!!) is that she lives in a nice town.
So when Jayna told me I was starting to sound desperate, well, I asked her to take over for me. I feel like God has given me this experience so I can understand how my friends who were older when they got married or may not be married yet (in their mid- to late-thirties) feel about dating. Because I keep hearing myself say things like, "Why aren't they calling back yet? When will they call? Do you think I should call them again? What if they lost my number? Maybe I should just text them. Do you really think I sounded desperate? Did they not like me? Why wouldn't they like me?"
Okay, okay, God, I get it! Dating sucks!!! Thank You for giving me my husband at such a young age!!!
One woman I called actually answered her phone and said I could come see the house that day around four! Fine, I said, I'd do it! At 2:30, she called to say that something had come up and she couldn't show it that day, would the next day work? I said fine again, even though this would take a bit of shuffling (which I didn't mention). She called me at 7 a.m, people, to say that she had already rented the place! Say wha-a-a...? And this wasn't even one of the nice places! I'm telling you, house-hunting here is cutthroat.
Matt keeps telling me not to worry, something will work-out. But here's the thing. My "job" right now could be described as a "homemaker." I'm trying to make a home for my family, a place where they can all feel safe and happy, where they know they belong, even if we're strangers here. And I guess I feel like until we have that, I'm kind of failing at my job. It's hard. Yes, even in Hawaii.
Anyway, after doing that all last week, and seeing the awful house yesterday afternoon... we headed for the beach for a bit of therapy. I waded through the waves for a little while, shaking my head to the older kids and Matt when they said I should try boogie-boarding. But then my hair got wet anyway, and the water was so warm and tempting, so I figured, Why not?
|me, prior to getting 50 gallons of saltwater up my nose|
It was so much fun.
And then we got some pizza from Boston's Pizza in Aiea which is super yummy and reasonably priced. We took it to this quiet spot and ate together. It was great.