From Dog Pee to Avocado Blossoms: Odiferous Tales of Rainy East Hawaii

Happy New Year, everyone! I can still say that in the first week of January, right? It is so fricking beautiful now, sunny and breezy and the perfect temperature. Check out the anole sunning himself among the avocado tree blossoms. And boy, do they smell good.

All in all, it’s the kind of day that would make you step off the plane from Iowa and exclaim, Wow, this really IS Hawaii! At this precise moment, anyway, so hurry and step off that plane because there’s a cloud bank on the horizon. 😉

Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly grateful. We’ve had a nice week, with some sun during the day and most rain in the evening or at night.

But it’s not always like this.

Behold the dawning of 2022, sunny with promise.

What is it they say, it’s the hope that kills you?

Note the indoor humidity reading: 93%!

That’s after 11 a.m. How was it not raining inside??

Dramatic? Perhaps. But let me give you an inkling of the previous 365 days…

We received over 210 inches of rain in 2021.

(Except received makes it sound like a gift.)

That’s according to the rain gauge in our yard, which is probably an underestimate thanks to some encroaching trees and a couple of weeks off island visiting family. We’ve been tracking our rainfall for five years now, and 2021 was the wettest year since the super swampy 2018. But that year’s 226 inches included nearly 44 inches of rain in four days in August à la Hurricane Lane.

So, yeah, 210 inches is a lot with no tropical storms to blame. In fact, the forecast “catastrophic rain event” that hit the day after we returned from the mainland only gave us half an inch more than the final three days of 2021, otherwise known as Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. 😂

That event and the ensuing December did provide the perfect opportunity for our poor old dog Fred to pee on the living room rug at 2 a.m. and ensure it wouldn’t dry for weeks. (The rug is now back in the house; I’m not sure if hosing it down worked, or we’re just incapable of smelling the odor anymore.)

Here are a few other rainy days snippets you can hold close to your cold heart when you’re adding another layer of clothing this winter.

Semi-slugs took up residence in our shower slippers outside and even began traversing the house again. I’m not sure how they always manage to get inside, but you can see one hanging from our ceiling by his snot string in my 2019 post, Why I Didn’t Wake When Feral Pigs Ate Our Trash.

I know everything rusts here, so I’m not sure why I was so surprised, but a metal picture frame rusted before I could hang it on the wall. (And yes, I’ll probably still hang it.)

Speaking of rust and hanging things, a month or so ago, the Hubs painted our rusty refrigerator. On New Year’s Day, I decided the appliance was as close as it would ever get to dry and stuck a sheet of adhesive chalkboard on the side for grocery lists. Wonder of all wonders, it actually stayed stuck! No small feat in our humidity. But…

You knew there was a but.

Having written on the board not an hour before, I assumed the Hubs had rubbed against it. You know, throwing away trash or… staring at geckos on the wall? I don’t know—what would you have thought? 🤪

Then I touched the center of the chalk paper.

It was dripping wet with condensation.

The list on the side closest to the back had gotten enough heat from the coils to mostly survive, but the one near the door WAS DISSOLVING. Mwah-ha-hah!

(The fridge made a very bumpy writing surface, so I’m not crying too hard over that one.)

How about this text exchange with my husband at his office (emojis included):

Hubs: All the instant oatmeal went moldy. 🤢

Me: [Thinking he meant a packet I’d thrown at him on his rush out the door that morning] 😱 That was an old one—we’ll have to cross our fingers on the unopened box.

Hubs: I also had moldy packets here [at work].

In case it wasn’t clear, the oatmeal inside the unopened packets had molded.

And yet, I remain somewhat hopeful.

Our unpaved street is a disaster after all the rain (the intersecting paved one is, too). I thought my poor tires looked low last week after the pummeling they’ve taken—yep, down to 22 pounds.

But today I drove around a bull dozer thingy—the road association is scraping and filling! And tomorrow… tomorrow hopefully it won’t dump rain and wash it all away again.

This epitomizes my cautiously optimistic approach to 2022. Happy New Year, everyone? 😊