Even Paradise Occasionally Sucks

No place is perfect. Not even Kauai. For me, the imperfection of this island is wrapped up in the tiny, biting insects that leave huge, itchy welts. Mosquitoes. Gnats, aka noseeums, because they bite even when you no see ‘um. It’s said that 1 in 5 people are particularly susceptible to insect bites. I am one.

It’s not bad all the time. Nor are they present everywhere. Fortunately they’re not fond of the ocean. I am, so that’s my safe place. Sometimes they sneak inside the house. The other night, I lay in bed, lights out, reading my Kindle. when a tiny gnat landed smack-middle of a word on my lit Kindle screen. I smacked the screen, but all I accomplished was turning a page. Either way, the message was clear. There is no perfection, not even in Paradise.

As a child, I was frequently bit by mosquitoes at the Jersey shore, but once I moved to California, my days of itchy welts were gone. California is fairly dry and I’ve never run into a mosquito there. I now must learn ways to avoid the tiny biters. Some day we may co-exist in peace.

Working out of the home as an independent contractor has its pitfalls too. For the first couple of weeks, I had so much work I thought I’d have to turn some of it down. The following week it dried up to nearly nothing.

I decided to use the spare time to establish myself as a resident. I got my car registered at the DMV and found the perfect place to live, or so I thought. I mentally arranged my furniture inside. I imagined the lavender plants I’d buy for the yard. I thought about the meals I’d prepare on its spacious kitchen counters. As it turned out, someone else will chop vegetables in that kitchen. The hunt continues.

Living in Hawaii is pretty much like living anywhere in many ways. You still have to deal with all the mundane annoyances of keeping your life together. The only difference is the scenery and the peaceful, relaxed vibe, which are very nice differences. And the birds and chickens and roosters, oh my!

Anyone who’s been to Kauai knows that chickens and roosters pretty much run the island. It’s not unusual to go to the grocery store and run into gangs of them hanging out in the parking lot. They sneak up in your backyard. Sometimes they’re at the beach.

Of course, my son took this next rooster photograph. He’s a much better photographer than I am.

There’s not a day that goes by that you don’t see or hear these beautiful creatures along with lots of snowy egrets and red-crested cardinals. Those are just what I see on casual walks. Maybe this is commonplace for people who live in rural areas, but to this city girl, the birds and chickens add color to my imperfect life. I’ve had some setbacks and disappointments, but that’s life, even in paradise.


  1. This such a huge change! But amazing. Big hugs.

  2. Linda Mails says:

    This is a huge transition for you, Eileen. One day, at time. Earth is a strange place.


  3. Thanks, Mark. I’ve already ordered a natural insecticide with lemon eucalyptus. We’ll see how it works. And you say you feel my pain, but do you feel my itch? For that is the true test of friendship.

  4. Not only do I feel your itch; I also itch your feel. So there. In any case, if the insecticide doesn’t work, consider wearing a fashionable burka: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/burka-fashion/?lp=true

  5. Carol M Snow says:

    Your reaction to the bugs is allergic. Ask your doctor about Allegra or Zyrtec — it will make a world of difference. My California kids freak out every summer when we visit family on Cape Cod. BUGS!!!!! My son does not react well to the bites, but antihistamines help.

  6. A long time ago I realized that, for most of us, you wake up, go to work and go home. So why not live someplace wonderful! And no, no place is perfect. For many years, I loved Reno/Tahoe. Outdoor heaven! But now things have changed, and so have my needs. I am leaving this paradise behind. But I’ll find another with its own quirks.

    And working from my computer as well, I have to balance an over abundance of work with planning and down time. Not easy, but I’m grateful. Looking forward to seeing you in Hawaii as CancerRoadTrip gets going!

    • Pat, it’s true that no one place is paradise, and today’s paradise may not be what works tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you when you’re here on your #CancerRoadTrip!

  7. Sooo glad to hear of imperfections! Otherwise how would I justify not following you there? Be happy, be well. Love.

  8. Robin Friedman says:

    Love your perspective, Eileen! Keep posting! And I never asked, what brought your son to Kauai? What kind of work does he do?

  9. Coming from California like you, we had to get used to the no-see-ums, chiggers, and mosquitoes the size of hummingbirds here in Texas. (That last one is a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much.) We go through cans of OFF! insect repellent every year. and tubes of hydrocortisone anti-itch cream have become my closest friends. I’ve found that I’m a little less sensitive to the bites now than I was when we first moved. Only took twenty years, so you have that to look forward to! But, yeah, Hawaii is still a paradise, bugs and all. 🙂

  10. Oh I sympathise with you so much. The mozzies love to feast on me too and I suffered badly from those bites when I lived in Australia which is on the same latitude as Hawaii. If I sat outside I had to cover myself in insect repellent and swathe myself in a mosquito net. The antihistamines are a good suggestion too. Let us know how you get on with it.

  11. nancyspoint says:

    Hi Eileen,
    It sounds like you are getting lots done and settling right in. Good for you! This time of year, we have lots of insects where I live, too, and I have always been prone to reacting to bites, just like you are. Something else we have in common! ha. I have a big welt on my arm at this very moment…Right now it’s ticks and gnats. So far, it’s been too chilly for mosquitoes, but it’s only a matter of days. Actually one thing I do like about living in the Midwest is that the winters kill off a lot of pests. Still, living in Kaui sounds amazing and I must admit, I’m a bit envious. Of course, there is no perfect place, but you might have come close. Looking forward to your next installment about your new life. xo

    • Nancy, sometimes I’m so wrapped up in adjusting and establishing myself that forget that a wonderful thing happened to me, despite the pesky insects. To be continued! xo

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