Falling Into My Lap

All weekend, Hansel reminds his dad about what will have to happen in order to actually get a puppy.  “If one falls into our lap, that’s what you said.  If it just falls right into our lap.”


Hansel’s father is a fair man.  Their last dog, when they still lived next door to us, was a wild thing that got cancer at age 3 and had to be euthanized, so he is justifiably wary and put the issue — his three children’s deep and constant yearning for a puppy — into the realm of the Almighty.  “If one falls into our lap,” he had indeed told Hansel all autumn, and now it is January, and the Almighty has spoken.


*   *   *

All week the Bearded One and I revel in the decision to move to Hawaii.  We take stock and clean out, things we might have done anyway after the New Year we tell ourselves, as if we haven’t really decided.

Never mind that we’ve talked to a realtor neighbor and have considered whether to include the goats to make it an already-stocked-farmlet, or to advertise the goats on Craigslist just like the ad we responded to two years ago.  Arly sniffs through the piles of files, boxes of art supplies, and bags of clothes, absorbing all the stories.  He shreds the Bearded One’s flop.


“Are there Flop Trees in Hawaii?” the Bearded One asks me on Sunday night, and I laugh.

I’m on the couch and cuddling Arly’s solid little chesty 21-pound body, kissing his velvet ears.  He licks the lotion from my neck.

Deeses with Arly 004

Hawaii has a pet quarantine law of up to 120 days, which is four months, which is how long Arly has been alive on the planet.  Too long for a pup, so if we are really moving, finding a new home for him sooner rather than later seems the way to go.  Better for him.


Garfield is seven, but since our idea is to rough it in Hawaii for a few months and explore, we need to re-home him as well.  On Friday I emailed Hansel, Gretel and Batman’s mom asking if they would like to adopt Arly.  And now, on Sunday, they’ve accepted.  This is our last night together, and I’m enjoying the best part of having raised this sweet puppy for two months.

*   *   *

Hansel, Gretel and Batman pile out of their car.


Arly races to meet them.  Hansel crouches to pet the wiggling puppy.  Gretel presents me with a gift, a drawing of a chicken —

Hailey's chickens 003

— which matches the button she gave me the last time they were here, and which I’m wearing at this moment.  Gretel notices and smiles, showing her emerging two front teeth.  Batman clings to his mom, since Arly scratched him on the chin last time.

We all go inside to talk and get Arly’s luggage.  His favorite pillow, his bag of food and treats, bowl, leash, basket with shampoo and nail clippers, and a couple of our favorite dog picture books…Good Dog, Carl and Hideaway Puppy.

There are boxes everywhere, including one with oodles of office supplies — paints and markers and construction paper and tablets — and I offer the whole pile to the kids.  Seven-year-old Gretel beams.  “I always wanted a clipboard!” she says.  There are two clipboards, and Batman seizes the other one.


Batman, too, has had a dream come true.  He smiles and says that Arly, who perches on Hansel’s lap on the couch, is better than last time.  Calmer.

Deeses with Arly 006

Hansel is in charge of Arly, and he takes him out on the road on the leash while we load all the puppy and art supplies into the car.  Then we help buckle Batman into his car seat.  Gretel climbs into the middle of the backseat and immediately continues work on a new chicken series on her clipboard.

Finally Hansel walks back into the driveway and offers Arly up for us to say good-bye.  I’m so happy for Arly — he’s been rather bored this week since Roger left — that I can hardly be sad.  I’m full to overflowing.  This is a giant step into the rip current taking us to Hawaii.


All of the theoretical obstacles to a big move are falling like dominoes. The Bearded One grins, and pulls me to him.

Hansel gets into the car next to Gretel, his long legs cramped, his smile lighting up the world as he pulls Arly into his lap and says, “YESSSSS!”

28 responses to “Falling Into My Lap

  1. Ohmygosh it’s really happening!!! So excited for you. And Arly. YESSSSS!

  2. Ahhhhhh…….. bitter-sweet! I too have re-homed pets in order to travel – I know that moment well! I also know the moments of synchronicity and serendipity that occur when we make a right decision. I once described a big change in my life as being like Moses at the Red Sea – the waters simply parted and I moved gracefully through……… I’ve also had the opposite experience and have come to see I need to pay attention to the overall ‘feel’ and response to my intention for it is an indicator of the eventual outcome….

    Those children look really healthy – well loved and natural. That makes me happy! Lucky Arly!

    So dear Christi and BO – it is really happening! Your lives will swing between Hawaii and Alaska – which seems like the best of both worlds perhaps – one of verdant mountains and white beaches and the other of white snow and frozen tundra ……

    I’m so glad you took the time to write this post. xoxo

    • Ooo, I love that Moses image, Pauline. Some drops might fall on us, but it’s magical the way things are working. We both “feel” the overall, from our own hearts and others, and the outcome looks bright. We’ll have to wear sunglasses. Thank you for your kindness, and your powerful painting. xxoo

  3. Wow, when spirit moves you know it!!! I am so excited to see you two so happy!!! And those kids and what you did for them, that is truly LOVE with a capital LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLove! Loving you…

    • Thank you, Suzanne. The truth is that I would have given Arly to the kids even if we weren’t moving to Hawaii, knowing the goodness of the ending. I swear, it’s like we got Arly for THEM. Go figure. 🙂 Love you.

  4. I too know that moment when the red sea parts and you are propelled into a new stream of consciousness and it looks like Hawaii is beckoning with lots of lei’s and sunshine and just imagine the amazing garden you will have there! You are going to have to change the name of your blog though 😉 “Aloha Farmlet!” ;). Fingers crossed you find a wonderful home for Garfield. LOVE that image of you two floating in the balmy tides down to Hawaii…Farmlet flotsam on the tide along with the coconuts. At least you will have something to eat on the trip 😉

    • I love your words, Fran. Farmlet flotsam! That should be the name of the transition blog! Shipping to Hawaii is expensive, so we are potlatching everything to family and friends. It’s like choosing what to take to a deserted island, lol! Which one book? ALL the journals? Molly is taking the family photo albums, bless her. She is the most situated…and Annie and Austin will have easier access to them in Seattle. It’s amazing how many times requests for old pictures come up…

      That drawing of us out in the Pacific cracks me up, too. I will continue the blog, it’s so life-giving to me now, and family and friends like it. And the blog name should change, too…Aloha Farmlet…hm. It’s definitely on the list. Thanks for your good wishes and love…Serenditipity Farm looks great with the new paint! http://theroadtoserendipity.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/hot-hot-hot-down-in-sizzling-sidmouth/ Love and hugs!

      • It must be incredibly exciting to just slough off your old life and start all over again. A bit like Steve and I did when we moved here 7 years ago. Looks like 7 year cycles are magic 🙂

  5. Are you going to keep us informed of your exploits once you’re in Hawaii? You have fans you know.

  6. Wow! Just wow! So happy for you guys! How awesome! I’m so glad you made the kids’ dream for a puppy come true at the same time. Thanks for including us in your process!

    • Thank you, Susan! I can feel your excitement 🙂 and it feeds my own. Maybe you are part of my process. Love to you in Texas.

      • Aw, thank you! All the beautiful weather and living amongst gorgeous scenery in Hawaii will be another beautiful muse to you! It will be wonderful. Sending love back from Texas!

  7. You know, I had thought of the quarantine and had forgotten to mention it. Those children look mighty happy! Good for you, moving forward!

    • Thank you, Lisa. Your email about the sacredness of Hawaii and its wonderful culture still warms my heart. I’m researching. I’ve never read Michener’s Hawaii. Do you have an opinion about it? Recommendations? Hugs.

      • My personal favorite is Six Months in the Sandwich Islands, by intrepid Victorian era traveller Isabella Bird. Haven’t read Michener. Michael Dogherty’s To Steal a Kingdom is important, and more recently I enjoyed Sarah Vowell’s Unfamiliar Fishes.

      • Ooooo, this is great, Lisa! Thank you very much.

  8. Oh I would love to adopt Garfield from you. So glad Arly is going to be loved and grow up in a family 😀 I see you both with a ukulele each making beautiful music somewhere. Enjoy your journey xoxox

    • Thank you, Cathy. I still snuggle each night with my sweet Garfield and wonder what lap he will fall into. You would be purrrrfect, of course, except for that hemisphere thing. Hugs to you!

  9. Christine Widman

    I read Michener’s Hawaii when I lived on Oahu in 1966/1967. I also was an au pair for a descendent of the missionaries to Hawaii. She lived across the street from Punahou…the high school President Obama attended.
    I liked reading Hawaii.
    I remember one dynamite line – something like… “It was a time when the gods began to change.”
    Obviously, this applies to you and the Bearded One.
    Thunderbolting out of the sky…”Move to the Big Island!” Who knows why?

    In the process you offered the god gift of Arley. And who knows…Gretel may become an artist from your gift of boxes of art supplies.
    Gifts fall into our lap.
    The thundering and the whispering gods speak.
    All we have to do is listen.
    Much much love,

    • I just ordered Michener’s Hawaii — it wasn’t in our public library! or at Goodwill or the other thrift store I go to. I also ordered a used copy of Isabelle Bird’s Six Months in the Sandwich Islands. It’s out-of-print except in Kindle (and my Kindle broke after 1 year)…so very soon I’m set with reading. When I went to Italy in 1990 I read The Agony and the Ecstacy and it made the whole experience so much more rich and meaningful. Your whispering god allusions inspire me! Love you, too.

  10. Well, Christi, I wish I could have visited you at the Farmlet, but you never know; you will be halfway to Australia and New Zealand . . . you may become the halfway stopover for blogging friends 😉

    I’m excited for you both; beginning such a grand new stage on the journey. How nice for Arly to have found the perfect home; I expect Garfield’s will manifest, too.

    You remind me of George Harrison and All Things Must Pass. A good thing to think on . . .

    Thanks for keeping on with the blog. I have always looked forward to reading your posts and laughing with the BO’s illustrations. Now there will be a different flavour, but same spirit, I’m sure.

    Big hugs to you. ~ Linne

  11. Wow, I also can’t believe that it’s actually going to happen–and that you’re heading to Hawaii.

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