Getting All Our Ducks In A Row

It’s our last day in Seattle, 45 degrees and cloudy, and a duck sits on top of the high school across the street.


I can see him clearly against the milky white sky, which is growing steadily brighter as the sun climbs and students parade into the huge building with their bulky backpacks.


I’ve got my own bulky backpack with my new laptop, camera, mouse and headphones, which will be my carry-on for our 13 hour travel day to Hilo, Hawaii tomorrow. The Bearded One will carry on a pillow and my purse. We’ll check our suitcases, which we are living out of for at least another month, probably more. Until we find a house.


“He’s looking for his partner,” says my brother-in-law, who along with my sister, is heading off to work.

I laugh, but don’t take my eyes off Mr. Duck. I can see his bright turquoise neck now. “Where is she?” I say.

“They migrate thousands of miles,” he says.

Only to lose each other in the city, I think.


We left the First Farmlet on Saturday, March 22, spent a week in Texas with the Bearded One’s folks and their six new baby goats, then a week in Seattle taking care of our daughter’s dog Roger while she and her husband were out of town. These last two days we’re with my sister, and tomorrow we fly.

Our truck is already there. It must have caught a fast wave because it got to Hilo on April 2, nine days ahead of schedule.


Otherwise we’d have left earlier. Heck, we’d be there. Our sweet son-in-law, the Captain, is saving our butts by taking care of shipping the 4 foot cube containing all our worldly goods once we land.


Yesterday we went on a walk through a wetland restoration project here in my sister’s north Seattle neighborhood. We saw trout, and cormorants and ducks and geese. Two ducks waddled into my sister’s front yard when we got back.

“I wonder if they are brothers?” I said, and then looked at her. “I sound like Mom.”

She laughed. We are family. The nurturing, nesting duck is my sister’s totem animal and they flock to her.

Now the Bearded One comes upstairs and sits on the couch in a sun ray. “How ah ya?,” he says, practicing his Hawaiian with a Texas accent. Hawaiian has only 12 letters – 5 vowels and 7 consonants. “Helloha,” I joke back.

We’ve both been trying to learn Hawaiian words. I want to learn to say and embody the state motto of Hawaii, which the new owner of the First Farmlet (who left Hawaii to come here) wrote to us in an email. He had spent his first night on the farmlet, had bonded with Leah the alpha hen


and was exploring the land. He wrote:

“I hope that I can continue what you two started and obviously loved so much. I am reminded of the state motto of Hawaii which is “Ua mau ke ea o ka aina I ka pono” which translates to ‘the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness’ and promise you both that I will be the best steward of this land that I can be (and) in fulfilling my own dreams here do that which is “pono” according to what you have begun.”

I look back at the high school, and see that Mrs. Duck has joined Mr. Duck. As I watch, he sails down off the roof and across the street, heading southwest. Straight toward Hawaii. We’ll be following him tomorrow. Maybe we’ll see him on the way.



24 responses to “Getting All Our Ducks In A Row

  1. My very best wishes to you, Christi! I’ll be looking for news of your adventures in Hawaii! XO

  2. Why do I have tears in my eyes? I found it heart-breaking to read this post. The finality of it all – the goodbyes before the alohas, The lonely duck who waits, the lonely truck, arriving before schedule and now waiting too. The thought of living out of suitcases for at least a month………… The beautiful letter from the new resident of the First Farmlet who will now carry on your dream with all the hope and promise of his new adventure. But why, I wonder did he return from Hawaii to Olalla. I worry something may be amiss with Hawaii after all…………. I am filled with the fear that accompanies the ‘no-turning-back’ point. And as I write this I remember – oh yes, the goodbyes, the finality, the ‘little death’ of leaving. That fear is why so many stay and do not embrace the new adventure. Now I can feel the hope and the joy and the excitement. Ride the wave Christi and BO and land with excitement and joy and embrace this new adventure with all your hearts and arms wide open. It will be truly wonderful and I can’t wait to read all about the life of the Second Farmlet! 🙂 xoxo

    • My sister is a grief counselor with hospice, Pauline, and I just read your beautiful comment out loud to her. We both appreciated your beautiful word choice, “the little death of leaving.” I’m trying to get her to move to Hawaii, too. 🙂 A sweet moment between us, thanks to you. xxoo

  3. May our trip have been wonderful and the landing in your new home state t thrilling. Ah, to balmy air!

  4. I find it heartening that aloha means hello and goodbye. Goodbye to Olalla, hello to Hilo. And I am anxious to read how it all goes. Best of luck and safe travels, Christi and BO!! xoxOB

  5. Ducks are supposed to represent spiritual freedom. I guess those ducks were just sending you a little signal that it is time to leave, time to go. I am UBER excited for you and at the same time the mouse in me is a bit like Pauline and I wonder how you could leave your home, your pets, your furniture, your “life” behind and be so very brave to start it all over again. I guess it is easier when there is someone right there beside you who is invested in the same dream and I love how you both threw caution to the wind and just “went” :). Hugs from not so sunny Sidmouth and can’t wait to see what you guys are going to do with all of those coconuts! 🙂

    • Oh, Fran, I couldn’t believe it when I saw that duck this morning! He made my first blog-on-the-road a reality. And you are right about having the BO as my “home” as we live a dream together. It is scary sometimes, usually at the end of the day when I’m tired. In the morning, though, all is possible. 🙂 Hugs back to you and Steve and the boys. xxoo

      • I hope your flight goes smoothly and that you arrive rested and ready for your new and most wonderful life 🙂 LOVE that duck 🙂

  6. Oh, I wish I would be there to greet you tomorrow, but we’ll meet soon enough for our Sunday Maku‘u Market adventure. BTW, the correct casual greeting is “Howzit.” And you might find this amusing:
    Until Sunday!!!!!

  7. Smooth flight to you both!!

  8. Good luck BO and Christi 🙂 . Life’s too short. Embrace the new and never forget the lessons of the old. There’ll be plenty of lucky ducks where your headed as well! Looking forward to stick figure hula girls and swarthy warrior type drawings to come. Xox

  9. Oh, what a beautiful post! I’m so inspired by your courage! I used to be courageous like that when I was younger, that’s how I ended up in Texas from Miami. Maybe as I age that old courage and sense of adventure will come back! I hope so! Sunshine and paradise is good for anyone! All the best to you two 🙂 I know you will find the perfect new home 🙂 That’s such a cool message you got from the new resident at the First Farmlet! Here’s to the Second Farmlet! YAY!

  10. My heart is with you both, I’m proud to know you and wish a peaceful trip and a happy home.

  11. Gosh I will miss all my feathered and furry friends because they can’t write……only be written about
    Safe travels

  12. All the best with your travels and I can’t wait to hear from you when you get to the “other side” lol.

  13. Christine Widman

    As you know – you who knows me so well – I have been on many life journeys to many new places. Each time there is “the little death” of leaving – then the process of grieving/loss along with the celebrating excitement of newness/adventure. I eagerly await hearing your stories about all of these emotions and experiences.
    As I write this, you are in the air heading to a tropical paradise. A place uniquely different than the NW. And yet there are similarities…water everywhere, flowers in abundance and rain.
    Sending thoughts of love that I hope are floating in the sky around your plane.

  14. I can feel your excitement from here! Been thinking of you and Keith for a few days now since I read of the planned departure date. Sad, but still inspired at the same time, I am wishing you a sweet journey as you go within, and begin your new stage of life with such courage and deeply loving partnership, the way of the Goddess! Blessings to you both! Sending my deepest of love…

  15. My thoughts are with you as you make this exciting transition. I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures in Hawaii.

  16. Aloha, Christi! By now you are on the ground and having a whole new adventure! I’m also waiting eagerly to read about them. I love your duckies and the thoughts they inspire, and the lovely letter from the new resident of the Farmlet. What a perfect blessing!

    I was interested to see that your sister works in hospice. She might be interested in this quote from Frank Herbert’s Dune:

    “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

    It has gotten me through many a tight place, I can tell you. When a friend and a friend’s husband were in hospice nearly two years ago, I took that in for the man and he kept it on his wall right to the end.

    You will have to feast on tropical fruits for all of us . . . mmmmm

    Have to go; a busy day today.
    Aloha to you and the BO, with big hugs. ~ Linne

  17. Happy Easter to you both, too! ~ Linne

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