After receiving a few comments on Ponogram #136 – “Lucky I Live South
Maui” and rereading it myself, I realize that I started the story and then
skipped all the way to the hurricanes of 2018. I will attempt to fill in
some of the middle years.
I covered my TDY transfer to Maui in 1996, my 4 week rental, my 4 month
rental, and the beginning of my more permanent lease, all in the same general
South Maui area.
A “few days later” (it seems like) I reached the magic retirement age.
Approaching that juncture I considered my options. The world was my
oyster. I was divorced, my company probably owed me a move, I had a son in
CA, one in MI, and one in ME. I was familiar with life in places in all
those three states as well as HI, I was judged to be quite healthy by my doctors
– so what to do?
My retirement plans were to bowl and play golf, communicate, work my
genealogy, keep moving physically and globally and enjoy. These plans
could be pursued from most anywhere.
I elected to stay right where I was in South Maui!
I enjoyed six years of reasonably trouble free retirement. I did “A Month
in Michigan” trip visiting every town in MI I had spent time in during my early
years. I didn’t do near as much global travel as planned. Somehow traveling
alone just didn’t appeal to me. I bowled until the alley became a storage
outfit, I golfed and exercised regularly, I made great progress on my genealogy,
I kept in touch by publishing regular email contacts, and generally had a good
Then in November of 2004 I came down with an abdominal distress. On
Thanksgiving Eve, I called 911. On Thanksgiving Day I had exploratory
surgery resulting in removal of a colon cancer. If you didn’t memorize the
details of the two related operations and the subsequent chemotherapy, reread
Colon Cancer Surgery,
CC Personal Review.
The condo I had leased before retiring was owned by the builders of the
complex. They had kept a few units that didn’t sell and rented them out. At a
very untimely point in my life they decided to sell my unit and terminated my
lease. I was recovering from the operations and chemotherapy. I had little
energy and no incentive to move, but I was required to.
I dropped my problem on the manager of the condo complex and bless her,
she quickly got back to me with a potential solution. Another unit in the
same complex with the same floor plan was about to become available. It
was on the first floor and needed serious cleaning, but with the non-resident
owner, we worked out a plan for cleaning, painting, and moving. The plan
included painting by maintenance personnel (they made some extra dough working
on their own time), cleaning by friends, and moving by my son and ex-coworkers.
All these people managed to get me successfully transferred to the new unit
while my recovery continued.
I missed the ocean and golf course view in the new ground floor unit, but
the lack of stairs was much easier for me since the cancer. I’ve been here
some 13 years at this writing.
So – 20 years after my temporary assignment to Maui, with a few moves, I
remain in South Maui, within a mile or so of where I started - temporarily!
Another topic I gave short shrift to was the uniqueness of the South Maui
area I live in. Here is a rainfall map of Maui. My area is near the
ocean between Kihei and Wailea. As you can see, rainfall is minimal.
In the red zone irrigation is required to maintain the lush Hawaiian ambiance.
If you follow a horizontal path to the right between Kihei and Wailea, you
cross Piilani Highway (red line close to beach on map) and go upcountry.
Rainfall increases slowly, but irrigation stops in non-developed areas.
Maui Research & Technology Park (where our offices were), Maui Nui Golf Club,
and Maui Meadows are exceptions of developed areas upcountry of the Highway and
look like the ocean front areas makai (toward the ocean) of Piilani Highway.
The non-developed mauka (toward the mountain) areas look like this. Note
that vegetation near the road gets a little water from road cleaning and
drainage from the pavement during the minimal rains.
Common to areas of Hawaii subject to sufficient rainfall and areas
adequately irrigated are lush vegetation with flowers, colors, and beauty.
Just two examples below are the puamelia (plumeria) tree across the street from
my patio and the landscaping along a nearby street.
The last subject I failed to cover was Olivia. Olivia weakened to a
Tropical Storm before it made landfall on West Maui. Although not trivial,
it didn’t compare with Florence which was devastating the South-East states at
the time so I didn’t give it much space. Here you can see it was a direct
hit, actually on the North side of West Maui. South Maui was minimally
OK, I have filled in some holes in Ponogram #136 – Lucky I Live South
Maui. I’m still open to questions, comments, or other attention needed to
#136 and/or #137.
However, South Maui defined by Kihei and Wailea remains my favorite!