First I want to say thank you for all the encouragement and positive feedback from my Facebook post today. It’s one thing to be writing down a bunch of stuff for strangers or thin air, but quite another to your friends, loved ones, and peers. I agonized for months whether I should expose my secret blog, and even my book, to my closest friends. You would think after 64 years, I couldn’t care less, but I do. Today you showed me your Aloha Spirit. What is the Aloha Spirit? Good question. Even Google couldn’t give me a straight answer without a lot of boring Hawaiian explanations. What happened to me today might explain.
Believe it or not, Maui has seasons. There is the hot season, and the not so hot season. Hot means low 90’s at sea level. Not so hot, in the low 80’s. We are in the hot season right now. Where I live, at 1400 feet above sea level, it’s a bit cooler, but can still get hot during the day in my house. My daughter has a 14th Birthday on Saturday, and I thought it would be nice to get her an air conditioner for her room, being the Scandinavian cold blooded descendants we are ( the other half is Greek, so you get what you get). I have been looking on Craigslist for one, and picked out someone that had two for sale. (Needed one for the living room too). I sold a lot of stuff on Craigslist in Minnesota trying to get rid of my stuff, and knew a lot of interested buyers simply never showed up. So this wise person put a time, 10:00 AM to Noon, first come first served.
Traffic and roads being what they are here, I followed a slow truck and showed up at the house at 10:05. There were two women in the garage. I stepped out of my car and said I was here for the two air conditioners. The younger of the two, with a very cute baby strapped to her said, someone just bought them, sorry. No problem, I said, wasn’t meant to be (Always hated that phrase in the car business. Meant no sale).
As I opened my car door to leave, the girl with the baby asked me if I could help load them in the buyers car. Turns out the other lady was the buyer. Of course I said yes, and proceeded to put them in the back of her car. When I was done, the buyer told me she had two air conditioners that she was replacing with these because they had no window vents, and if I would follow her to her house, I could look at them. As the buyer was backing out of the driveway, the seller turned to me and said that the Spirit of Aloha was there today. I helped her, and in turn, will help me.
I followed her. About 15 minutes later, we arrived at her house. It was in a neighborhood I had never been in before. Very cool mix of old Hawaiian with more modern houses. When I say that, picture $500,000 houses to $10,000,000 houses. She had me back my car into the garage, which was very steep, to load the two air conditioners. Assumed the sale, I like that. There was a helmet and scooter very similar to my son’s in the garage. I asked the age of her son, and turns out to be the same age as mine. She turned out to be a child psychologist, and we had a long discussion about kids that age while she showed me her house, which was rented, which they were giving up and moving to a new one. A million dollar view for sure. My next place to live, I thought, as we headed back down to the garage. We agreed upon a price for the two air conditioners. The ones she bought, and the ones I was going to buy, were $365 for the both of them. She sold me hers for $120. I was feeling very good about my purchase as I got into my car to leave, and she asked me one more question. Could I follow her to her new house to help her bring the ones she just bought into their new rental. Of course I said yes.
The new place was more fantastic than the last, and I can see why they are moving. Turns out the rent is the same as my current place, and a lot more house for the money. It opened my eyes to a lot more choices. I helped her carry her stuff in, and as I pulled away with my purchase, felt the Spirit of Aloha. Help others not for profit or gain, but for the enjoyment of the gesture. I helped out with no expectation. If someone is in need, help them. Patti, it was a pleasure to meet and help you today.
It really worked out for me today, saving almost $250 bucks, and helping the environment, but is it really that simple? Of course it isn’t.
I have given and gotten burned to the ground. I have supported and gotten crushed in the process. I have expected and gotten nothing. We all have. The Spirit of Aloha, Karma, Cause and Effect, or you get what’s coming to you. One of my friends call me a half full kind of guy, always looking for the best of any situation. I have always considered myself a Realist. There’s a very thin line separating the two.
Today I was blessed with the Spirit of Aloha twice. Once from you, and the other from a complete set of random events.
Is this my Waterloo? The first post that is really read from my friends and fails the test. As I sit at my desk (yes, the Hemingway one), and contemplate the cause and effect, should I hit publish or not, my gut, which is all a writer has, tells me to hit publish, says yes.
PS: Don’t forget to download the free book, Imagine Me, tomorrow. 🙂