By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 1/26/2021
Occurred: 5/26/2020
Topics/Keywords: #Coronavirus #Maui Page Views: 238
Exploring more of the property we share with cows.

After a couple of days of being mostly cooped up due to rain, I decided I wanted to go exploring parts of the property I hadn't yet seen, on the quad. Keith even agreed to come along! (I think my driving makes him nervous.)

As usual, the dogs woke me up early so I "got" to see the sunrise. To my surprise, although the sky above was clear, it was sprinkling. So I looked to the west (opposite the sun) and, sure enough"a rainbow!

Today's chore, after which I could goof off"was taking some rusted scrap metal to the recycling center here in Hana.

I have no idea what this was left over from or oringinally intended for. I only know that Zach wanted to get rid of it.

When Keith and I arrived at the upper level of the property to load the truck, we found the herd of cows had moved into it. They weren't in our way. But I find them so peaceful to look at, especially the mommies with their babies.

Today was warm, and near noon (the dump doesn't open until 11 AM) it got almost hot—hot enough for the cows to take shade wherever they could find it.

Anyway, despite the bovine distraction, Keith and I quickly loaded the scrap metal into the back of Zach's truck and I drove it to the Hana Recycling Center.

My friend, Roxanna, who is the manager, was off today. But her second-in-command was excited to see the metal. "We actually only accept scrap metal here, maybe, three times a year," he explained through his mask. "But I could definitely use that stuff, for sure&helip; if you don't mind my having it!"

"Mind?! That's even better!" I exclaimed. "I much prefer things be reused. My husband and I have started separating our trash for recycling purposes. So far, it's only bottles but as soon as we get another trash bin we'll be able to do cans as well."

His eyes crinkled happily. "That's what it's all about," he agreed. "Reuse, reclaim, recycle. All part of being pono."

He directed me to take the truck behind the large materials containers (separate ones for glass, metal cans, used vehicle oils, etc., to where he kept his own stash of treasures. So far, there were just two decayed telephone poles. He offered to help me offload the metal, which I gratefully accepted.

"So," he began. "Do you mind if I ask you something?"

"Not at all," I assured him.

"Well, you mentioned you have a husband…that means you're gay, right?"

I laughed. "They don't come any gayer," I assured him.

"Well, here's the thing. When I married my Hawaiian wife—my very brown Hawaiian wife—24 years ago, my father said, 'I don't care a whit what color she is. But you need to know, some people will care, and some of them will be assholes.' Well, I told him I never intended to leave Maui anyway; and no one here cares. And they never have.

"But here's the thing: we have three kids, two boys and a girl. And one boy is gay, and my daughter's a lesbian. The other boy is straight. And I worry about my gay kids, because, you know, some people are still assholes. So I was wondering: Do you get much flak when people find out you're gay?"

I smiled through my mask, making sure to crinkle my eyes so he'd see at least part of my expression. "I'm very relieved to be able to tell you—almost never, and never to my face. I mean, people on Facebook can, indeed, be assholes. But the vast majority of Americans do have a sense of fairness and equality, despite what you'd think from the Trumpsters--" Oops, I hadn't intended to blurt out my political opinions. But my new friend just guffawed.

"That's a relief to hear. Because, you know--I'm a parent, and I worry about my kids."

"I do know," I assured him, and told him about my own four children, and my five grandchildren.

And this whole conversation was held with a guy I'd just met at the dump.

Welcome to Maui!


When I returned to the property, I made an exploratory run on the quad, interested in spotting the property markers (since our two lots aren't fenced off from all the neighboring lots). I then got Keith to join me for another pass.

Back at the cabin we discovered the cows had "mooved" in, in our absence. I actually wanted them to "cut" the grass, so I made the dogs wait inside while the cows did their thing.

I have mixed feelings regarding the cows' drinking from the cowboy tub. On the one hand, I would never willingly permit another living being to go thirsty. On the other hand, this is my bath water, and I'm not crazy about bathing in bovine saliva.

So I make certain we use no soap or other chemicals when we soak. I wouldn't personally want to drink anyone's bath water, but the cows don't seem to mind and it is safe. but then, when I refill the tub (which I do anyway to bring in hot water) I just make sure anything that looks like saliva is flushed away.