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Monday, June 23, 2014

TRANSITIONS: Part 13B--What I have Accomplished in My Retirement

I am now in my 15th year of retirement.  Except for that dismaying five weeks nearly five years ago when my wife Pearl was in intensive care at Kuakini Hospital, this decade and a half has been the most enjoyable in my life.

Regarding Pearl's fatal period, a month into her ordeal, I received a bill just from the hospital in the neighborhood of a quarter million dollars.  The thought of her being on a ventilator for another few months, if not years, tormented me.  Not only was she suffering, but her family and I seemed to be declining, physically, but more psychologically.

Then she passed away the following Sunday morning.  I returned home and wrote an article for the Huffington Post:

which was published Monday morning.  I had purchased a bottle of Dom Perignon for her return, and actually obtained a Casio electronic keyboard to surprise her with a recital.  Well, I started with page one, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," but after a couple of weeks, just could not learn it.  So I went to page 88 and tried Pachelbel's "Cannon in D."  I had even more difficulty.   I've always wanted to instead get a keyboard with sets of rainbow colored keys, which would light up when I am supposed to press it, to accelerate the learning process.  Well, I haven't yet seen colored keys, but I noticed that Casio now sells keyboards with keys that do light up...for $260, which is about the price of one of my extravagant lunches, or a typical hotel bill for one night.  I did one night finish the Dom Perignon, but never went back to the keyboard.

Something we had not before discussed, but I thought I would do two things for her:
  • She talked about wanting to go on an African Safari, visit the Taj Majal and hike Machu Picchu, but didn't get the chance, for I was not enthusiastic about Africa, India and the high elevation of Peru.  So I have spent the past few years flying around the world to lay her ashes at these and other sites.  Pearl's Ashes are now at close to #50 locations, most at scenes she most liked, plus others I thought she would have, and am thinking about writing a book on this experience.  As I many times found myself in exotic places with fabulous restaurants, I tended to dine at Michelin 3-Star and Pellegrino Best 50 establishments.  Rainbow Falls in Hilo was where the first ceremony was held.
  • With the help (above) of Councilman Fresh Onishi of the Big Island (Pearl's cousin) and former Councilman Nestor Garcia, and the leadership of Garrick Iwamuro, Golf Course System Administrator of the City and County of Honolulu, there is an effort to plant the Gold Tree (below) on both islands.  Here is a photo (right) of the 50 of these trees being cultivated at the foot of Diamond Head for eventual placement at the Ala Wai Golf Course.  

Gratifyingly the first Gold Tree ceremony was held at the Hilo Municipal Golf Course last month:

Returning to my chronological history of retirement, the first five years I spent in my campus office boiling down everything I did in my professional life for a book I was planning to write.  Finally, in 2007 I published SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Planet Earth.  Then I thought, why not write a book on what I don't know.  So in 2008 came SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity.  In 2010 I compiled my Huffington Post articles into SIMPLE SOLUTION ESSAYS, a tribute to Pearl, to pass out at her second year celebration of life.

PEARL'S ASHES will be white, and a possible novel, THE VENUS SYNDROME, purple.

In the meantime, I have been inspiring BLUE REVOLUTION HAWAII, a local organization with a vision for Hawaii and the World:

     Hawaii today is 90% dependent on imported fossil fuels and 85% on shipped-in foods. The ocean can someday supply much of our sustainable resources in harmony with the marine environment. The initial focus will be on public education and advocacy for the Pacific International Ocean Station as a living laboratory for development of the Blue Revolution.

I have taken on the task to find a billionaire wishing a lasting legacy to Save Planet Earth and Humanity by intelligently developing ocean resources in harmony with the marine environment.  Anyone know of one?


1 comment:

pattygolden said...

Kudos, Pat! Interesting insights! Thanks, Patty