|Bettejo Dux has lived on the cosmic Garden Island of Kaua'i for over 40 years.|
Bettejo is a regular columnist in the Garden Island news and is the author of the
famed novella, "The Scam."
A Dream come true
As most things do, it started when I was a little kid. My father taught me to love and care for the land and the animals. We had dogs and cats and frequent crops of pups and kittens friends and neighbors stood in line to carry home. We had a small orchard: oranges, figs and avocados. A vegetable garden rich with healthy goodies: tomatoes, asparagus, squash and lettuce. We grew alfalfa to feed the horses. Palled with free range hens that spent the night in a sparkling clean chicken coops-where they fed, watered and laid eggs-and the days cruising and eating bugs in the veggie patch, which, by the way, horse poop fertilized. We had one crowing rooster and a bee hive. My father taught me how to catch ‘false bees’ and not get stung in order to fool my city friends into thinking I was a bee charmer.
I swam in a girl friend’s large oak high-rise rain barrel.
The air was fresh, the water clean and cold, and the food my mother cooked delicious. We often foraged in the woods to pick buckets of huckleberries which my mother turned into delicious home-made pies. Sometimes we met bears who stayed as clear of us as we them. Once we chanced upon a snake who coiled and rattled. The dogs barked. “Give him room,” my father commanded. ”We’re in his territory.
My father and I built a barn together. I fell off the roof one day, with a thump and a bump and a giggle, landing soft in a fat stack of green alfalfa hay. “When I grow up,” I said, “I want to live in a house with my horses.”
“Then it would be barn,” My father answered.
“Whatever.” I shrugged. I think I invented that retort. Don’t recall hearing it before but today you hear it everywhere.
So I grew up and married a sailor. A good sailor. He knew all about rogue waves, white squalls, and up-spinaker-downspinaker. We raced. I was the foredeck man. He was Captain Bligh with a coiled main sheet thumping.
When we finally acquired land on Kauai I designed a house the horses could live in. In secret I gave the plans to an architect and showed them to my husband in his office. Just in case.
“Is it a barn or a house?” he asked the architect.
“Whatever.” the architect said.
“Wait until you see that ‘covered walk’, ” my husband said, glancing over the plans.
The barn/house was a hundred feet long-a nice round number, I thought-the horses lived at one end and we lived at the other.
Bill and built the house. I’ve lived here 27 years longer than he, and survived two hurricanes and a flood. Gone through two beloved horses and many precious dogs and cats.
Today, in the rain, with a leaky roof and a pitchfork in hand, I wonder how different my life would have been had my dream not come true.
Boring, I’ll bet.
P.S. Check out this YouTube video,
"Faith in humanity restored " It's worth the watch!
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