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Furnishing an Apartment on Kaua'i
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!
Fireworks are a big deal in this state. On New Year’s Eve, Kauai’s night skies were a feast for the eyes as colors exploded in all sorts of patterns. The mechanics of anticipating 2022 began in the late afternoon and lasted well after midnight. Booms, blasts, and oohs and ahs all blended into one grand show. Twenty twenty-two just has to be better than 2021!
December’s end marked two months since we landed in Kauai. And while we began buying used furniture almost right away for our 747 square foot apartment, we’re still not quite done.
It’s been 44 years since we last furnished a home. But then we already had some basic pieces—beds, chest of drawers, dining table and chairs—to at least begin turning our living space into a dwelling. Our Kauai apartment came with major kitchen appliances—refrigerator/freezer and an electric smooth-top range—and a washer and dryer. That was it. We had to scrounge for everything else, just like we did when we were graduate students.
But scrounging is fun because you find places you didn’t even know existed, and you meet folks who are happy to give advice and help with sourcing second-hand merchandise. Kauaians are particularly helpful to new residents.
Since we’re living in Kauai, we wanted to give our place an island feeling. So off we went to Hawaii Island Liquidators, a furniture store specializing in the re-sale of Hawaiian-style furniture reclaimed from hotels and resorts. This furniture receives a lot of wear and tear and yet it survives in excellent condition.
Our apartment lease officially began on November 1, but we didn’t actually move in until November 10. We needed a bed, dining furniture, cutlery, cooking equipment, and living room chairs. We decided against a couch because it took up too much space. I met with a representative of KIUC co-op and arranged to have our electricity connected. High speed internet access was easy to arrange, and we got a great deal on a new 55-inch smart Roku-equipped TV at Costco.
But where to put it? We drove to all the major home supply stores and searched online markets for one, but couldn’t find anything under $200. So I went to Craig’s list and Facebook, and hit paydirt. Found exactly what we needed for $20. So off we went to pick it up from a seller who was in the throes of packing and moving from Hawaii to Vermont. She was unloading everything, so for a few dollars more we snagged wooden clothes hangers and a few high quality kitchen supplies. Happiness!
Day by day we brought what we bought to our apartment. And on November 10 our new bed was delivered and set up and we spent our first night in our new home. And let me tell you, it felt great!
Because I’ve been a restaurant chef and I am a baker, I ordered a new heavy-duty mixer, wok, and cooking pots.
Flours and all sorts of other ingredients arrived regularly at our front door. One major project I set for myself was establishing a new sourdough starter. The one I left behind in Montana, and which I nurtured like a baby, was 20 years old and extremely vigorous. I had given it life and now I’d begin all over again in our new home. Will it work? We’ll wait and see.
Outdoor farmers markets are open year round. Here’s a sampling of what we bought yesterday.
More about farmers markets in my next newsletter. The bowl of small fruits nearest you are calamansi limes. We love squeezing the juice onto papaya and into glasses of ice cold water.