So I’m pumping gas at the corner of Highway 620 and 183 in Austin when a guy about my age starts chatting to me, lovely morning, where do you live, etc.
I thought what? Is this guy trying to pick me up?
He says, “I am from Hawaii.”
I say, “I am too, now. Which island?”
He says Maui.
I say, “Well, I live on the Big Island.”
He says he noticed my palm tree pendant and wondered if I'd been to Hawaii. I told him we had moved there from Lakeway last year. He said that Lakeway is where he lives now. We laughed about that coincidence, then chatted a bit. I gave him directions to Costco, he asked about my kids, what they did for a living, what my husband did for a living. I told him he plays golf now. We laughed again about that stereotype for retired old men. Then we gave each other several Shakas, alohas, and mahalo nuis.
I swear, if I were staying another day, this guy would’ve invited me for dinner in Lakeway, a place where I lived for 13 years. As I got in my car and pulled out, I kicked myself for not asking him why he'd left Maui: probably cost of living or wanting to be near family. Those two things make us non-native retirees leave eventually. I hope the same difficulties won't drive us back to the mainland soon. But I enjoyed running into a fellow islander pumping gas in Austin. Aloha, it's a small world!