He’s big, white, rusty, and he’s movin’ to Hawaii!

He’s big, white, rusty, and he’s movin’ to Hawaii!

One of things my husband and I have been grappling with as we plan our move to Hawaii is what to take, and what to leave behind.

We don’t need a lot. We had to furnish the condo in order to rent it so we furnished it to our tastes and that means we don’t have room for, nor do we need a lot of additional furniture.

We don’t need a lot of clothing, because we keep warm weather clothing there already, and we’ll leave our cold weather clothes here, for when we visit.

We don’t need a lot of kitchen stuff, as the kitchen there is already pretty well stocked, so we’ll take a few of our favorite pieces of cookware, but that’s about it.

So what are we taking?

We talked about this for a long time and decided to set some criteria. Here’s what we came up with to help us with our decision-making:

1. It has to have sentimental value. So no, even though I absolutely adore the decorative buddha heads I’ve collected over the years, they have no sentimental value for me. They stay. (In fact, they are staying with my friend Amanda who bought them at the yard sale.)

The cinnabar vases, vessel and card box from Richard’s grandmother? They will be proudly displayed at Hale Lani.

2. It has to fit into a specific spot in the condo. No “now where will we put this?” when we get there – everything has a predetermined place to live in our little 1150 square feet of paradise or it doesn’t make the crossing. The fabulous mid-century table lamp didn’t make the cut – we have all the decorative lamps we need, thankyouverymuch to craigslist for the awesome 1960’s floor lamp which arches oh-so-nicely over our very cool orange couch.

The lamp my father made out of a Chinese statue gets to come along, as it has a place – the cabinet my father also made, and on which the lamp has sat ever since I can remember.

3. It is Art. If it is art (and it meets criterion #2) it gets crated, packed, trucked, and loaded onto some ship heading for the most remote island chain in the world. (My most recent body of work is also going, but older work will stay in the storage area below the little “Hobbit House” out back.)

Now we have quite a bit of art, and not a lot of wall space in Hawaii. Our condo has windows on all three sides, and the east-facing wall is, in fact, all windows, which doesn’t leave a lot of room to display an entire art collection. But there is one wall that is crying out for a very special piece. The wall between the lanai door and the door to our bedroom is big and blank. And it has been designated the future home of


“Big White Rusty” by our friend, Rachel Maxi.

We bought Rusty at a solo show Rachel had in 2010, and he has been one of our prized possessions ever since. I cannot wait to see him displayed for all the world to see (or at least anyone we invite into our home). He’s a fabulously realistic painting of one of the most mundane objects in the world, in my opinion, and Rachel has treated him as if he were Mark Wahlberg in an underwear ad. That’s one of the things I love about Rachel’s work – she sees the extraordinary in everyday life, then isolates it and serves it up on a beautifully rendered canvas platter.

You can see more of Rachel’s incredible work here.

Rusty is big – 72″ wide by 62″ tall, and right now he lives on the only wall in our current home large enough to handle him – in our bedroom. He seems a little crowded there, dontcha think?


The lighting kinda sucks too, so we will definitely be directing a couple of our overhead spots in Rusty’s direction once he is hung in his new home.

This was the view we used to have of Rusty as we got ready to go to sleep. In fact, Richard, being the silly, sentimental fool that he is, would often turn to me to say goodnight, and ask, “Know what I love?”

“Big White Rusty.”

Uh, thanks, Richard, that’s nice. I love you and goodnight to you too.


One thought on “He’s big, white, rusty, and he’s movin’ to Hawaii!

  1. Jerri Etchason

    Writing about decisions about what you are and aren’t taking with you is like a diary of downsizing – something we all need to be conscious about as we get older. Who needs all that stuff? We need to leave some room to let our tired overstimulated brains breathe!


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