It’s tradition at the cusp of a New Year, to reflect upon the old and set goals and aspirations for the coming future. As you’ve seen in our past posts, we reflect often in order to make adjustments and intentionally practice gratitude, but that doesn’t mean we will skip out on a New Year post!;)
If you’ve been keeping up with our news–thank you for sharing in our journey! If you’re new to the blog–welcome! We are happy to have you here! I will try not to be too repetitive of news shared in prior posts, and invite you to read about “chapters in our story” here. But, in summation, the pandemic was not the biggest thing that rocked our world this past year. We had other causes for concern and heartbreak before COVID-19 rocked everyone’s world, and we are thankful that there were plenty of reasons to feel joy and gratitude to help temper all the strain and hardship.
So, 2021 has arrived and….is off to an odd start. Is odd the right word? Nope. But we will keep it at that.
Tasha and I haven’t had the opportunity to just take a day or two off of the normal operations to discuss major plans and goals for 2021 just yet (but stay tuned for some things we hope to have in the works this year). Aside from when we started the process of buying the business and transitioning with the previous owners in 2018, the beginning of 2019 was the last time we formally took a few days “off” and had a little business retreat, if you will. We travelled to Oahu in order to meet with some of our suppliers and vendors there that otherwise we only know over the phone, and the two of us got to engage in business reflection, planning and goal-setting. Amidst all the meetings, we also got to also be tourists and mix in some fun (which mostly means we ate alllllll the things). I also found out I was pregnant before that little trip so lots of ginger was involved to keep the nausea and morning sickness at bay.;)
I’ll let you read here and here to remind yourselves of the insanity of the rest of the 2019 and 2020 were, but we couldn’t carry on with our intention of establishing the tradition of a “New Year business retreat” because in January 2020, Tasha was preparing to uproot her life to care for her husband, Kai, and prepare him and their sons for an uncertain journey ahead. Tasha was flying with Kai to California in the hopes of receiving a life-saving transplant. Between her need to leave to care for him and me navigating running the farm with an infant, the basic goal we set for the year was “make it through.” When COVID hit and shut downs happened all over the country as well as our own state, the goal got reinforced with “keep surviving.”
We are coming up on a year since Kai’s successful transplant and he is about to celebrate his “first” birthday. Thankfully, he has been home here on Maui with his family for about 9 months now and is cancer free! We know we are all beyond fortunate to have that be part of our story and we are so grateful to the outpouring of love and wonderful care he received from so many. City of Hope where he received his transplant and recovery care is appropriately named that’s for sure!
My “baby” is now over a year old and toddling all over the place. He loves the flowers and “helping out” at the farm. I still wear and wheel him around at times, especially during all the shut downs but have been able to enlist a couple of dear friends to assist with child care so I can work because he sure loves to explore and is busy, busy, busy.
We are beyond blessed to have made it over those major hurdles–especially adding in the pandemic! During initial shutdowns due to COVID-19, we were allowed to stay open because we are a farm and our small business already had an online platform to ship our flowers. We always said that as long as FedEx was still operational, we could make it work and hoped to continue to spread our Aloha. But really, that only worked if folks ordered flowers and because of YOU, we are able to be here in 2021. We cannot express how humbled we are by that and how very grateful we are for your support. Mahalo nui loa!
Because of our families and loved ones, doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals, our invaluable crew, our amazing fellow growers, suppliers, vendors, and beloved customers, we are beyond blessed to say that we were able to achieve our 2020 goal of “making it through”. However, that relief and gratitude are certainly mingled with the pain of knowing many folks, in all senses of the word, were not able to do the same. Our hearts go out to all who have lost their loved ones to this virus or those that are suffering lasting effects of it; o those who are struggling to make ends meet, in emotional turmoil, are newly houseless, jobless, and may have lost their business. We empathize with the stress and anxiety of caring for, feeding, and helping educate your children while still working full-time. We understand the fear that comes with protecting those who are immunocompromised and trying to do everything and anything in your power to keep them safe and healthy.
We are doing what we can to support our loved ones and community members but know that these are just such dire times for people in one way or another. We hope to never take for granted our situation. I know everyone is hurting emotionally, financially, and otherwise but we’re all doing our best to take care of each other here on Maui. We know that just because we may have made it through this up until now, it does not mean it’s a given. It’s important that we help out when and where we can.
While there isn’t an overwhelming sense of relief coming into 2021 in some regards we do feel that we are holding onto great HOPE. We are reminded of that famous quote by Lady Bird Johnson, “Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” With each bud, the plants constantly remind us that everything has its season, growth comes from perseverance, and we can weather many hardships and be all the more beautiful and joyful because of it. Don’t give up hope…there is always reason to hope.
Sending our warmest Aloha to you,
Emily on behalf of all of us at Anuhea Farm and Anuhea Flowers