Me Monday + My Plywood Bungalow

Good morning, everyone. Last week I shared with you one of my greatest phobias = ladybugs. AKA Hell Monsters. Whichever name you prefer.

Today’s Me Monday post will take you back to my time living in Hawaii. We lived in Ewa Beach, pretty much RIGHT on the beach.

Autumn Visit 108

(This was the beach in our neighborhood, about 2 streets back was our house.)

Autumn Visit 111

(And if you looked to the left, yep. There’s Diamondhead & Waikiki.)

Yes, it was amazing and zero complaints there. Our neighborhood was former Navy basic housing and the homes were quite old and quite simple. Around 1500 Sq Ft – one level, open floor plan with 3 small bedrooms and windows allll the way around the house. (We had PHENOMENAL natural light. I miss it so much!) There was concrete flooring throughout, with walls made of straight up plywood. Yes. Thin, old, cheap plywood.

There was no central AC in these houses, but you could choose to purchase a AC unit and have them installed into the walls if you so wished. And when I say “installed”, what I mean by that is the maintenance guys cut a large hole in the plywood wall, stuck the AC unit in and then caulked it into place. Real legit.

But none of that really mattered because HELLO WE LIVED ON THE BEACH IN FREAKIN’ HAWAII + some of our best friends lived right next door to us. And it was awesome. The houses were very close to each other and we could literally look into each other’s living room windows & yell across the yard to see what they were having for dinner, etc. Perfect sitch, basically.

So one night – in July I believe, so it was super hot out – I decided to go next door to hang out with my friend Amanda and watch some TV, as one does. I had my AC on in the house but didn’t want to leave it on unnecessarily when I wasn’t actually in the house. So I shut it off – BUT I neglected to open any of the windows. And I kept the lights on. Rookie mistake.

La La La, there I go next door to chill for an hour or two. Clock struck 9 – my bedtime – so I said goodbye and walked back home. I walk in the door and I see something strange. The light in the living room is on and surrounding it is:


Termite Party

A termite swarm of biblical proportions. Not even kidding. They were everywhere. Flying, falling, swarming, crawling… just, everywhere. All over the walls, all over the couch & coffee table, in all the drawers, crawling in all the electronics and on the TV, & all over the floors.


I could not speak at this point. I just turned around and walked out the door. Back to Amanda’s house. I knocked on the door and said, “Amanda, might you please come over for a moment?”

She walked in and was like:


We had NO IDEA WHAT TO DO, you guys.

So basically we kicked the AC back on and turned off the light. Amanda grabbed the vacuum and began trying to suck those babies into the abyss & I had some sort of spray like so:


Not before we kicked Amanda’s 6 year old daughter out of the house like “GET OUT!!!!! SAVE YOURSELF!!!!” and she was all “Wheee!!!!”:


Basically when I left my house earlier that evening I had created the perfect environment for a termite breeding swarm. Because our house was infested with termites. Because we had plywood walls. That had been standing for years and years.

So after we cleaned up, (Twice. Amanda and I cleaned up the initial swarm but they came back again later that night. So that was cool.) I called the emergency maintenance line. I told them what was happening and they say, “Oh, termites are quite normal around here. It’s the season for them and you just kind of have to deal with them. You can use ant spray to get rid of them if you want.”



I tell her “No, seriously. This is NOT a normal amount. You need to come do something about this.” And she was pretty much like “Nah. You’re good I think.”


So I get out the big guns – (Joe) to call them up. Who by the way, was deployed to Iraq at the time. I feel like the convo pretty much went like this:





So like two days later they finally come check it out. They decide to just replace the entire wall/side of the house. Because the house was made of sheets of plywood.

I’m like yes! Finally! So a few days later the old Hawaiian maintenance men roll up in their golf cart to start working – and I head out to class. I call Amanda on my break to see how the progress is going and she’s like: “Well. I don’t see anyone working on your house but I do see a 100 year old Hawaiian man passed out in a golf cart in your yard.”

What can I say, they work at their own pace.



Later I come home and seriously, THE ENTIRE SIDE OF MY HOUSE IS GONE, and replaced with… a hanging plastic sheet. Yeah…..I locked my bedroom door extra tight that evening.


Eventually, after about a week (or two), the maintenance men are finally able to get some fresh, brand-spankin’ new squares of plywood up to replace the side of my house.

And this story remains a glorious memory that Amanda and I still cherish and laugh about today.



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