portion of the artwork for Tiff Holland's stories

Tiff Holland’s Comments

When I first landed in Hawaii in 1983, I felt I was at “home” for the very first time in my life. Unfortunately, military assignments (and first marriages) don’t last forever. There is always a rotation or a separation from service, and my ex-husband, a sergeant in the Army, couldn’t wait to get back to Ohio. At 21, with no place to stay and no real job and still trying to hold on to my marriage, I returned with him. However, I literally ached to return home.

In the meantime, I got my B.A., my M.A., and my Ph.D. I remarried and had a daughter I wasn’t supposed to be able to conceive, and 10 years ago, my husband and I started trying to find jobs in Hawaii, a very difficult task while living on the mainland. In preparation, we had our dogs prepared for the move, which involved lots of paperwork and special inoculations. The paperwork was good for two years, but after two years of flying out for interviews that lasted five minutes for jobs that invariably went to people already on-island, we gave up and let Sophie’s paperwork expire.

Two years ago, my husband surprised me with a new plan to move to Hawaii. He had it all worked out. The housing market in Texas had turned around, and we decided to sell everything and move to Hawaii, living for the first year on the profits from the sale of the house. I didn’t think it would work. I thought Bill would change his mind, that he was reacting to the recent death of his younger brother. Sophie’s paperwork had lapsed. We decided to re-home her due to her Great Pyrenees size and heavy coat as well as the lapsed paperwork that would take six months to get in order. We sold our house in 10 days. We gave Sophie to a friend. She ran away home to us twice. We decided to take her with us and we began the shot process, but the house sold in 10 days. My daughter and I, and my service dog, Flynn (who did not need to go through quarantine because of his service dog status), flew ahead because school starts the last week of July in Hawaii. Bill and Sophie stayed to finish closing on the house. If her paperwork and shots had been current, she would have had to spend only five days in quarantine. My lack of faith cost her another 135 days.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 46 | Fall 2015