Pele Giveth, Pele Taketh Away

As most of you know by now, the island of Hawaiʻi has been under siege by Pele, the ancient goddess of volcanoes. The surge in the volcanic eruption is causing so much disruption in the local communities. Leilani is almost gone. Everyone has been evacuated or are at least on notice if they happen to have a home closer to the highway. They need a permit card in order to enter and since I donʻt live in that subdivision I donʻt have photos, however I will attempt to update this path of destruction. Over 90 homes have been overtaken by lava. Many of the main highways, in and out of lower Puna, have been crossed by 20 ft. berms of lava and are no longer available. There are now over 20 fissures which are spewing lava and associated sulfuric oxide gasses so even if oneʻs house is still standing, itʻs unsafe to live in Leilani




or Lanipuna. The lava is slowly moving toward the Geothermal Energy Plant. Two the wells have been breeched. All of the wells are plugged, but since this is a scenario that has never before happened anywhere in the world, the mystery of whether or not the plugs will keep the gasses from escaping is still unknown. The lava has entered in the ocean in a couple of places so this is causing what is called Laze, a mixture of ash, lava and glass. The lava has crossed major highways. Pohoʻiki, ʻOpihikao, Kahena and Seaview are now pretty much cut off from the rest of the island with the only road out being Government Beach Rd., which until recently had been just a “Jeep” trail. We are getting hundreds of quakes a day, most are minor and I donʻt even feel many of them. Up the mountain is Kīlauea which is causing these problems. Halemaʻumaʻu is erupting ash which is now going 15,000 ft. into the air, filling the sky with a gray blanket of misery for those close by. The community centers of Keaʻau and Pāhoa are now shelters and the larger parks are now tent cities. Most restaurants, parks, etc. have opened their restrooms to non-customers and, of course, members of the community are stepping in to help. Meals are being prepared daily, everyone has water. The centers are pet-friendly and animal food is in supply. There are many, many volunteers. The Lava Shack, a local club where we line-dance monthly, held a can-goods drive and the place was packed. Other businesses are stepping up as well.

So far, the only problems Iʻve encountered are burning eyes and lethargy. Iʻm not sure why the latter is happening but I just feel tired. Iʻm still keeping up with my general activies, my on-line shop, etc. but I think just knowing I have so many friends displaced is taxing. Today is raining which doesnʻt help those in alternative housing, but I think it keeps some of the ash from coming this way. However, the gray skies and the rain are not conducive to a cheery mood, though I do have a dress rehearsal for our line-dancing performance in Honolulu next week and that should cheer me up.

Pray for our island.

Seattle in the Spring

As you now know I was in Seattle for my son’s wedding. I had never been there before though my ex, David, says we spent a week there in circa 1972, but geez, who can remember back that far to sleeping in a VW Van.

Anyway, it is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been in. I’m from Hawai’i and we are known for our flowers, but wow! Seattle has more flowers than I’ve ever seen. Every house has a yard full of them. Most of which I have no name. And, the city is sooooo clean. I never see even a gum wrapper on the ground. Tiny two year olds ride scooters and tiny bikes without pedals. They just push them everywhere. Itʻs a fun city. The weather is lovely, chilly for this island girl, but layering helps.

I have a sweet “Nature Room” in an AirBNB which is about a block from Green Lake with bike and walking paths around the entire lake. Across the street from the lake are several little cafes and restaurants. I love walking the neighborhood. I usually walk down each morning for coffee and yummy scones. I found a small little Thai restaurant with aromatic delicious green curry.

I give Kai a couple of days with his friends and then we check out the city together. What a fun place to explore. There’s Pikeʻs Pier, the Public Market Place, the Seattle Needle, sculpture gardens, the Museum of Popular Culture (MoPOP) which my favorite. We go to a new hologram “Black Holes Colliding” which comes with 360* stars, suns, planets, etc. screaming over our heads, vibrating the floor we stand on. I thought I would be dizzy, but it is amazing! Other rooms in the museum hold original costumes from movies…the dress worn by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, the hat worn by the Wicked Witch. There are lot of costumes from Star Trek and Star Wars, Alien.

I love the sculpture gardens. Very clean, colorful and creative.

We don’t go up into the needle as they are doing some work on it, but here’s me at the foot of it.

Ooops, the photo didnʻt go through and I canʻt seem to be able to edit that part.

Star Wars come alive.

views of the neighborhood…

All in all it was a fantastic trip. While there, things went awry in Hawai’i. 125 earthquakes in ONE day, two of which were a 5.9 and a 6.3. The volcano, Kīlauea, erupted in a nearby subdivision. There are 24 fissures spewing lava, 44 houses destroyed, people displaced. The glow from my house is almost overwhelming. Go into for photos that will blow your mind.

The Wedding of Our Dreams

As some of you know, I just returned from a wonderful trip to Seattle for my eldest son’s wedding. Neither Aric nor his now wife Kanani are what you would call traditional in any sense of the word. They are both private people. They each have a few very close friends that they hold dear, but prefer each other’s company rather than a big social scene. Their wedding was perfect.

The ceremony was held in the lounge of their apartment building, a common room so to speak. There was no decoration, no flowers, no aisle, no bouquets or garters, just a few friends and family to share their commitment to each other. They walked in together–Kanani in the most beautifully breathtaking dress I’ve ever seen…a Victorian style with a high ruffled collar, long full sleeves and cuffs with tons of buttons. A beautifully detailed bodice. It was not your traditional white, but was a stunning vibrant red. I loved it! Aric, dressed in a wonderfully tailored three-piece suit with a red tie along with his “dress running shoes”. The ceremony was short. They said their own vows to each other in a embraced whisper. This was so intimate, not caring if anyone else heard as they were meant only for each other. The minister and guests dabbed at teary eyes. There were no I do’s, no honor, cherish, obey and all that traditional verbiage. They had the ring ceremony and that was that. Ten or twelve people to witness, then on to a celebration dinner at one of Seattle’s finest restaurants–The London Plane. where they served an incredible seven-course meal with wine. Fifty friends, co-workers, bosses and family attended. There was no usual wedding cake (few people like it anyway), no bouquet or garter tossing, just a happy, joyous celebration of love.

Characteristically, Aric and Kanani went on their honeymoon BEFORE the wedding. They came across a special event in London at the Museum of Natural History and they, along with 200 others, were given the run of the entire museum for the night where they slept at the feet of giant dinosaur bones. They spent the two weeks before the wedding traveling through the British Isles unencumbered by looming wedding plans. All had been taken care of. There wasn’t a lot of hoopla. Like I said, it was the perfect wedding!

Aric West and Kanani Kemp on their wedding day.