Secret Places

With this stupid Windows10 program, this post will have no continuity AT ALL. So, just stay with me.

I have lived on the Island of Hawai’i “The Big Island” for over 40 years it took a newcomer to the island to show me one of the most beautiful places on the island. I’m sure it has a lovely Hawaiian name which, of course, I do not know, but Bill calls is Glass Beach. It is of volcanic origin and is not quite sand. Instead the beach is comprised of tiny smooth rocks and bits of polished glass. The wave break is quite strong, not a swimming type of beach, but the wave action is strong and tumbles the rocks and glass together. It was like treasure hunting. I collected bits of green, cobalt blue, amber and white.  I have no idea of where the glass comes from– maybe Japan, or Tahiti, or Bora Bora, or maybe just up the Hamakua Coast. The weather at my house was beautiful– warm and sunny, but unfortunately, it was a rainy day here. Rain has never bothered me, but the photos are not as clear as they would’ve been. The walk down past a meandering river was spectacular…a few more photos though I have no idea where they will land as they are flying into all the wrong places.

I would like to go back again, on a sunny day and dance hula next to the river. It is quite inspiring.20170302_141727

The river bank had changed and was delivering some forest debris to the oceanside.
The river bank had changed and was delivering some forest debris to the ocean side.
Some of the path down was paved with large stones making it an easy trek
Some of the path down with large stones making it an easy trek
At the river with my bag of glass and smooth rocks.
At the river with my bag of glass and smooth rocks.

 

Showing a bit of a railroad tressle. A train use to go up the river from a mill
Showing a bit of a railroad trestle. A train use to go up the river from a mill

Reflections on a RiverReflections

 

The trail was like a walk through Jarassic Park
The trail was like a walk through Jarassic Park
Advertisements

Christmas at the Maui Airport

This year I am off on Christmas Eve so am able to go to my church’s candlelight service and help in the afternoon with the preparations. But, I do work on Christmas Day (evening shift). Because a lot of people don’t travel as much during the Christmas holidays the evenings at the Airport Shuttle have been somewhat slow. We’ve had some time on our hands. So to help pass the time we have been doing a little bit of decorating. We have been coloring (I still remember how to stay within the lines) and making cut-paper snowflakes. We hung a wreath, some garland, some candy canes. The airport is getting rather festive. We have our weekend musicians back playing Hawaiian music and throwing in some Christmas carols. The hula dancers are wearing their red and white holiday colors. Starbucks is offering all kinds of holiday flavors like gingerbread, peppermint and caramel. This coming week I will be showing up in my Santa hat. This is my third year celebrating Christmas at the airport. So here are a few pictures of our doings during the slow periods:

The State's Christmas tree
The State’s Christmas tree

The first year they've done this. I like it!
The first year they’ve done this. I like it!

20151204_100220
The first year they've done this. I like it!
The first year they’ve done this. I like it!
Our wreath
Our wreath
A colorful addition to the rather bland setting
A colorful addition to the rather bland setting
The many colors of Christmas
The many colors of Christmas
Our kind of snowflakes!
Our kind of snowflakes!
Let's see how long the candy canes last.
Let’s see how long the candy canes last.
A golden wreath
A golden wreath

Global Warming

This is July, right? In the middle of summer? We are struggling through an unprecedented heat wave that is setting records all over the state. In Kahului at the airport it has been coming in a 92, 93 degrees with little breeze to dry the sweat on my brow. However, last night we had a storm blow through…at least that’s what I was told. I hadn’t slept the night before so last night I slept through it all. This was a little disappointing as I still miss the sound of the rain on my tin roof in Hilo. When I got the newspaper this morning I was surprised to see the photo of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawai’i (my island) covered with snow! In the middle of July! I do remember getting snow in June around 2011 and occasionally in the 1980’s but it is still incredibly surprising. And, it’s still beautiful. Of course, it has melted now, but what an amazingly stunning site while it stayed long enough for photos.

A Maui Sunset

It’s been cold, rainy, windy and cloudy and I’m so over winter. But, yesterday evening the clouds sat above the horizon and produced the first sunset worth photographing since autumn. I always have to take pause and remember those who are living through some of the worst storms in history on the East Coast and Mid West. However, they have parkas, and hats, and gloves, and boots. I have a sweater, sweatpants and crocheted booties. It’s a matter of acclimation and clothing! It’s dipping into the mid 40’s up here in Kula. I’m not use to it yet. To me it’s freezing and I sometimes wonder if I’m going to make it through the night. In the morning my fingertips are snow white and numb. I can feel nothing and find it difficult to get my sewing done. About 10:00am my fingers finally thaw out. But, last evening it seemed different. The rain had stopped, the wind stopped blowing it’s icy breath from the north, the clouds parted and from my back yard I was able to see the sky brighten as the sun slowly sank, not into the sea, but behind the West Maui Mountains. It makes me think that maybe winter has loosened its grip and I will once again have feeling back into my fingers.

Taking from my lanai up in Kula
Taken from my lanai up in Kula

WP_20150305_015

WP_20150305_016

Kilauea in Fabric

Occasionally when I am wandering through the aisles of the fabric store, especially when a new shipment comes in, I will spot a Hawaiian fabric that catches my eye and tells me its story. So, last week when looking for yellow gingham I came across a print that immediately took me back to the Big Island and our very active volcano.WP_20150205_001

Kilauea had been erupting non-stop since 1987. There are periods of time when the lava flow is just a trickle and doesn’t put anyone in harm’s way and there are those times when it threatens and then carries through with that threat by inundating a district or now, threatening the town of Pahoa on the East coast of the Island of Hawai’i. As it travels through the upland forests (Waokele) it can be a flaming yellow and red hot molten lava burning the forest in swaths of destruction or it can branch off into rivulets of lava circling around with a path through the trees and once again joining the main stream further down the slope. This leads to an area of untouched forest of ferns and foliage that flourish as an island. These verdant islands in the middle of a flow are called a kipuka. Once the particular flow slows or stops it cools, the lava changes colors from a burnt orange to a solid black.

And so, this hula pa’u tells the story of the kipuka..the flow changing from molten yellow, orange, red, through the cooling stage to black with the flowers, ferns, foliage remaining untouched.

A Short Trip to my Big Island

I decided to take a little time off of work and return to the Big Island for a 30 year tradition. On New Year’s Day close friends have hosted a crepe breakfast for all their many friends. Everyone brings something to roll up inside the crepes or a yummy on the side. Over the years we’ve had sweet and savory. The pancake “flippers” have changed over the years, but the recipe has remained the same. I’ve watched little girls twirling around the lanai grow to become beautiful women with children…girls who twirled around, boys watching. Boys changing into young men. I missed this last year as I was still trying to get my life together. But, this year, I was determined not to miss another. It’s always so comforting to know that this is the one day of the year when things don’t change. As we age, I’m sure this will not always be the case, but I know now that most of the same people will be there, there will always be champagne and orange juice–long before this pairing became popular as Mimosas. The Rose Parade will be on the TV, now larger and more spectacular with HD. The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will follow with fans drifting in and out. I usually watch a good deal of the games as I’m what some call a “sports-nut”.

I flew in on Thursday–New Year’s morning and only had until Sunday morning before flying out again so I tried to cram everyone and everything I wanted to see and do in just a few short hours. Things don’t always work out. I dropped by my old hula halau to dance again with my hula sisters and brothers, but alas the class had been cancelled. I was so disappointed. A couple of friends I wanted to see were out of town, but other things worked out. I was able to see a good friend and former neighbor, a rock for me during difficult times. We see each infrequently, but it always seems like it was just yesterday. It also worked out for me to see two close friends that I have danced with off and on through different halau for about 25 years. We gathered for lunch and wonderful conversation at Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant in my favorite town of Pahoa. From afar I’ve watched the news as a lava flow has threatened this sweet town. Lava is just a football field away from Malama Market where I bought groceries, Subway where I went for lunch, the hardware store where I bought my propane. It’s hard to watch the lava slowly creep closer and closer. I just keep the town in my prayers. The people who live in the Puna district are hardy, resilient and live close to the ‘aina (land) so they will accept what comes, pick up and go back to work even through the hardships they will have to endure. I went to see some of the flow after it had cooled.

WP_20150103_002

There have been some remarkable preparations. The electrical poles have been wrapped with layers of rock and other materials. So far the lava has gone right around them and the electricity has stayed on. I understand the idea came from students at the Pahoa Charter School HAAS and the county ran with it. This gives me hope for the future. Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences. It sounds like science is alive and well. I’m standing in front of one pole to give some perspective. They are large!

WP_20150103_009

That same night I was able to go to a holiday play in Volcano. Six of us met at The Volcano House for drinks and pupus and then off to the play. There in the cast of singers was another friend I was happy to see. The night was crisp and cool but the forecast was for whipping winds so we drove straight home afterwards. They came screaming in in the night, keeping the household awake except for me. I slept like a baby!

Sunday was clear and bright. My friend dropped me off at my church. I was so happy to see my church family. They were happy to see me. It’s been a long time since I’ve said the Lord’s Prayer in Hawaiian, sing hymns in Hawaiian. I always feel a little closer to God there in Kuhio Chapel.

From church to the airport. Seeing the Big Island get smaller as I fly leaves an ache, but I know I will return to see Mauna Kea with Poli’ahu’s white kikepa wrapped around her shoulders…in the form of snow. As I was flying away I took this photo out of the window.
WP_20150104_001

See you soon, my island.

Kalikimaka in Kula

While winter generally brings to mind snow, sledding, icicles and freezing temperatures, here on the island of Maui the daytime temperature is still in the 80’s. No one is sledding, there is no snow nor icicles. However up the side of Haleakala mountain it is crisp enough to remind us the winter months are fast approaching. Last night was a perfect reminder of the Christmas season.

Each year the company I work for has a company party. But, this year instead of having a “one for all” they decided to have intimate parties for each of the groups. So, we were escorted in the company Mercedes shuttle up to Kula for our surprise destination. It was magical…a fairy land of lights, a delightful table-scape in the yard and a five course meal that was on par with a five-star hotel restaurant. The night was crisp but there was a fire pit for warmth and ambiance. It is difficult to capture that feeling of togetherness. And, to have the General Manager, the HR Manager and the Staff Manager cooking and waiting on us was exhilarating in how special it made us feel.

We began with an open bar which for me meant a Tequila Gimlet! Next were the pupus (appetizers) of edemame and poke (soy beans and raw fish with onions, seaweeds and spices). Then, came the most delicious manapua I’ve ever had. Next was a luscious salad with homemade croutons. The main course was an Italian seafood soup with clams, mussels, shrimp, crab and white fish. After all this delectable food, we took a break to open gifts and warm our hands by the fire. Then to top it all off, back to the table for creme brulee with the perfect crunchy topping and caramelized bananas.

Since I had left my camera at home, my friend and co-worker Rieko was kind enough to share her photos with me.

photo 2-2

A beautiful setting for a delightful party
A beautiful setting for a delightful party

photo 2-1

A composite of some of the yummies
A composite of some of the yummies

photo 5-2

Yum-yum
Yum-yum
The Maui Airport Shuttle crew
The Maui Airport Shuttle crew

I am reminded that it isn’t the snow, presents or cold weather that epitomize Christmas. It is Christ, wonderful friendships, co-workers who care for their employees and times shared with loved ones.

MELE KALIKIMAKA A ME HAU’OLI MAKAHIKI HOU…Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the island of Maui.