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.

Advertisements

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 HawaiiNewsNow.com for photos that will blow your mind.

Musings for the Day

The vagaries of time play with my thoughts reminding me to take things a little less seriously and look for the whimsical in daily life. As of late, the mundane has taken hold and each day has become a replica of the one before. I think I’m shutting myself down on Maui eagerly awaiting my return to my home on Moku O Hawai’i, The Big Island. Throughout the day I do ask time to slow a bit so as to savor the sunsets, rainbows, mountainous streams of icy water, fields of cane. There are other moments when I ask time to accelerate so there are fewer days between living and leaving.

Some choices I’ve made come back to haunt me…life changes. But, living in the past has never been my style. So, I will pick up where I left off–better prepared, more discerning and perhaps wiser. I will enjoy the company of old friends, dance with abandonment, sing with a joyful noise and leave my heart open for new friendships and love.

Finally Found

I moved to the island of Maui from the Big Island of Hawai’i two years ago. I think one of the things I missed the most was my church. Kuhio Chapel is located in the Hawaiian Homesteads and has a large congregation of mostly those that live in the area. It was my idea of what a Hawaiian church should be. Kahu Brian gave sermons from the heart. He never used notes as he knew and lived his material.

On Maui I felt I needed a church again. I first went to Keawela’i. It’s a huge church with a huge congregation. However, most of those there were visitors and there was no feeling of local camaraderie. Although it is purported to be a Hawaiian church, it didn’t, to me, seem to be very Hawaiian. It is located in Makena which is pretty long hike from Kula. Later I went to Keolahou in Kihei. Again, quite a drive but a sweet church. There was a nice feel to it, lots of opportunity to play my ukulele. However, the kahu fractured the Hawaiian language. It too was quite a drive and when my days off changed and I now work on Sunday afternoon, it was difficult to drive all the way there, then home again to get ready for work and then drive down the mountain again.

I tried Ka’ahumanu, but the congregation was terribly small. I do so enjoy going to Ka’ahumanu for the monthly Picnic for Poki which is a Hawaiian musical series on the grounds under the Monkeypod tree. I heard there was a Hawaiian church in Waiehu (another drive) and another very small congregation–five including myself. However, I did enjoy Kahu Roy. He also spoke from the heart. However, it didn’t feel like a community and was another long drive.

I was then told of a Hawaiian church in Paia. Paia is a small Hippie/New Age town right down the mountain from where I live. I would have never thought of Paia when looking for a Hawaiian church. But, when I pulled into the parking lot, it reminded me so much of Kuhio Chapel. It’s a cozy church with an active congregation of about 35. There is a piano and ukulele. The Lord’s Prayer is in Hawaiian, the Doxology is in Hawaiian, the hymns are in Hawaiian. I felt so at home. Their Kahu passed away a couple of years ago so they have an interim kahu–Kahu Roy!  He is fluent in Hawaiian. I felt so comfortable singing (well making a joyful noise). I was moved to tears, so, I think I’ve finally found my Maui church.

Paia Hawaiian Church
Paia Hawaiian Church

Changing Neighbors

I have lived in Kula for just about two years. I have a tiny apartment under the main house where the landlady lived. In an adjacent cottage is a 30ish couple. The yard is shared. We grow herbs and share. The cottage renters, Jerry and Sandy take care of several feral cats. We all get along. We carry cookies and muffins between houses. Sandy makes delicious organic soups, salads, organic oatmeal and granola. I have a running order for her weekly surprises. She delivers all over up country. Our landlady, Cheryl, is a landscaper. Consequently we have trees, shrubs, plants ablaze with color all year long.

About six months ago Cheryl decided to sell her business and travel around the world. So we got new neighbors upstairs…Barry and Terri. A super fun couple–a little rowdy, a little wild, joyous. They fit right in. They were previous owners of a catering service specializing in pastries. Yes, fit right in. We had wonderful barbecues in the yard around a fire pit. We drank wine or had a cocktail. We would have cedar-plank salmon or chicken, corn on the cob and s’mores. Last summer was a fun time of the year in Kula. However, our fun came to an end when Barry was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and the couple decided to move back to the Mainland to be closer to family.

So, in moves Linda. At first she seemed perfect. She was taking tests to become a realtor. She had a good selection of music that I could occasionally hear. She is in her early sixties, I was hoping for a kindred spirit.  But, this was not the case. At first we weren’t sure why her personality seemed to be changing. She didn’t go to work. She was home all day. It didn’t take long to realize she was drinking. Not just a glass of wine or two, but two or three bottles in the morning. By evening she was bumping around her house. She started wearing a black and white striped skirt that did not change for weeks. One night she came to my house and, through tears, told me she had been raped by her Caucasian tennis partner. I flipped. She assured me she had called the police, had a rape kit done at Kula Hospital. I fed her dinner, but during the time spent together she kept asking if she should call the police. Some other things weren’t adding up. She was telling the story with different details. So, the next morning, I mentioned it to Sandy. She laughed! What? She then told me that Linda had told her a couple of days before that she had leukemia. A friend had gone through a litany of “diseases” with her. Then about a half hour later, our gardener knocked on my door and told me Linda told him she had been raped by a black man who came across the yard. He was upset because he has two young daughters.  I assured him this was a fabrication.

Since then we’ve had the police knocking on our doors a couple times a week. When they get a report of a rape, it’s something they can’t ignore. Within the last week, she has been raped by a black and a white man in a Camaro, raped by a bicycle rider, a black man who hit her over the head with a baseball bat and raped her, an assault with a baseball bat and then the man jumped off her balcony. She has had leukemia, flu, breast cancer. She has been taken off to jail in a police car, taken away on a stretcher to the hospital. She been in rehab but checks out in a few days to go to the market. She’s back within a few hours or a few days carrying huge bags of wine bottles. She decided she needed a roommate so she found a man on Craig’s List. He was a older man. I was so afraid for him. If she charged him with rape, since he would be right there and handy, he would be arrested. So, I suggested Jerry talk to him. He has decided to find another place. Our landlady has issued an eviction notice. We are counting the days. I’m now wondering if Linda will even remember getting the notice. She remembers very little. I feel sorry for her. We have all tried to help at one time or another to no avail. We are getting tired of being embroiled in her drama. She needs help but doesn’t feel she needs help. She is losing friends who are getting tired of being called at odd times with crazy stories. I wonder if she is so far gone that she doesn’t even know what she is doing to her life.

She was given 45 days to find a new place. I don’t know if she will have enough of a state of mind to find another apartment.

Cheryl will be back by the end of July. So, the police will have their work cut out for them during the next six weeks.

In the Future…

Oh, the comfort–the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person–having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.
Dinah Craik