hard to believe…

…it’s been 50 years since I graduated from high school! Jan 14 024

I don’t think I’d have remembered if I’d not received an email reminding me. Unfortunately my daughter’s wedding precludes my attending the reunion.

Half-a-century ago the island of Maui was my entire world. As a youngster, I only knew mainland America as it was reflected in TV sitcoms, like I Love Lucy or variety programs, like The Ed Sullivan Show. Anything beyond the United States might as well have been somewhere out there in the universe.

Today, Maui is one of the most sought after destinations in the world. Oprah Winfrey calls it her home-away-from-home, with a beautiful spread in Kula.

The Maui I knew was small-town USA, in the middle of nowhere. Actually, it was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean…still is. Kids were kids, trying hard to be seen but not heard. Entire neighborhoods were ours to explore. We were allowed to wander as far as our small legs could carry us, to and from. Walking to the local library, 45 minutes from home was not a big deal. Lugging a bag of groceries home from the supermarket was a fact of life for me.

Scoring a dime from my mom for an ice cream Dilly stick at Dairy Queen’s was a rare treat. Joining my best friend and her dad for a Saturday morning cartoon, and having him pay my 25 cent theater admission was a huge deal! And waiting outside the local bakery’s back door for hot-out-of-the oven butter bread, was well worth all the kneeling and praying I’d done at church just prior.

For 12 years, St. Anthony’s School was my life. And while my feet were firmly planted in Maui, the nuns who taught me helped grow the wings I would use to one day leave behind my idyllic, island life. Much to my chagrin at the time, the good sisters would prod me on to do better academically. It was easier for me to dance the night away, than it was to recite correct algebra answers. Pranks were more my style, like the time I squirt dish soap into the fish tank. Sister Dominic, the biology instructor, was not too happy at having to empty the tank of all the suds and refill it with fresh water.

I learned about boys, even dated a few…in spite of the nuns. Although I’m certain they had a hand in keeping me virginal until the right time…and man…came along. Thank you, Sisters!!! My husband thanks you as well…

Periodic newsletters arrive from my old alma mater. Images of fresh-faced, young students rekindle a flood of memories reminding me of simpler times. When folks lived simpler lives…enjoying one another…and being thankful for what we had.

Then, as now…

…getting back to basics…is life in a nutshell…no matter where I live.

………hugmamma. 

 

 

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…a dream come true…???

I had been here before, a long time ago. 

Exactly where here was, I couldn’t say.

I only knew that I had been very happy. I had belonged. It had been home.

I had been here before, a long time ago.

Was it a memory…or just a dream?

Perhaps I was playing at make-believe.

I had been here before, a long time ago.

Others were with me. I was not alone.

They were fussing and fawning, bowing and curtsying.

I had been here before, a long time ago.

Momentary lightness quickly turned to thundering darkness.

Lightning bolts ripped my cloud apart.

I had been here before, a long time ago.

Torrential rains shut out the sun.

Blackness. 

I had been here before, a long time ago.

I grew in light and beauty…the darkness retreated.

My life…the sun.

I had been here before, a long time ago.

My island paradise. My people. My Maui.

At last…I am home.

(Photo courtesy of Cheri Lucas Rowlands/The Daily Post.)

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/build-your-own/

 

 

best friends ‘neath the papaya trees…

As a youngster growing up on the Island of Maui, I had a best girlfriend with whom I got into a lot of mischief. We never went looking for trouble, yet trouble always seemed to find us.

Take the time Lee and I went in search of stray kittens. It was either her cat or mine that had given birth to a litter. We were sure the kittens had been  sequestered nearby. We searched in and around both our houses, scouring the surrounding shrubbery as well, and my mom’s greenhouse. It only seemed natural that the cat would want to keep her young safe from prying eyes and worse, bothersome children.

Not finding our prey, my sidekick and I ventured into uncharted territory, a neighbor’s yard.

An elderly, Japanese couple owned the property which backed up against both ours. Separated by a tall, wooden fence, we could only glimpse the tops of their papaya trees.

Proceeding cautiously, we crept onto virgin territory.

Stepping gingerly between rows of vegetables foreign to me at the time, we mewed softly hoping for a response. It didn’t take long when, to our delighted surprise, one white kitten scampered across our path and out of sight. Darting to and fro we tried to pick up its trail. With the noon sun beating down upon us, we paused to find respite in the shade of the papaya trees.

Relaxing my guard I leaned back against a papaya tree, wrapping my arms around its scrawny trunk. Lee and I soon found ourselves laughing giddily. Chasing after kittens in the neighbor’s yard seemed deliciously naughty, and tons of fun. 

As if on cue, we heard someone stirring inside the house.

Preparing to flee, the tree moved with me as I straightened up. My heart dropped to my toes when I realized that the tree had come loose from its hole in the ground. With mouths agape and eyes darting toward the front of the house where the owners would soon emerge to see what was afoot, Lee and I hadn’t a clue what to do with the tree. Sounds of a door slamming and footsteps in the carport catapulted me into action. With arms still wrapped securely around its trunk, I leaned the papaya tree against another of its kind nearby. 

Without looking back, Lee and I bolted out the side gate through which we had entered. We took refuge on our side of the tall fence, too scared to talk. Hunkering down in fearful excitement, we could hear soft voices grumbling. I’m sure they weren’t saying “Hot diggity dog! Just what we wanted…a broken papaya tree!”

While we were never found out, my friend and I never trespassed onto the neighbor’s property again. We did, however, manage to find ourselves entangled in other such uproarious adventures.

Crazy escapades were just part of our childhood, Lee’s and mine. We were just lucky that way…I guess.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/my-dear-watson/

on the right side of white…

Dear Dr. King,

Your ears must be ringing since everyone’s been talking about you. The media has been playing your “I have a dream” speech over and over again.

The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Free...

The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on the National Mall facing east from the Lincoln Memorial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One anecdote was of particular interest.  It seems a pro basketball player who stood nearby asked if he might have your speech after you’d delivered it. Evidently you gave him the 3 pages, because he still has it.

I have no such memento of that historical day, or the faintest recollection of where I was when you spoke those famous words. It’s safe to say I probably felt as far removed from the black situation as I was the day you stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I was thousands of miles away on the island of Maui in Hawaii. You were changing history…and I didn’t bear witness.

But just as a pebble causes ever-widening ripples to occur when it hits the water’s surface, your words have affected generations of lives…for the better. And so it seems only fitting that I write you this long overdue thank you letter.

If you hadn’t stood tall for racial injustice I might not be living on…the right side of “white.”

I graduated from college, and with my degree was able to work alongside white colleagues in a number of different jobs.

My family and I have felt at home in neighborhoods predominantly populated by whites.

Our daughter has thrived in all white schools.

We can shop where we please. We can choose which theater to see a movie. We can dine where we like. We can use public restrooms without reservation. We can travel by plane, train or ship. We can overnight in a Hyatt or a Best Western. We can decide which services get our business be it the cable company, the dentist, or a contractor.

No one looks twice at my driver’s license picture. Retailers are only too happy to take my money. Pre-approved applications for credit cards always arrive in the daily mail.

I owe my quality of life to the steps you took to improve your family’s life, and the lives of other African Americans, Hispanics, Middle-Easterners, Asians…and Pacific Islanders like me.

What you did 50 years ago will continue to resonate until mankind ceases to exist.

I may have been born on the wrong side of white, but thanks to your dream of what could be…

English: Inscription on the steps of the Linco...

English: Inscription on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, commemorating the location from which Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington on 1963-08-28. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…i’m living on the right side of white…

…mahalo!…

………hugmamma.

…my son…

I’m certain I speak collectively for many Hawaiian mothers, especially those like me without sons of our own.

President Barack Obama addresses the House Dem...

President Barack Obama addresses the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Barack Obama makes me proud.

He may not have the blood of my Hawaiian ancestors coursing through his veins. What he does have…is the aloha spirit… which envelopes all…as ohana…family.

I don’t profess to speak for all islanders of my native land. I can only speak what’s in my own heart.

Barack Obama loves his family…his country…and all those who share in his passion for both.

Barack Obama goes about his work without the fanfare of his powerful Office.

Barack Obama does not gladhand…or backslap…or coo sweet nothings in the ears of his challengers.

Barack Obama invites all to sit down at the table, knowing that is the way of a good host. Remembering all the while that he is…the host under whose roof all sit. As such, it is his duty to uphold the…law of the land in justice…and concern for those who are the least among us.

Barack Obama took up that for which he was destined…the Presidency of the United States. He did not flinch in his duty to his fellow Americans. No obstacle was too great that he could not overcome.

Barack Obama is a son of Hawaii. No piece of paper can substitute for the acceptance of a woman born and raised on Maui.

Barack Obama is Hawaii’s son…and therefore…my son.

Stanley Armour Dunham, Ann Dunham, Maya Soetor...

Stanley Armour Dunham, Ann Dunham, Maya Soetoro and Barack Obama, mid 1970s (l to r) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…what mother…wouldn’t be proud…………hugmamma.

i have my memories…

It’d been several years since I was home to visit family in Hawaii. With my mother in-law’s passing, my husband, daughter and I made the trip to Honolulu with a mixture of sadness and joy.

We were fortunate to rent a condo near the hub of tourist activities, Waikiki Beach, without being in the midst of all the traffic…pedestrian and automotive.

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To say I felt rejuvenated as the days unfolded, is an understatement. The sheer pleasure of walking out the front door, hand-in-hand with my hubby, and having the warm, tropical breezes softly brush both cheeks was simply…heaven on earth.

Our walks rarely varied. We’d stop to breakfast at a small cafe in a nearby hotel, before leisurely strolling along the beach.

Thinking healthy, we’d order scrambled egg whites, oatmeal, and island must-haves…a few pieces of Portuguese sausage and a couple of macadamia nut pancakes. To the surprise of the young waitress, hubby and I would share our bountiful meal. Explaining our desire to live long, happy lives…she’d smile, nodding her approval.

Sitting among planters brimming with colorful varieties of orchids, and gentle trees whose limbs directed our eyes toward the sand and sea…we felt at peace with our surroundings…and life in general.

This was the Hawaii of my childhood, only better. Carefree…bellies full…dreams realized.

Wandering the length of the beach, we were amazed at the expanded shore line. It literally took my breath away.

The last time I saw this section of Waikiki Beach, much of the ocean was walled off by a long, winding stonewall. What water was free of obstruction was literally lapping at my feet.

View of Waikiki Beach area hotels. Halekulani ...

View of Waikiki Beach area hotels. Halekulani is in the center, to the left of the large curved building (Hotel Sheraton). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I liked what I was seeing this go round.

Sand as far as my eyes could see. The beach front of my childhood. Nothing between me and the Pacific, blue waters…but glistening, white sand.

One day when my daughter and I sought to spend several hours basking in the sun, we made our way down to the beach. I opted for laying our towels in the immediate vicinity of a manmade lagoon which sat between a hotel and the ocean.

Dropping myself onto the towel, my bottom literally went…kerplunk! The sand felt as hard as a wood floor. Wasn’t it suppose to be cushiony?

My daughter laughed, her eyes twinkling in the sunlight.

She reminded me that my brother-in-law, her uncle, had told us the beach front had been a creation of man’s ingenuity.

All of the sand we beheld had been brought there, tons and tons of it. The shoreline had literally been swallowed up by the ocean. As a result, the city and affected businesses had to pay for its reconstruction. Otherwise, where would the tourists go? Elsewhere, obviously.

I remember an older sister telling me long ago, that the beaches were disappearing inch by inch.

A teen, too young to care, I didn’t put much stock in what she said. But after thinking about this situation recently, I can remember how surprised I was when I visited Kihei on the island of Maui over 20 years ago. My favorite beach bore no resemblance to the one I loved, growing up.

Kalama Beach Park was a regular weekend destination for my family. As soon as my mom pulled into the parking lot and stopped the car, my brother, sister and I flung open the doors and raced one another to the beach.

Digging our toes into the hot sand, we’d plop our bodies down…reveling in the openness and the breathtaking beauty that surrounded us.

Never could I have imagined that sweet memories of childhood days frolicking on the wide open beaches of my birthplace…would be all that remained.

When I hear and see, as I did last night when watching the PBS FRONTLINE documentary, of the effects of global warming, I’m saddened to know what has happened in Hawaii has occurred elsewhere, and is continuing to take place…now…in areas of our country such as North Carolina.

I believe we have tampered with Mother Nature.

Anyone who contemplates all the changes that have occurred within recent decades to the weather and to the earth itself, cannot explain away our impact upon these events.

We are not invisible.

We have used all available natural resources to indulge ourselves. Meanwhile, we have put very little effort into ensuring that these resources will be available long term…for our children, grand-children, great-grand-children…and their children, grand-children, great-grand-children.

I have my memories. You probably have yours. What kind of memories will our loved ones have?

Unless we invest in our environment, our beaches…may altogether…disappear. …and so it begins………hugmamma.

 

Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

 

the new year…60s,70s,80s way

Russian Rainbow Gathering. Nezhitino, August 2005

Image via Wikipedia

You might think I’m referring to the psychedelic era when the flower children came into their own….and I’m not referring to “keikis”… Hawaiian for offspring. You remember the young men and women donned in breezy shirts, slacks and skirts, fresh flowers stuck behind their ears…eyes glazed over from smoking joints of “pot, ” better known as marijuana. Or some even strung out on LSD.

No, no, no. Think…hearing aids, dentures, heart surgery, spandex, grandchildren, “snowbirds.” Okay, now you’re getting the picture. Seniors and baby boomers are those to whom I’m referring…in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Rather than spend the entire New Year‘s eve comfortably vegetating, my husband and I decided to accept a neighbor’s invitation for hors d’oeuvres, and dinner at a local restaurant afterwards. While they’d been to our home…to celebrate last Christmas…we’d never been to theirs. I was eager to join them because they’d just married in the spring. They are a wonderful couple, so deserving of a second chance at happiness…he’d lost his wife a few years ago and she’d been divorced for some time. I found it so easy to love them both.

We had a merry time, noshing  and visiting with old friends and new acquaintances. My husband and I were given a tour of a remodeled bathroom so that we could decide whether or not to use the carpenter who’d done the job. And we probably will, if he’s not overly-booked.

italian food

Image via Wikipedia

Dinner at an Italian restaurant was the perfect ending to an already festive New Year’s Eve celebration. Seated on my right side was a new acquaintance who informed me that her family regularly vacations at Napili on Maui. Owning a timeshare, they’ve loved the sun, sand, and casual life I’d known having been born and raised on that island paradise. However I was unprepared for the news the woman imparted as we continued to talk.

Within the last couple of months she’d had her purse stolen while vacationing on Maui. Having forgotten it in the shopping cart at a grocery store, the purse was gone when she returned to fetch it. She spent several hours with the police sorting out the details. Upon returning home, another crime…more cynical…awaited her.

Playing bridge on the internet was something my new friend enjoyed doing. In the midst of a game she got a phone call. As she talked…a hacker broke into her computer and made off with…everything…credit card info, bank info, email addresses. Needless to say it took paid technicians to right the wrong, after her son’s attempts at doing so proved futile.

On top of her own problems, this warm-hearted lady is also dealing with her 93-year-old mom’s health issues as well.

 Embracing when we said our goodbyes, we were like 2 islanders who’d shared delicious food, savory wine, and a good time…”talking story”…pigeon english for “telling stories.”

…new year’s…new friends…new routine…not bad…

Signs welcoming visitor the Paia, Maui. Under ...

Image via Wikipedia

Hippie bug!

Image via Wikipedia

………hugmamma.  🙂

tis the season…to give

I’m certain moms everywhere will agree that this is the season when we’re called upon to give, give and give some more. How we manage to get through the holidays when additional tasks are piled onto our already overflowing platters is beyond comprehension. But we do.

Public Photograph of Stewart Udall walking wit...

Image via Wikipedia

Shop for and wrap gifts, for family and friends. Write greeting cards and letters sharing news of interest. Shop for, prepare and host festive meals. Acknowledge all those who are of service throughout the year with special tokens of appreciation. Plan and prepare for holiday trips to visit relatives, or to have them come and visit. Remember the less fortunate with hand-selected presents or volunteering one’s time and energy. As the poet Robert Frost wrote “But I have promises to keep…and miles to go before I sleep…and miles to go before I sleep.”

It took me nearly 2 weeks to decorate my house to the nines, being mindful not to exacerbate my back pain. Knowing of my daughter’s love for family traditions makes the effort more than worthwhile. Then I arranged for our menagerie of pets to be cared for while we made a long weekend visit to see my daughter perform in her ballet company’s Nutcracker. And, of course, I offered to finish the Christmas decorating she’d begun in her apartment.

I couldn’t resist cooking a huge pot of chili, most of which I froze for meals my daughter could easily defrost and heat later. I did the same with  salisbury steak…hamburger patties with mushroom and onion seasoned gravy…a favorite of our family’s. I laundered her bed linens so that after spending the holidays with us, she’d return home to a freshly made bed in the New Year.

Old Mother Hubbard and Her Dog

Image via Wikipedia

My husband and I grocery shopped, stocking the refrigerator and cupboards with favorite foods. No more “old Mother Hubbard,” when “hugmamma’s” around. And while our daughter spent her days at the theatre preparing for performances, we scrubbed and vacuumed and cleaned so that she wouldn’t feel the need to tidy up before heading out of town for some much needed R and R.

And now that she’s home with us, my husband and I dote upon our daughter, cherishing the limited time we have together as a family under the same roof once again. We tease each other good naturedly, laughing at “inside” jokes.

Cover of

Cover of Holiday Inn (Special Edition)

Late into the night my daughter and I watch black-and-white videos like Bing Crosby’sHoliday Inn and Barbara Stanwyck‘s “Christmas in Connecticut.” Other times I groan as she and her dad watch “Polar Express,” a favorite that he plays every evening…dozing off and on throughout. I’ve probably seen more of it than my husband…not necessarily a good thing.

While dad’s up to his eyeballs in paperwork at the office, my daughter and I scurry about like Cinderella‘s mice…driving to appointments…last minute shopping…visiting with acquaintances for a few minutes…catching quick bites, whenever and wherever we can.

In the evenings, we all collapse into our favorite chairs…and veg…like lumps of coal. Not a bad thing in this case. Time to catch our breaths before starting all over again tomorrow…more appointments…more waiting…more driving. But this mom wouldn’t have it any other way. Time with my daughter is a gift which I never take for granted.

English: Michelle Obama served food at Miriam’...

Image via Wikipedia

And we’ve decided to add one more thing to our holiday “to do” list…to spend Christmas Day preparing dishes to serve to those less fortunate in our community. We’ll join other volunteers in trying to bring a little happiness to some who might otherwise find it very difficult to come by.

I find the best part of Christmas is…in the giving. I know I come by that trait from my mom. Growing up I remember when she painstakingly crafted wreaths as gifts from wire hangers, newspapers and fronds of evergreen gathered in our annual outing to the countryside in search of the perfect Christmas tree.

English: Eucalyptus globulus (view towards Kul...

Image via Wikipedia

Yes…there were groves of evergreen scattered here and there in the more elevated temperatures in Kula on the island of Maui. The trees were usually on private property where my mom would venture to knock on the door of the owner’s house, and ask if we might cut down one of their trees. I can’t ever remember being turned away. Perhaps the sight of a single mom, an island native, with several children in tow tugged at the heartstrings of those who heard her humble request. 

English: Christmas Trees. Christmas tree farm ...

Image via Wikipedia

Thinking back upon such times, images flood my mind of being invited inside to partake of cookies and milk and warm conversation. My mom, at her best, genuine conviviality overflowing onto those in her presence. Who could resist granting her wish for a Christmas tree for her family…and refusing the $5 she offered wholeheartedly?

So in turn, my mom would find joy in giving to others…what she herself made. I would always help deliver the products of our own labor…for we too learned to make what we couldn’t buy. At the time it always seemed far more exciting to receive the store bought items given to us in return..candies, small toys, board games. 

Although handcrafting presents has long since fallen by the way side, giving to others brings me great pleasure and is something that I’ve continued in the tradition of my mom. Seeing someone’s eyes light up with wonder at receiving a tangible expression of my care and concern for him, or her, is a gift to me…that lasts a lifetime. And so… 

…i wish you happiness…in the gifts of small, precious moments…throughout the holidays…and all the days…of your wonderful life…

………hugmamma.  🙂

daily post challenge #227: more short stories in six words

short stories of little consequence

It’s 2:34 a.m. and I can’t stop my brain from coming up with short stories in 6 words. Thanks a lot, WordPress! I need insomnia like I need a hole in my head. Well, maybe I can let flow some of these words that are like molten lava. Hope you think these were worth getting out of bed to insert into a new post.

Beauty. Beast. You know the rest.

Potter and Rowlings work their magic.

Runaway bride caught. Gets life. Finally!

Dad’s “pumpkin pie.” A pretty ballerina.

Sunny Seattle! Are you kidding me?

Maui girl. Now in heart only.

Young…upward facing dog. Old…downward facing dog.

can you come up with any?…careful…you won’t be able to stop…i still can’t………hugmamma.

Note: Just noticed the last one has 8 words. Duh??? Well, now you know which way my dog is facing!!!  😉

daily post challenge #205: what food entices me…yet i’m afraid to try

At the Big Pineapple

Image by yewenyi via Flickr

When I was in high school, a friend started pushing insects and frogs legs. Not like she was pushing dope or anything. Though I wouldn’t know the difference, since I’ve never been in the latter situation. But my girlfriend seemed an expert on the latest trend. Living on Maui in the 50s and 60s, who knew what the fad-of-the-day was anywhere else in the world. In those days I longed to get off the “rock.” Even moving to Honolulu was something I longed to do…the excitement of the big city, and all that went along. And it was nothing, nothing like it is today. But compared to life on Maui, Honolulu represented the “Big Pineapple.”

My girlfriend may have gotten the delicacies from family in the Orient. She was an only child of first generation Japanese parents. I know they ate very traditional dishes, prepared by her mom. I never ate with her family, and I’m sure if I did I wouldn’t have been overly appreciative. My taste buds were nowhere as developed then, as they are now.

My mom use to trawl the muddy, water habitats where taro leaves grew, taro being the root from which the Hawaiian staple, poi, is made. What she was looking for were large snails, called “pupus.” They might’ve been related to the French escargot. Upon getting her catch home, my mom would boil the snails in salted water, probably a couple of times to rid them of the grit and grime in which they crawled. 

As the shelled slugs boiled, the whole house stunk, the smell making me sick to my stomach. I’m not sure if my siblings relished eating them as my mom did. Watching her stick the sharp end of a safety pin into the opening of the snail’s shell and drag its dead body out, popping it into her mouth, would make me cringe backwards in revulsion. But now anytime there’s escargot on the menu, I’m up for the tasty treat. Who’d a thunk?   

frogs' legs

Image via Wikipedia

But I must say I was most definitely intrigued by my school friend’s offerings of chocolate-covered ants and grasshoppers. After all to a kid, chocolate is chocolate, insects or no. And frogs legs, fried to a crisp, which my friend kept wrapped like the delicacies that they were…in white tissue paper, looked irresistible. My friend said they tasted just like chicken. My mom once told me that about eating rabbit. She lied. To me, eating a bunny was gross, and the taste to me was weird, not the least like chicken. 

Others tried the edibles on a dare. You’d think I’d have tried them since they’d be a change from the canned food I usually ate. But no thank you. The thought of eating ants which I was inclined to squish with bare feet, and grasshoppers that I’d watch sitting on a leaf for what seemed ages, and frogs that I’d hunt down in cane fields and nearby murky ponds for biology class experiments, was repulsive to say the least. In my childish way of thinking, I imagined these critters would merely resume life as they knew it…in my innards. And as far as I was concerned there was definitely “no room in the inn…period!”

Chocolate Covered Ant Cupcakes

Image by Photos o' Randomness via Flickr

In college I again encountered chocolate covered insects. A friend with whom I worked at the University of Hawaii Bookstore, brought in a box she’d purchased at a fancy department store. I was sorely tempted to sample what I thought I might have missed as an inexperienced, young teen. But my second encounter with cooked bugs was no different from my first. In truth…I knew I was still a chicken when it came to swallowing things i don’t even want crawling around inside my house…

let alone have them making themselves comfy cozy…inside my body…pawk, pawk…ribbet, ribbet………hugmamma. 

grasshopper-1

Image by musical photo man via Flickr

365 photo challenge: early

As regular readers of my blog are aware, I’ not an early riser. Only when the stars are perfectly aligned, will my brain and body combine to coerce me from bed and into Kristina’s Every Way Fitness class at 8:15 a.m., Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays. At that hour of the morning, the only thing that can get me into the mood is moving to the music. Must be the rythmn of the islands with which I was born.

I might be inclined to get up with the early bird, you know, the one who’s famous for catching the worm, if I could awake to sights such as these. I do miss the breathtaking scenery of my childhood haunts…on Maui.

Looking into Haleakalā Crater

Image via Wikipedia

The sun rises from the clouds over Maui, taken...

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Hamilton has a family home in Maui, Kauai (and...

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Iao Valley, in Maui. Photo by LDC, released to...

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Kahikinui coastline, Maui

Image via Wikipedia

Road To Hana - Maui, Hawaii

Image by IronRodArt - Royce Bair via Flickr

Road2hana

Image via Wikipedia

Wailua Falls, along the Road to Hana, Maui, Ha...

Image by Mastery of Maps via Flickr

Road to Hana

Image by sotheavy via Flickr

Crash!

Image by Randy Son Of Robert via Flickr

Lava Meets Wave

Image by Randy Son Of Robert via Flickr

who knows…..living on maui again…..i may succumb to the island way…..

sleeping all day!………hugmamma.  😉

“shaka, bra…”

Sunset from Ka'annapali, Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Image by Mastery of Maps via Flickr

That’s Hawaiian speak for “it’s easy,” “no worries,” “right on.” At least that’s what I’ve thought it to mean when I lived and played in the islands, decades ago. I’m sure over time it’s come to mean more things to more people. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find the following email from kamaainas (non-locals who become locals by virtue of moving to Hawaii or owning property there). I don’t know them personally, but feel I do through their intermittent communication. Hope you enjoy this mini “pigeon-english” lesson. Never know, it might come in handy on a future visit to my native island paradise.

Aloha!
The “shaka” sign has meant many things over the years and is a definite part of Hawaiian culture and the aloha spirit that is always present in Hawai’i. Today, it can mean many things, including “Howzit?” (How’s it going?), “No worries!”, “Thanks!” and much more. It is by far the most well-known and used gesture by Hawai’i locals and islanders, men, women, and keiki (children) alike. It’s used as a gesture of friendship, to greet, and to say goodbye. It’s how local people wave at others. Interpreted to mean “hang loose” or “right on,” the “shaka” sign is a constant reminder that in Hawaii, it is not the norm to worry or rush. “Shaka” represents the embodiment of “island style.” It signals that everything is all right.

Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Image by Mastery of Maps via Flickr

The “shaka” sign is more than just nonverbal communication. When you use it, you acknowledge the true concept of aloha and participate in the synergistic heartbeat of Hawai’i. A guest expressed it this way: “We remember when we got our first “shaka” in Hawai’i. We were enjoying the drive on the road to Hana. We looked in the rearview mirror and noticed a pickup truck following behind us. We assumed the folks in the truck were local residents and weren’t on a sightseeing mission as we were, so at our first opportunity, we pulled over to let the truck pass by us. As the truck passed, the passenger gave us a ‘shaka’.” (By the way, local residents will always appreciate your pulling over to allow them to pass if you are driving slowly.)

Edited photo of

Image via Wikipedia

To make a “shaka,” extend your thumb and pinkie while curling in the index and middle fingers. You can rotate your wrist too.

The “shaka” is a simple, yet powerful, way to remind locals and visitors of the way people look out for each other on the Islands, and strive to spread aloha day in, and day out, in keeping with the Hawaiian principle of “malama i kekahi i kekahi,”…”take care of one, take care of all.”

If you’re new to the islands, don’t be shy about throwing up “shakas.” Just make sure you’ve got the hand gesture down first!

road to hana

A hui hou…
Anne & Wes

 
 

 

 

365 photo challenge: publisher

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. My first attempt at putting a piece of writing “out there,” is occurring within a few days.

Author B. C. Young has given me the opportunity to publish a story on his blog, “The Time Capsule.” You might say, Mr. Young is my first publisher. His inquiry came after I posted his interview on my blog about self-publishing. Grateful that he would promote something I’d written, I’m encouraged to add to, and eventually finish the piece, whether as a short story or a novel.

I invite you to visit his blog at http://the-time-capsule.com over the next few days in anticipation of my piece, “A Long-Held Secret.” Of course I’ll alert you when Mr. Young advises that he’s published my work. He enjoyed my piece; I’m hoping you will as well. I look forward to reading comments you leave on his blog.

hoping you agree with b.c. young…hugmamma. 

omg…the sun’s out!!!

View of Mt. McKinley of the Denali National Park.

Image via Wikipedia

Here in the Seattle area, the sun rarely comes calling. This winter it’s stayed away even longer than usual. Is it still lazing in the tropical Hawaiian skies, or warming the high elevations of Mt. McKinley, or is it just refusing to pick up and move? If I were only as agile as the young man in Greek mythology, Icharus, I think, who rode his chariot up to lasso the sun, dragging it downward, closer to earth? Or was it a young Hawaiian boy who did that, housing the sun permanently in the dormant volcano, Haleakala? Sometimes too much education can be confusing. Although this particular myth may have its home in both cultures. Will have to check.

Icarus and Daedalus

Image via Wikipedia

 

Being unprepared for such an event, especially when the electricity has been out for about 12 hours, I feel like a kid in a candy shop. I don’t know where to go or what to do first. Too many choices, not enough time before darkness settles in again. What am I saying…it’s always dark around here.

I think I’ll just keep blogging until September when the sun is REALLY here!

an arthritic hawaiian who’s like a “fish out of water”…literally……… …..hugmamma.

Looking into Haleakalā Crater

Image via Wikipedia

the japanese, a stalwart people

A bowl of miso soup

Image via Wikipedia

My husband and I had dinner at Tokyo, a small Japanese restaurant. Some might call it a “hole in the wall.” Regular diners, like ourselves, use the phrase lovingly. In other words the restaurant’s appearance is nothing spectacular, but its food is “to die for,” and its prices are fair. My combination dinner of miso soup, salad with Japanese dressing, teriyaki salmon, California roll, brown rice and a peeled orange that was sweet and juicy, “hit the spot.” I love Japanese food, at least the westernized version of the more traditional fare.

California roll served in Shanghai, China. Pre...

Image via Wikipedia

During dinner my husband asked if I’d thought about the next topic for my blog. I said “Yes, that I had.” The recent Tsunami in Japan had me thinking about its people. While I don’t know anyone who lives there, I’m well acquainted with their culture. Hawaii is a melting pot of ethnicities, Japanese being one of them. Historically they were enlisted to work the plantations, replacing the first wave of immigrants, the Chinese, who improved their lot, moving from laborers to small business owners.

Growing up among the Japanese in Maui, I saw them as a quiet, soft-spoken, hard-working people. Family and honor were important in their culture. They were leaders, for sure, but they led by example. Children knew what was expected of them, because they did as their parents did. And the adults seemed to do whatever was necessary to provide for themselves and their families, by simply doing. They grew their own produce, they fished, they opened small mom and pop grocery stores. From what I observed, the Japanese seemed a very self-sufficient people. Moreover, I never heard them complain. It seemed they felt anything was possible, if they just worked hard enough.

When learning of the devastating losses it has suffered in the wake of the Tsunami, I could only think that Japan will re-emerge strong once again, like the mythological phoenix which arose from its own ashes. It is not a nation that cries out in desperation. Instead its people will put their noses to the proverbial grindstone, and rebuild their country from the ground up, making it even better than before. If God ever imbued a people with the gift of everlasting hope, in my opinion it would have to be the Japanese.

for a country of hard-working people…hugs and prayers…hugmamma.