Safe No More?

Aloha!

One of things I’ve always loved the absolute most about living in Maui is the feeling of safety. I feel no need to stride purposely through a parking lot, keys in hand, ready to jump in my car to avoid being raped, robbed, or murdered…as I always felt in California.

Maui has been different. It just hasn’t had the big-city problems. Until now. There are two women missing, both of them having disappeared in the last month. There are posters plastered everywhere that say “Have you seen Charlie Scott?” This woman, “Charlie” was five months pregnant. They have found her burned-out truck and her faithful dog, but no Charlie. She was last seen on the way to meet her ex-boyfriend, the father of her child. The ex-boyfriends of both missing women are “persons of interest.” (This makes me feel somewhat better, just so we don’t have to yet utter those dreaded two words–“serial killer.”)

This stuff just doesn’t happen here. But now, everyone is beginning to wonder. My niece, Alyssa, who has been living with us for a few months, is suddenly on high alert as she walks home from the bus stop after work. She scoffs now at me telling her how safe Maui was when she moved here. She doesn’t think it’s so safe. There are two missing women.

One thing about an island this size– it’s very hard to run or hide. All they have to do is close the airport, or check the docks. Our friend Mike, who is a heavy equipment operator and owns a lot of big machinery, had his backhoe stolen from a job site at one point. First of all, how is someone going to get a backhoe off the island without arousing suspicion? So, Mike figured it had to still be on the island. He chartered a helicopter, flew over the island, and Bingo! there it was sitting in someone’s yard.

But they have done the whole search by air/search by land grid-pattern for these two women, and have turned up nothing. To me, there’s a very good possible explanation they are overlooking in this story.

We are surrounded by a vast ocean. All it takes is a good chunk of concrete, and anybody would be gone.

I pray for the families of these two women. I also pray that the halcyon days of safety in Maui are not over forever.

A hui hou! Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button in the bottom right corner of the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

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L-O-V-E

Aloha!

Living on an island far away can make visiting family a real challenge. Airfare is expensive. How much vacation time do we get? But in the last three years, I lost my dad, my mom, and my beloved step – dad. A few years before that, we lost Mike’s dad. “Lost” is an interesting term. They are gone. What is really lost… the times we will never again have with them? Or the times we could have had with them, but were too busy?

I’m keenly aware of these losses as the months pass this year. February 3rd would’ve been my mom’s 79th birthday. And we are not on the phone this year discussing the upcoming Oscar contenders. (Mom went to the movies every Friday, no matter what. Ate a giant tub popcorn all by herself. She was raised on Shirley Temple movies.)

After the Oscars, then Mother’s Day will roll around, but I won’t have to buy a card. Ditto, Father’s Day. Then my birthday, which was also their wedding anniversary–but no celebration this year.

And so on.

My uncle Frank put it this way: “I can remember every Christmas, there always a big hubbub to make it to both parents’ house: mine and the in-laws. It was hard, because it was so busy. Now… everyone’s dead. And we’re kinda of wishing we were that busy again.”

I knew a Mom who used to tell her kids, anytime they fought: “You better love your brother, because when I’m gone, all you’ll have is each other! ” The kids’ eyes would bug out over that. You mean I’ll be stuck with HIM?

Life is officially crazy. We all know it, and we know it’s probably not going to change. So as you race through your days, and maybe groan as you see upcoming birthdays and holidays on the calendar, picture it gone. Picture them gone. Gone.

Magically, your life will never be so busy again.

Stephen Stills said it best, though he no doubt was referring to romantic love. Maybe you don’t have a sweetie this Valentine’s Day. (The singles in Maui complain that the pickin’s are real slim for romance…)

But do you have a mom, dad, or grandmother? A brother or sister? a cousin that you got into all kinds of mischief with as a kid– but you’re too busy to call…let alone get together, anymore?

They will someday all be gone, every one of them. Sooner than you think.

Love the one you’re with.

A hui hou! Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button in the bottom right corner of the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Lucky You Live Hawaii

Aloha!
In case you’re unaware, the people who live in Hawaii are traditionally non-complainers. The person you complain about will shore ’nuff turn out to be cousin Bully’s girlfriend. Or her Auntie. So Hawaiians just let things be.
That said, I am loathe to complain about our new postal carrier. (The guy who used to do our route had the nerve to retire after thirty years. He was German. Precise. Sigh…) So we have this new, Local, female carrier.
Suddenly, days are going by where we are getting no mail, which is the first tip-off that something is hinky. Especially since I’d ordered four books for a course I am taking. Where are they?
Then out of the blue, we get mail for three different families in our box. Not just one. Three. Excuse me, but isn’t that a violation of some type of right-to-your-own-mail statute?
So I chase the mail truck down the street.
I puff up to the truck and tell her, “Here. This mail goes to three different houses. It’s not ours.”
She shrugs. In Pidgin: “Ho! I’m new, you know.”
Me: “But also, our Netflix DVD didn’t arrive for four days. You must have delivered it to the wrong address, because some kind soul put in our mailbox on a SUNDAY morning.”
More shrugs and a laugh. “I’m new.”
I press: “But we PAY for Netflix. When it sits at someone else’s house for four days, we are paying for that time.”
She ha-haha-ed again and drove off.
Rule #1 in Hawaii: If someone doesn’t understand you because of a language barrier (or just doesn’t feel like helping you) they will nod, and say “Yes, yes” like they know exactly what you’ve said, and that they intend to do it. Then they will go on about their business and you will get no help.
Rule #2: If there’s trouble or a situation is tense, they just laugh. And it’s perfectly acceptable. (Sigh.)

Round one: Mail Lady, one . Me: zero.

This week, I realized that a book I ordered on January 3 still hadn’t arrived. Hmmmm… Then I’m at my friend’s house and she comments that she has a new mail lady. MY mail lady. As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that workin’ out for you?”
My friend frowns: “Strangest thing – we don’t seem to be getting any mail.”
Uh-huh.
I’ve heard stories about whole attics full of mail being discovered because a postal worker was too lazy to deliver it. My scalp prickles.

Here’s an oddity about Maui… I’ve lived lots of places, but have never seen anything like it: the postal workers don’t get out of their trucks and walk deliveries to your door. They sit in their trucks and HONK. You’re expected to trot outside and fetch your own package.

Invariably, I am in my nightie, or in the middle of a workout, sweating… or just pulling a cake out of the oven – but still, I trot outside. (In fact, I don’t think there has ever been a time that I was fully dressed and sitting around drinking a cup of tea of something, when I needed to do this trotting.) If you don’t appear, they will actually get out of the truck, but they’re not a bit happy about it, because now they’re doing YOUR job!

So last week, I don’t trot quite fast enough. I skid to the front door in time to see her hopping back into the truck. I stare blankly. She sees me and yells out, “I wen’ slid it under da garage door!” ( Because obviously, it was way too much effort to walk the 15 extra steps to the front door.) I go into the garage and retrieve the package.

Now…a new week. Hope springs eternal. The carrier honks, and I trot outside (at least I’m getting my exercise.) She has my book, but now I notice that she has abandoned the regulation uniform and is wearing a pink tank top. A large dragon tattoo trails from her neck down her entire arm. Hmmm. Surely she’s supposed to wear a uniform?

I shudder to think of the myriad of ways this renegade postal employee can run amok.
But will I complain? Of course not.
As they say in Pidgin, “Lucky you live Hawaii!”

A hui hou! Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the bottom right of the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica