The Top Ten Reasons I Live on Maui

Aloha!
A reader wrote to ask (after reading this blog’s FAQ’s on Moving to Maui), “So why do you still live there?” Obviously, Hawaii is not for everybody (where would we PUT them all?) But here are my top ten reasons. It was difficult to narrow it down to ten…so I’ll be sharing more, later. Stay tuned!

1) Blazing sunshine (free vitamin D)
2) Flip-Flops Forever (slippahs, in Hawaii)
3) Outdoors every single day
4) Brilliant blue skies and puffy white clouds, almost every day
5) The very best rainbows, on the days it does rain
6) The ocean is always there, waiting….
7) The rain forest is always there, waiting
8) It’s a society built on love for the aina (land)
9) It’s a society built on pono (do what is right)
10) I feel safe, safe, safe here.

Please weigh in on what you love the absolute most about Maui…especially those of you who live here…and I will post the answers.

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

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Cats and Dogs

Aloha!

Here on Maui…

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Actually, for months now. Mother Nature seems to be making up for the last ten winters. I think we got sent Northern California’s rain by mistake.

Hope you are warm and dry, wherever you are!

Aloha! Jamaica

go! Airlines Departing Hawaiian Islands

Aloha!

Hawaii News Now announced today that “go!” airlines is ceasing operations in Hawaii. My first thought was: will Aloha Airlines be back?

We lost all of our airline points (enough to fly first class for a long time) when go! muscled its way into the Hawaii market and put Aloha out of business….along with all those lost jobs. People bristled, and many never really embraced go! airlines

We found they almost always ran behind schedule. But when it was a choice between go! and Hawaiian Airlines and go! had a much cheaper fare… we took the cheaper ticket. That’s how you survive in Hawaii, with the incredibly high prices on everything.

Tim Sakahura, in his article on the Hawaii News Now website wrote: “Could the end of go! Airlines in Hawaii clear the way for an Aloha Airlines comeback? It’s a tantalizing thought for many people still stung by the inter-island shakeup. And get this: go!’s last day of service on March 31 will be the 6 year anniversary of Aloha’s final flight.”

“Go is withdrawing from the market essentially eating its karma,” said David Farmer, bankruptcy attorney who was the trustee during the Aloha Airlines bankruptcy. Farmer says its karma because some blamed go! for pushing Aloha out of business.He says the Aloha Airlines name is still for sale.Could be the right time for someone to buy the name and re-brand it?

“Then we’re back to Aloha Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. I think for many of us local people that would be a nice thing,” said Farmer.

Other carriers are interested in Hawaii, writes Sakahura,
namely Alaska Airlines, which has met with state leaders over the past few years. Until another carrier opens or expands in Hawaii some fear prices taking off. But others don’t expect too much of an ascent.

“Hawaiian already really has a monopoly so they’re doing what they can so they’re not going to go up a whole lot because of this,” said John Steelquist, Ph.D., Chaminade University Business Professor.

“We’re hoping that they will continue to be that good partner knowing that they are operating in a de facto monopoly and not exploit that situation,” said Sen. English.

When you had to make a choice, did you choose go! or Hawaiian Airlines? Were you sad to see Aloha Airlines go under?

If you have purchased tickets on go!, Hawaii News Now says to call your travel agent or the airline, and they will try to get you a seat on Hawaiian Airlines.

See the full article here: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/25012133/go-departure-could-spur-aloha-comeback

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Stop Laughing

Aloha!
It’s cold here, for Maui. Okay, you can stop laughing now. Even though our house has full insulation and Anderson windows, this morning I had a space heater running and was warming my hands over the gas stove burner. And the cat had her tail wrapped over her face:

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It’s been raining for almost 3 months solid here, which is wonderful, because we’ve been in a drought for like, ten years. It’s been almost a perfect winter… but now it’s cold, humid, and raining, and we have no furnaces. It’s 67° inside the house.

See what I mean:

67 Degrees inside the house

67 Degrees inside the house

My aunt just wrote to say its 80° in Northern California. Show-off.

We all have thin blood here, even our cat, Lili. We heated up one of those microwavable neck-thingees for her to lay on, but she’s still complaining.

Oh, stop laughing.

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

Aloha, Jamaica

Maui Time

Aloha!

“Maui Time” is that elusive feeling that tourists get while vacationing here: that time is standing still, that things are moving more slowly than they do back home. Many people crave a trip to Maui just to experience Maui Time, to step off the treadmill of their lives.

Fantasy? Myth? Or reality?

In his book “Time Shifters,” Stefan Rechtschaffen, M.D.,describes how researchers have found that people who live in the same cities or areas influence each other in how fast they move. Or, in Maui, how slowly move. Study shows that before the year 1900 and shortly into that century, no letters between people ever stated, “Sorry I haven’t written, I’ve been too busy.”

While “busy-ness” is only a concept, we all have things that must be done, and a hierarchy: I WANT to go to the beach. I SHOULD clean out the refrigerator. I NEED to meet my writing deadline.

In February, I ran into my friend April, who I hadn’t seen in months. She immediately apologized for not sending me a Christmas card, and said, “You’ll understand when I tell you that the fresh cranberries from Thanksgiving are still in my refrigerator.” April works as a supervisor and has two small children. Yes, she lives on Maui, but does not operate on Maui Time. She doesn’t have the time!

Mike and I go to Costco and see local families who walk in a horizontal line of four to six across, blocking the aisle. (By the way, we do not experience this at the Costco on Oahu.) This would be fine if they moved at a normal pace, or if people could get around them. But they move like turtles. And here’s the question: how do these people get their taxes done? How do they pay their bills on time?

These are probably the people who don’t keep their properties up. You can drive all over this island and see run-down houses with peeling paint, overgrown bushes, and 15 rusting cars in the yard. (This is not an exaggeration. There is a property down the street from us that has fifteen cars sitting around in the front, back and side yards. I know because I counted.) A property in Maui needs constant vigilance, or it returns to its natural state – a jungle. This takes an enormous amount of time, energy, and money… If you’re going to keep up with the weeding, the trimming of bushes and trees, and painting of porches, sheds, outside stairways, garages etc. Then there is dealing with the termites. Just getting ready to have a house tented is a huge committment of time. And it’s very expensive. That’s why the houses are falling down around us.

So those of us who work normal jobs, own houses, and take care of our yards don’t experience Maui Time the way the tourists do. We are not at luaus watching slow, beautiful hula shows, listening to laid-back Hawaiian music. (The Feast at Lele is $110.00 per person. Not in a normal Mauiian’s budget. We only go if we get company.(www.feastatlele.com)

The closest I get to Maui Time is at the beach, or when I am driving and turn on the radio and catch some really soothing Hawaiian music. Hawaiian music can always put me in a good mood. And every day I watch the sunset from wherever I am. That is how I remember that I am in Maui. I take a deep breath in gratitude.

What is the pace like where you live? Are you in New York City, Fargo, N.D., or Austin, Texas? And is “Maui Time” one of the reasons you love to visit Maui?

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

Aloha, Jamaica

Last Ride

Aloha!

When I was still thinking about moving to Hawaii, I was curious to know everything about the lives of people who lived here. What did the inside of their homes look like? What was Christmas like? Other life events?

One life event that has happened much too often for us lately is a funeral, both here and on the mainland. The mainland funerals (for young and old alike) are somber affairs, held in churches or mortuaries, and everyone dresses up in their best black.

On Maui, we’ve been to two funerals in two years. One was a rodeo. (Upcountry, of course.) They strapped the cremated remains to a bull, slapped it on the rump, and off it went, bucking… “Bully’s last ride.”

This week, another. He died while enjoying an extreme sport. These adrenaline-junkie guys (and Mike is one of them), would rather go out doing what they love, than any other way. The service was held outside on a dreary, crisp day at an Upcountry property, with a number of white tents set up. The attendees, most between the ages of 25 and 35, also extreme-sport addicts, talked of their own near-misses. A funeral is sobering that way.

These bronzed, gorgeous Adonis’s and goddesses, every one of them with ripped, perfectly toned bodies– milled about, including two lactating mothers, who kept pulling out the feeding stations (with no coverage.) The women all had that just-rolled-out-of-bed- but-still-looks-perfect long hair. Their clothing was hippie-chic, and many were barefoot, even in the chill. Those who weren’t, tended toward the kind of hand-tooled leather boots one could find only in Italy. The guys wore tone-on-tone Tommy Bahama silk shirts. (The Hawaiian floral shirt is so over.)

Many in the young crowd looked as though they might have Trust funds and subsist on seaweed and fresh Alaskan salmon; the ultimate picture of health, except for the copious amounts of alcohol being consumed.

The pastor arrived two hours late–on Maui time. (Plenty of time to drink before the food could be blessed.) People stood around as Pastor blew the conch shell, gave a short talk, and then played the ukulele, as a few sang “Hawaii Aloha.” It was a perfect example of old-timers versus newcomers. Only the people who had grown up in Hawaii, like Mike, and had learned this song in school, knew the words. The rest of us stood silent. No, “Please get out your hymnal and turn to page 131” here.

A makeshift altar held the box with the ashes, draped with fragrant leis:

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The buffet table offered lomi-lomi salmon, sashimi, fish, and pulled pork for lettuce cups. And all that alcohol.

The day grew colder and the clouds enveloped us. It’s an eerie feeling to stand inside the clouds Upcountry. Gray, moist, and heavy, they fall over you like a blanket.

It was time to head back down the mountain. To sunshine and warmth and home.

Together.

A hui hou. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica