Family is so Important

Aloha!

If you think you might like to live in Hawaii, consider this: will extended family follow suit? Will they even visit? And then there are the aging parents and grandparents.

I got to California from the Midwest because almost the whole fam-damnly moved there, as my mother would say. (She loved her cliches and malapropisms).

I kind of hoped/assumed the same thing would happen when I moved to Hawaii, but it never did. Heck, I could barely get anyone to visit… not at all what I pictured… but airfare isn’t cheap. (Either direction.)

Also, my father and stepfather both hated Hawaii. “What’s the big deal. I don’t get it!” (Dad).
“It’s hot and humid, full of creepy bugs, you can’t get anything… you can’t go anywhere. And it’s horribly overpriced! What’s the point?” (Stepdad…he was much more verbose.) Over the years, the few times he would come here the trip would end with him saying, “You’re off your nut.”

Then the VOG (volcanic organic gas) set in when a new vent opened in the volcano in 2008, and I started going to stay with my parents every winter because I couldn’t breathe here. Then my parents both got sick and I was HERE and they were THERE, which required me leaving home for almost 2 years to go care for them. I was Trustee of the estate when they died, so then I needed to be there to sell the house, etc. (Much more time-consuming and stressful than anyone realizes who hasn’t done it.)

Two weeks after my mom died, I was in line at the post office and the girl behind the counter said, “Well, hold onto your hat. My parents died two years ago and things still aren’t settled. You’re in for a long haul.” I remember thinking, “Well, you don’t know how efficient I can be,” and boy-howdy did I look back on that and laugh at myself. I thought because I wanted to get done in California and get home to Maui that my “drive” would magically make everything go smoothly. Not even close!

Since my parents were healthy and quite active when I moved to Maui, I saw none of it coming.

On the other hand, if you are one of those who would gladly live at least 3,000 miles away from your dysfunctional family, Hawaii might be just the place….

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Aloha, Jamaica

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The Sea

Aloha!

“What I want to write about today is the sea. It contains so many colors. Silver at dawn, green at noon, dark blue in the evening. Sometimes it looks almost red. Or it will turn the color of old coins. Right now the shadows of clouds are dragging across it, and patches of sunlight are touching down everywhere…

It is my favorite thing, I think, that I have ever seen. Sometimes I catch myself staring at it and forget my duties.

It seems big enough to contain everything anyone could ever feel.”

(From the wonderful novel by Anthony Doerr, “All the Light We cannot See.”) Check it out.

All the Light We Cannot See
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Winner (2015)
“I must blame Anthony Doerr for lost sleep, because once I started reading his new novel, “All the Light We Cannot See,” there was no putting it down. Told mostly in the present tense, in short and usually pointed chapters, the story moves briskly and efficiently toward its climactic encounter during the Allied bombing of St.-Malo, France, a couple of months after D-Day. Although the narrative consists largely of flashbacks, it’s easy to follow because it focuses most sharply on only two characters, the blind child ­Marie-Laure LeBlanc, who takes part in the French Resistance, and the very Aryan-looking Werner Pfennig, a technocratic private in the service of the Thousand-Year Reich.”
William T. Vollman, Sunday Book Review, NY. Times, May 8, 2014

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

Aloha, Jamaica

Monday, Monday

Aloha!

It seems Monday is the day people most often dream of running off to an island where the living will be easy.

Every day when Mike goes to work as the Captain of The Scotch Mist (www.scotchmistsailingcharters.com/) out of Lahaina Harbor, some tourist will say, “Wow, you must have the best job in the world!”

So here is a look at Mike’s day. First up, the Hawaiian monk seal on the beach in front of his friend Barry’s house, where he often stops off before work:

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Being a monk seal must be hard work, because he needed a nap

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Then, onto the boat. They are still seeing whales this late in the year on the whale watches
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And then there are the champagne sunset sails (well, everyone but Mike and the crew gets champagne…)

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From the outside looking in, yes, Mike’s job looks perfect to many. He’s basically getting paid to live a Jimmy Buffett song, right?

But scratch the surface and you will find long, long days in the hot, hot sun. And the skin cancer that required 30 stitches in his left cheek. During the busy whale season (January-April) he might leave the house at 7 am and not get home till 9 pm. And although his commute isn’t bad, it does take 50 minutes.

Sometimes boat trips get canceled due to not enough passengers. So he might have a snorkel trip that’s over at 1 pm but the evening sail doesn’t start till 5 pm, with no sail in between. He’s sitting in Lahaina with no work–a “split shift”, and not paid for those extra hours.

If there are no trips scheduled yet for a workday, he is home but on call. Like a doctor, but without the fabulous wages…yet still responsible for twenty-five lives. He can’t really go anywhere or do anything, because he might “get a trip.”

But in all, when he’s actually on the water behind the wheel he’s loving life. So, all in a days’ work, eh?

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Hope wherever you are, and whatever you do, you’re having a good Monday.

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