On Oahu for Pearl Harbor Day

Aloha!
We just happen to be on Oahu for Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, today, December 7th. Here is a portion of this year’s Proclamation by the President of United States:

More than seven decades ago, on a calm Sunday morning, our nation was attacked without warning or provocation. The bombs that fell on Oahu took almost 2,400 American lives, damaged our Pacific Fleet, challenged our resilience and tested our resolve. On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we honor the men and women who selflessly sacrificed for our country and we show our enduring gratitude to all who fought to defend freedom against the forces of tyranny and oppression in the Second World War.

You can read the full Proclamation here: http://governor.state.tx.us/flag_status/

My mother first took me to see Pearl Harbor Memorial while on vacation. I did not understand the enormity for her, until we got there. Then I did the math, and realiized my mother would have been seven years old at the time of the attacks. Each generation gets it’s defining moment, such as those who can remember exactly where they were when John F. Kennedy was shot.

Pearl Harbor was the defining moment for my mother’s generation.

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of my mom’s death. So it seems fitting that we are on Oahu, where history was made that so impacted her life. Rest in sweet peace, Mom.

I am thankful to the men and women who fought, and still fight, to keep our country free. I am thankful that Hawaii, where I choose to live, is not owned by Japan today, all because of those who sacrificed their lives.

My deepest Mahalo.

A hui hou! If you would like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

What is Pono?

Maui Weather Today: High 85, Low 70

What is Pono?

Aloha!

While visiting the North Shore, we ate at Ola’s Restaurant. It’s at the Turtle Bay Resort, http://www.turtlebayresort.com, the only hotel on Oahu’s North Shore. It’s also the only restaurant on the sand on Oahu. We like it because the food is good, and we go order from the bar menu which keeps the price down. As far as I’m concerned, you can’t beat it for the killer view.

Turns out a guy we know is now managing the restaurant. We were happily surprised to see him there, and then he told us how he got the job. They asked him three questions:
What is Ohana?
What is Pono?
And what is Aloha?

Can you answer these questions? Being able to answer these questions will give you a huge leg-up in Hawaii. I feel like an outsider here, always. And after thirteen years, I really don’t think that’s ever going to change. However, understanding what is important to the Hawaiian people makes a difference. You will see the bumper stickers: Respect the Culture. They had a monarchy and it was overthrown and they have never forgotten. Activists in the 1970’s revived the issues and there is a contingent pushing for seceeding from the U.S. Did you know that? When you live here, you are well aware of it.

Living Upcountry, we see far fewer tourists. Friends who are visiting go to the Foodland Center in Pukalani and come home and say, “Why are the locals so unfriendly? Why doesn’t anybody smile?” This is because they don’t have their  “luau” faces on. This is their daily lives, they don’t have to be “on.”

What is Pono? Do what is right.

And what is right? Respect.

A hui hou ( till next time). If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the Follow button on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

North Shore Oahu

Aloha!

Today this blog is coming to you from the North Shore of Oahu:

Ke’Iki Beach, North Shore

Always when we get to Mike’s Mom’s North Shore house, I am struck by how moldy everything is. When a house is a half-block from the beach, there is salt spray, then dirt and mold grows on top of that .Also, the house sits in the trees

North Shore House

which keeps it cool, but the mold likes that even better. If no one has been here in months it can take a week to clean it all, easy (the geckos think they own the place, and gecko poop is like cement) but the beauty of having the beach a half block away usually makes it all worth it. I love this beach because it has trees that overhang it.

Ke’Iki Beach. North Shore

Someone told me when I first moved to Hawaii that Hawaii is best done in the shade. I thought they were crazy. Now I crave the shade, especially after having a suspicious spot removed twice from my nose. One friend calls living in Hawaii the “20 year skin-cancer plan.”

Last night there was a wedding at the beach. The groomsmen all wore long-sleeved white dress shirts with khaki pants which they rolled up to keep them out of the surf and sand. The bridesmaids all wore bright yellow sundresses. The ringbearer, who was about three years old, also had a white long sleeve shirt, khaki pants and a teeny tiny yellow tie that matched the sundresses. It appeared to be a destination wedding but where were the parents? There were no parents or grandparents in evidence. To me that is not a wedding.

One of the things I love about the North Shore is a hike in the mountains where I rarely see anyone else. A problem on Maui at times is that it has become so overrun with tourists. When you vacation on Maui it is not so obvious, but when you live here and have guests and want to take them hiking, it’s frustrating.

In the same way that Maui has many different personalities each island has a distinct personality. So within Oahu are many different personalities also. The North Shore is determined to retain its laid-back charm. The motto here is “Keep the Country country.” Currently there are plans to build an old-style hotel in downtown Haliewa. If you Google photos of Haliewa, the old hotel on the river was spectacular. Andy Anderson wants to re-create that, however the locals want a Beachpark and restrooms. I don’t live here; who am I to say who is right or wrong?
It is easy to get worked up about issues like this on Maui but as a tourist to a Oahu, it doesn’t affect my day-to-day life. Isn’t this true no matter where you live?

I would say in all the years I’ve been coming to the North Shore, the biggest change has been the traffic, it used to feel like the Country, and the traffic was in “town.” But that was BTB: “Before The Book” that changed everything. In Maui, it was “Maui Revealed“, then the other islands got their own versions. At my job we called it “that damn book”, because it gave every last secret away…every hiking spot, every waterfall. It made the locals crazy, there was no place left for just us. On Oahu they must have written about the turtles on the North Shore, because the tourists swarm the spot on the highway where the turtles are on the beach, darting across the highway at every point helter-skelter, and tying up traffic into an irritating snarl. What should be a ten-minute trip into Haleiwa Town becomes 30 minutes or an hour…just what we want to do on vacation. Then winter comes with the big swells, and more traffic from the surf contests. There is no escaping it now
I am here, resting and playing and hiking…and sitting in traffic. Not the North Shore we all used to know.

Thought for the day: All intellectual improvement arises from leisure.

A hui hou (til next time). If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the Follow button on the Home Page.

Aloha, Jamaica