I've talked over and over again about families growing in many different ways. If we limit ourselves to our biological parents and children, we miss out on so much of the world's beauty! So this morning I made breakfast for my biological mom, then called and talked to another mom who worries about me just as much and has had a very strong influence on my adult life. Emails arrived from my (adopted) son and (hanai) daughter. Christie remains silent, didn't even call her grandmother. Jeff (another hanai son/grown up foster kid) called last week to share news about his daughter, and added, "Happy Mother's Day, I really miss you!"
We had visitors! WE had visitors -- the came to see me as well as my parents! "They" are John and Tweetie Lind. They are cousins on my father's side. John's grandfather and mine were first cousins, making us 3rd cousins. But who'se counting? They live in Kipahulu on the island of Maui, and came to Oahu to visit some of their children, deal with some business, and to attend some special events. To understand John and Tweetie, you have to understand where they live.
Those who visit Groveland complain about "the grade", that 2-mile (or 5 mile, depending on the road) climb from Moccasin to Priest Station -- with its 1800' elevation gain. You say it's enough to keep you away from Groveland altogether. Now stretch that road out to 52 miles and delete the elevation gain. Add 13 bridges -- then add 42 more, but make these just one lane wide. Instead of traveling along a canyon, you are traveling along the flank of a dormant volcano that rises more than 10,000 from sea level to crest. So ... on one side of the 2-lane road is mountain. But on the other side you look straight down to the ocean. Or a mountain stream. Or across into a waterfall. Don't be in a hurry. It takes AT LEAST 2 hours to drive to Hana from the airport at Kahului.
Hana is cattle country. There is a store. Maybe even two stores! Perhaps you've heard about Hasegawa General Store. It gets perishables -- milk, bread, veggies and meat -- twice a week. Tuesday afternoon is a bad time to run out of milk or bread. There's a luxury hotel, the Hotel Hana Maui. It's been up-scale since long before the term was coined. There are a couple of motels now, really more like condos for rent. Better bring your groceries from Kahului or Wailuku. Or stay at one of the B&B's. There's a tiny but interesting museum, locally run. And a beach park on the bay, where you can go to fish and canoe (bring your own) or have a picnic. Ray ate one of his most memoriable meals there -- at a gathering of the Lind 'ohana to meet the Lind cousins from the City. Hana town is built in tiers, just as you would expect a town built on a hillside. Behind the hotel, across the street from the church, the cattle graze on a hillside. It's the side of that same volcano, Haleakala, that you drove part-way around to get here.
Kipahulu is a community more than a town. Charles Lindberg chose to be buried here. You know that you're in Kipahulu when you get to the stables. As in rent-horse-go-riding stables. If you get to the National Park, you've gone too far.
Now visit kipahulu.org. This is John and Tweetie's baby. It's living history, cultural awareness, and historic preservation/restoration all at the same time. But John and Tweetie are like small farmers anywhere. They are real people who do what they love, and they love what they do. No airs, no pretense here. They are Hawaiian to the core, and will share with you if you care to listen. I'm proud to claim kinship.
Give thanks -- for mothers, for people like John and Tweetie who help preserve traditional ways. Look for the good. Keep praying .....!