Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Day at the Beach

Yesterday I drove 100 miles. On Oahu. Which has only 112 miles of coastline. More or less. I guess I should have just continued in the direction I was going, instead of back-tracking the way I had come. We think nothing of driving 100 miles when you can easily travel 1000 by car. But the perspective changes when your land mass is 604 square miles of rock in the middle of an ocean. Yosemite National Park is bigger than the island of Oahu. So is the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

The object of all this driving was to visit hanai daughter Nancy Ruth and her family who are spending the week with hubby Joe's sister and her significant other at their newly purchased home at Sunset Beach. It's a relatively new home on the water in a small gated community at the Kahuku end of town. Joseph had a surfing lesson in the morning, was apparently scared when dumped off his board, and is fighting a cold -- so disappeared to bed and was conspicuous by his absence. Joe went off with his sister to Pearl City. Dana was looking for shelving, Joe for a pair of binoculars big enough to allow him to watch both whales and surfers. Nancy Ruth and I watched the whales, visited, had a light lunch, visited, walked the beach, visited more. When the rains came, we went inside. It was good for me. I hope it was as good for her.

The beach was not quite like the photo above. The day was more overcast, lacking the brilliant hues of ocean, mountains, sky and vegetation. Kaena Point was partially obscured by mist, perhaps a misty rain. The waves were generally flatter. But the air was mild, the occasional sprinkles not disruptive, and the ocean calming. We watched whale spouts and splashes instead of big surf. It was quiet, calming, restorative.

Nancy is master of understatement. "There is a construction person here." she told me on the phone. "They had a little water damage that needed repair." The "little water damage" turned out to be 2.5 feet of water throughout the main floor, with accompanying mold and fungus growth, after the water heater failed. While they were ripping out drywall, Dana and Kario also replaced two small windows with sliding glass doors and re-designed a closet, making the main floor feel more expansive. Now they are painting, considering new flooring and entire kitchen remodel. I wonder if thinking green(as in preserve and recyle) is part of their head set.

The message that I would be visiting did not get to Kario. He was taken quite by surprise when he answered my knock at the door, and nearly had me packed off and heading back to town before Nancy saw me and called out. She later commented that Kario and Dana found evidence that at least one well-known young member of the surfer community had been squatting in their home during their absence, leaving behind identifying information. Did I look like a squatter? I suppose my "Keep the Country COUNTRY" t-shirt didn't do much to endear me to Kario who appreciates, perhaps covets, exactly the kind of property that the Defend Oahu Coalition opposes. I suggested a local property manager would be a good insurance policy, both for incidents like the water heater and as a protection against squatters.

Give thanks for the ocean and quiet days. Look for shafts of sunlight between the darker clouds. Don't forget to pray. Oh yes, give thanks for my brother Ian who has unknowingly provided the sun-in-clouds photo, above ...

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