Saturday, August 29, 2009


It was four days of a totally different environment, different kinds of responsibilities, different views of the world. It was four days of sanity break.

We met on Monday morning in the Hawaiian Airlines inter-island terminal: Shannon, Pilialoha and I. Two hours later we claimed our car in Hilo and headed for the market en route to the Volcano, 30 miles up the road. In another life I looked at the Volcano as a l-o-n-g distance from Hilo, but in reality the two communities are no farther apart than Sonora and Groveland.

At approximately 4000' elevation, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is cooler than the shoreline communities. It is reputed to be more rainy, but our experience this week was the "above the fog" phenomenon -- substituting "rain" for "fog". For at least two of the four days, it was gloriously bright and clear at the volcano while overcast and drippy in Hilo. After dark the stars came out, so many more than in all the ambient light of city living. The crisp air, the occasional need for long sleeves and "real" shoes (the ones with closed toes), was wonderful. Pili said it felt like Christmas.

What do four ladies, each born in a different decade from the 1910's to the 1940's, do together? We shopped. We tried several different kinds of wine. We cleaned windows, shopped some more, attacked the overgrown bed of yellow ginger alongside the house, tried more wine, shopped again. We walked a little. We even spent a little time talking about our common bond, the Daughters of Hawaii. In between we ate, had another glass of wine, laughed and got to know each other better. Then laughed some more. We argued with Patu about who got to cook and/or wash dishes. Sometimes Patu won. That's Patu in her kitchen at the top of this post.

We visited Pele from as close proximity as the Park Service allowed us -- the overlook of Kilauea Crater and Halema'uma'u Firepit at the Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory on the crater rim. Because of the gaseous emissions (that white cloud in the other photo at the top of this post) from Halema'uma'u, visitors are not allowed to drive the rim of the crater between the Observatory and the Chain of Craters Road. The VOG fumes can be hazardous to health, and the Park Service is taking no chances with the health of their visitors. We did not offer her the appropriate gifts (commonly gin or ohelo berries); we saw no red-gold lava fountains or a glow from Halema'uma'u.

All too soon it was time to return to Honolulu. We agreed that it was a wonderful break, and invited ourselves back whenever Patu feels she can stand our company again.

Thank you, Patu, for your invitation and your hospitality. Thank you, Ian, for doing the fill-behind tasks while I was away.

Don't forget to pray ....!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Real or Not?

They are having a Bon Dance tonight at Oahu Care Facility. Bon dance season comes in the warm time of the year and honors deceased ancestors. To that extent it is like Memorial Day. There will be tradional circle dancing to Japanese music celebrating this festival Budhist season. The residents have been talking about it for a month.

My dad announced yesterday that some of the men are playing golf today. He is not playing, but has donated two sets of golf clubs.

At least he remembers that there is a special event today. He also remembered the name of his OCF doctor. This is no small feat. He had never seen the man before going to OCF last December. They see each other occasionall, probably monthly.
But my dad called him by name and in the correct context -- prescribing medication.

Give thanks for good memories. Don't forget to pray.

Hawaiian Statehood

Today is a Hawaii State Holiday. Here they call it Statehood Day, the 3rd Friday of August. In California the similar holiday falls Sep 9 and is Admission Day. In Colorado they call 1 Aug Colorado Day. Every state must have a comparable holiday. Except the original 13, who must honor their statehood on the 4th of July.

This Statehood Day is extra special. It's the 50th anniversary of Hawaii's statehood. I don't remember the August date very well. My Hawaiian grandmother, the grandmother I knew well because we lived on the same island, was in Queen's Hospital. Her death, from untreated breast cancer, would come on the evening of 25 August.

We had done our real celebrating back in March, the day the vote was taken in Congress. Now THAT day was one to remember. I was not quite 16, halfway through my sophomore year of high school. Although ours was a politically conscious campus (Dan Inouye's wife, Maggie, was the supervising teacher in the other sophomore homeroom), I'm sure we were not the only school in the Territory where a radio in every classroom was tuned to the live broadcast of that congressional vote.

When the vote came, there was lots of cheering and excitement. We spilled out into the hallways, found anything we could use to make noise. I don't specifically remember confetti. That would have taken advance planning, but we had a good idea that the vote would come that day. On the streets car horns honked raucously. There were no churches close by with bell towers, so we did not hear the church bells ringing. School was dismissed (nobody was going to concentrate anyway!). I don't remember quite where we went to celebrate or who I went with. My sense is CAR, CONVERTIBLE and WAIKIKI. It must have been Maile's car, for her family did have a convertible. Horns honking, more waving and shouting. More excitement. It took hours, perhaps days, to wind down.

My grandmother had been through changes of Hawaiian governmental authority before. She was born in the Kingdom of Hawaii. She was a small child when Queen Liliuokalani was overthrown in January 1893, nearly 10 when Hawaii became a Territory of the United States in July, 1898. In between had come the Provisional Government and, a little later, the Republic of Hawaii. She told stories of the girls at St. Andrew's Priory (where she lived from age 3 until her marriage eighteen years later) hiding the queen periodically during the years of the Republic. From her hospital bed Grammy said sadly, "First they took my queen. Then they took my flag. Now they have taken my land."

Don't forget to pray.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Frustrations and Satisfation

Happy birthday to my brother Ian who as of tomorrow is eligible for his early social security draw. Did I tell you his age? Who, me??!
Check his website, for the photo essay of their birthday/anniversary weekend.

It is really frustrating to be without a computer. Mine is still in the shop. I don't know whether the guy really doesn't fix computers, just sells new ones, or if the problem is really that bad. No real way to tell.

I am very thankful to have this iTouch. There is a lot it does not do. But it does enough to at least keep in touch with the outside world.
So forgive the typing errors, and we'll all get along.

My dad was in bed (not unusual) when I got to the care home today. First things first: pull up the pants that were down around his pelvic bone. Then we could talk. I had been sent on a mission -- find where he put the signed copy of his trust. Did he remember that he made a trust? No. Where might he have put it? He laughed. "if I don't remember making it, how will I remember where I put it?"

Good point.

Turns out he never got the trust to a safe place, it was still in it's mailing envelope heaped in a box of unsorted papers I'm front of his file cabinet. At least it was still in the envelope!

Someone sent me a prayer request the other day. Please pray for Al who needs a liver transplant. Today at church I asked about the Prayer Chain. Turns out there is not one -- but several people think the new ladies' guild might be starting one. I hope so. I am not a Prayer Warrior, but would have to take on the role myself if no one else is going to. Please, God, don't give me a job I'm not good at.....

Off next week for three days at the Volcano with the other History Ladies from Daughters of Hawaii. It's not all that far -- a 40- min plane ride. But it requires a plane. We cannot all pile in a car and drive there. It will be fun. I'm just GOING. Can't worry about everyone else all the time; need to nourish the caretake.

Ready or not, it's time to post this entry. Give thanks for your own health. Give thanks for friends. Give someone a hug. You both need it. Don't forget to pray!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Mystery

I'm reading a mystery book. It's not a mystery story. It is a mystery how the book came into my possession.

It arrived one day in the mail. It was from The return address included the name of a friend.

Yesterday I thanked the friend for the book and asked him what he thought about it. He said I have my wires crossed. He's never heard of the book. But it is recommended by those who liked another book we both enjoyed.

When you read this, Mr Auphinger, go find a copy of "Church of the Dog". It will take you into uncharted waters, but I believe it speaks to some of the issues you are currently pondering. These sentences leaped out at me. "Most people understand life and death. Few understand life and death and life. But gardeners do...."