Day 44 – A day off in Paradise

When I first arrived in the islands, I was told that most people work two jobs in order to afford living here.

In other words, folks who live here, don’t have many days off. I have taken this to heart and am trying to make the most of my days off.

After all my weekend chores like laundry and catching up on homework as part of the MFA program I am in – I go have fun!

Yesterday I checked out the street festival called Hallowbaloo in downtown Honolulu.


I was misinformed by a coworker who said people don’t really go in costume – they do. So I put on my shades and, with tank top and blue jean shorts on, I was instantly wearing a tourist costume. 😎

This morning I decided to do something I have wanted to do since I arrived 6 weeks ago. Walk around Kailua. It was a 3-hour, 6-mile tour that took me to Lanikai, the Kailua Sunday Market, and back.

 

 

After lunch and a quick nap I wasn’t ready to do more homework – so I went on another adventure to Waimanalo. To get Dave’s ice cream!


I then went to the beach because the weekend isn’t complete without a dip in the ocean (after eating the ice cream, of course).


Aloha!

Day 41 – Island Driving

A picture is worth many stories. 

This photo tells the story of island driving. There are surprise lane closures – for trimming back the overgrown foliage- that then cause backups. Then there is the motorcyclist who is ready for a long road trip in the Pacific NW with leather jacket, pants, and boots, plus several carriers. It took me a moment to realize the hilarity of the scene. Where was he going? Why was he dressed in all leather? He looked like he was ready for a cross country trip.

Contrast that with a story from earlier this week –  a young man, who was driving a scooter, was killed when his buddy, who was also driving a scooter, stopped for a pedestrian. He wasn’t paying attention or was going too fast and slammed into his friend and flipped over his handlebars and died from head trauma – no helmet.

The most amazing thing I have seen while driving here was yesterday. I was driving home after going to the farmers market at the Windward Mall in Kaneohe. A fire truck was coming up behind me as I sat at a traffic light – the turn lane was full, the two lanes of traffic were full and there was an island in the median strip. As the fire truck came closer all of the cars began to crawl to this side and that side, but that wasn’t enough to make room for the fire truck. The miracle happened when two cars went into the intersection, slowly and cautiously, through a red light. You heard me right, people here know what to do in that kind of situation.

In Seattle I have sat in dismay more than once when I see drivers who don’t know what to do when a service vehicle comes up behind them.

I was stunned when I saw those cars pull into the intersection. Could Hawaii have better drivers than Seattle?

Lastly, did I tell you how much I love the Shaka? 

Getting Shaka’d when you let someone enter your lane is like a synergistic event. In Hawaii there is aloha in driving. You just need to be open to it.

Aloha! 🌴

Day 38 – Picture Story

My clunker

DelMar and I went on an adventure Sunday morning.

First we road to the trailhead for Kaiwa Ridge aka Pillbox. This hike goes straight up for about a quarter mile.


It was a moderately hard trail but the views were worth it.

Pillbox #2
Enchanted lakes
Pillbox #1
View of Lanikai and my hiking sandals (I Love my Chacos!)

After the hike, we road to the beach for a swim before heading to the Kailua farmers market.

Post swim happy!

Then it was back to the studio to get some homework done. And a nap later!

Aloha!

Day 32 – Feeling Local

Kawainui marsh

You know you are feeling like a local to Hawaii when…

  • You stop using Google maps to find your way around.
  • You take a different highway home – LikeLike instead of the H3 – just because.
  • You go out wearing a tank top without a bra on (not to work though)
  • You wear flip flops instead of your Chacos
  • You leave your flip flops at the Beach Access point
  • You smile at everyone and they smile back
  • You shaka without thinking
  • You are starting to say Howzit instead of How’s it going
  • You ride your clunker cruiser bike around town like a pro
  • You take the longer way home through Kawainui park (see photo)

When do you consider yourself a local?

Aloha!

Day 29 – Full Moon

Almost full moon…

What is beauty?

It is a completely subjective thing. It depends on your experiences. It depends on where you have traveled. It depends on your beliefs.

I try to find beauty wherever I go, in the smile of a barista or the full moon rising above the ocean.

I am thrilled when my mind is calm enough to see the beauty beyond the ugly. The fragrance of a plumeria tree in full bloom drifting into my car window while I sit in traffic. Ghost crabs scurrying across sand covered in micro-plastics.

Sometimes I feel that people want beauty to smack them in the face or believe it is reserved only for a special occasion or found over there but not here.

I find beauty in what is going on in my beloved country. I see an awakening. I see things not continuing as they have been. I see people not putting up with the status quo.

Yes it can be hard to see the beauty in something, but it is there. Don’t wait for it to smack you in the face.

Pele’s sunset behind the Ko’olau mountains.

Although those moments can be profound!

Aloha!

Day 27 – Care Package!!!

This week began with my hand banged up and my finger throbbing from having a splinter. Not the greatest start of a week. 

I haven’t blogged because there are days I just don’t have the time nor the story.

Today was going to be another storyless day. I spent 11 hours in downtown Honolulu in a meeting. Came home and was invited by my neighbor’s for dinner (Alaska salmon!). When I returned to my studio the air conditioner blew a circuit breaker (again).

But the story came when I opened a bulging package and out came oodles of love from my niece, nephew, and their parents!📦

Care package!


A lovely letter from my niece – who asked me to write her notes so we could be writing buddies (!), and so she could practice her spelling. 💌

I received “Holoween” goodies, even though she wasn’t sure if they celebrate Halloween in “hawie.” 

The care package was perfect because I have felt weird about buying Halloween stuff in Hawaii. 

I don’t have a door to welcome trick or treaters and I am fairly positive I won’t be getting dressed up in a costume. The little bit of October love from this package is sufficient for me. 🎃

Especially, my new artwork drawn by my sweet, multitalented niece.


Feeling Aloha! 💞

Days 21-24 – Jumping Fences

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I’m okay. That’s all you really need to know.

But if you really want a little story as to why I haven’t blogged the last 3 days, then here we go…

Friday, my telework day, started off well. I was plugging along until I noticed that the fountain aerating the Koi pond aka Niagra falls, was a trickle.

img_8904A week ago, the property manager showed me how to clean the filter of the pump, but I needed to turn on the water to the hose.

The spigot for the hose is not in my little area – I had to walk out of my gate, then the main gate to turn it on. Notice the word gate.

For some odd reason, the main gate shut behind me. It was locked – something I have been super careful to make sure they are not if I don’t have my keys. (I blame this on the Menehune).

Jumping the fence was my first thought. I placed my right hand on what I thought was the neighbor’s secured fence, my left hand on the fence near the gate. As soon as I push myself up, the neighbor’s “fence” fell away. In the meantime, my hand is holding on to it so it doesn’t completely fall. Come to find out, it was no fence. It was an old gate with hinges and a hole where a knob would go that was leaning against a palm tree.

Casualty…

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My hand was ripped up by splinters. I eventually unlocked the gate (buy me a Mai Tai and I’ll tell you that part of the story).  I went inside to clean up my hand and wondered if I should go to urgent care because of a puncture on the tip of my index finger made me think there was a splinter.

Later that afternoon I did go to urgent care. The place I selected was new, and only 2 miles away in Kailua town. After 45 minutes of an incompetent “PA” using a pair of flimsy tweezers with a blunt end, saying “Oh grrrl, oh grrrl, I’m so sorry that this is gonna hurt,”  I asked her if she had a needle – so she went to look for one and brought back a fat needle (sorry didn’t read the gauge). After poking me twice, she gave up and told me they wouldn’t charge me.

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Saturday, I let my finger heal after being poked by the “PA.”  On Sunday, though, as I was cleaning my wounds – I could feel something was in the tip of my index finger. I gave my finger a little squeeze near the wound and a small amount of pus came out  (I didn’t photograph that).

I found a second urgent care whose phone message stated they were open 7 days a week from 8am-8pm, so I got on my bike and rode to their location (also only 2 miles away). At 3 minutes to 8 a.m. I noticed no one had shown up. I then noticed a note with small lettering on their door – “Not open Sunday, October  9th” – I was livid. I was about to hop a plane to Seattle when I decided to chill out at the farmer’s market before attempting another urgent care.

Luckily, I found the “only full-service urgent care on the windward side of Oahu” called Windward Urgent Care in Kaneohe. So I drove myself there – thinking if I don’t get care there I would just go to the emergency room (which was validated by a lovely chat with my MD brother and my RN mother).

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I felt good about the place. The PA (a true PA), discussed the options, was a little hesitant, but I told her I was game for having her slice my finger open and look for the splinter. We both thought it would be silly for me to go to the ER for a splinter.

I knew I had a winner when she came back with a syringe of Lidocaine to numb my finger. She also brought a scalpel blade, a small gauge needle (16?), and a pair of clamps.

The Lidocaine made my wound bleed more than usual as she slowly sliced open beyond the entry point of the splinter. She then grabbed the needle and started feeling/fishing around the wound. When the needle grabbed on something she was concerned it wasn’t the splinter, I told her it had to be the splinter.

From the photo above you can see the splinter (about 1 cm long). Success! A little slicing, then fishing, plus lubrication with the blood the splinter work its way out and the PA was able to grab it with the clamp.

She wrapped me up and sent me on my way.

I am forever grateful to Katie the PA – she was patient, persistent, and listened to her patient.

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What about those pesky Menehune? Well, thanks to them – I had an experience that has made me feel – strangely  – more comfortable here.

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Aloha!