Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Under the Sea...

I'm going to work late this morning and got up early nonetheless.

Did any of you all notice it's been a week since I last posted? Haven't been around visiting like I wish I was either.

You would not believe the week... I mean month... I mean, well, fuck it, the year I have had.

But it is mostly unbloggable so let's get on with the Traveling Thursdays.

Snorkeling and swimming in the warm, totally inviting ocean over here is, for me, one of the greatest perks of living on a rock in the middle of the ocean.

Most of my snorkeling takes places in the summers on the North Shore, when it is totally flat and completely gorgeous. I have a little lingerie laundry bag with a clip on it. I hook it up to my bathing suit bottoms and off I go shell hunting. It keeps me busy and out in the water.

We have vases of shells all over the house.

But there are also many places on the island to snorkel for reef watching and marine life viewing.

Hanauma Bay is a favorite for visitors. It's a park/reserve for marine life. You'll see a ton of fish. But get there early. All the tourists go there and the park only allows a certain amount of people each day. Get there after 8:00 AM and you might be DENIED.

Another great place is Shark's Cove. Located on the North Shore, this means no winter snorkeling because of the humongous waves.

My kids and my favorite place to go is Waimea Bay. From the parking lot go left to the end of the beach. On the back side of the giant rock where you will see all the crazy teens jumping off (you might catch a glimpse of my son there), on the back side is a quiet little place that is clear, gorgeous and a great place to snorkel.

Come along for a photo journey of fun day at Waimea Bay....

Aloha and link on up with your own favorite place...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Traveling Melancholy

Play the video and listen while you read. That is how I wrote the post anyways...

Going to California

Not now. But probably soon. I’ll be going to California.

I know I promised you all a snorkeling post. But it ain’t gonna happen.

Soon. Soon I’ll be back to snorkeling and body boarding and walking on beaches and writing verses in journals.

Driving around the island and taking videos of the scenes at the sides of the road while I play something I like and want to share on the car CD player. Make you feel like you were here.

Make me feel like I’m in the moment.

My husband’s stepmother passed away last week. The funeral is tomorrow.

My mom in California is at a crossroads. She’s 82 and a hoarder. We (and her doctor) have been trying to get her to use her long term health care and go into an assisted living home for over two years. But she is stubborn and has some mental health issues. Seriously.

So she has waited until her luck’s run out and her debt is huge.

It’s a mess.

A mess that will have to be dealt with soon. Somehow.

I’ll be going to California where, even after 27 years here in Hawaii, where so many of my youthful memories are cast along the sides of the roads.

I’ll put some Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd on when I get in the rental car and I’ll drive up the PCH from LA X and when I look out at the ocean or at the sagebrush on the hills the floodgates will come undone.

As soon as school is out mom, I’ll be coming to California.

Link on up and take us traveling.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Humility and Sass Both Get Their Own Catch Phrases

The Spin Cycle this week is "quotables." Favorite phrases from movies, books, TV, etc.....

I know in context they bubble up like magic.

Only two came to mind over the weekend. Layered paradox.

The first we use in our family completely opposite of the intention of origin.

Don't ever let them see you coming...

If you don't know or remember the quote, you can go here to watch it in action. Let's just say it was meant for not altruistic intentions in this movie. In our family we have reinterpreted it to mean humility in action.

Don't brag.

No one likes a bragger. My son and his friends were always outdoing each other in the brag fest. Hubs used the Al Pacino quote to discourage bragging and it stuck. The boys were all boasting the various surf maneuvers they were capable of accomplishing. Hubs said "Who do you like better and cheer for? The guy who brags all the time or the guy who keeps his accomplishments to himself? If your really are good, show it - don't spoil it. Don't ever let them see you coming."

A sassy favorite of mine comes from my near encyclopedic knowledge of favorite phrases from Friends.

When I get completely and totally frustrated with getting interrupted...

Lips moving, still talking...

For more quotable spins, head on over to Sprite's Keeper.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Travel Tip Thursday: Snorkling Preview

I'll be honest. I've got nothing. Or should I say nothing prepared. Or nothing new.

So I raced through some photo files for inspiration. I love this shot of Shark's Cove. It reminded me how much I love snorkeling. It's been awhile.

So next week, I'll do a better post on snorkeling on Oahu.

Thank-you Sage for coming over to link to Traveling Thursday and reminding me that it was indeed, Thursday.

Feel free to link on up, even if the most likely time you will see this is not Thursday. It is 6:30 over here, so most of you all are in bed or thinking about it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spinning Wool, I Mean Words

The Spin Cycle topic this week is words…. Last week it was appearance. Both topics are in my range of interest and ponder possibilities. I looked forward to writing the posts.

But I am having the hardest time carving out my blogging time. My writing time. My computer and Internet time. Since the move these pastimes have fallen off the proverbial cliff. Or rolled down the cliff to a place I cannot get to.

I wish I had the time to really spin this. To reach down into the alleyways and side channels of my mind where words are floating and forming all the time. Where words collide and shift and mesh and come together and fall apart.

Ever read Bee Season? I loved the idea behind the concept of words and their effect and foundations within our minds.

Instead of blogging, for the last six months I have been spending an hour each morning reading spiritual literature and giving meditation a shot. I have not found the mantra that is capable of causing a surcease of thought patterns and words from emanating continuously through my mind. But I make myself give it my best shot each day.

One of these days those utterances, those words, will take me to a peaceful place. I’m counting on it.

So, since I am going with a stream of consciousness type of post and do not have the time to hone and craft and mix and match and come up with a perfectly worded post that gives me a feeling of completeness upon finishing, I am going to finish with the opening paragraph of the novel I am reading right now.

A paragraph so beautiful that it took my breath away the first time I read it.

A paragraph I find so well worded that I have reread it several times and I am only on page 88 of the book.

There is no scatheless rapture. Love and time put me in this condition. I am leaving soon for the Nightland, where all ghosts of men and animals yearn to travel. We’re called to it. I feel it pulling at me, same as everyone else. It is the last unmapped country, and a dark way of getting there. A sorrowful path. And maybe not exactly Paradise at the end. The belief I’ve acquired over a generous and nevertheless inadequate time on earth is that we arrive in the afterlife as broken as when we departed from the world. But, on the other hand, I’ve always enjoyed a journey.

Charles Frazier, Thirteen Moons.

For more wordy spins, head on over to Sprite's Keeper.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Oahu Coffee Beat: Traveling Thursday

The Coffee Gallery in Haliewa on Oahu's North Shore is hands down my favorite coffee house on the island. Great coffee, one of a kind setting. Free wifi if you actually tote your laptop on vacation.
Indoor and outdoor seating. Inside, the panels of the ceiling are each painted by a different local North Shore artist. Once, at the tables outside, a little old lady was doing palm readings.

Occasionally there will be a random musician playing outside as well.

What a coffee house is meant to be. Before the Mickey D's of coffee (yes - I mean Starfucks) took over the world.

Link on up with your own favorite local haunt or traveling of any variety.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Random thoughts on fate

On Easter my daughter took me to see Hair at Manoa Valley Theatre. The show was incredibly well done. Unfortunately, my favorite number from the Manoa version isn't available on YouTube, so I have another group singing for you here.

When they performed this number, I actually got choked up and cried. Must have touched a nerve.

* * *
Yesterday I left super early for work to give myself time to stop at a friend/colleague's house. She gave birth last week. My favorite gift after I gave birth was when someone dropped off a home cooked meal. I was always hungry and hubs tended to only get take out.

So, I merge to the right lane of the freeway to exit and do my good deed (I made three different meals for this young couple that only needed to be warmed up in the oven). As I am exiting the freeway, a kamikaze bird flies out of nowhere and offs himself by flying straight into my right front fender. It scared the crappola out of me and made me wonder "why me?" Now I have this bird's death on my conscience.

* * *
I added a few people from my high school graduating class as friends on Facebook. I was leery. If we were meant to stay in contact, perhaps we would have....

One friend was great to reconnect with.
Another not so much. She messaged me and asked what I had been up to the last 30 years. In my reply I mentioned that I was an English teacher. This is what I got back:

"An English teacher?????? Yeah shock comes to mind. ha ha How is everything? Well, it's cool you get the summers off right?
I'm not sure how to interpret this...

Does she mean

a) I was such a partyer in high school (note: so was she) that she never thought I'd finish college?

b) A teacher is such a dumb ass thing to do, but at least I get the summers off?

c) Other (feel free to clue me in with a comment)

For more Randomness, head on over to Keely at the Unmom's.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Heavenly Redux

The Spin Cycle this week was to post our favorite post. I opted to let the readers select and ran the random number generator. The Winner is Mrs. Bear and the post she selected was "Angels." This was written last Fall and the events happened during a very difficult time. I had been praying for a sign that things would get better...

Those of you who have been reading this blog for any length of time know I have been on a semi blog break this last month. I miss reading blog posts and have been an infrequent visitor. My own posting has been sporadic at best.

The unbloggable has reared its head like a dark phantom and this darkness has permeated each thread in the fabric of our family.

A lot of the time I have not been blogging I have been spending in meditation and prayer. I often pray for angels to watch over and help my family through this difficult period. The angels in my mind’s eye are heavenly angels, guardian angels, mystical and beyond this earthly world.

In order to not get sick while I negotiate one day at a time (because yes, the worrying has caused a dramatic weight loss and lack of sleep) I try to get out and take my walk. Yesterday, instead of walking in the morning, my walk was put off while I graded student work and made sure everything was stable in the home. So, instead of walking at my normal early A.M. hour, I set out a little after 11.

Walking in the heat of the day felt invigorating and cleansing in a different sort of way. About ¾ of the way down the bike path, I noticed a man a few feet off to the side, somewhat hidden in the bushes, leaning against a tree. I became a bit wary, as a woman walking alone (Border Collie is a true unknown variable when it comes to protection). I veered to give myself room to bolt, but as

I passed I noticed the man was leaning against a tree, eyes closed, and looking like he was meditating. He looked to be in his fifties, only about 5’5”, and perhaps missing a few teeth from the way his mouth hung slightly open. He looked like he was taking a break in the shade.

I passed him and went on.

On the way back, a good 15 minutes later, he was in the exact same position. I began to wonder if he might be OK. I almost walked on by as he still looked like he was asleep, and since that part of the trail is somewhat isolated, was also still unsure how much I wanted to encounter a strange man while I myself was alone.

But I stopped and said, “Hello…. Are you OK?”

“No. I ran away from my care home,” the man replied. He kept his eyes closed as he addressed me and his palate was handicapped in a way that made his speech difficult to understand.

“Can you open your eyes?”

“No. I lost my eyes as a child. I cannot see.”

“Can I help you somehow?”

“Yes. Please. Call my case manager and take me to the hospital. I do not want to go back to that home. They are mean there. I do not want to go back.”

I used my cell phone to call for an ambulance. He had run, barefoot, quite a ways. We were about 100 or more yards from the park parking lot and the neighborhood from which he had run.

“Do you want me to meet the medics and bring them to you or can you walk out?”

“I want to come with you.”

The man held out his hand and I guided him from the bushes. He took my arm. His hand was soft and pudgy, but he held my arm like I was a guiding force of light for him. He shuffled slowly and talked the entire way back to the road.

His name is Roy and he has been in care homes for a long time.

As he was placed on a gurney and hoisted into the ambulance he was smiling a little closed mouth smile. And he thanked me for helping him.

As I walked home the enormity of gratitude that I felt for a chance to be Roy’s angel gave me a buoyancy of spirit, even as I realized that Roy was my angel more than I was his. I said a prayer that those who can help my loved ones will recognize the need when and if the time comes.

I took this experience as a hopeful sign.

For more spins on favorite posts, head on over to Sprite's Keeper.
Do yourself a favor, click on the sunset and head over to read an amazing post...