Monday, July 23, 2012

The Perfect Ending


Water always makes everything better.  Get in the water.  Cleanse your soul.  Wash all the dirt away.  All types of stuff.

Waves are like life.  There are days with great waves and the tide is perfect.  Catch a good wave - and you can ride it to shore.  Or catch one, and someone gets in front of you - you steer off course, you get caught in the "washing machine"  and spit out.

Up and down.  In and out.  High tides and low tides.  Sometimes you get rolled.

You hold your breath and enjoy the ride.

Our last day in Kona couldn't have been "more better".  We cleaned up.  We went to the beach.  We were starving and went to lunch with Al and Lily at the Kona Brewing Company.  I caught the PERFECT picture of the kids and the happiness of our summer.

Silliness.  Happiness and joy in every one's eyes.

It's 3:00. We need to leave our house at 6:15 at the latest.  We are all packed.  We will need to shower.  What do you we want to do we have two hours?  Go!

We want to go to the beach!  Of course!  The kids go in the back of the truck - through the town.  One more time.

I've already washed my hair.  Maybe I'll just sit on the side.  Sure.

I'll swim as far as I can.  I'll hang in the water with the man whom we can't speak to each other.  I have nothing to say - I've said all I can.  He doesn't know what to say - Actually, I don't know what he's thinking. 

We listen to the kids.  Laugh like they have never laughed before.  Like they will never laugh again.  For one more moment.

The grown-ups: they give us the boogie boards.  I road waves - waves I have ridden all summer.  Perfect waves.  In perfect moments.

Three perfect waves.  All the way in.  The kids thought I was surely going to "die".  They were "scared" for their lives.  Their mom was going to die.  "I was going to get rolled".  I was scared too.  Scared I was going to swallow a bunch of water.  Get stomped on by someone else.  Not once though.  I just rode the waves to the beach.  With someone right next to me, blue eyes smiling. And when it was time, rode the last wave in, got out by myself and went and showered. 

Showered to the music of the locals having a Sunday cook-out - playing their songs.  Cooking and playing their ukulele's.  Running into friends on the beach.  Everyone was happy.  A perfect ending to a wonderful summer.

I wish I could say this was one of those Hollywood moments and everyone was washed cleaned. And they all lived Happily Ever After.

Actually, I can.

It was three kids playing in the water.  Laughing so hard, and so pure, everything was right in the world.  It was two adults, riding some waves.  

Everyone covered in sand. Everyone arriving to shore.  Some before the others:   a little dirty, a little scratched and all still smiling. 

The End

or maybe, it's just the beginning ..

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The BEST Twenty Dollars I've EVER spent


Hawaii Jr Lifeguard program.   

If you have a 12 - 17 year old and EVER - EVER have the opportunity to put them in the Jr. Lifeguard program in Kona.  DO IT.  I don't care if your kid likes to swim or not.  It will be the BEST twenty bucks you have ever spent.  Even if they hate the class.

What does $20 get you??  TWO WEEKS Monday thru Friday (except first day is just a swim test to see if they can swim 200 yards).  Trust me, if two of the kids there passed the test, your kid can too.  It's all about water safety.  Sorry, for the tangent.  Two weeks, from nine until noon.  CPR, Board Safety, Open Water rescue, traditional Hawaiian dance (Haku - more on that in a moment), a potluck, a competition and new friends.  ALL FOR TWENTY DOLLARS. 

Truly, the class is priceless.  I happened to see a sign at the beach our second day here.  Nolan and Lily didn't want to do the class - it was two weeks, then another class was starting the week after Duncan got here.  Duncan said he wanted to do it.  Only once, did he say, "I don't want to go" and then 10 minutes later he was in the main house with his bag asking what was for breakfast.  Not a complaint in my book.

Then today was the "Jr Lifeguard Competition"  Three teams.  We were team "Kona", there was "Hapuna" (the location of the event) and the "Hilo" team (the three main areas of the island).  Several events.  1000m run; Run Swim Run; Paddle Boarding; Swim;  - all those skills you need in Life guarding.  Broken into girls/boys - then 12, 13-14; 15-17 age groups.  Duncan won the 1000m run for the 13 - 14 males. 

The state championship is in Oahu next weekend - he won a free airline ticket over there, since he came in first to compete.  (He's not going). 

AND, I haven't even begun to tell begun to tell you about the other prizes.

Give aways.  Box lunches (a box lunch here is - okay, I will have to upload this picture to do it justice, but rice, hot dogs (cut up and they are a reddish color), chicken, spam and sliced meat.  Free Gatorade and Water. 

No - there is no membership fee.  There is no entry fee.  I kept waiting for the catch.

Yes, part of it is our tax dollars at work.  Yes, both National and then their tax dollars - state at work.  Water safety.  Public Safety.

Then sponsorships.  For this event, the Alex and Duke DeRego Foundation is a big sponsor.  Ironman Foundation is another sponsor.  This is why today's event was "free".

Let me tell you about the Alex and Duke Foundation.  Of course there was a banner and I walked up to a woman with a foundation T-shirt on and asked, "What is the Alex and Duke Foundation". 

The woman explained to me that Alex had died while camping  - he fell into the water and they never recovered his body.  (I couldn't remember when, I was just trying to hold it together at this point of the story - tears had been forming in my eyes all day). Then just two years ago, Duke had died in a golf cart accident - teenagers being teenagers and he went flying.  (more of the story on their site).  Of course, by this time, I'm crying.  And just gave the woman a hug and said I'm so sorry and thank you.  For Duke, they donated his organs and this way, they could keep giving. 

Re-thinking as I'm talking to her, and I realized she had said, "we lost" - thinking this is the vernacular the organization uses to explain their cause.  Then I realize, it was their mom.  I think that's when the tears began.  Not sure.

It was after my son had won his medal.  Before we helped clean up.  And ever since.

We may be "haloe's" (white people) from the mainland, but when we find a good cause, we know it.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Newhart was a television situation comedy starring comedian Bob Newhart and actress Mary Frann as an author and wife who owned and operated an inn located in a small, rural Vermont town that was home to many eccentric characters. The show aired on the CBS network from October 25, 1982 to May 21, 1990. TV Guide, TV Land, and A&E named its series finale as one of the most memorable in television history.

(The above portion was copied from Wikipedia)

I remember watching a couple of episodes - I used to watch more TV than I do now, but I don't remember watching this series on a regular basis.  HOWEVER, I remembered a couple of things:

  • The two brothers "Darryl and my other brother Darryl" never spoke
  • The very last episode, they had it appear like the whole series had been a dream.  Suddenly, they were back in a previous series.  
Today, we picked up the owner of the house Joe (aka Captain Hook  - only he's really nice).  Of course, this was after Duncan's lifeguard training (more on that to come - I PROMISE), lunch and cleaning the house!

We have been house-sitting all summer.  This house is also for sale.  He doesn't need to sell the house.  He's bored.  He wants to move back to the mainland.  - SIDE NOTE HERE:  If you know of any single ladies 50+, PETITE (one of his requirements) and looking for love, please send them my way.  Of course, please let her know, she has to leave every summer to go to the mainland to fly around in his private plane.  (He's the pilot).  Please also tell her, I get to house-sit while they are gone.  (this portion is non-negotiable).  If we could find him someone to live here with him - he wouldn't sell the house!!!!!!  - We get to come back every summer.

Joe is a great guy.  Very funny.  Very ornery.  Nolan and I had left, leaving Duncan and Joe alone - we get back and they are arguing over something stupid like microwaves and why Joe doesn't have one.

During dinner, we are all talking about him moving, Duncan wanting to go to boarding school, and a couple of other things. He told us "we don't get a vote in this him selling the house".  He then proclaims 'Duncan, you are NOT going to boarding school" - in which Duncan replies, "you don't get a vote!!"  Then Joe pauses and says "how did I get roped into this family???"  I told him - "YOU were lucky - that's how".......

Suddenly then tonight, after dinner, I had this weird sense of deja vu.  Deja vu in the sense:  we just got here, Joe is about to leave to go to the mainland and we are just starting this adventure.  And the opposite thought:  "What are you doing here in our house?  This is our house now"

During this thought process, all I could think was "remember that show with Bob Newhart in it and how it ended???"  That everything for the last seven years was a dream?  Was this all just a dream???

The show was named Newhart.  I think I'm calling it New Heart......I might have to start wearing more sweaters......

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Peter, I must go home

Peter Pan has always been one of my favorite movies.  For many reasons.

I will FOREVER be attracted to the Peter Pan type of male.  It seems a lot of women have trouble with those men.  I think, the women are trying to make them something they aren't.  Of course, my sons hockey coach is 35 years old and still couch surfing.  I'm not saying, you have to have a house on the golf course, a nice car and a country club membership to be successful in life - in fact, just the opposite.  What I'm saying is that, you need to be able to take/provide for yourself.

Me, I like Peter Pan.  He was comfortable with himself.  Why would we want to change him?

In my humble opinion, we are doing a HUGE disservice to boys/men today.  We need to empower them as much as we empower the girls/women.  After all, they have dads, they need to be proud of.  Instead, it seems to be this "woman are just as good - if not better thing going on".  Well, what if we aren't?  What if MEN really are better than women?  What if women REALLY are better than MEN?  I didn't realize this was a competition.....

Aren't we here on Earth to make everyone better?  When you step on me, to climb your way up, you are hurting both of us.  For the first time ever, we are sending more females to the 2012 Olympics than than males.  I'm not proud of that fact.

Yes, I know - blah, blah, blah - boys/men have always been given so much more.  Yes, I'm a headhunter - I'm hired to find companies find people - Yes, we want "young, aggressive" and if they could be male, well, even better.  Sorry, the same applies the other way "we need young , aggressive and go-getters" - female.  It works both ways.

It will be interesting to see the next round of workers.  Why would they work?  If it gets bad, someone will bail them out.  Mom, Dad, Step-Mom. Step-Dad - are we sure this is all bad for the kids like they tell us????

So what if they fail?  They DON"T CARE.  Why should they?   It all works out for them.  Actually, it all works out for all of us.  SO they don't want the house and the country club and the porche and all those other material things.  Maybe, they just want to continue to play... Who can blame them? 

They get it.  We might have been the ones to fail.

Then, the other reason I love Peter Pan?  I love escaping to Neverland.    Although, the visits to "Neverland" are more and more often each year.  10 years ago I could keep the "visits/escapes" to once an quarter.  Then every other month.  Then every six weeks.  I'm at once a month now.  

Maybe, it's visiting Neverland once or twice a year.  It's balance.

Let us fly to Neverland -we can go home later.  Or we might just be Peter, we might want to stay.....

For now though Peter, I'm EXHAUSTED.  Not the, "what can we do tomorrow" type of EXHAUSTED, but the real, completely raw, honest feeling of exhaustion.

I need to put my sweatpants on; turn the air conditioning on until it's cold in the house and WATCH A MOVIE type of exhausted.  (If you don't know me very well, everyone that does know me will tell you, thiss happens MAYBE once a year.  MAYBE). Living proof Gypsy Girl is not allowed to be in charge.

It's been an INCREDIBLE summer.  A summer I wanted at 13.  I got it, just 30 years later than I asked for it.  That's okay, I wouldn't change a thing.

Wendy must go home now.  Wendy went home from Neverland to grow up.  Please don't count on me doing that, but as long as I can come back and "clean" every spring. I think I can go home now.......

But first, there is a "Captain Hook" to pick up at the airport tomorrow, a lifeguard competition on Saturday and THEN a red-eye flight home on Sunday.  Didn't really think I could "just leave" now, did you????/

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Let them be kids

Let the kids play.  You know, PLAY.  Chase each other. Get on their bikes and be gone all day.  Build sand castles.  Bury each other in the sand.  Be BORED and figure something out.

The argument I'm about to present is on and on.......  I'll give you my opinion first.  First disclaimer,  I don't read the newspaper.  I don't watch TV.  I don't follow news on the internet.  I am LIGHT years behind on anything everyone else considers "important".  HOWEVER, I do know - that a few years ago (and I believe it was our current President whom made this a law - but for all I know, truly, it could have been the previous President) they changed the law where "children" could stay on their parents insurance until the age of 26.

I'm sorry, 26 is no longer a child. (this is the opinion part)   Yes, it's still "young" - depending on where you are in life.  If it helps people out, that works for me.  I don't much proclaim what my "children will or will not be like" when they are older.  We tend to eat those words.  HOWEVER, I consider, once you are out of college, it's time to help them become even more self-sufficient than I have already done.  Being on my insurance at age 26 is not something I would consider an accomplishment in MY life, if my kids are still there.

HOWEVER - between now and then - let them play SOMETIMES (and more often than not).  Yes, somethings do need to be organized.  Yes, we need routines and schedules.  Those are good things.  Just not ALL THE TIME.

One of our favorite beaches is the Mauna Kea Resort - there is a resort on one side and a public beach on the other half.  There are 40 public parking spots.  Of course, my kids swim in the pool and hang out in the hot tub.

Not that I would do any such thing at this age, but I have been into the hot tub a couple of times myself.  While there, there were also some teenage girls hanging out - I got to be the fly on the wall.

ONE, was "benched" from cheer in the fall, because she has to miss one practice to take her brother to college.  Another was kicked off her team because their family was on this vacation in Hawaii - IN JULY and would miss cheer camp.

Sorry kids life happens. But at the same time - seriously??? You are kicked off a team because you were on a vacation in July (Yes, she could have been trying to "save face", but we are giving her the benefit of the doubt here).   We SO have to schedule our lives around our children and we wonder why this generation is SO unhappy.  When we don't schedule our lives around theirs, they are "punished" by the "establishment".  Go harder, faster, sooner.  Seems to be our theme these days.  Where do you volunteer?  Where was your internship?  What is your GPA?  And it all better be perfect, or we don't want to hire you.  We don't want you on our team.  You will never play for us....... 

SO WHAT?  Their lives might turn out okay regardless.  I don't know much, but I can tell you, we live in a place where majority rules.  And I can't guarantee you anything in life, but I CAN guarantee you that, if you ARE NOT #1 in your class, #1 on your team and on and on and on - you are with the rest of us.  The majority. 

These kids don't WANT for anything.  What do you want to be when you grow up?  I don't know is the answer.  It's okay, they shouldn't.  Even if they think they do, they can change their mind.  Growing up isn't even on their list.

I have 13 year old's building sand castles, burying each other in the sand and making domino trails this summer.  We've forgotten shoes, clothes and stuff at the beach.  We have been through 3 volleyballs (one is stuck in the palm tree in front of the house - one was lost and the other got a hole in it, because, imagine this:   from throwing it at a prickly bush - to see if it would stick (it didn't)

Soon, they will have jobs, hockey/swim schedules, interships, tutoring and on and on to their organized structured lives.  Today, though, we have to go find beach glass......

For tomorrow, they will be grown and gone.  Today, we must play.......

Peaman - Part II

Update:  Couldn't leave you hanging.....

Lily and Nolan came in 4th  in the relay - OVERALL.  However, since this is an event where you can create your own categories......  If you did the RUN only, you could pick "whom" did your swim.  SO, they were beat (in respective order by)  Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman.  Technically, they placed FIRST.  (and only 6 seconds behind Batman and his running partner).  For runners only, they were supposed to start 15 minutes after the swimmers started.  Lily and Duncan came in 7th or 3rd overall if we don't count Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman.  Out of 103  (Just to clarify - if you wanted to run only - you were still put into the "split-pea" category (relay) - so you just had to put down a name for your "split-pea partner'.  (I would have put down Michael Phelps)

I "placed" 49th out of 69 people whom did the whole thing.  It took me an hour.  I looked up my tri times from the last few years, did about the same minus the bike time.  Plus a few a pounds and a new scar......

Al forgot to get his stick, and had to go back - he "placed" last out of all the people whom did the swim only - all 13 of them. 

This was all listed in the West Hawaii Today newspaper on Monday morning. 

We might need to take this show on the road

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Peaman

Kona, HI is known for various things.  Coffee, snorkeling, beaches - just to name a few.  If you are an athlete, Kona is know for a few other things:  THE IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP,  Kona Marathon, Boarding, Biking, just to name a few more.

What isn't known, but everyone should know:  Peaman Events  These events are free athletic events.  Remember when events didn't cost $100 to enter??  You didn't have to change your whole way of life just to participate in something?  You could JUST PARTICIPATE?  In fact, I think we need a Peaman Event in every city. 

Today, was the Red, White and Blue Biathlon.  Yes, they realize Independence Day was two weeks ago.  They also mentioned that shouldn't we celebrate our independence every chance we get????  Hard to argue with that.

1/2 mile swim, 3.5 mile run.  No registration fee.  No forms to fill out.  No numbers. No timing chips.  No medals. No t-shirts. 

Remember?  Those things you used to do, well, because you ENJOYED them?

The only rule:  If there isn't a category for you, they will create one.

Nolan, Duncan and Lily were a relay - Lily did the swim (4th out of the water over all), then the boys took off running.  Al (Lily's dad) did the swim, and I did both!!! (YES, mom is the real rock star here). 

We don't know the results yet - and you know why???  When Lily got out of the water, they handed her a Popsicle stick with a number on it, for the boys to carry on their run.  When Al, got out, he got a Popsicle stick with HIS number on it.  And me, well I was #109 - but that was for the whole thing, we will see how it breaks down into all the different categories. (The results will be published in the paper tomorrow - after they figure them out)

Then, of course, there were drawings after the race - this was probably the only normal thing about the whole event.  My name was drawn and I won a box of cookies.  (Homemade cookies).

The race director was giving away a lamp he had bought for his son, that his son never took.  (Shawn White lamp from Target).  It was the last drawing, the lady whom won it, well turned around and gave it to Nolan. 

Nolan won a LAMP at a drawing.  Who wins a LAMP????  (from Target, no less).  How the hell am I going to get this thing home?  We think it's going in Lily's room when we leave. 

Then there is a "PEA" - it's beautiful - KOA wood, about the size of a coconut, shiny, and passed from family to family at each event.  

If we didn't feel part of this community, we do now.  Not that we didn't.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Parent Trap

There was movie back in maybe the 50's?  I remember it as a re-run. What I really remember is that there were twin girls, separated at birth and they go to summer camp.  They discover they are TWIN sisters and plot to get their parents back together.  I also remember, I didn't know it was one person playing both the girls until I was in high school.

My kids remember the movie from the Olsen twins.  Although, I remember watching the same movie when they were kids, but I don't remember it being the Olsen twins. I do remember the watching the updated version.

This summer - I think I'm living that movie.

Once, after our magical adventure on the Fairwinds boat - when my summer daughter proclaims "this is like the movie THE PARENT TRAP!!""  It SO made me smile.

The summer is progressing along.  We are all having fun.  We are all living life to the fullest.  Well, except the Grumpy Bear, he's just pretending it's all going well.

We had company.  We've been busy.  The summer daughter has been with us as much as possible.  In fact, they spend so much time together, their mannerisms have begun to mimic each other.  It's quite cute to watch.  Even her dad commented on the fact that we became her "family".  What he won't accept and refuses to admit - is this is NOT my fault.  Some how when we leave, he thinks he's getting his daughter back.  I sure hope so, but, well, 13 year old girls, we never know which way the wind will turn them.

The second time:  Last night, we all ended up at dinner together.  The kids then "all had to go to the bathroom."  At the EXACT same time.  It was pretty funny.  I'm sure he didn't have a clue.

Today, well, I'm doing one thing, the boys are doing another. And I run into him while I'm running - a passion he loves and the girl in the ohana does not. I get the call to get my girl.   I have my boys, I go get my girl - and we all hang out at the beach

When we watch movies, as I've said before, it's all wrapped up in a couple hours.  This movie is taking awhile.  As it should.

It's not really a made for TV movie.  More, well, just like an old movie, with some old friends.  Only this time, I'm playing the lead role.  Wait, weren't the kids the lead in that movie???  

They are leading this movie too......

Saturday, July 14, 2012


A close girlfriend and I were on the phone today.

I had just dropped Duncan off at Jr Lifeguarding - and at noon, there was a potluck for all the "Jr Lifeguards" and the Lifeguards on the various beaches.  I was on my way to the store.  Today is National Beans and Franks days (in case you were wondering).  Our contribution was going to be "Pigs in a Blanket"

 Easy to make.  Easy to eat.  Easy to share.

Potlucks in various regions of the country have their specialties.  I was SO excited to see what other people were going to bring - the "local" customs.  At the same time, intimidated - don't want to bring something everyone else brings - and the "Martha Stewart" in me, well, wants to make it good. 

LOTS of sweets, of course.  My sons asked if there was watermelon.  The reply - there is mango. (and there was A LOT OF MANGO)

The local potluck staple?  I have to look up the name - but it looks like a rather large California Roll, but it's not  - seaweed paper, sticky rice, and spam.  Yes, I had the same thought.  Duncan had three of them.  I asked him what he thought of them.   "These are really good".  Tonight at dinner, I told him what they were.  Really??  Spam's not so bad....... 

Beef Stroganoff, lots of poke (pronounced po-kay") (one of our favorite local things).  And of course all your normal potluck stuff - the bucket of KFC; chips, salsa, not one humus tray in sight.  

Nice parents.  Nice lifeguards.  Nice place in life.

My girlfriend says to me, "You are going to a potluck?  You do realize you don't live there, don't you?"  Are we sure about that?

We have "dropped in" to this place - and become one.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sneaking Out

Whom hasn't snuck out of their house?  Or snuck someone in?

Once in like, I don't know 9th or 10th grade - Laurel and I snuck out - to the end of her drive way.  ;-)  David and Peter came over to hang out.  We were all just friends and I guess we had to be home before them.  I don't really remember, what we did, but hang out and probably listen to music.  But I do know her parents were asleep and we had "gone to bed".  (I can't say this was the only time I've snuck out!)

Again those years are re-approaching.  Only this time, I'm the mom.  I feel a bit like Wendy in Peter Pan.  When he returns, only to find Wendy grown.  I'm now Wendy and Peter and his friends are my boys.

Our property here on the island has a main house and two ohana's (ohana meaning family)  They build houses here with houses for their "family".  Most people rent them out.  I'm staying in the main house (there are about 2 acres or so here).  The second ohana is rented out year round to a local girl.
 Just for clairification, this is a WONDERFUL, INCREDIBLE house.  It is in NO WAY FANCY.  The owner Joe, is a mid 60's bachelor.  It's amazing the cleaning I've done since I've been here!

Sorry for the tangent there!  Nolan has been staying in one ohana.  Basically, he has his own apartment for the summer.  We had some friends from Denver arrive - the three boys slept up there and the other two adults and little girl here in the main house.  

My summer daughter couldn't spend the night while they were here - except the one night our Denver friends were on the other side of the island.  When she stays over, she sleeps here in the main house with me.  She comes right in, she knows where her stuff goes, she has a toothbrush here, on and on.  You get the idea.  Well, since our friends were in "her" room, the pull out couch was out.  

The ohana is good size.  There is one queen bed, a blow up bed that Duncan has been sleeping on and a couch.  (plus a mini kitchen, a table and chairs and a bathroom).

Lily you are sleeping on the pull out couch.  No big deal.  

The kids all go up to the ohana to watch a movie.  I'm uploading pictures to my share site.  I'm getting a little work done - and they all know I usually go to bed around 10.  Anything after that, and, well, I'm not really functional anyway.  SOOOOO, I told my summer daughter, it was okay if she fell asleep watching the movie in the onaha - oh yeah, there is a TV and DVD player too....

Look, I know this would never happen in the real world.  If this was one of your friends at home, NO, this would not be happening.  Yes, we are in Kona and I guess the "summer rules" apply.  Of course, they have all spent SO much time together, their mannerisms have even started to mimic each other.  

BUT, being the smart girl she is - she came back to the house twice - once to brush her teeth.  The other time?  She was pretending she was going to bed.  It was actually really cute.  I was at the kitchen table still working on pictures.....  (much to her dismay)

I finally told her, "As far as I'm concerned, you were on the pull out bed when I went to bed".  I did the honorable thing, and went to bed while she was "on her bed".  

No, I didn't hear her leave.

When I woke up and started to work the next morning, I was in the house alone.  Granted, it's 5 am and I went up to the ohana.  Nolan's in his bed.  Duncan is in his bed and my summer daughter is asleep on the couch.

I wasn't sure if I should be proud or be mad at one of the boys for not giving up their bed.  I was proud of all of them - the TV was still on........

(and please - even if we all knew she was going to spend the night on the couch in the ohana, just let me have this moment!) ;-)



Ever have those days when you "DREAD" getting out of bed or "DREAD" doing something?

We all do.  In the winter, I sometimes dread getting out of bed, just thinking "do I really have to do everything I have to do today?".  I don't WANT to work, take the kids to hockey, cook, clean, etc.- none of it.  If I get out of bed, I will have to do it all.  I DON"T want to!!! 

Luckily, my days of "dread" don't last long.  A day here.  A day there.  It's not depression.  It's normal.  Don't we all want to just play???

Days of "dread" on the island are completely different.  I wake up way too early.  I now have a rule.  I won't get out of bed until after 5 am.  4am is still the middle of the night - I don't care when you go to bed!  Now, when I wake up, I have to lay there for a bit.  (Usually, I'm a get out of bed immediately kind of person).  Truly, I think I'm scared to get out of bed. Because I know, I will not sit down until 10pm at night. 

I know what you are thinking.  She has all afternoon at the beach!!!  I work until 11 or 12.  Of course, now I run Duncan to Jr Lifeguard training at the beach (Kahaluu Beach Park) that is trying to kill me.  (Yes, it is ironic - maybe my own son will get to swim out next time to get me!) at 9.  I then get back and work some more. He's done at noon.  It really works out nicely in our day.  (More on that later) I then get back and work some more.

At times, we all try to be something we are not.  I try on a daily basis to think I'm the type of person who can lay on the beach and read a book.  Sometimes, I can sit and read, but that's for about 20 minutes.  Then I'm playing volleyball with the kids.  Boogie boarding, swimming laps, going for run, you get the idea.  I'm doing everything but sitting still. 

Then, there is all that other normal stuff - grocery store, laundry, cooking.  You know life.  The good/bad thing about life on the island:  you get TWO FULL DAYS, in every day.  You work and you play. 

In the morning, I have to lay there for bit in bed to think about the day ahead.  There is that sense of dread.  Dread of getting out of bed.  Instead of dreading the mundane things of every day life, my first real thought?  My "dread of the day" - how am I going to survive this day?  Survive in meaning, I hope I pack enough in, and I hope I enjoy it enough.  I don't want to waste a single minute - I hope I still have it in me.  I think I dread the thought that I might not still have it in me.

You would think I would learn to just, well, forget that thought, I better just go be whom I am.  Dread and all......

Monday, July 9, 2012


I'm dirty. Grimy and EXHAUSTED.  As I've said before, that WONDERFUL DIRTY GRIMY EXHAUSTED.  And I wouldn't change a thing.

We've decided:  people watch us.  Of course, I LOVE to watch people, but we are being watched.

I "met" Carolyn and I today.  Only we are in our 70's.  I sent Carolyn a text and told her so, and I told her "I just met us in 30 years, with Marie."  After thinking about the text, it wouldn't be Marie - she will be in her 30's in 30 years.  The girl with "us" was in her early 20's.  So, I guess I met "us" and our "grand-daughter".  We are still fun. 

Fun in the way - as I'm walking across the beach, to the bar, at the hotel next to the public beach, they stop me, to tell me they like my dress.  It's cute on me.  And it's very flattering.  And I should own a few more of them.  I explained I had been wearing this dress all summer, they understood.  They said I should wear it all summer.  One of them was in a wheelchair (that will be me, because I don't know how to say "I'm too old to do that anymore".) Truly, if I didn't have three kids running around a resort that we aren't staying at, well, I would have sat down.  I would like to know we turn out okay - well, never mind, we know that answer.

The kids - they are dirty - DIRTY.  Sand in your face, in your swimsuit, in your toes kind of dirty.  This is my FAVORITE beach.  I was a little disappointed when I found out it was man-made.  No wonder it's so perfect.  AS IN - PERFECT - just go look at the pictures:  -

Lily is keeping track of how many times people think she and the boys are siblings.  We are up to 8 - 2 today.  Wait, maybe that's 3 today.  The really funny thing is:  We are white people.  We just all have the same eyes.  Someone even asked Nolan and Lily if they were twins (this was before Duncan arrived).  Seriously?  She's a foot taller than him, and his hair is very blonde.  It's fun to watch.  It's fun to be the mom.

If that doesn't make you feel dirty, nothing else will......

Sunday, July 8, 2012

More Better

One of the radio stations in town says the phrase "More Better".  "We are going to make your day 'more better'".  Every time we hear it, we all smile.  "More Better". Yes, we know, it's not "proper" and it's not correct, but hey, it makes us smile.

We have some friends from Denver staying with us for a week.  They are going to the volcano area for a couple of nights, but have been here since July 3.  This is a great incredible place and I don't want them to miss a thing - SO here we go - let's GO......

The kids and I go to Kua Bay (one of my favorite beaches) and wait for their plane to land.  It's about 10 minutes North of the Airport.  Literally, I'm on the beach, with four kids, and we see their plane.  The funny thing is, they see our beach from the plane and go WOW.  I see the plane and say "I've got to go!" I leave the four kids at the beach (can't get in the water until I return).  Go pick up our friends at the airport and bring them back to the beach.

Okay, and really, it's still hectic from there, but it's dropping/picking up/Costco/the pier/sushi/the house - in a round about way.....

The way I really plan my vacations; wait; make that my life:  One day busy, next day, well busy, just not hectic.  Paddle Boat Riding; Fireworks, walking through town; parades and happy people.

Magic Sand Beach - there was a SWELL.  A SWELL that traveled 6000 miles to cause havoc on the beaches of Hawaii.  Waves so strong and incredible, we couldn't even ride them.  The lifeguards went out 5 times in 1 hour.  2 ambulances came.  Then of course, it calmed down, and we played in the waves.

Now we all know, you don't really know someone until you travel with them.  I'm just glad my friends are still my friends.  Ready?  Okay, NOW, we are going to drive your rental car down a 25% grade, swim across a river and hike to a waterfall.  To me, the most wonderful thing about the whole day?  THEY LOVED IT.  In fact, they thanked me for taking them.  And the dad's face at the end of the day - well, we had another teenager with us.  SO excited about our day.

That made me SO happy.

When you love something or someone and you get to share what you love with others, it makes it all even more wonderful.

It doesn't get "More Better" than this.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Summer Daughter

I have a "Summer Daughter".  What a delight.

I LOVE having boys.  Everything about boys.  Adventurous, Dirty, Exhausting, Insecure, Brave - and on and on and on - and USUALLY, no drama.  Although we are hitting the teenage years, we might have some hormonal drama yet to come.  AND, not that girls couldn't be all the things I listed above - I just don't know - I don't have girls.

Carolyn and her daughter were in Denver to visit one time and we were "building" something.  Then my next action, was well, to say "how can we destroy this?"  She reminded me, we don't have to "destroy what we build".  AH - girls build it to play with it; boys build it to tear it down.

We are just different.  Boys and girls.  That's okay.  We should be different.  We should also not want boys to be more like us or us more like them.  We are different.

But this summer, I have a girl. In addition, to my two boys. A beautiful, wonderful, sweet, kind-hearted daughter.  She is everything you would want in a daughter.

In fact, I'm so used to her being here, and we now have friends here - I keep saying there are "four of us".

She lives with her mom on the mainland 9 months out of the year.  With her dad, for 2 months in the summer and a month during the year in California.  But this summer, she is my "summer daughter".

She's a swimmer.  She calls me when something is wrong.  Her mom calls me too when something is wrong.  In fact, her mom calls me and tells me she is so glad I'm here. It takes a mighty big person to refer to someone else as her daughters "summer mama".  As she said (her mom) - "when my daughter loves another woman other than her mama, this woman must be special and deserve my respect."

As I told her dad, 13 year old girls don't like anyone. She LIKES ME. Granted, I do come with two boys her age (she is exactly in between the two) - so I know that doesn't hurt my ratings any... ;-) 

And she wants to be here.  With us.  And the worst part is, so does her dad.  He's just trying to do what he said he would do - and BOY is he grumpy.  He's grumpy at her.  He's grumpy to everyone around him.  He's GRUMPY.  The sad thing is - he's not a grumpy guy.  He's the happiest guy in the world. Usually.

There is a couple whom lives next door to my summer daughter and her dad.  Their names are Davey and Ryan.  We were at their house for dinner.  Towards the end of the evening, Davey and I were on the porch.  He says to me "Lily LOVES you".  "I know", I replied, "so does her dad." He replies, "well, we all know that".

All in good time.

In the meantime, I have a summer daughter.  She has a "Summer Mama" - and if she has her way, one day,  my grandson will be named Oliver.... ;-)  Oh, the things girls try to plan.....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Days

There are no words to describe my feelings for today. 

I am happy.  HAPPY.

There are a million self help books out there.  There are millions of counselors out there.  We hear things all the time about "being true to ourselves" - make things better, live, breathe, feel, blah, blah blah... ;-)  Okay, maybe not "blah, blah, blah" more like "yadda, yadda, yadda".  On and on and on.

What you really need is:  do something that makes you happy.  HAPPY.  Not powerful, not fun, not thrilling - HAPPY.  When is he last time you did something that made you happy?  I think we equate the thought "if you aren't happy, you are unhappy."  I think, it's "you are okay - then you are happy or not happy" 

Today, I am happy.  It was Nolan's 13th birthday.  And, I'm not an UNHAPPY person.  I'm not sad.  Yes, I have bad days, we all do.  I don't usually stay sad.  Truly, I'm a simple girl with simple wants and needs.   I want to be happy.

That's the really funny thing.  I'm always happy.  BUT, today, I was HAPPY.  Today, there, well, became here.  Duncan (my oldest son) arrived last night. Lily has spent the last three nights with us.  Duncan popped right up on the paddle board. 

I ACTUALLY WAS UP ON THE PADDLE BOARD FOR 10 or so minutes (more on that later) - AND I DIDN'T HURT MYSELF (or anyone else for that matter).  I look heavier in the pictures than I wish I looked, but I'm on the board - AND I HAVE A PICTURE.

That's not what made me happy.  I was happy before we got to the beach.

I woke up with my sons here.  My summer daughter here too.  There were puppies up the street at the "mean dog" house.  There were fresh Lycees waiting for me around the corner from the neighbor.  There was chaos in this house and no drama.  Chaos - the where are the pancakes?  When are we going to the beach?  The I haven't brushed my hair in two weeks.  Boxers shorts on the back lanai - because why would we go inside to change? Oh, and mom, I forgot, can we go back and get my shoes, I forgot those too. There was love and contentment.  

Nolan and I were in the truck to take Lily home this morning (she sleeps in the room next to mine)  and I said "I haven't been this happy in a long time".  He replied, "I didn't know you were unhappy".  "I wasn't unhappy.  I'm just that much more happier today."  Right now.  This second. 

Here in the real world..........

(Yes, I know - it should be just "much happier", but the radio station in Kona all the time says "we are going to make your day "more better".  If I can be "more better", I can be "more happier).......

Monday, July 2, 2012


This might be one of my favorite stories EVER.  That says a lot.

Yesterday - July 1.  My day of new beginnings.

Nolan, Lily and I take to kayak's to an area called Captain Cook.  (Lily is my summer daughter - more on that later).  You have to "drop in the kayak" about a 30 minute kayak ride south of Captain Cook.  You pay the nice guy (Rufus) to help drop you in the water and help you back out.  (Worth every penny of the $10).

Favorite moment of the day #1:  I say to Rufus - you've been working here a long time right?  Yeah.  You had to swim out and rescue me last year when my boat had a hole in it.  Oh, that's right - you haven't been here in a while.  Then he proceeds to tell everyone how he rescued me last year (see the First Ocean Water rescue blog to read the story).  Pretty funny.

We set off - Nolan and I are in the double kayak, Lily in the single.  (They were fighting over who got the single).

We get to the Captain Cook statue (he "founded" the island) - they later ate him.  Yes, roasted - as in Cooked!  ;-)

We tie up the kayaks, we snorkel, we get out at the statue, we snorkel some more.  We are sitting watching the tourists boats.  Lily remarks, Oh, the Fairwinds, we did that last year.  You know what?  We should just go over and get on the boat.  (I promise you this was NOT my idea).  We laugh, we come up with funny stories about what we would say, on and on.  Finally, Lily says "we should do this - they are cooking hamburgers, I'm hungry".  So, I say, "Ok, let's go".  The look on their faces was priceless.  Really??? Nolan:  "Mom, are you serious?".  Sure, let's go.

We swim over to the boat, we climb up the ladder.  We are trying so hard not to just giggle.  The kids go off the boat slides, they jump off the "high deck board".  Then the food is ready.  I'm like "no, we really shouldn't".  After they opened the chips, Lily gets a cup full of chips and we standing there when one of the crew says to Lily - "you don't have to just steal a cup of chips - go get a burger".  Then he says to Nolan - aren't you hungry?  Nolan replies "no"  He says, well then take one to go.  I guess it was obvious that we hadn't been there on the whole trip.

We go get burgers, sodas.  As we are eating, the boat starts to move.  Turns out, it was a false alarm.  We ate, played a bit more.  Then we dove off the boat and snorkeled back to our kayaks, and went back to our harbor.  Yelling at the boat the whole time "Thanks for the burgers"...........

These two kids may be 13, but I'm getting to be 13, just for the summer......