Monday, July 8, 2013

Repeat Business

The try-outs for Jr Lifeguards were a little different this year.  There was actually a limit on how many could get in the class.  They don't have as many instructors.

We go there early.  There was still quite a line. Turns out - the city (I think the city, it could be county) didn't allot enough money for the extra instructors, so they are short on instructors.  They limited the class to 25 kids - they signed up 30 (knowing some will drop off), and have 5 "Jr Lifeguard Leaders".  "Jr Lifeguard Leaders" - those whom have done the class before.

First thing - this class is TWENTY DOLLARS.  AND, they get a t-shirt at the end of the two weeks.  That being said - PLEASE, charge me $100 or even $50.  Then you could pay an extra lifeguard to teach this PRICELESS class.  I can guarantee you, I've never told anyone to charge me more for ANYTHING.  I'm telling you now.

They test a bunch of kids.  About 12 didn't make the first session.  We are about 2 kids from the table when they told us all the class was full.  Very sad, as we had two extra girls ready for the class too.

I had spoken to one of the instructors, and noticed an instructor from last year - Uncle Hoku.  I said "My son, Duncan was in the class last year, he wants to be one of your "leaders" this year."  Uncle Hoku, looks over at the other guard, and says "That's Duncan's mom - he can be one of our leaders".  And well, since he has a little brother, we will put him in the class too"  He looks at Lily and asks if this is his Little Sister, and as much as I wanted to say yes, I shook my head.  (I'm not sure why her dad is so grumpy, he's supposed to be happy - don't relationships make you happy???)

We are going to call her in the morning if there is an extra spot. 

So, we can write the mayor of Kona and tell them our opinion of this great program.  I know we are lucky.

The lifeguard didn't have extra paperwork, so we will fill it out in the morning.  He asked if I still minded paying.  Are you kidding?  No, I have NO problem paying.  I have no problem paying for them or a problem bringing the instructors lunch for the next two weeks!  What is it that you want me to pay????

I've wondered for years if it's best to go to the same place or try new places?  I'm beginning to think you try new places, then keep going there again and again and again......

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Things you learn from teenagers

I'm learning bunches this trip.  Did you know?

  • If your sheets are filled with dead skin and sand, you just need to shake them - they don't really need washing?
  • It is possible to send/receive approximately 500 texts in less than 3 days - to one person?  (this one really makes no sense to me as texting is available year round, but seems to be much more popular when you are in the same town (or even the same car) as this person.)
  • It's completely possible to forget to wear shoes, shirts, towels and anything else you left the house with.
  • Coral pieces can work to play toss.  And adults aren't very good at toss (I was told maybe it was just me)
  • It's possible to have 1400 "followers" on Instagram.  And if you didn't know what Instagram was, teenagers can have to set up in minutes (word of warning though, the median age of your "followers" will be about 14)
  •  Shaved ice, a soda and a sandwich don't count as a meal or a snack.  I guess it's just something that holds you over until the next grazing.
  • It's completely possible for you to remember the name of the dog (Sherrie) of the guy at the beach from last year.  
  • That it is completely possible for some adults to age, yet still act less mature than the real teenagers.   Even the teenagers recognize it.
  • And the highest compliment you could ever be paid is:  "We all want to go with you, we don't want to hang out with the adults".  At least I think that was a compliment.

Your Happy Place

Find your happy place.  Mine's on an island.  Although you've probably figured that out by now. 

I keep trying to make this place - well, normal.  Regular.  You know the place.  The place where you do laundry.  You run errands.  You run into old grumpy boyfriends. You take the kids to their practices.  You go to the grocery store.  You drop off recycling.  A place where you want to escape FROM.  Not TO.  Really, I try.

I keep trying to make this "life" - you know "just like at home".  Well, I'm succeeding at that part.  I joined the Canoe Club - I paddle on Tues, Thurs and Saturday mornings at 6:30am.  We have to leave the house at 6:10.  (Nolan's gone twice).  Thursday we swam with dolphins in the ocean while out there paddling. 

I work early in the mornings, I go paddle, I come home and work some more. The only time I do get annoyed?  When I have to work.  Well, I have to work.  I figured it out though, Gypsy Girl lives stifled and a bit hidden nine months out of the year - so PLEASE, career woman, could you just go away for a couple of months? 

Next week I will take some kids to Jr Life guarding - it's starts Monday.  Pick them up at noon and then, well, we will go to the beach.  Lunches have to be made.  Laundry done.

Pretty much sounds like my life on the mainland.  Hectic.  Busy.  Scheduled - the dreaded word.  Only here, well, it doesn't make me sad or stressed or well any of those things.  It makes me happy.  I guess this would be my happy place.

Please, everyone, go find your happy place.  You know - that stroll down the street - the one you love best - and go there.  The quilt shop, the hike, the place that helps you be well you.   Hang on to it for as long as you can.  But not long enough to be afraid that there isn't another happy place to discover.  Shhhh..... There might be more than one.

I'm envisioning a group of condos I'm going to own and manage one day.  I'm calling my company "Happy Place".  Come find it - it will be on VRBO.  While this might not be YOUR Happy Place.  It's mine.  Go find yours too.  Only don't get to hung up on the way you "think" your happy place should look.  Never in a million years, could I have created this in my mind.  It was larger than that.  I wasn't capable of thinking I could create THIS happy place.  I'm also sure I can't even imagine the vision of my "next" happy place.  I am just here to enjoy this one.

PS.  My imaginary dog's named Mango.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Flashback on Fantasy Island

At the end of last season - that would be the summer season - it felt a little bit like we had been living in soap opera.  Something antiquated, a bit like high school and lots of drama.

I decided a better name was really "Fantasy Island".  Everyone arrives on the island with a wish and a fantasy to play out.  Everyone gets a chance to live a bit different than normal lives and see the outcome.  Sometimes the outcome doesn't look like you think it would.  Other times it's a really bad decision.  Or maybe, just maybe, it turns out even better.

In the season premiere today, well, the same cast of characters have arrived on the island.  We are still missing a key actor, but he gets here Monday. 

The old boyfriend whom let the old girlfriend move in last season - well, they are still living together.  And quite honestly, they both don't look good.  She actually looks a bit thinner, but doesn't smile.  He has gained some weight and he's not smiling either.  So, if that is what happiness looks like - well, it's not my kind of happy.  We will let them have it.

We have two teenagers whom have been waiting a whole year to see each other.  This time, the awkwardness only lasted a few minutes, versus a few days last summer.  Although the girl was quite sad and nervous that her dad wasn't going to let us all see each other "the girlfriend got her feelings hurt last summer".  She figured out how to get us all at the beach today at the same time.  (that's my girl!).  All was good in the water.

As I watched the teenagers playing in the water.  As I played in the water and a bit of volleyball, I'm truly happy with my life.  Happy there is no drama.  Happy some teenagers can play.

I was also very happy at the end of the day when I was finally able to say hi to the dad. Just us. He said, "we will all get together.  I know she has really missed you."  Mahalo.

We've missed her too. 

Patience dear teenagers, all in deux time.......

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Teenage Freedom

4th of July is my FAVORITE holiday.  It's a "No Guilt" holiday.  No presents to buy.  No dinners to attend.  It's all about enjoying our freedom.  Literally.  Our freedom as Americans.  Our freedom from family pressures.  Freedom to watch, observe and participate. Or the freedom to do none of the above and stay home.

I was prepared to write about the arrival of my summer daughter - she gets here tonight.  She's so excited.  So am I.  And I know a teenage boy who's pretty excited too.  But last year there was drama with the dad and his old girlfriend. Something I don't want to write about.  Drama I'm not participating in this year.  Any man whom wouldn't put his daughter's feelings first, over an old girlfriends, well, he's not the man for me.  While he might still make a really good friend, I don't have friends like that.  And freedom, for me, comes free.  For others it comes at a cost.

As the onslaught of summer teenagers are about to begin.  She arrives tonight.  Duncan on Monday.  Then I feel, I will have no freedom, but will be the camp director.  It's okay though, I chose to live this way.  I'm free.  (Plus, it really is bunches of fun!)

I've received approximately 20 texts in a span of 24 hours - plus a bunch of pictures, plus a bunch of e-mails from a very excited girl.  She posted the sweetest post ever on Instagram about Nolan to Nolan for his birthday.  I was told she actually is going to miss the house from last summer - we stayed next door.  Of course you are, I replied, there is no Ohana (guest house) for all you kids to have a sleep over.  (Momma is no fool).  At least she told me I was right.

So yesterday, I enjoyed my drama FREE day. My day of an incredible hike with my son to a memorial of Captain Cook.  Also, the memorial of a boy whom was swept out to sea last year on this very day at the very spot we were.  Paying homage to people whom risked it all for freedom.

Freedom of theirs.  Freedom of ours.

But today, we are going to go paddle.  Then go watch some turtles being set free (more on this story later), then a parade and fireworks.  A day of freedom.

Thankful we are all free to make our own choices even if we are no longer teenagers.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


"Why must we have an "owie" tradition on the island?" - a friend asked me last year after I had cut my foot open. 

First summer:  Black eye (surfing accident)

Second trip:  Slipped and fell - just a little scratch

Second summer:  Nine stitches in the bottom of my foot (sliding off the paddle board, cutting it open on the coral

I replied "Pele is testing me"  Pele is the Goddess of the Volcano.  Her arch enemy was the snow queen.  She wants to make sure I'm worthy of staying on her island.

I've told everyone this summer, "Pele and I have made our peace"  "It's HER island, but I'm here to visit - I've become a part of the island.  I'm here to enjoy it - and while I love it here - it's YOUR island." 

So this summer, I've made it a record 13 days here with only a few little bumps and bruises.   A little slice on the big toe.  A big bruise on the back of my leg from the way I climbed into my canoe after paddling the first time.  A sunburn. 

But most of all - my heart is whole.  I'm happy and content with the island that I love.  Pele - you are welcome to be in charge....

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Adventures of a blind date

I guess I was on a blind date.  Only I didn't know I was on a blind date.

Nolan and I spent the morning paddling with the Canoe team, then me working, then us at the beach.  Today is his birthday, so at "happy hour" he wanted to go to Huggo's for Virgin Pina Colada's and fish tacos.

We arrive at Huggos.  There is music about to play.  The temperature is perfect.  We are seated at a table in the sand.  (The only restaurant I know of that ALMOST encourages you to take your shoes off while at the table).

While coming back from the restroom, I look across the bar and this guy waves at me.  In a minute, he shows up at the table with a big grin on his face and gives me a hug.  I hug back.  Everyone here is very friendly and it's not surprising to receive a hug or a kiss on the cheek from a total stranger.  He sits down.  I introduce Nolan.  Only this guy at the table doesn't say his name.  He talks like we know each other, so I just go along with it.  The waitress comes by - he orders a drink and some food.  (Yes, put it on a separate check I tell the waitress).  I finally say "I'm sorry, what is your name again?"  He tells me "Bill"  - it still doesn't sound familiar.  After a little bit, he stands up and says, "I'm going to let you two eat.  I'll be back".  He leaves.

I look at Nolan and say "I've never seen that guy before, I have no IDEA who he was!" "REALLY?" replies Nolan.  "You should be up for best actress!".  "I didn't want to embarrass the guy - I just went along with it."

We enjoy our drinks and our food.  We were finishing up - he comes back and says "Save me!"  "I'm on a blind date - it's not going well.  I tried "Plenty of Fish" (a dating site) and I'm on a blind date."  I replied, "What are you doing on a blind date on a Tuesday afternoon?"  He says, "I know, hey kid, don't ever date".  He says "what do I do?".  I told him "Man up.  Be gracious, but tell her this isn't going well."  "Well, can I use the line 'we can be friends'?"  No, I replied.  Just say the truth.  "But what if her best friend is the girl of my dreams?"  "Well, she will tell you that"  "If she's a real woman".  Then he leaves again.

Nolan and I just laugh.  How funny.

Then as we are walking to the car, we see the "blind date couple" at the bar.  She has long blonde curly hair.  He waves.

As we get in the car, Nolan says to me "I figured it out".  Me, "Figured what out?".  "The blind date", "he thought the blind date was supposed to be you"

Oh.  Light bulb moment - thanks Nolan for helping me in on the puzzle. Because, I'm thinking I always bring my son on a blind date with me. I just thought I was out celebrating my sons birthday - turns out I was on a blind date.....