Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Rain Isn't In Spain...It's in Hilo!!

Aloha Kakou!! Let's dive right in, shall we? Check this graph out:

What is this? It is a graph showing for the last year, the number of days in each month that rain has fallen in Hilo. Now, for those of us who live here, and those who come here often know this already, but for those of you who have never been, it's safe to say, Hilo is a wet place! It impacts our lives almost every day, and most importantly, it is the main reason the BI, (Big Island) is so lush and beautiful. Ua, as my steel guitar teacher Alan Akaka says, is the reason it is so beautiful here. And it is...lawns are green, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of different plants, trees, shrubs and so forth that grow here, and give the whole area, a decidedly "green" outlook. But it can't all be roses, right? Right! Here is why...

Many of you may know that I am a new homeowner. (Well, WE are new homeowners) And with that comes some chores and jobs I haven't had for many many many years. The most obvious one is taking care of our lawn. Now, before this, the last time I pushed a mower was when I was about 12 years old. Where I grew up, not too many kids did the lawn...lawn services were very popular. But, for a period of time, my Dad had my brother Alec and myself out mowing every week. But as time went on, we stopped doing it, and eventually, my Mom got a lawn service, and all was good in the world...and our lawn looked immeasurably better. So, since then, I have not had to mow anything...until August. Here is where the rain comes in. I went out and purchased a mower....ready to go at it...and I learned a very important lesson...lots of rain, grass, and mowing don't make an ideal marriage. (Most of you know this...remember, I am still re-learning these things) I made the mistake of trying to mow after one of our regular Hilo downpours. Needless to say, I was stopping every four minutes to empty the clipping bag that weighed about 200 pounds. (Slight exaggeration) But, I slogged through and learned my lesson. BUT...here I sit each day, looking out the window, waiting for some sunshine. Take yesterday for example. The lawn needs attention...I get my lawn care wardrobe together, and just as I pull on my trainers...the heavens open up. It goes on for about ten minutes...after, the lawn is alright, so I figure I can head out. Well, no sooner do I start to head out...the skies open again, and no joy...and no mowing. It goes on like this for the good part of the morning...and of course no mowing happens. But...to be truthful, it is so beautiful around here, it doesn't really bother me. I'll take the rain any day. Upside? No car washing!! Cars around here tend to have very little bird poop on them.

So, it seems in the last few blogs, that I am not really conveying how much I love being in and living in Hawai'i...it seems I am always bringing up some of the negative aspects of being here. So, let me list a few things that really make me happy and glad to live in Hawai'i, and the BI.

1. Slippers (or Slippahs)
For most on the mainland, (which is what we refer to the "other" part of the US as) slippers conjure up images of a newspaper, robe, pipe and furry footwear. Slippers here are what the mainland would call flip flops. We spend a lot of our lives here in slippers. Everyone has their favorites, but the most popular brand here is Locals. Peep them:
They are about $10 or less a pair, and if you go to someone's house, chances are you will see a few pair out on the lanai. (We also take off our slippers and other footwear before we enter the house) I love being casual, and there is nothing like a fresh pair of rubber slippahs on your feet.

2. The Lack of Traffic
This is about being on the BI. I love O'ahu, for many things, but the highway is not one of them. Here is a pic taken to illustrate a typical scene on the H1:
Now, I just read that Honolulu has passed LA as the most congested traffic city in the US...and for any of you have been driving at "quitting time" in Honolulu can attest to that. Her eon the BI, we do have some traffic issues, but for me, the only time I am bothered is when they are doing work on the three gulches that are on Highway 19...so sometimes you have to wait a few minutes to get going. No biggie. Speaking of traffic and driving...

3. The Courtesy of Drivers in Hawai'i
Being from Boston originally, where driving can be a contact sport, (literally) it is so great to drive in Hawai'i, and have people treat you as another human being. Yes, there are occasional slips, but for the most part, it is wonderful driving here. People let you into traffic, they don't tailgate, and using your horn is considered rude here. Here is the most used traffic signal in Boston:
Here is the most used traffic signal in Hawai'i:
I will take #2 any day of the week.

3. Early Morning PGA
Okay, this may sound silly, but because of the time difference out here, PGA golf is always on in the morning. What does that mean? It means I can get my golf on, and by the time it is done, I still have the rest of the day for whatever else I want to do. Sometimes, it's the small things.

4. The Aloha Spirit
Now, we put a lot of stock in this one here. Many on the mainland know that aloha means hello/goodbye/love...but it is also a way of living. It's hard to put a real definition on it, but maybe this will help a little...I found this online:

You have probably heard about Hawaii’s “Aloha Spirit,” but what is it exactly?  In the Hawaiian language, “aloha“ may mean love, affection, compassion, mercy, sympathy, pity, kindness or grace.  These sentiments make it a lovely common greeting and expression of farewell.
Living Aloha is the coordination of mind and heart within each person.  It brings each person to the self.  Each person must think and express good feelings to others.

Akahai, kindness to be expressed with tenderness;
, unity, to be expressed with harmony;
, agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
, humility, to be expressed with modesty;
, patience, to be expressed with perseverance.
    “Aloha” is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation. “Aloha”       means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return.
       “Aloha” is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to         every other person for collective existence.
       "Aloha to learn what is not said, to see what cannot be seen & to know the         unknowable."
        Queen Lili‘uokalani

It is something that is in our every day lives...or should be. I am still learning and adjusting, but this might be my favorite part of being here.

Anyway, I think I will try to put in a couple of these "things I love" in each blog. Because the aim of this is not just to keep in touch, but to share information and things from where I live. So...everyone stay safe and well...spread the word about the blog, and as always, feel free to drop a comment or question.

Malama Pono,

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