January 12, 2016

Hawaii Week 1

Diamond head and the Waikiki coast
Those who know me in "real life," know that I am back in Hawaii for 2 months to help out some family friends.  And by help I mean alternate between being a 2nd mom/aunt, cook, fashion advisor, organizer, navigator, seamstress, teacher, friend, or musician at a moments notice.  Actually, it's a lot  like regular life, except it's a little warmer and there are 4 extra little humans to look after.  

Going for adventures with littles
I'm not sure how to say this next bit. . . Hawaii has incredible natural beauty and an agreeable climate, but these things don't change everyday life.  (granted there is an island sub-culture that is a little different)  Busy moms still live in Hawaii like busy moms in Illinois, or New York, Or Idaho.  It's hard.  And you don't always get to sit back and appreciate extra things like the mountain you're living on or the vast ocean visible out your window because you're washing dirty hands, correcting math homework, making dinner, answering your 300th question today, or trying to comfort a child over a dead bird.  Y'all have moms.  Go thank them.  Text 'em, call 'em, write them a note -- whatever will get it done.  Moms are heroes.  It's not easy to raise 4 kids under 7, but hopefully I can make it just a little easier for this family over the next 2 months.

Now, having been here on O'ahu before, I didn't immediately experience the awe and wonder of seeing all the unique trees, clear water, and beautiful mountains this time.  That doesn't mean there aren't any re-entry surprises or re-realizations though.  Things like. . .
  • not being able to figure out the Japanese style shower, and then accidentally having a bath with a gecko.
  • how hard the pavement is (seriously, is it the volcanic element?  The rocks, and pavement are all sharper and harder than my midwest variety).
  • hearing reveille float across the water from the Pearl Harbor/Hickam Base every morning at 7:55 (Don't know what it sounds like? Check this out).
  • Hawaii is a true American smelting pot, but it has a different recipe.  We're all a beautiful conglomeration of almost every other nation/ethnicity, but in Rockford, we have many "classic" Americans (black/white is the easiest way to describe it -- people who immigrated long ago from Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean), but also many Mexican, Indian, and Arab people.  Here in Hawaii there is a much stronger Asian influence than in Rockford.  What I'm (probably very ignorantly) calling "classic" Americans aren't the majority at all, but are blended in with the native Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, or other south Asian cultures. 
  • salt water still hurts my eyes
  • friends are hard to make, and I miss mine back on the mainland 
  • selfies are so awkward
  • coconut, mango, and pineapple are a way of life, not exotic fruits.
  • there are SO many military servicemen and women here.  If I stopped to thank each one like I do at home I'd never get anything else done.
  • everything is so dang expensive here.  Many things are twice as much, but real estate is at least 4 times what it is in Rockford. 

I've tried to start good habits here like getting up and going to bed early, eating well, practicing the piano everyday and exercising daily with mild success.  I got sick soon after I got here and it really threw my rhythm off.  Then I went a little gung-ho on the push-ups for during my exercise and my upper back is currently in a whiplash-like state.  So thankful for foam rollers and tennis balls to try to loosen up my crazy muscles.  Let's see what week 2 brings!

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