Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii’

Aloha, Washington!

July 1, 2008

After weeks (months?) of promises, the Cat finally got his orders. We are going to Washington! I know, who in their right mind would be happy to move from sunny Hawaii to dreary western Washington? A mom with two kids under three who has family there, that’s who. We’ll probably stay with my parents while we look to buy a house. (Did you hear that? Clear out a guest bedroom!)

This next month is going to be difficult, to say the least. The Cat is going to be out to sea for four or five of the next six weeks. The movers will come to pack us up in less than a month. Two weeks later, when we see the Cat again, we’ll move out of our house. Then a few days later we’ll be hauling everything to the airport for the last time, at least for awhile.

I’m really going to miss Hawaii, but I’m really looking forward to having family to help out. And being on a much bigger land mass. With rising airfares I’ve been feeling the island fever lately. But I don’t want to complain too much, because I’m sure I’ll be missing all this sooner than I think. I better carve out some time to sit on our front porch and stare at the ocean.


Becoming a part of a community

June 14, 2008

Somewhere in Hawaii (or anywhere in the world, for that matter), there will be a double size quilt that I helped with. Sure, the basting stitches I put in will get pulled out and my fingerprints will be washed away, but I know I helped baste all the layers together. I had very little idea of what I was supposed to be doing on a quilt for a woman I barely know, but it was a community effort in quilting class, so I jumped in and helped. How fun is that?!

It was a beautiful green on green money tree design. It was done so well you couldn’t even see the applique stitches. (I can only dream of the day!) I haven’t made much progress on my project, although I did learn how to applique the valleys in the design today. Hopefully I can finish it before we leave. The Cat’s been great about setting his schedule so I can go to class (we had a lot going on today!), but he’ll be gone much of July, so I’ll need to ask the neighbors if they can babysit.

Next on the Hawaii List: Surf’s up

June 12, 2008

Yesterday The Cat and I took our first (and probably only) surf lesson. It was a blast. No, I wasn’t great, but I was better than I had worried I’d be. The Cat, of course, was a natural. I can only hope Things 1 and 2 will inherit his natural athletic ability. And my charm and intelligence, but that goes without saying.

Our lesson was at White Plains Beach, which I had stayed at once, but never entered the water because the waves were too big for Thing 1 back then. It was a nice day for surfing, but I had forgotten about the holiday. Actually, I remembered that Wednesday was Kamehameha Day, but I forgot what beaches are like on holidays. So, instead of the half empty weekday beach I was hoping to make a fool of myself in front of, it was a beach packed with local families and surfers. And, of the surfers, I looked to be the only 30-something female. And, I think I was the only female who wasn’t wearing tiny bikini bottoms, which was probably a good thing for all involved. It doesn’t look like fun to pull those things up to cover the top of your crack every 10 seconds or so.

Our instructor was Dustin, and he was great. We started on the sand, where I was fantastic at standing up. Yes, I could balance like a champ on the beach. On the water…well, we’ll get to that.

We paddled our boards out to meet up with Dustin and start catching waves. I was good at paddling, so I figured at least I’d have that to feel good about. I let The Cat go first, and of course he caught his first wave, stood up on his board and looked perfect (from what I could see). Can you hate the man you love for being too good?

My turn. My board caught the first wave, and I pulled my first foot up underneath me. Then I was froze. I rode the wave in, half standing, half sitting, all the way to the beach, because I didn’t know what to do to stop. (Jump or fall off would’ve been the correct answer here.) Like The Cat says (more frequently to me then I’d like), “You can only get better.”

I did get better, even riding a wave or two squatting. It was when I was determined to stand up that I started losing my balance and falling off. Too soon, the lesson was over. I can’t believe I was out there paddling and surfing for nearly an entire hour. Time flew as fast as the surfboard seemed to. I loved it, although next time I think I’ll work on riding low to the board for awhile before I bother my head and body with standing up and being tall. Hopefully there’ll be a next time.

The Cat cut his toe and sat out the second half of the lesson. I joined him on the beach when I was done. It was 1 pm. We had the boards and the babysitter for another hour or so, but we were too exhausted to go back in and practice on our own. In fact, by the time we made it to the mini-mart down the street my arms and back were already sore. Uffda, old age is tough!

Today, my body is definitely paying for my Hawaiian folly. But ibuprofen makes it bearable. And a few days of soreness is a small price to pay for being able to say I went surfing in Hawaii.

First on The Hawaii List

June 10, 2008

This week I’m getting to work on my Hawaii list – things I want to do before I leave Hawaii.

I started on Saturday with my first Hawaiian quilting class. I was the only new student; all the others were older women working on much bigger, more beautiful wall hangings and quilts. My neutral color pillow looked pathetic next to their work. And that was before I started. Now it looks worse. But, everyone has to start somewhere, right? And if I don’t take the class now, where else am I going to find a Hawaiian quilting class? The only problem is I discovered I’m very slow (and bad) at hand sewing. I just hope I can finish the pillow in the suggested six sessions. I really don’t want to leave here with a half-finished pillow.

Here’s what it looks like starting out:

 Hawaiian quilt pillow week 1

The pattern is a leaf. For this, I folded the fabric in quarters and traced and cut the pattern. Next, I basted it to the background. Now I’m working on appliqueing the design to the background. I think the quilting comes after that.

Here’s a close up of the one leaf I’ve worked on so far: Hawaiian quilt close up wk 1

I only know how to sew the points, not the inverted corners, so it’s a pretty sad right now. The instructor did the point on the right, so of course it is the best, but like The Cat says, I can only get better. Hopefully. Well, no matter how it turns out, I’m really glad I’m doing it. It’ll be nice to take something away (no matter how ugly) besides memories from my Hawaii List.

Next up: surfing!

The idea of living in Hawaii

June 6, 2008

We’ll be leaving Hawaii in a few months. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, with two small children it will be great to be closer to family, especially when The Cat has to go out to sea on the submarine. On the other hand, I’m going to miss living in Hawaii. At least I’ll miss the weather and the IDEA of living in Hawaii, which, unfortunately, my reality hasn’t matched.

The idea of living in Hawaii, at least for me, means doing and seeing every type of touristy thing, from shopping to dining to activities that require sunblock. It also means going beyond the simply touristy and doing the local thing. Those word of mouth things that aren’t listed in Frommer or Lonely Planet guides. Making friends and having experiences that make Hawaii feel like home. That idea would have been ideal. But, instead, we had two kids in the three years that we’ve lived here.

I moved here, far from friends and family, halfway through a pregnancy, making finding a regular job hard. (Thank goodness for Kaplan getting me out of the house occasionally!). Oh, and The Cat has been gone – a  lot – making it difficult to keep even a non-regular job. Sure, I could’ve overcome those things and been more adventurous, but I have more excuses. (Many of them center around traffic and parking. Who knew I was such a car wuss?) The truth is, when I get back to the mainland, people will say, “Oh, Hawaii! Did you do ______?” And most of the time I’ll have to say no. I hate that left out, not-in-the-know, wussy feeling.

Still, we do now have two kids who can (forever and always) say they were born in Hawaii. That, plus the fact that Things 1 and 2 are the most wonderful kids you’ll ever meet, I guess evens things out. Regardless, it’s hard to accept the fact that I didn’t get to do everything I wanted here. But, maybe I shouldn’t give up yet. I have a few months left, and I’m not leaving without a fight.