I miss Hawaii.

I miss Hawaii.

I miss Hawaii. (There. I said it three times, and clicked my keyboard 33 times).

I miss Patricia.  I miss Brooke.  I miss girl’s night out.  And the ease of leaving the house.  And the views.  And the drive to the North Shore.  And this big, spilling over the fence bougainvillea that filled me up every single time I was almost home.

Have you ever seen anything more beautiful?

I miss the photo ops.  And the sun.  And the warmth. And the sound of the rain crashing down all around our jungle hut.

But I don’t miss our jungle hut.  Not one bit.  Nor do I miss the fiscal nightmare that it was. And I don’t miss the traffic.  And the tiny parking spots and horribly planned parking lots.  And I don’t miss the monotney of the weather – well – I kind of do.  It made getting everyone dressed SO simple.

I don’t miss the improper English everywhere or what my friend Patricia P called “the ghetto-ness” of Oahu …most evident to her by way of the lack of uniform police cars (any car with a light on top = police).  Oahu ghetto-ness evident to me by the falling down, dilapidated houses; the plastic tarps as walls on open structures; the super sub-par school system; and the mostly very uninspired architecture … I don’t miss the all-nighters of New Years Eve and 4th of July fireworks that were loud enough to knock artwork off the walls.

It wasn’t all rainbows and hibiscuses.  And sometimes I hated it.  (I really did.) But still …

I miss Field Trip Friends. The zoo.  I miss doing things with my kids that were “good” for them, but that I could also enjoy … The playground on the Airforce base that, thanks to the Monkey Pod trees was always shady and littered in big red flowers:

Plus, it was always all ours. Which meant I could lie on the slide and look up at the sky while listening to Zoey and Lucy laugh. It was playground nirvana.

I miss all our go-to activities like feeding the ducks at the Buddha Temple, the views from the Hoomaluhia Gardens, feeding giraffes at the zoo, the short hike to the waterfall behind the golf course  …and that we could do any of these things any time of year.

I miss The Baby Hui group and our play-groups.  I appreciate that Hawaii had an infastructure for moms and babies.

a happy place.

I’m sad my kids didn’t get to do the kid thing in Hawaii, because it was so kid friendly they even have a word for kids, keiki.  And the people there really do treat kids SO well.  (ie screaming kids at mall / in restaurant – no problem.  Because nothing really is blood-boiling angry in Hawaii.  Like, no one even ever honked their horn at me once there.)

I miss my job.  I really loved that job.  And my students. I always miss my students.  They make me laugh and they make me cry (usually in a good way).

I miss the instant stranger / street cred (or more accuratly facebook cred) a “Hawaii” locale offered.  Hearing people say “Oh, you’re so lucky!” is so much better than, “Oh, my God. I could NEVER live there.”

Being cast away from the original 48, I still have the same struggle of living far from home and with the high costs that entails.  It’s expensive living far, far away.  Airfare, babysitters, the missing of milestone birthday parties, and missing all events in general, and grandparents, and shipping (and ergo, the high price of gas / groceries / everything that isn’t made locally)… it all adds up.

And speaking of shipping, I miss Target.  God, do I miss Target.  I miss strolls around Target with Brooke.  And Aloha Salads.  I miss “dream” talks with Patricia.  I miss Kate for her totally classy way of life and ability to articulate anything in a way that helped you understand exactly what it was that you were also experiencing.

But if I were there – in Hawaii —  right now – Mitch would not be.  And he would be in a war zone. And he would be there for 15 to 18 months (because that is basically the tasking that his former department had been assigned to meet).

And that (him going to war for a year and some change, so that we wouldn’t have to move) would have been my choice. And I would never have lived down the guilt of him being away for so long.  And, I’d miss him while he was gone.   And, I’d be a frazzled (bad) single mom either living on my “own” on an island in the middle of the ocean, or in my parent’s basement.  And neither of those are really great options. And 15 to 18 months is a long time to be away from kids who are 1 and 3 years old (like half or over half of their lives.)  And going to war?  Not something I really cheer for in general.

So, with that war-zone thing in mind, it’s a good thing we aren’t living in Hawaii right now.  But still, I want to go back.

In the mean time, I can close my eyes and I can  hear Brooke laughing and saying, “Shhesh! I know, RIGHT!;” and I can feel the breeze on Patricia’s back Lanai and smell the plumeria in the air as we sit side by side on her wicker love seat; and I can see Kate’s smile and her super white teeth and the gorgeous blue ocean views from the rocky cliffs on the way to her house.

And I’m reminded of the children’s book “Fredrick.”

(It's about a mouse who spends the summer storing up warm words and colors and feelings that help his fellow mice get through the winter brrs and blues)

And I think about how lucky I am to have four solid years of warmth, sun, and aloha on reserve to get me through this Alaskan winter.   I’m so grateful to have such a colorful and heartfelt memory bank to visit (again and again); and I am so lucky to miss such a warm and wonderful place and such warm and wonderful people.

A Hui Ho Hawaii.  I’m doing the Hula from far, far away.



15 responses to “I miss Hawaii.

  1. I will keep sending you positive energy. This too shall pass. Just keep remembering that this is NOT permanent.

  2. I miss you both! At least I get to feel caught up in a way by reading your posts!

  3. You warm my heart giddy up. You really do! I’d be just as lucky to be freezing up there with you right now! Miss you to the Arctic and back!

  4. Please excuse me, or not, for posting this “I told you so.”! I knew you would say that one day. I’m just sayin’

  5. Katie:

    Hawaii IS enchanting…it might not be perfect or even close but it leaves a huge print on your soul and when I close my eyes I can hear those waves, I can see those mountains that were made by God scraping his fingernails through them, the beach with the most amazing sand and the sea – so beautiful it could make me cry – but mostly, I can see the beautiful smiles on Sebastian and Emery’s faces – their funny antics that I love to my soul, Brooke doing a goofy jig or making me so proud – always amazing me with her unique ways that I love so much and my beautiful son – so tired but so simply awesome that I can hardly believe that I – ME – got to be his mother! Wow!!!! So it makes me happy that you can reach in and experience all that was Hawaii – all that you loved there and even though it wasn’t perfect…..it was. Maybe just maybe Alaska because of its uniqueness and it’s ruggedness and difficulties will also become a place you can go to in your mind’s eye someday and revisit all that you loved about it…because really that’s what life is all about…all those moments…not years….that just take us to our knees.

    Hang in there….you ARE lucky to be in Alaska..it is not easy but girl, it’s darn sure an adventure!

    Love to you and your snow bunnies!

  6. Definitely some sadness in this writing, but maybe the process was also cathartic…you are hanging in there & pulling yourself up with your gloved hands (and maybe the help of better internet). proud of you.. just keep sending those photos & blogs our way. i know i’m along for the adventure.

    • Yes, cathartic for sure. And, where I arrived in this post (alaska w/ mitch vs. mitch in warzone) makes the fact that we are here WAY better than the alternative. :)which, i am soooo grateful for.