Archive for February, 2013

Yesterday’s visit with Jonah was surreal.  I guess I’m still jet-lagged and I felt like a dullard, all in a fog and very tired.  But Jonah was a good boy, calm and smiley.  He got his haircut but it looks like all they cut was the front.

still a ragamuffin boy

still a ragamuffin boy

I gave Jonah lots and lots of mamalove, kissing his hand and his head and his face, giggling with him, hugging him tight.  Andy picked him up for visits 5 days in a row, I think, this past week, because Jonah had no school and he was being a very sweet boy.  Naturally, Jonah will ask for his daddy to help him do a lot of things now – daddy give bath?   Boo is truly a lucky boy to have such a wonderful father.

To come back from paradise to grey skies and this cold Northeast is harder than I’d imagined.  Had I no responsibilities, I would short-sell my home and possessions and move – do not pass go –  to the Kona coast of the Big Island.

Where we stayed

Where we stayed

But I can’t, and I wouldn’t leave my Boo, and I can only hope to visit again.  Hawai’i has a whole different feel – mellow, smiling people and breathtaking beauty everywhere.  I took more than a thousand pictures.  The black lava rock is mineral-rich and yields growth of palm and grasses.  It is not as expensive as people say.  The tourist places are, of course, but we found delightful markets where we could buy snacks and drinks, and even a tiny eatery where you can get a full breakfast for $5.  I met more people than I imagined who now live there but were former tourists who felt Hawai’i’s pull to be irresistable.  I understood.

The island sang to me; it got inside my soul.  Although I’ve traveled a good piece of this world, no other place has felt this way to me.

No road rage, honking, “us vs. them,” anger, rushing, or stress…and what seems to be a healthy mutual respect between visitors and locals.   And my God, the sunsets framed by palm trees.  Sapphire waters.  Pineapple, mango, apple-bananas, macadamia nuts.  Mongoose and dolphins, whales and sea turtles.  White, black, and mixed-sand beaches.  Weather that never varies from its 75-82 degree breezy perfection.  We never saw a drop of rain, though if you travel to other parts of the island there is rain aplenty.  It is not crowded at all – I’ve seen crowds 100 times the size at Cape Cod and Ocean City.  If you can do it, go.  Go!   Boo would have loved it; I wish it was in any way possible to bring him. I am going to get that child to the ocean this summer.

Here are a few pictures, of the 1,273 or so that I took!

Buddha Point at our resort was a great place to watch the sunset

Buddha Point at the Hilton Waikoloa Village was the perfect place to watch the remarkable sunsets

hangin' loose with a lovely hula dancer

hangin’ loose with a lovely hula dancer

even though jonah is an expert swimmer, i can't even go underwater without plugging my nose!!!

Even though jonah is an expert swimmer, I can’t even go under water without plugging my nose!!!




...and sea turtles...

…and sea turtles…

...and dolphins...

…and dolphins…

...oh my!

…oh my!

and the view from our balcony (lanai) at sunset

and the view from our balcony (lanai) one sunset

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Marlin:  I just can’t afford any more delays and you’re one of those fish that cause delays.  Sometimes it’s a good thing.  There’s a whole group of fish; they’re called delay fish.

~ from Finding Nemo

Actually, says LiveScience.com, Nemo isn’t meant to refer to “Finding Nemo.”  Bryan Norcross, a TWC meteorologist who helped conceive the storm-naming last year, told the New York Times, “Nemo is Latin for “no one” or “no man.”  It also refers to Captain Nemo, the Jules Verne character from “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.”

So here’s Winter Storm Nemo, and our cancelled Saturday a.m. flight has been rescheduled for early morning Monday.  I guess even if our area and its runways were cleared up by tomorrow, planes everywhere are grounded and they’ve got to get today’s stranded travelers out first.

Our new schedule gets us to our airport in Hawaii almost exactly 2 days after we were scheduled to go.  I was all anxious, pissed, and freaked out for a while; I spent hours on the phone on hold (and, eventually talking to) the airline, before finally, today, booking another flight.  We’d discussed taking all manner of trains and other flights (if there were any, and there weren’t) and even renting a car and driving to our next leg of the flight, but they all turned out to be ridiculously expensive and full of hours of time and hassle.  In fact our second leg of the flight was cancelled as well, so we would have done it all for naught.

Then we realized:  It’s not like we have to be in Hawaii for a wedding, or a funeral, or a graduation.  Nobody is there waiting for us, and nobody will be angry if we’re late.

And so, strangely enough, (but really not so much for my life) this has turned out to be not so bad at all.

    • We can take our time packing; we can laze around in jammies, eat delicious food, watch episode after episode of All in the Family, and enjoy the snow falling, because neither M nor I are at work today.
    • In 4.3-6.3 hours, Expedia will call me back and I’ll find out what to do about the car, hotel, and one of the scheduled activities.  And I bought the travel insurance on top of the regular flight insurance, so we’ll get money back.  (I call it “saving money the Nemo way”).
    • We’re not stranded in an airport for hours upon hours, uncomfortable, tired, angry, then resigned to the inevitable Purgatory of Travel Cancellation Land.  We’re cozy comfy in the house.
    • I called Hawaii, got through immediately, and canceled the one activity I’d booked directly – a dolphin swim (since we won’t even be there for it).  The weirdest part of it is right after I hung up the phone, we found a show on TV about how dolphins attack and are really vicious creatures.  Um, really?  Had to laugh.  We may end up booking it again once we get there, but so far that saves us way more money than I’m willing to publicly admit.
    • I will get to see Boo again before I leave.  It’s really kind of perfect.  I miss him already, and this will be a sweet bonus!

And so I sit out the pretty storm of sifting snow.  I’ll go with my mom to see Boo on Sunday, and immerse myself in a vacation which has already commenced, whether it be on a beach of sand or snow.

My timing turned out to be impeccable!

My timing turned out to be impeccable!

Dory:  This is the Ocean, silly, we’re not the only two in here!

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When my grandmother was in her early forties, she visited Hawaii & was pulled out of the audience at a Don Ho concert. He told her he would teach her the hula dance. “No,” she answered. “I’m going to teach you the Charleston.”
So she did.
Noreen Ruth Wink

Noreen Ruth Wink

She was a strong-willed lady, my grandmother, and she loved Boo dearly.

She died on October 30th, 2009.

When I am in Hawaii I will smile, thinking of her doing the Charleston at a Don Ho concert.

Aloha, for now.

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“There is love, there is peace in this world.
So take it back; say it’s not what you thought

Grab a hold, take these melodies
with your hands, write a song to sing…
Isn’t such a bad, bad world!”

~ Guster, Bad Bad World

What a wonderful visit with Boo today.  Lately he doesn’t want grandma to come with us to transfer station (our weekly recycling destination) so my mom stays at Andy’s apartment and watches Fox News.  But just like last time, just like she said, he knew exactly what was for lunch.  You could have given me a year and I would have never figured out there was a pattern, even one as simple as every other week.  My mom even brought Jonah a surprise – potato chips and dip. 

He was in heaven.

chips n dips

“chips n dips?”

He wanted mama to help him at bath time, and it was fun to watch him splashing around all goofy and happy.  Kiss hand? was again an oft-repeated request, and we sang his new favorite song, which is actually an old favorite song my mom taught him years ago.  We sing it to the tune of “London Bridge:”

Jooooo—na Russ is Grandma’s boy, grandma’s boy, grandma’s boy!
Jooooo—na Russ is Grandma’s boy, yes oh yes he i—is…

The care workers at his house know the song, as Jonah has taught it to them.

shaggy hair kidwith his lovey grandma

shaggy hair kid
with his lovey grandma

My mother really wants them to cut his hair.  It think it’s cute all bushy and long on top, so I don’t push them to cut it. 

Sorry, ma.

Jonah, leaning into grandma

Jonah, leaning into grandma

And so it must be confessed that Jonah is a grandma’s boy.  She’ll get to see him on her birthday, which I imagine will be her favorite present.

I feel a lot of love in my life right now.  Thank you all for every time you express it toward me, or Boo, or Andy, or any of us.  I’m putting it out there, too, consciously, engaging only in emotions which carry me forward along the river running through the world, which isn’t such a bad, bad world after all.  I’m in a card-and-care package-sending-mood, and I’ve been doing things like writing letters to the people (and the bosses of the people) I encounter in the world who are awesome, who have gone above and beyond, whether they have helped me negotiate Jonah’s Medicaid system or just been really kind and friendly to me at the grocery store.  I know I’d like it if someone wrote a letter of praise to my boss about me.  I hope they all get raises.  Perchance to dream…

When the terrible things happen, like the standoff in Alabama with that 5-year-old boy in the bunker with the Vietnam vet, I try to combat the awfulness with goodness, however I can foster it.  If I don’t, I lose faith in humanity too easily, too frequently.  I become hypnotized by all the anger…by the illusion that any of us is an other to be bullied, manipulated, hated, dismissed, captured, or even killed.

Boo restores my faith in humanity.  It happens every Saturday when I walk into his house and he runs into my arms.  It happens every time he re-directs himself without an intervention…every time he asks for hug from daddy and I see the beauty in the way they embrace…every time he laughs with his silly, uninhibited, pure joy.

I got some good video of his laughter today toward the end of this 40 second video – and a lot of his turning in circles:

I love how the video starts out with my mother admonishing him for something:  That’s not funny… and then at the end how he comes right at me: more hug?

“Laughing brains are more absorbent.”
~ Alton Brown

I like to think Jonah’s brain is a laughing brain.

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