Thursday, July 14, 2016

Miss you already

Wow.... So much has happened since my last blog post.  To start with, we left Hawaii two weeks ago today.  I had all these grand plans for things I would do during our last days there, and instead, I was mostly just running around, taking care of last-minute details.  NOT how I wanted to spend those precious hours at all.

So I thought I would write a little goodbye ode to Hawaii.  I was literally sobbing when our plane took off the other day.  It was such a hard place to leave.  But also, it's a real place, with real problems, too.  Here's a list of what I will/ do and won't/ don't miss.  

-- I miss the beaches.
 Obviously.  There are so many good ones, as I mentioned in this post.  My favorite is still Bellows, but I just love all the ones I've been to. I already know I will look down my nose at any beach that doesn't have turquoise water that's clear enough to see the color of your pedicure, even when you're in past your waist.

-- I do not miss the sand... everywhere... all. the. time.  You know how sometimes at the end of a long stressful day, you sink into the tub... And then there's like an inch of itchy sand in it and you remember that the kids took a bath after the beach and you forgot to clean the tub?  Yeah.  Not so fun.  Still worth the beach, always, but if I have to lose the beach, at least I'm losing the sand, too.

-- I miss the views, especially the one on the windward side of the H3 tunnel.  It takes my breath away every time.

-- I do not miss the traffic.  At all.  It's so terrible. Second worst in the nation.  You have to plan your excursions by the time and day.  If it's Friday afternoon, two o'clock or later, and you want to go west on the H1, just come up with another plan.  For our last month there, I wasn't able to turn left into our neighborhood because of construction.  I had to drive up about half a mile to make a U-turn or do a complicated series of turns we dubbed a "Q turn".  Finally, two days before we left, they opened the left turn lane again.  I could (and sometimes do) go on and on about the traffic.  I will not miss it.

-- That being said, I miss how people drive with aloha.  Not everyone does, but there's a lot of stopping to let someone turn left in front of you, or waiting in a parking lot for you to back up, or slowing down to let you merge in front of them.  There isn't much aloha on the mainland roads, I've noticed.  There's definitely none around the LAX airport, which was a big, ugly wake-up call.

-- I miss the plumeria trees.  They are my favorite.  They really do perfume the air, and plumeria blossoms are gorgeous.  

-- I do not miss the geckos or the cockroaches or the centipedes.  Jayna and I used to take evening walks, and we'd be strolling along, chatting about something when a cockroach would run through the grass, across the sidewalk, and over my foot or hers.  Nope.  Don't miss that.

-- I miss apple bananas.  Have you had them?  They are bananas -- definitely bananas -- but they taste so much better than regular bananas.  Normally I eat one banana a day, sort of medicinally because I know they're good for me.  Ideally it is just this side of ripe; greenish tints at the ends are preferred and absolutely no spots.  It's not my favorite time of day if I'm not disguising it somehow, like slicing into oatmeal or covering it with peanut butter.  But apple bananas are so delicious, I would eat a few a day. They taste better, too, the riper they get.  I loved them.

-- I do not miss how expensive everything was.  The reverse sticker shock ("Gasp!  Everything is SO CHEAP!!") on the mainland has been nice.

-- I miss all the rainbows.  There's a running joke in Hawaii that you can tell who just got there by how much they exclaim over rainbows.  In theory, the longer you're there, the more ordinary it seems to see several in a day.  But it didn't get old to me.  And now, as embarrassing as it is to admit this, I cry now every time I hear Israel Kamakawio'ole's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", which, by the way, is played all the time and everywhere in Hawaii.

-- I miss our house and neighborhood.  It was like Pleasantville.  Playgrounds everywhere, a pool just a hundred feet or so from my front door.  Every day, Wyatt has asked when we are going back to "the dark green house", and the first few times I told him that we weren't, he cried so hard.  Now it's more of a stubborn denial.  Most of all, I miss my neighbors.  I had the sweetest friends there. 

-- I miss my friends.  
Wait, I said that already? Well...  So much.  I had something I refer to (at least with my family) as The 4:30 Playground Club.  It was nothing really official, but almost every day, I would go to the playground in front of my house with Wyatt and Annalee, and a couple friends would be out there.
 Not always the same women, but there were definitely a few regular faces.  We talked about whatever was on our minds, and I realized that even though I said I was going out there for the kids, really, I was the one who maybe needed that time, and maybe I needed it the most.  They taught me anew how much we need friendship more than busyness, and real connection with each other is so very important.  Now I miss those women more than I can say.  

And I miss my kids' friends.  
They were the best.  Seriously, they spoiled me with their sweetness. I think every day since we left, I've teared up at least once thinking about them. Watching Lilly and Skyler say goodbye to their best friends right before we got into the car for the airport was so heartbreaking, I think even Matt was close to tears. We all are comforted by the fact that our kids will probably remain friends forever.


There's so much more to tell you about the past few weeks.  This is the first time I've had wifi that worked well enough for my old iPad to connect and hopefully post this.  It's going to be a weird couple weeks because I'm using the Blogger app that doesn't work great -- I can't put links to previous posts in, nor adjust the size of pictures.  I left our laptop at my sister-in-law's, which is a decision I sorely regret right now.  So until I am reunited with it, you're going to have to bear with the extra glitchiness, I'm afraid.  But I think my upcoming posts will be happier, and I can't wait to tell you about the roadtrip we are wrapping up.  

For now, though, I needed this post to just say goodbye.

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