Does Hawaii Have a Winter?

246772_2038314394142_3246539_nWith my raincoat and rain boots I was one happy kid on a winter day. The above house where I lived as a young girl in Daly City California was usually shrouded in fog. On a winter’s day which seemed to be all year-long I would dash out the door on my way to General Pershing Elementary and immediately jump into the gutter where the water was over flowing the curb.

I was a smart kid because I knew that the water would go into my boots and soak my socks and shoes. Why was that smart you may ask? I hated school and I knew that the teacher would see how wet I was and therefore sit me in the hallway on a bench with a heater under it.

Smiling, I would sit and miss a good hour of class. That was my winter in California.

IMAG0055This is my winter where I live in Hawaii. signs of winter? Well you can see there are not too many people on the beach in Waikiki. Who in their right mind would want to swim in 68 degree temperatures? You’ll notice that most of the people still have tee shirts over their bathing suits.Of course it is still early morning.

IMG_3104No leaves on the plumeria is a sure sign of winter. Oh, and you will notice there are gray skies above. But the plumeria seems to be the only tree that looses its leaves this time of year. Remember in Hawaii it’s a jungle out there.

DSCN0725Then there is this wall of orange flowers that has bloomed in the late fall. Pretty apropos since Halloween is just around the corner when you see this in bloom.

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How did the ancient Hawaiians recognize winter? It was during this time that the Makahiki season began. The above symbol for the god Lono would be carried around the island and offerings were collected. When this was finished the official season would begin.

The Hawaiians knew this season by the rising of the constellation Makalii or Pleiades and they would put away all intentions of war and would play games. Games that would demonstrate ones skills such as throwing spears, or slings among other things. These would sharpen their ability to fight during a war.

Of course this being winter, the ocean would be to rough to paddle canoes to carry warriors to battle so this all made sense.

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Navigating the long lines headed out to the North Shore  I see many signs of winter. Someone must have piled their stones to ask for big surf or maybe their work of art. In ancient times it was not unusual to see pohaku ( stones) piled or placed around a dwelling as the Hawaiians believed that stones could have mana or power.

DSCN2269But a dead sure sign of winter is this sign. I never get tired of looking at the waves. They are magnificent. Unfortunately I did not have my good camera with me and did not get any shots. I was having trouble looking into the viewer on my pocket camera and was lucky I even got these shots. Lessen here is never leave home without my Cannon.

DSCN2280                                    50 foot waves and higher are the surest signs of winter and that brings out all the surfers…..

1044422_10203000667967669_41725385_n                                     Gotta catch that wave.

DSCN2272                                                                                           and sightseers.

So you see, we do have winter in Hawaii. Ah it’s a bitter season but someone has to endure it. Never need my rain coat and boots anymore. Even if I had them it is too hot to use those rainy day items. What can I say. Lucky I live Hawaii.

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Memorial Day at Punchbowl Cemetery

I visited Punchbowl cemetery to attend a funeral.  It was only a few days after Memorial day. As we headed to Punchbowl Memorial Cemetery the driver and I discussed how the children of Hawaii during school would gather and make plumeria leis for all of the graves. No grave was to be left un-draped.

This year, though, was different. The children were out of school already for the summer so that would mean that only volunteers would be left to make the needed 50,000 leis. We wondered if there would still be leis.

IMG_1171Plumeria flowers growing on one of my plumeria trees. I’ve been talking to it quite a bit and it must like my voice as it’s been blooming lots of bouquets  even though this particular tree is in a small pot and barely any soil. (I keep saying I’m going to get soil but alas things keep distracting me)

IMG_1157As we arrived at Punchbowl I could see plumerias but they were still on the tree as you can see. There were flags on every grave but there were no leis that I could tell.

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Here you can see Old Glory flying over some more graves and they too had no leis. Since I was not really that familiar with the lei tradition I still felt sad as I looked at the flags waving. But this being Hawaii and has a tradition of beautiful exotic flowers I took a closer look at the graves that had been decorated by loved ones.

IMG_1163Though there was not a plumeria lei here I think that these ginger and anthurium flowers would make any spirit feel lifted. They definitely say Hawaii.IMG_1164But as it happened I did find a plumeria lei that had been placed on a grave. Some loved one mad sure the tradition was carried on, at least for this soldier.

IMG_1159As I looked on and on at the thousands of flags waving in a cemetery that is now so full it can’t take anymore dead, I could only wonder. When will the day come that we will not grieve over the loss of our precious loved ones because man just can’t get along. Please tell me. When will we see those plow sheers.

NO SPRING CHICKEN

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The leafless winter Plumeria

As I sent Nico off to school with a friend this morning I dragged myself into the house. I kept hearing my son say,”You’ve got to rest mom. Stop trying to do everything. Your almost 70 and I don’t want you getting pneumonia.”

Winter seems to be upon me in more ways than one.

 It was just last month when my daughter and grandson went off to Disneyland for a vacation with siblings and her dad. With my son-in-law constantly at work it was like I had the whole house to myself, well with the exception of four dogs who “dogged”me, for 10 days.

Not having to get up at 5:30 AM to take Nico to school or worry about getting his breakfast ready in time to get him out the door by 7:30 was a vacation enough for me. Who needs Disneyland? I had plans. Ideas to put into action, and best of all time on my hands.

I tore the front yard apart, dragged all of the potted plants to the back, rearranged the back and re-potted plants until I couldn’t stand up anymore. Everyday I worked on a long neglected project that I could not do before because of having to stop and help with Nico. I’m one of those who won’t do anything if I can’t devote the whole day to it.

So everyday I worked until I dropped. Then I started in on my sewing. Projects in the drawer that needed to be finished to take to the hospital for the children were completed and lots of bunnies sewn. I was feeling so invigorated. I thought if I can keep this up then I can start back to wandering around the island to take photos and add to my blog.

But all good things must come to an end. My family came home and my vacation was over. In to the house came my grandson hacking and limp. He was sick! My daughter was sick! Everyone came home sick!!!

I did what I could for my little guy as he stayed home on the couch taking tons of medicine and watching cartoons. My sewing came to a full stop. The yard thankfully was in order but watering slowed down and I just knitted.

Now I am not even knitting. I’m dragging myself from room to room sounding like a cacophony of seals. And so as I sat this morning in my chair looking out the window wishing I could do something I see a bird puffing himself up in the strangest way in a tree. Dizzily I get up and head for my camera. I’ll be darned, I think, if I can’t at least take a photo from home. By the time I get back to the window he is gone.

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My inspiration

This sucks! It’s going on 8 days now and I’m tired of dragging around. I was always the one that was over the worst of anything within two days. I’m still dragging but I remember. Though winter has come and it has stripped my plumeria tree of all its leaves there is still one small hopeful bouquet trying to bloom on it. It gives me hope. Yes I might be heading into my winter years but I’m still trying to bloom. Like my plumeria I will sprout leaves again. And when I do I will work hard to keep healthy as now I realize I’m no spring chicken anymore.

Just a thought. Rick Braveheart Do you think I could have picked up what you had while reading your blog 🙂