June 30, 2008 at 3:11 am (Lil G. Rain's World, Travel Musings, Wedded Bliss) (, , , , , , )

We spent our first day and anniversary of 5 years at a deserted beach on the Mokuleia side of Oahu. It lies just past “horses” beach, so named because of the open pastures of red dirt horse country that patiently surrounds the coast side of the road. I observed the other side of the road, Maulka side Hawaiians would say, from my beach walk. It’s sharp toothed cliff faces dripped with lime green tree canopy. The occasional skydiving plane blared in for a landing on a strip below the mountains, breaking the quiet of the ocean’s roar. The sand was white and sinking under my feet ND, of course, the water was first clear, then green, then turquoise, then blue. As I pumped my calves into the thick wet sand, I turned to see two sea turtles, honus, playing  in the shoreline. A mama and baby, bobbed and surfed over the reef. They surfaced only once in a while, prompting G to call them shy later on. I walked to the water and the tide brought them towards me. Then I almost got sucked back out and raised my arms for balance, first out to the side like a cross and then up over my head. The honu scattered at the threat I presented. I must have seemed like a pre-historic scarecrow (scarehonu?).

When I first arrived and washed my sins of plane travel in the rolling surf, I floated on my back in that same crucifixion pose and the sand clinked together in my ears like hands running through pearls. Amazingly, later we were on our way to the Wailua Sugar Mill and I saw a front yard garden with several white-sheet scarecrows which looked eerily like church crosses blowing in the wind.

Well, I don’t quite know what to say about all of this. I know what my Christian friends would say, can hear them right now. Know what my Jewish relatives would say too. The pagan in my husband, though, would probably approve. One God, and all. Five years doesn’t seem very long but I am grateful for every minute.

Right now back at Auntie Alish and Uncle Marcello’s, a rooster crows. There is a tropic breeze cutting the afternoon heat perfectly. I am writing outside while Ginger Rain and her cousin, Kailani play idyllicly in a house whose long French-doored front room is just as much outside as it is in. Kailani drumbs a beat with an empty water can and Ginger plucks away on a child’s coconut ukelele.

This day would seem like a dumb cliché if it weren’t so breezily real. There are fresh baked chocolate cookies here. I swear.


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Sis Boom Fizzle

June 28, 2008 at 6:35 pm (Travel Musings) (, , , )

Today we were ushered to the airport on chariots of gold. A 20 piece band played Dixieland as a send off. The woman at the counter waived our overweight bags through a loophole with a nod.Then security took over an hour as 43 women unpacked 88 tubes of cosmetic goo that could, in a world of lipstick spies and hair salon bombings, be classified as a terrorist threat.

Did you know you have to be ON BOARD all flights 15 minutes prior to take-off or get shut out? We didn’t. But now we do. It goes something like this, 5 minutes before take-off:


“Yes?” (out of breath)

“Sorrrrrrry.” (head shaking in mock sympathy).

Do you hear it? That’s the sound of our first day of adventure sizzling into a day-long wait at LAX. The next flight’s tonight and they’ll be so happy when they realize they’ve made us wait until JUST before Ginger starts to get cranky before bed. Oooh, this is gonna be fun!

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The Dream, The Last Straw, and The Plan

June 21, 2008 at 6:38 am (Lil G. Rain's World, Surf, Travel Musings, Wedded Bliss) (, , , , , , , , , )

THE DREAM: Someday we would take our daughter, Ginger Rain, on the road and experience life in far off places, even if her brain doesn’t remember, we know her soul will

THE LAST STRAW: Ian finally gets laid off from working for the man, he’ll go independent from now on but before that, there’s time for one last adventure (that’s what severance checks are used for, right?)

THE PLAN: Take 2 and a half months to visit friends across Australia and Bali, sell off excess fat and sublet our home to help cover costs, teach the toddler to say “loo” and pack the travel potty just in case

Trying to worship like the ancients was not hard today down at Cardiff Reef for a late-day Solstice swim. If you were here, you know that the longest day of the year was endlessly sweltering, enough to pull me away from the heap of things I need to get done before we leave a week from tomorrow. I knew I had to put my nose to the grindstone, prep the house for the Travelling Nurse Subletters of Our Dreams, pay, organize and stow a life for the road and one for storage while we’re gone from home. I can’t help but wonder, at which point that word begins to appropriate itself to the new place in which you find yourself. After 5 weeks, will Australia be “home”? Bali after 4? I should know better though, there are places I’ve lived for years that weren’t home. Thing is, I finally do have a home here in Cardiff By the Sea (ok, I just like saying the whole name). We have friendships here, groups, neighbors, community. I went for coffee with Ginger this morning and ran into and chatted idly with no less than four people we knew (all of whom commented on the killer day, btw, even though Cardiff has given us nothing but high expectations as far back as we can all remember). It could be harder to leave than we thought. We could be happier to arrive home than we think. Too, I’d allowed my nesting instincts to get hopped up on post-nursing hormones and sometimes worried about a lack of continuity in taking our toddler away from everything she was coming to know.

Vacation. Travel. Adventure. It all sounds good and it is. So good for us and so good for the baby. But, of course, I am the realist. It’s up to Ian to be the optomist of the family. So I’ve been waxing melancholy about getting to go on the adventure of a lifetime.

Coulda been the Solstice, though. Did I mention the heat? Did I also mention the rapture of the cold seawater on my skin as I ran into waves with my lab, Anakin? Did I mention the perfect barrels peeling of the reef (yes, bloggers, get ready for some surf-talk, it’s contagious). Those waves were an inspiration. They looked like very long rows of blue green houses out there and the air was pure gold dust . As I walked back to the circus my family was holding down while I was gone, I was California Dreamin’. Just as lists and figures began to re-enter my brain, I had a quick flash of insight. The Solstice hadn’t sharpened my desire to stay home, it only made me want to travel more, get more of life-affirming swims and stellar days coming to an end. How could I complain about the work or worry about what we’d leave behind? What’s a little work and change compared to soul imprints and memories for generations to come. There’s gold and green pastures over them there hills for me and mine and we’ll do whatever it takes to to get there…

…stay tuned for the post from the airplane where I reveal that trying to take a 21 month-old half way around the world on our laps was an act of pure delusion and decide to move to OZ to avoid the plane trip back…

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