June anniversaries

A few days ago, B and I celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary – separately. He is back in New York State, while I am still in Hawai’i. Before he left, we had had a delicious celebration dinner with E at 12th Avenue Grill  – on the second try, as the first reservation had to be cancelled when I became ill.

On the day, I opened cards from him that he had left here; I had left a card for him at home. Still, I didn’t feel moved to write about it until today.

E and I were at 8:30 Mass at St. Patrick Church, where E and L were married in Nov. 2012. E sings with the choir, so I have been sitting near the front on the right side of the church, where I can look over and see her. These last three weeks, I have sat behind the same couple, who are about the age of my parents and obviously filled with aloha spirit, always greeting many other congregants. This week, she was wearing a beautiful purple dress with coordinated lei and he was looking sharp in an earth-tone leaf-patterned aloha shirt and brown slacks.

Today, they renewed their wedding vows in celebration of their 64th wedding anniversary. When the priest called them forward after the homily, they first presented him with a plumeria lei. In a lovely coincidence, her name is also Joanne; his name is Guy. Guy and Joanne were married right there at St. Patrick and had also baptized their children there. No wonder everyone seemed to know them! Guy has a sly sense of humor. Joanne says the key to a long marriage is “Patience!” There were multiple rounds of applause for them from the congregation.

I hope that B and I will be blessed to celebrate a 64th anniversary someday. We are more than halfway there…

Lava and Inside Out

In keeping with family tradition, my daughter E and I went to the movies this morning to see the Pixar film Inside Out, which premiered yesterday.

One of the many things I love about Pixar films is that there is a short before the main feature. This one is called “Lava” and is a love story – with volcanoes. E and I, sitting here in Honolulu, with our spouses thousands of miles away, both got teary. It is beautifully rendered and so touching.

Inside Out is the story of an eleven-year-old girl named Riley as she moves to San Francisco from Minnesota and what is going on inside her head, as told through her emotions, Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust. We also occasionally get glimpses into other characters’ emotion quintet, which is both enlightening and entertaining.

The best adjective I can come up with to describe the movie is poignant. Having once been eleven and having two daughters who were once eleven, I found myself empathizing with Riley as she tries to navigate a difficult situation. Yes, E and I did some more crying.

At the end of the credits, the filmmakers dedicate the movie to their children, asking them not to grow up, but, as E and I discussed later, that wasn’t really the point. Growing up is complicated and necessary and one’s own work and responsibility. E and I talked over lunch about how undesirable/impossible it is for parents or anyone else to make someone happy – or even to be happy a lot of the time. We were both glad that the emotion is named Joy rather than Happiness.  Joy is deeper and more able to integrate with the other emotions than happiness could ever be.

Wishing you all as much Joy as possible,
Joanne

Flowering trees near Waikiki

There are always flowers of some sort here in Honolulu. One of the things about coming at different times of year is that you catch different plants flowering.
non-native tree
I am not sure what these trees are, other than I know they are no longer planting them as they are not native. (If my younger daughter were here, I’m sure she would be able to tell us what they are and how they are being managed.) It’s interesting that the blossoms develop along the branch but not at the tip. There are clusters of blossoms and then more leaves beyond.
hibiscus
Some yellow hibiscus in Kapiolani Park, adjacent to Waikiki beach.
plumeria
We have often seen plumeria blooming on other visits, but not nearly so prolifically as this June.

While I’m at it, let’s throw in another couple of photos!
trees from Lulu's
Looking out from lunch at Lulu’s near Waikiki. We were sitting at the edge of the second floor, which, like many restaurants and hotel lobbies, is open rather than walled off.
bird of paradise
A pair of bird of paradise blossoms outside our hotel.

Kamehameha Day Parade

Because I was unwell, my intrepid spouse B went down to the Kamehameha Day Parade on Saturday morning.  He took some photos for me to share with you.
Kamehameha and court
A float representing King Kamehameha the First and his attendants. Kamehameha Day commemorates June 11, 1810 as the date that King Kamehameha united all of Hawai’i under his rule.

bandLike most parades, there were marching bands.
band in shorts
This band was lucky enough to get to wear shorts!
military unit
There is a large military presence on O’ahu, so there were several units marching in the parade.
Hawai'i princess
One of the elements for which the Kamehameha parade is known is the pu’a riders. Each island is represented by a princess with attendants. The colors and leis represent the different islands.
clean-up team
After each mounted unit, there is a clean-up team to keep the street tidy!
pu'a rider

Molokai princess

Molokai court

GIANT Hawaiian pancakes

After Sunday mass, B, E, and I went out for brunch. E suggested we go to Mac 24/7 at the Hilton just down the street from our hotel for pancakes.

While they do serve regular size pancakes, they are known for their Mac Daddy Challenge, which involves one person eating three 14″ pancakes with toppings in 90 minutes.  A friend of E’s did it – as a hungry teenager – but, with none of us in that category, we decided to split the order among us.

We opted for the pineapple coconut macadamia topping. Here is what our platter looked like after we each had a helping. (For perspective, the spoon is a serving-size spoon and the knife is pretty hefty, too.)
Mac Daddy pancakes

Not pictured is the pitcher of coconut syrup that we poured on our servings on our individual plates. There was maple-flavored syrup, too, but a) I don’t think maple goes with pineapple coconut macadamia and b) coming from New England, anything less than 100% pure maple syrup gives me the willies.

The pancakes were delicious. Even with three people, we did not finish them, though. After we each had seconds, there was still enough left for B and I to have breakfast the next day. Fortunately, we already had a bottle of coconut syrup in our hotel kitchen refrigerator.

Trouble in Paradise

I realize that you are probably expecting more cheery posts from Hawai’i.

And I promise, they are coming….

Just not quite yet. I managed to get sick – I’ll spare you the details – and will write some posts with photos when I have my act back together.

Until then, aloha!

Corpus Christi in Honolulu

Flowers and cross

Aloha! Today, Catholic churches celebrate the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, still often called by its Latin name Corpus Christi. This celebration is close to my heart because for the many years that I belonged to Blessed Sacrament parish, we celebrated it as our parish name day. Even though that is no longer my parish, I still feel a special connection to the day.

This year was special because I got to attend mass at St. Patrick Church in Honolulu, where my daughter E and her husband were married and where they serve in the music ministry. My son-in-law is away doing research for his doctoral dissertation, but I attended the 8:30 mass at which their choir sings. The assigned cantor wasn’t able to make it, so E stepped in to do it, which was a lovely bonus for me.

One of the things that drew my attention today was the crucifix, which is carved wood. I was thinking about how appropriate that the corpus on the cross is brown, because Jesus’s skin would have been brown. So often, Jesus is depicted with light skin, which a Jewish man living in the sun-drenched Mediterranean would not have had. I also noticed, as always, the colorful floral arrangement. One of the brothers at the monastery arranges the flowers from their garden every week.

Father C, who presided at E and L’s wedding, presided and preached today. I love how he can say so much with so few words. He used the image of an open hand receiving the host at communion to explain how we should be open to God’s love.

Father C has a tremor disorder, which causes his hands, especially his right hand, to shake markedly when they are outstretched. Yet, when he was praying the Eucharistic prayer and raising the host and the cup, he was able to still his hands.

I appreciated the opportunity to be there to celebrate this special day, with Beth leading us in song. I especially enjoyed singing “Draw Us in the Spirit’s Tether,” a favorite hymn which I have not had the occasion to sing for several years.  The third stanza of the poem by Percy Dreamer begins:

All our meals and all our living
make as sacraments of you,
that by caring, helping, giving,
we may be disciples true.

Amen!

A Thirty Hour Day

Yesterday was loooooong.

Our alarm rang at 4 AM so we could get to my parents’ place so they could help shuttle us to the airport for the first flight – a 6 AM to Philly. Yes, I know that at most airports we would have needed to arrive at the airport by 4 AM or sooner, but BGM is not like that.

We were delayed a bit by fog, but got to Philly in plenty of time to switch terminals and get breakfast before boarding a flight to Phoenix, which arrived early. So there was lunch and walking about the terminal and browsing the shops and finally boarding our flight to Honolulu, which also arrived early at about 5 PM Hawai’i Standard Time.

The rub is that HST is six hours earlier than Eastern Daylight Time, so our bodies felt like it was 11 PM – and we had gotten up at 4 AM.  It took a long time to deplane, get baggage, wait for the shuttle bus to the rental car lot, finish paperwork, drive to the hotel, and deal with check-in and parking garage issues. We were fading fast…

Fortunately, our daughter E arrived with dinner, a delicious pasta salad with zucchini, Parmesan, and almonds that she had prepared and a loaf of fresh Italian bread. We are staying in a condominium hotel, so we had a fully equipped kitchen and a table for supper. Seeing E for the first time since they visited for Thanksgiving last November – and the food – helped revive us despite the length of the day, although I collapsed into bed a bit before 9:00.

Adjusting to time change is not one of my better skills, but B and I managed to sleep until 3 AM and then to snooze off and on until 6:00.   It’s now 4:15 PM and I admit to being a bit tired. But E will be done with her work day soon and we plan to go out to dinner and visit for the evening, which I hope will keep me going until a reasonable bedtime.

I’m hoping to get settled into Hawai’i Time sooner rather than later.