For twelve years, I lived in Hawaii. Some would say I was insane to move to Maine (especially when it’s 12 degrees here this morning), but I was driven off the islands by a terrible case of “rock fever,” which made me feel marooned and isolated from the rest of the world. I’ve never regretted my move to the mainland. But I must admit, on cold winter days like this one, I do think longingly of Hawaii.
So when a family wedding last week beckoned me back to the islands, I was happy to return.
My husband and I met up with Hawaii friends and drove around to all our old haunts: the Honolulu Zoo, the North Shore, Kailua Beach, and the amazing Foster Botanical Garden where the trees are so weird and huge that you feel you’ve walked into an alien jungle. I got a haircut. We ate all my favorite foods: saimin, butterfish in miso, Portuguese sausage and eggs, kailua pig, lau lau, and of course tons and tons of papaya. (Ono!) And I was so happy to find a replacement CD for the one I lost years ago, with the recording of what I think is the most beautiful Hawaiian song ever written: “Ku’u home o Kahaluu,” written and performed by Olomana.
They’re both a real hoot — never sitting still for more than a few seconds, and full of jokes. I only hope I’m as zippy when I’m their age.
But now I’m home in Maine, which is actually a good thing. Hawaii is so beautiful, it’s distracting. It takes frigid weather outside to make me focus on writing the next book!