Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii’

 

Am I Blue?

00.0.Box.cLinda Burton posting from Arkadelphia, Arkansas – When is the best time to put a jigsaw puzzle together? A rainy day seemed right, when Brother was visiting during Thanksgiving week. I pulled out the State Flags and Capitols box I’d been saving for just such a day and dumped all one thousand pieces onto the card table. Brother raised an eyebrow and shook his head. I let tiny puzzle pieces filter through my fingers, trying to think of a working plan. 00.27.Puzzle Pieces“What strategy should I use?” I asked. “Colors,” was his reply. Now, generally speaking, that is good jigsaw strategy. But when the picture is 50 state flags, well that’s when you discover that most state flags are blue. In fact, only four state flags don’t have at least a touch of blue in them – Alabama, California, Maryland, and New Mexico.

The puzzle pieces sat in a pile for several days, as I half-heartedly tried to sort blue from blue from blue. After brother left, I raked everything back into the box and headed for my sewing basket. Being heavily dependent on Excel spreadsheets to help me organize almost everything in life, I grabbed a spool of thread and the scissors and with a little Scotch tape turned the 02.Puzzle. Stringscard table into Columns and Rows. Then I put Post-Its into each section marking which state fit where. Aha! I dug into those thousand pieces again looking for words. “Mon” went into the Montana section, “sas” into the Arkansas slot; I was on a roll! How many flags have outspread eagle wings? Just two – Iowa and North Dakota. Plop plop. The palm tree went to Hawaii; the horses to Pennsylvania, the bison belonged to Wyoming. The challenge began to be fun, and (with magnifying glass in hand) I began to notice the details within the flags. I didn’t expect to have a learning experience, but that is exactly what happened. In my two-year Journey to 50 states, I didn’t pay much attention to the state flags. But suddenly I realized that flags are the story-telling devices of the state. And I love a good story! » read more

 
 
 

Ike and the 49th Star

Sam’s Photo

Linda Burton posting from Juneau, Alaska – In Juneau, it was 9:02 AM. Back east in Washington, DC, it was just past the noon hour as President Dwight D Eisenhower inscribed his name to the document of proclamation that made Alaska the 49th state. Then he signed an Executive order setting a new design of 49 stars for the official flag of the United States. The date was January 3, 1959. The new design had seven staggered rows of stars, with seven stars in each row, and the traditional thirteen stripes. It had been chosen by a four-man selection commission and formally approved by the President but didn’t become official until July 4, 1959. The New York Times reported: President Eisenhower told one of the guests at the ceremony today that it was not the design he had preferred, “but I was overruled by all my advisers.” His choice was nine rows of stars, alternating five and six stars to a row. » read more

 
 
 

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Linda Burton posting from Olympia, Washington – The joke is “summer doesn’t arrive in the Pacific Northwest until after the 4th of July” but it’s no joke. In 1987 I dried out in front of a blazing fire after giving up on the soggy Seattle fireworks display and coming home sopping wet and shivering. It looks as though this year will follow that pattern; it was raining when I woke up; a Sunday morning gray. A cat snuggled tight against either side of me; I guess I’m forgiven for taking off for Hawaii and leaving them behind. I opened up the Fancy Feast and then slept two hours more. Under the blanket and the pile of cats it was cozy and warm, but checkout time loomed close; time to load the car, drive to Olympia, unload everything, settle in for the next two-week stint. I was misty-soaked and feeling blue in all the gray, my body temp still set on Hawaiian warm. Just drive, I told myself. » read more

 
 
 

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Linda Burton posting from Honolulu, Hawaii – “What was your most fun thing?” granddaughter Kayla asked. We are sitting at Gate 20 in the Honolulu airport, wearing long sleeves now; dressed for Seattle’s cooler temps that will surely shock our senses as soon as we get off the plane. It’s the last moments of our stay in Honolulu, and we’re reminiscing. “Everything was fun,” I answered. “When I could see through my hair blowing in my face.” “Well that was just one day then,” Kayla said, “when we were towelheads in our room!” That brought giggles from both of us, yep, those tropical breezes are part of the attraction in Honolulu, moderating the sun and the warm morning rains. So what was the most fun thing? “I liked the Aquarium today,” Kayla threw in. “And going into Diamond Head.” “You liked the Trolley Driver,“ I said. “Because he kept telling you how cute you are!” It’s true, he’d let her get off the Trolley for pictures, and wait till she was done before resuming the Tour. “She’s so cute,” he’d say when she got back on. “Did you get what you wanted, little one?” She tipped him big, with money out of her own pocket. So Honolulu, what was the most fun? » read more

 
 
 

Wear Your Slippers

Linda Burton posting from Honolulu, Hawaii – “It’s not for me to reason why,” I grumbled as I tucked my camera in my bag and pulled slippery bootees over my sensible shoes. The Guard Guide continued to bark instructions to everyone. No smile, no aloha warm. Kayla wiggled her feet admiringly, “Baby boots,” she said. Here we sat, on a bench outside the Iolani Palace doors, ticketed for the tour that included “audio,” being sternly lectured as to how we should behave. “Do not take off your slippers. Do not touch anything. Do not get any pictures. There is a button on your wand for each room. Push it when you get there. Now go.” The door opened and the group of us meekly entered the Palace one by one. Highly polished floors stretched ahead in the Grand Hall; I stepped and slid and almost fell. “Be careful GMom,” Kayla warned, “just glide. And turn on your sound.” Both of us pushed Button 2 on the audio wands hanging from our necks, and glided on the shiny floor. The Throne Room was to our left. » read more

 
 
 

Pass It Forward

Linda Burton posting from Honolulu, Hawaii – “My 10-year-old son can recite our family genealogy for 17 generations back,” said our narrator. They’d found a place for Kayla and me on the back row of the jam-packed Fiji hut, and there we sat, bamboo sticks in hand, learning to chant and sing Fiji style. And, learning how to remember. The presentation at the Fiji settlement in the Polynesian Cultural Center was titled “History through Chants & Dance” and we’d just been taught how, as a group, to beat out rhythms, “one-two one-two-three” then “one-two-three-four” fast and slow, stop; then a call to us, “moo-oo” then our response “mai-ii” and repeat; somehow the roomful of us managed to do this together; and somehow, the feel of it began to stick in our memories. I know there’s a scientific explanation for what happens in the brain when rhythms and sounds take on a consistent pattern; but overall, it seemed to be the joy of it that took hold. Yet I was startled by that last remark. Seventeen generations? » read more

 
 
 

The Shopping Isle

Linda Burton posting from Honolulu, Hawaii – “What did you buy?” is the question most often asked in Honolulu, frequently followed by “How do I look?” In case you think most people come here to lie on the beach in the peaceful shade of the palm trees, you are wrong. More people come to Honolulu to shop. High-end merchandise costs less in Honolulu than it does in Japan, we were told. The Waikiki Trolley Pink Line, departing every 10 minutes for a 16-point Stop and Shop run, has special Japanese language trolleys; in fact on every trolley signs give information and directions in both English and Japanese. The Aussies and the Mainlanders do their fair share of shopping too; if you aren’t toting a shopping bag, you are considered to have wasted your day. Temptation doesn’t miss a beat; the ticket office for the trolley line is in the DFS Galleria, once of the glitziest shopping arenas you are likely to see in a lifetime. That’s where they sell “luxury brand-name products duty-free.” “Wow” was what granddaughter Kayla said at the sight of the high-tech mod display by the escalator. “Let’s check it out.” » read more

 
 
 

Castles in the Sand

Linda Burton posting from Honolulu, Hawaii – “Don’t bother buying sunscreen for the beach,” we were advised. “There are so many people at Waikiki all you have to do is get in the water and somebody else’s sunscreen will wash all over you.” Well eww, was our thought. But it’s the first day of summer! Who can resist an afternoon at the beach? And we were only two blocks away from Kuhio Beach Park, wide open for public use. We bought a Hello Kitty beach towel at the International Market next door. We bought the requisite pail and shovel, and a mat for sitting on the sand. And we bought our own personal sunscreen, because, well, eww. Out the door and down the elevator; Granddaughter Kayla swung the pail and danced down the block; past the hula hula dolls in the Made in Hawaii window; past the Ukulele shop and the Flip Flop store; past the giant banyan tree. We stopped to admire the statue of The Duke, Surfing Champion; grand swimmer; Olympic medalist. Surfboards were propped in the sand ahead of us; surfers were out on the waves, most of them in the paddling stage. Kayla picked her spot at the water’s edge; “Build me a castle,” was my request. » read more

 
 
 

Me and the Duke at the Beach

Kayla Shumate, age 10, traveling with grandmother, posting from Honolulu, Hawaii –G mom and I went to the beach today. It was the first day of summer and a bright sunny day. When I got there I was so excited to play. When we found the spot we were going to stay I had to put my sunscreen on and take my bucket out of my pack. Then I went out to the wet sand and started to push the sand forward. I started to make a wall with the sand to block the big warm water waves from hitting my spot. When I was making my big castle there were children playing in the water all over the place. There were also surfers that were surfing in the big waves passing by. I finished the big wall and made my castle inside. When I was making my castle G mom came up and asked “What is the name of this castle?” I thought for a little bit and said King Hut. That was the first name that popped in my head. Then G mom said about 10 more minutes because I have been out for 1 hour. Then I washed myself at the shower. I got my towel and dried myself and then G mom and I saw a statue that was near where I played. It was the Duke statue!  » read more

 
 
 

The Ah Factor

Linda Burton posting from Honolulu, Hawaii – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – kids love capitols. Why else would granddaughter Kayla make a statement like “I love this day!” as we returned to our room footsore and damp and too tired to think? We hadn’t been to Disneyland. We hadn’t been shopping for the latest “fads for girls.” We had been to the Hawaii State Capitol. We figured out the trolley lines (Red is the Historic Route), covered up our cameras with the bottom of our shirts (rain mist blew through the open trolley and wet us good); and off we went. Clang, clang, clang went the trolley; rain, rain, rain on our face; walk, walk, walk to the entrance, and then Kayla took off, Nikon around neck; squatting, standing, leaning, snapping shots of everything – the sky through the upward sweeping opening-instead-of-a-roof; the blue ceramic tiles circling in the center; the stones taking volcano shape on the side; images intended to evoke a feeling, show a certain attitude. Birds flew up, down, landed and skipped along the pavement at our feet; everyone we passed nodded and smiled. This was a happy place; how can I explain? » read more