Archive | June 2016

20 Minutes and Turkeys

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Returning to California summer after eight days of tropical greenery and wide open beaches of Kauai shocks the body into reality. Temps reached 100 here today. It seems hotter than the humid 85 in Kauai. I long to plunge into the ocean. I’d settle for a pool which gives me second thoughts about the burial of our pool a few years ago.

The sunrise alarm of Kauai’s colorful roosters is replaced with these turkey youngsters outside my bedroom window calling for their mom. They spent the morning with cries of abandonment. Maybe mama turkey couldn’t take it anymore. Maybe she needed a morning off. Late morning we heard her call, far off down the hillside. I watched the young ones mindfully waddle down the driveway.

So why did I include “20 Minutes” in my title? Because the last four weeks I committed to the exercise of writing 20 minutes a day. Everyday but Sunday. I managed to do this in spite of an eight day vacation proving to myself that I can find 20 minutes out of 24 hours. Not always easy, and sometimes writing into the late hours, but the course is complete. I thank my instructor, Len, from Story Circle Network for offering this class. Len offers a binder full of lessons, generous feedback and gentle reminders. If you need inspiration, go there. Check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

I can’t promise 20 Minutes a day posted here. My priority is to finish the first draft of my memoir before Labor Day. But, you can be sure I will be writing 20 minutes a day somewhere.

I think I hear the turkeys calling. Later.

 

Beautiful Kauai

When JJ heard that grandma was going to Kauai again there was a tense moment of rebellion. “Why can’t I ever go with you?” he asked. Funny, children never remember when they have accompanied you on trips. I gently reminded him of our trip across country to Virginia to see Uncle Don and Aunt Bonnie. I pointed to the scrapbook from our Alaskan cruise. “But I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii,” he says, arms crossed. I assured him that his day would come.

Plans changed a bit. One of our friends couldn’t go and our hostess offered JJ the spot. Who could say no? We bought the tickets. And plans changed again. This time our friend said she worked it out and could now come on the trip. A bit of trepidation ensued when JJ found out he’d now be traveling with three grandmas. Eight days is a lot of time for a thirteen-year-old to hang with three old ladies.

We managed to pull it off. JJ got his own room high up in the loft. We got the run of downstairs. We wore him out each day – shopping, snorkeling, shopping, eating, shopping, snorkeling, traveling around the island, shopping, snorkeling, eating. We’d end the day with an hour in the swimming pool. JJ escaped to the loft for refuge and slept nearly ten hours each night. We are tough old ladies.

The biggest challenge was catering to his dietary whims – for the most part. He had a brief change of heart about diet once we sent him 1/2 mile up the street to Taco Bell for breakfast on a hot, humid morning and he returned with two cheeseburgers from Burger King because Taco Bell doesn’t open until 11am. Our explanation of Hawaiian time fell on deaf ears. Bubba Burger was 1/2 mile the other direction and that became the favorite fast food of choice. Next time he may eat what we eat. For the month of July he has agreed to thirty-one days of no fast food. We shall see.

Snorkeling was the highlight. With rented gear JJ had a quick snorkeling lesson in the pool and we were off to the beaches. First up was Lydgate Beach Park, an area with two enclosed ponds, perfect for beginners. For a kid who only had one two week swim lesson session in his entire life, JJ surprised us with his ability to outswim any of us. Snorkeling is now his favorite sport.

We moved on to Poipu where we returned three times. It was the best – except for one day – the day we crossed the sandbar to the adventurous side of the beach. Maybe a little too exhausted and heading back to shore, a huge wave plunged us over to the rocky area. A little banged up, JJ missing one fin and the snorkel gear, we bumped and scooted our way to shore, a big lesson to be learned. An expensive lesson.

Moala’a Bay was the favorite beach. I promised my friend I wouldn’t advertise this one. It’s mostly private, not so easy to get to, but the most beautiful beach we visited. While it was lovely to bask in the sun there, on this particular day, it was too risky to snorkel. We tried to follow the channel out to the reefs but wind and waves warned us not to proceed. Don’t go there 🙂

Did I mention we went shopping? I tried my best to fill up that extra thirteen pounds of space in my suitcase but bottom line, I added only five pounds to the suitcase, five pounds to my body and a weighted fistful of charge slips. Of course we absolutely needed everything we purchased. JJ caught on to the math quickly – one gift for grandpa – two gifts for us – one gift for daddy – two gifts for us – one gift for mommy – two gifts for us.

While it was the adventure of a lifetime for JJ, I think he is happy to be home cuddled up with his nameless cat. JJ survived eight days of three grandmas and questions their ability to agree on anything. We three old ladies survived the teenager the only way we knew how:

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