We're Not in Hawaii Any Longer

Maybe it was the lack of trade winds and rainbows...or maybe it was the temps in the 40’s which hit us as we landed at Logan Airport yesterday morning, but it didn’t take us long to know that we’re no longer in Hawaii. As waterfalls and sunshine were replaced by lingering and gorgeous fall colors and crisp autumnal sights and smells, we were reminded that’s God’s creative powers and expressions are immense and diverse and that beauty comes in many different shapes and sizes. It’s good to be home.

But it was very good to be there. We had ten wonderfully refreshing days in Hawaii and are so grateful for the change of pace and scenery this time away provided for us. We arrived in Honolulu on the island of Oahu Sunday afternoon, Oct. 25, and our first four days were spent enjoying the hospitality of our dear friends Patrick and Dorcas Wong. Our relationship with them spans almost a decade, as they were brought into our lives by their precious children and our heart friends and chosen family, Wai and Elaine Wong. They were so gracious to us, allowing us the freedom to spend the days as we wished. They were available, but not demanding, and we shared many special moments with them over wonderful meals.

Hours after landing in Honolulu, we were feted by Patrick and Dorcas Wong with leis and a delicious homemade Chinese dinner.

The next morning, Patrick experienced the delight of supplementing his daily “soup rice” with Paul’s “breakfast biscuits” (aka: chocolate chip cookies).

Paul and I spent the days hiking, swimming, and exploring. There is so much natural “therapy” in being outdoors and drinking in the beauty of creation and we took full advantage of the matchless beauty of this Hawaiian island. We also enjoyed Shave Ice, the swap meet at Aloha Stadium, shopping in China Town (with the help of Patrick and Dorcas), and having dinner with our dear friends Nat and Gail Potter before we flew off to Kauai Thursday a.m. Good days.

We hiked to “Makapu’u Lighthouse” and had spectacular views of the breathtaking coastline of Oahu’s eastern side.

Our evening with Nat and Gail Potter and their daughter Abby and her husband Mike was delightful as always, even though our planned appointment with the sunset was foiled by a thick cloud cover. That didn’t dim the joy of reconnecting with dear friends.

One last meal with the Wongs, including Grandmother, provided food for the stomach as well as food for the soul. Our conversations with Patrick and Dorcas are always full of insights and wisdom.

We met up with our dear friend, Wendy Turney, in Kauai, Thursday, for the beginning of an adventure-filled week together.

Having never been to Kauai before, we were delighted when our friend Wendy Turney offered her time share to us for the week. We coerced her into joining us as Chief Cook and Tour Guide (since she knows much of Kauai like the back of her hand) and the three of us had a fabulous week together.

It as almost exactly a year ago that I recorded in our blog that Wendy’s husband, John, had lost his relentless battle with melanoma on Nov. 10, and this was our first extended visit with Wendy since John’s home going. It was a gift to be able to process so much with her in our days together, but all of us were painfully aware of his absence. Death is never easy and grief becomes a constant companion with such a catastrophic loss.

With memories of John deep in our hearts, we discovered the unique beauty of Kauai under the expert guidance of Wendy. We saw rainbows, waterfalls, and endless stretches of white sand beaches. We snorkeled in calm-ish water, boogie-boarded in 3-4 foot seas, and stood on bluffs overlooking pounding surf and crashing 10-12 foot waves. We ate fresh mangoes, bananas, pineapple, and papaya daily, along with fabulous culinary creations a la Wendy for dinner each night. We shopped at local Farmer’s Markets, a yard sale or two, and Costco. We rested, read, and wrote...at least a little. Each day was full of delight and wonder as we experienced God through His incredible creation.

Paul takes on the waves at Brenecke Beach, using a boogie board we recycled from someone’s trash offerings. :)

No, that’s not Tarzan. Paul courageously tries the rope swing at Kipu Falls...

...and successfully drops into the water below. I happily photographed.

Our day on the North Shore allowed us to enjoy Anini Beach...the only swimmable one that day due to very stormy seas further on.

Several nights in a row, we “put the turtles to bed” after being given time and location of their sleeping chambers. This was one of the highest lights of the trip.

Watching the sunset at “Spouting Horn” was a perfect ending to the day.

Our last full day, “liquid pineapple juice” (as my mom would say) poured from the sky, but made way for this beautiful rainbow the morning we left.

We flew home Wednesday, the 4th, arriving in Boston on Thursday, the 5th. We returned a little bit browner, a little more rested, and a lot more renewed because of these great days in “paradise.” We did have time to shower before we spoke to the Mom to Mom group at Grace Chapel at 9:30 that morning...and caught a little nap before doing the Patriot’s study that evening.

So we’re back at it—and thankful for the opportunities and very excited for the Gary Thomas “Sacred Marriage” conference being held Nov. 14. Our batteries are recharged and our vision is refocused.

Words? I don’t think so.