Friday, July 31, 2015


Food taste different on the island.

I've had a bag of tortilla chips on my counter for a month now. Nothing about them has even seemed appealing.

Normally, on the mainland, I can't keep tortilla chips in the house. I will sit down with salsa and eat the entire bag of chips.

I LOVE chips.

A lady at canoe club and I were talking about the difference. She said it's true for her too. A couple of others piped in. All coming to the same conclusion.

We aren't sure what it is. In other hot humid areas, I would still eat chips. I've been to Myrtle Beach. The Gulf of Mexico.

Out here, food really tastes different. Romaine lettuce has a bit more crunch. I can't even begin to describe my raw fish eating habit every afternoon.

We aren't sure why.

I did break down today - with only 3 days left and bought salsa. I ate some chips with my fresh made guacamole. The guac was great. The chips only tasted "okay". And now, I actually feel a little sick to my stomach.

I've had red meat once. A hamburger that was fresh, grass-fed organic beef from Parker Ranch. It's probably the best hamburger I've ever had.

Other than that, the thought of a steak, turns my stomach. (I LOVE Steak!)

The funny thing though is - I've barely cooked.

I wonder what will happen when I get back to Denver.

I'm sure food will change once again..

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Having kids around changes everything.

Lily arrived last week. Her cousin the next day. The day after that, Nolan arrived. Duncan didn't want to come out here this summer.

Truth be told, I wasn't sure how much the kids were actually going to see each other. They all knew it might not happen.

But faith is stronger than hope.

Nolan and I were at the little beach in town. He's in the water. And looks over - the two girls are in the water splashing around.

You could hear the squeals. I'm sure you could hear the giggles on the other side of the island.

He did later say, when he noticed them, he was trying to think of a line to say when he approached:

Are you here often?
Funny running into you.
What are YOU doing here?

Of course, you think of these things later. He finally just swam up and said "hey".  You could then really hear the squeals on the other side of the island.

I happen to catch the moment - it truly was beautiful. As next thing I know, I have two teenage girls waving to me. Then running to give me wet hugs.

My island time then turns into, well, still my time, but more as a visitor and doing things rather than doing nothing.

I didn't realize how much "nothing" I had been doing lately.

We had a great week. The girls went to the North end of the island today. Nolan left on his flight back to Denver.

We were talking about how "this is the end". The end of childhood life on the island.

Nolan tells me, "You don't know that".

But, I do. As there are many things for the kids to go and do and see in their lives. This visit to Narnia time is over.

I think they know it too. When we drove by the old house, up the back road, Nolan told me it wasn't really weird to see the house.

He was thinking of all the memories driving to and from the house. The sitting in the back of the truck. The silly stories on the way there. The friendships. The chickens and tons of other stories from their time in Kona.

So tonight, I dropped him at the airport. Kicking him out of "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" story. Back into his other story. Back into his life.

He said, "As much as I'm ready to be home, I am sad to leave".

I told him, "That's when you are supposed to leave. When you aren't quite ready."

I was worried I would be wanting to leave with him. I was sad to see him go. Happy he has the memories and moments of his childhood.

Stepping out of The Wardrobe, back into the other life.

My time in Narnia isn't over. Staying was the absolute best decision I've made in a while.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Parallel Universe

Believe it or not, I was just thinking of the things I like about Denver.

Things I like about my grown-up life.

I love my house. My friends. My community. The dryness of the Colorado air.

There are good things there.

Then, I went to the grocery store this morning. You have to just love beach towns. You can buy anything from fishing wire to birthday cakes to salad stuff to well, clothes.

I ran into a lady from canoe club. The lady whom lives up the street from our old summer house. The one whom invited me to canoe club in the first place. I always buy coffee from her for my clients. Her cousin was the one whom always went with us paddling a couple of summers ago.

We stopped to talk for a minute. I then walk off.

As I am walking away, I hear my name called. I turned back around.

She just wanted to let me know what a joy it has been having me around. And thanked me.

I was determined not to cry in the middle of the grocery store. I was determined that I really do miss my other life.

But my parallel universe doesn't leave me crying in the middle of the store.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


We make decisions everyday.

All of us. Every single moment.

What I don't understand is how did society program us to think that when we make a decision, we can never change our mind. This is it. Forever.

Is it marriage?

Is it that society has told us when we get married, this is FOREVER. Therefore, any other decision we make, well, must hold that much power and weight.

Is it from the previous generation? Take a job. Work there for forty years. Retire.

Maybe we have too many choices these days. Maybe we don't take things seriously enough.


We also over-think things.

Nolan and I went para sailing yesterday. He had never been.

We ended up being the only people on the boat. With a crew of two.

Then another guy jumped on board - he runs captain on the other boat. The "captain" of our boat introduces himself as "Scramble".

Neither Nolan nor myself even blinked. Nor did we ask why his name was Scramble. We both just said, "Nice to meet you." Dani was the girl on the boat helping us get into our gear. We were supposed to be in the air for 16 minutes total. We were in the air for about 30.

They "raised" us and "lowered" us several times. The last time, letting our feet touch the water before "popping" us back up.

When you live out here, you get discounts on tourist stuff. You also do tourist stuff only once or twice per trip - unless, of course, it's your first summer and you didn't know it was going to be a new way of life....... I digress.

Scramble came over from Maui for the summer. Originally, he had grown up in Washington and had been in Maui about 10 years. Or maybe it was 15. Maybe it was 20.

The numbers didn't really seem to matter.

He was trying to decide if he should stay. The guy whom runs the company wants him to stay. He told us, "I have to make a big decision."

"No, you don't", I replied.

"What do you mean?"

"So, stay.", I said. "We seem to think when we finally do make a decision - that's it. That's forever. We can never change our mind."

"So, stay" or "Don't stay". You don't have to do this for the rest of your life. Our life is full of choices.

If you make a wrong one - at some point, say "I'm now making a new decision."

Then do.

Or even if it's not the wrong decision. It's okay, to then say, "Now, I'm making a new decision."

Then do.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Tourist Town

Everyone should live in a tourist town - at least once.

I know this is a generalization, and some people would really hate it, but it gives you an interesting perspective of the world.

  • Visitors act "entitled" - granted this town relies on tourism dollars. There is just no need to remind the locals of this. Act as you would at home.
  • You get to meet people from all over the world. 
    • I've meet a couple whom lives in Singapore - she is Brazilian, he is German
    • An English woman whom was also vacationing alone (I'm not the only one whom travels alone!)
    • Tons of Californians
    • A couple from Fiji
  • Live like a local  - see what the locals are doing and join them. You might learn a new hobby.
  • The other day a group of locals were walking with paddles, away from an evening paddle group. They had a smile from ear to ear. I know that feeling. When you see it, ask if you can join next time. (although, this would have me paddling twice a day!) 
  • Offer to take visitors pictures. Someone always gets left out of the picture. Usually it's the mom. They get a picture with their whole group. And you, the picture taker might actually make some new friends.
Try it once.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

No Camping

On the Northeast side of The Big Island Hawaii - there is a place called Waipio (pronounced Y P O) Valley.

According to local legend, years ago (and I don't know if this means 50 or 100 or more - but it's been a while), this was a town. There is still a town there up on top of the hill. The Valley no longer exists. It does, but it's off the grid.

As in no cell service. As in no electricity. There are solar panels on houses that are still there.

According to the legend, this town was wiped out when an Tsunami hit. They had no notice.

No one knew what hit them.

Poof. The town was gone.

To get there now, you must take a 4 wheel drive vehicle up and down a 25% grade for about 2 miles to get to the bottom/top.

There is a certain section off the beach considered "sacred burial ground". It's beautiful. The leaves and plants grow in abundance. The other half is beach. Trails. Waterfalls.

A majestic piece of paradise. Of the world.

There are signs all over saying "No Camping"  (Although on a hike this morning, there were signs saying you could camp, but must register - not at the same area, but on the trail). Confused me, but carried on.

My local gypsy friend had told me he had done this once before.

I couldn't believe what he said. "What? You camped in Waipio Valley?"

"Yes", he replied.

"Okay, we are going to have to do that. It's on my bucket list".

I don't think I even know what else is on my bucket list. I do know, for at least 3 years, I've wanted to camp under the "No Camping sign".

He owns a Jeep.

We took the top on the way over.

We brought food in. We made a campfire at sunset. We slept in the Jeep. Took two hikes this morning.

We were back to this side of the island this island this afternoon.

Oh, yes, there was a sunrise. It was spectacular.

We weren't the only ones there.

I'm not sure I really slept. It was drizzling rain and I've never slept in a car.

Maybe I did fall asleep. But if you don't sleep, you aren't really camping? Right?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Plane Tickets

Shopping for airfare happens to be a hobby of mine.

Where can I go?

How much is that in relation to an airplane ticket?

What is the better deal? Do we have to stop?

When I booked our tickets out here, I booked Nolan's with frequent flier miles. That way, if he changes his mind, he can stay longer. Or guess, he could also go home earlier.

My ticket?

I booked a one way ticket out here.

It doesn't mean anything other than I thought this would be the most economical way to get here.

Of course, I'm not sure when I'm going back. Or where I'm going back from.

Do I stay here a couple of extra nights? Do I fly over to Oahu to see Todd, Morgan and my baby? Do I leave when I have to leave the condo.

I wasn't sure.

I'm still not.

I've remembered twice to check airfares back to Denver. Although, the site always times out before I get finished booking the flight.

Something distracts me.

I'll probably end up paying more than I thought.

It will work out though.

It always does. There are planes headed to here and from here every single day.....


Dear CW/HM,

Mahalo for today!

It was awesome.

Whom ever introduced you to canoe club, well, Mahalo.

The joy of my morning.

Someone had apple bananas there for us from their tree. We paddled out further than any other group. The couple I met at the bar the other night, they showed up to paddle with the other group. They are about your age.

You could see the look in their eyes at the end of paddle. They wanted to do it again.

Thanks for working all afternoon. Thanks for the massage later.

I came to the hale from paddling ready to tell you, I was never going back. We could pretend to talk about this at the end of summer, but I'm staying.

When I was walking back to the condo this morning, one of your old friends wanted to know if we wanted to paddle out one night this weekend and swim with the Manta Ray's. Still unsure of what night, still trying to get it together.

Of course, I said "Absolutely".

Then I remembered you had packed glow necklaces and glow in the dark bracelets in case an opportunity like this presented itself.

Then I knew, you were going on this night paddle/swim too. We were going together.

After the massage, we were walking to town. We ran into friends from canoe club. The local came to meet us too.

Then the best thing ever happened.

We had someone drive us by our old house.

The one we swapped.

The one with the breeze a bit cooler then here in town.

(I know, I know - I wanted to live in town this summer. And it's been great)

There was something magical about being a bit "away" from it all.

A hale and an escape from the real world.

A bit of both worlds.

Not that I would ever tell you this in the real world, but maybe one day, I'll tell you, I loved those summers.

Mahalo for bringing   getting us here.

But, please, let me take it from here.

Love you always,


PS.  Even if you don't let me take it from here - afterall, I do have a certain life style. We are going to figure this out.

And I'll always remember what you told me

The only regrets in life are the ones you didn't do.

I promise.

I got this.......

Monday, July 13, 2015

More Letters

Dear Wild Child,

At the end of the summer, we can talk about you staying.

We all know how much you love it here. Don't we all. We understand you love it more than all of us put together.

If we are going to talk about you staying, we need to come to another understanding.

You must still go to bed before 9pm during the week.

If you have a Mai Tai during the week - you can only have two. TOTAL PER WEEK (not per sitting!)  Some of us still have to work in the morning.

You can still have every afternoon all to yourself. All to swimming, biking or hell, you can sleep all afternoon if you want. Just be reminded, no matter how much you sleep  - or DRINK for that matter - during the day. You still have to go to bed at 9pm during the week. AND - you still have to get up at 4am with me.

The weekends, they belong to you. Completely.

That's all I ask.


Career Woman/Hockey Mom

PS. Tame down the flirting - while it's fun, and you should enjoy, don't break any hearts. Heart aches hurt.

PPS Don't ever stop being you. We will get through this.


Dear Career Woman/Hockey Mom,

Mahalo for making me endure those months of work you did in order to enjoy this freedom.

Again, mahalo for getting up at 3:45 to work every morning during the week while we are out in paradise.

I honestly do appreciate everything you do.


I am sorry, I'm not going back with you.

I'm staying here.

I paddle 4 - 6 days per week.

I walk every place I go. Unless I ride my bike or take the trolley. I haven't driven a car in almost two weeks.

And you dear mom, complain in the afternoon when you get on the bike. When I take over, I don't mind at all.

We haven't had red meat since we got here. In fact, I'm not sure we've even had chicken. You set some out to thaw on Friday or wait, was that Thursday? It's still in the fridge. I'm thinking I need throw it away. The only meal I seem to make is well - wait, you make breakfast.....

The neighbor said I could borrow his car if I need it to go to the store.

The property manager's girlfriend brings me lycee's and avocado's from her trees.

I met a local.

He owns a jeep.

Today, he picked me up.

We went to church - the one on the ocean in town, the one we've been talking about going to for years now.

Then we packed food and drinks.

We went to eat at Bite Me at the Marina.

We then spent the day at my favorite beach ever.

I'm exhausted in the best possible way.

When you get up in the morning to work, I will appreciate it.

I will continue to appreciate all you do for us.

HOWEVER, I'm telling you now:

I'm not going back to the mainland with you.

I'm staying here.

Love Always,

Your Wild, Wild Child

Saturday, July 11, 2015


What started out a couple of years ago as "something new to try", has become a full blown addiction.

The recreational paddle club in Keauhou area of Kona, paddles every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning. There is a group that goes out at 6:30am and another group at 8am.

I go with the 6:30am group. (It's warmer at the 8am group).

There is also a recreational group, really it's the same group of people, whom go out on Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 6:30am. This group goes a little further and a little faster.

Two summers ago, I went every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Bringing along at least one teenager - sometimes up to four teenagers.

Now I go everyday. (except Sunday)

For the upcoming week, I forgot to block out my calendar for Monday and Wednesday - and I was scheduled calls. UGH!

When we went out Wednesday, there were three canoes. 6 people per canoe. I'm the youngest person there in the M,W,F group. It was the hardest work out I've ever done. My lateral muscles tremored all day long.

Everyone was asking the next day if we were exhausted. I was higher than a kite - I haven't had an adrenal rush like that in years. We had paddle for 30 minutes straight (meaning no breaks), stopped and swam for about 10 minutes, the paddle back in for 30 minutes. It was absolutely incredible.

On Thursday, when we went out, this group now seems easy. I'm thinking in a few weeks, I should be really toned. There were dolphins all around us.

I jumped into the water. It was incredible. Then immediately realizing, I'm not at Disneyland - or Sea World - I'm in the freaking ocean. These things are NOT domesticated, I should probably get out the water.

We still watched them play.

On Friday, we paddle to a place called "Parrots Cove" - as we come in, about 50 parrots flew out over us. There was a momma goat and three kids on the side of the cliff. The momma couldn't get them back up. They were crying.

Eventually we left, assuming the momma eventually got her babies up the side of the rocks.

When I paddled in Oahu, it just wasn't the same. It was in the city.

Here, it's a completely different experience. Everyday, I don't want it to end.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” - Benjamin Franklin

For the majority of my adult life, I would have agreed with the above statement. I would still agree some things need to be planned to a certain degree.

  • Planning so some money is in savings for an emergency
  • Planning so some money is set aside for something you don't need - just something you want
  • A plan to finish college
  • Wait, make that a plan to start college.......

Back to the basics - plan the big things, forget about the details.

I only had some basics planned for this trip to the islands. I had a ticket out here. I had a place to stay. 

I found a lady on Craigslist whom would sell me her bike.

I planned on renting a car once Nolan got here.

I knew I wanted to paddle - and planned on doing that three days a week.

The bike I bought - doesn't have a front brake. (didn't plan on that)

I'm paddling 5 days this week, as there is a group also on Monday, Wednesday, Friday at the same time - only no break with this group.

The property manager has a van she is going to "rent me" for $75 when Nolan is here. There is no air-conditioning.

The Denver girl, whom lives very proper a "normal life" is not sure of these different ideas. Unsure of the change and unsure of what life is like not planned.

"It will all work out" - said the Wild Child proudly. "You will be fine." (Besides, look at your thighs - you've been working out).

"Leave the planning to me"

Monday, July 6, 2015


Within the past 13 months, I've been to the DMV exactly THREE times.

I don't think I've been to the DMV three times previous to this in the entire 23 years I've lived in Colorado - TOTAL.

You can re-new your license online these days. Well, I could this last time it expired. It's now good for another 10 years. I think at that point, they make me come in for a new picture - as at that point my picture will be approximately 18 or so years old... Hopefully, I will still look like that picture! (HA!)

Duncan turned 16, but was just past 16 and a half when he got his license. Nolan was right on time. Which meant last June, Duncan received his license. Nolan got his permit three weeks later and I was back on his birthday with him to renew get his license.

On record, this was the shortest trip ever to the DMV. We were in and out of there in 50 minutes.

Oh wait, maybe I meant this was the fastest 16 years of my entire life.

What? No more carpool?

No more late night hockey pick up?

No more shuttling to practices? Driving to school?

I realize he's the second and some of these "duties" have already fallen by the way.

Although, both last year and this year, the person at the DMV gave the boys a little speech:

(and I'm paraphrasing here)

Driving is a HUGE responsibility. Your parents have signed this form saying they will be held liable for whatever you do when you are driving until you turn 18. Do you understand? And they can also take this away from you at anytime until you turn 18. You need to respect this privilege.

Both boys said yes.

Okay, your time with me is now done." , says the guy behind the counter at the DMV. "You may go get your picture taken."

I don't remember this speech when I got my drivers license. I'm sure they won't either.

I do know, I'll remember it this time.

I think he was still about the license.

I think he was still talking to Nolan.

And just for the record, I made it to the bathroom before I had my meltdown.

Sunday, July 5, 2015


No car? 

Really, can I do this?

So, I didn't end up meeting the bike lady until this morning. Meaning, I've been on the island for over 36 hours without a car. Granted, I took a shuttle from the airport, then a taxi back out of town Friday night. 

A shuttle to the parade and fireworks yesterday, a taxi home. 

This of course, was after I got to paddle yesterday morning.  (Yes, probably still my favorite activity ever with people whom wanted to welcome me back. Whom wondered where were the teenagers).

So, yesterday I paddled. Then I walked to the store and back to the condo. Then over to the trolley stop.

Today, I walked/ran to try and meet the bike lady again. I finally did meet her. I think I had walked/run about 6 miles. Then I rode my bike back to the condo. Walked to lunch to meet friends. Rode in the car to/back Costco.

Rode my bike - that doesn't have good brakes to the beach. Just for a couple hours - then back to the hale (home) again.

My legs are chaffed. I have a bit of color on my skin (or a few more wrinkles. Or both). My arms are sore.

Ah, the feeling I've been waiting for.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

No shoes, No shirt, No......

Back on the island. My island. My favorite island.


I have a condo, within walking distance to canoe club. I'm in town, but still a bit from "town". I'm trying this without a car.

Nolan doesn't get here for a couple of weeks. Duncan isn't coming at all. (Something is definitely wrong with this child!) - Actually, I get it. He's establishing his independence. Although, really? You could spend your summer in Hawaii and you want to stay home and hang out with your friends? And go to Texas IN JULY, no less?

Side rant over.

I don't have a car. I bought a bike from a lady off of Craigslist. She was supposed to pick me up at the airport, but I actually got here 4 hours before I was supposed to get here and she couldn't come get me.

She's dropping my bike off today.

After I go paddle.

Before the parade.

Before my favorite fireworks EVER on my favorite holiday.

I don't have a car.

I don't have shoes on.

And, I think I'm home.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The way it works out

The Gypsy Girl personality who lives in my body was well behaved for quite a while.

She let the leaders lead.


She came out and was a bit reckless in Vegas. I think it's because the hockey mom and career woman were in charge for way to long. Squelshing the Gypysy Girl.  We have to remember to let her out every once in a while.


Six days back from a trip to Vegas. One week before leaving for July - Gypsy Girl announces loudly - "I'm coming out"........

And, she did.

3 Round-trip last minute tickets to California for the weekend. I texted the boys. One was caddying. The other at his dads.

"Pack your bags, we leave for Orange County at 3:30".

My excuse: My friend in Cali, his daughter was graduating high school. But the ceremony was over. We were just going for the parties.

The real reason:  This transition into the next stage of life, is actually harder than I thought it would be. We need this family time. Me and my boys. My boys needed to see their uncle. I needed to see his mom.

I'm not sure which personality needed this, but I was thinking all of them did. All of mine. All of my sons. All of the people we were with. We needed to all be together.

It was a great weekend.

Fun stories of the boys. Fun stories from "Mum".

For whatever weird reason, the boys and I were invited to the daughters mom's house for a graduation party - only her dad and his parents were not.

The boys and I went.

Okay - I give up. I've re-written this story four times now. I keep trying to put in the back story. But it's not flowing.

Here's the point: At the end of the weekend. The weekend of chaos, friendship and love it all came down to this.

Mum kept saying "I can't believe it never worked out between the two of you". (Me and my friend in Cali) Even Duncan on Sunday night proclaims, "she's not going to let this go, is she?" I did reply, "it's been almost 30 years, so, no, she's not."

Looking out at the pool, sitting next to each other: With his wife in the water with her daugthers, my sons dancing on the "concrete bar", music playing, we look at each other and say,

"It did work out"

This is how it worked out.

PS - Gypsy girl will be out soon - and she knows how to write..... :-)