We are spending 12 days on the Big Island of Hawaii. We have a timeshare here about 25 miles north of Kona, five miles upslope from the beach. The condo is comfortable and quiet, on a golf course with a flock of resident turkeys who approach us hopefully as we sit on our patio, or run by nearby on the grass.
This is our sixth trip to the Big Island. On our last visit we were joined by our daughter and son-in-law; on the one before we rented a glass-bottomed boat and scattered my mother's ashes offshore near a pod of whales. We've walked the length of Alii Drive in Kona and crossed the crater in Volcanoes National Park. We've explored most of the rest of the island.
On this trip, we have a couple of outings planned. On Wednesday we'll be picked up and taken to a cattle ranch north of here for dinner and entertainment. And next Monday we're taking a guided hike on Saddle Road, which crosses the island to Hilo on the rainy side. Otherwise, our days are open so far.
My father was a Marine. When I was in college in California, my parents lived on Oahu, at the Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station. I came home for Christmas and summers. For two years I participated in local summertime Gilbert and Sullivan musicals. In Kailua, where the musicals were held, I met local teenagers who were also in the plays. I especially remembered Jenean. She was 16 then, I think, and I was 19. We hit it off immediately, having long talks and enjoying the goofiness that happens during rehearsals. We became good friends.
Jenean and I lost touch soon after. Yesterday I was sitting in our quiet condo and I suddenly remembered how to spell her first name. I'd recalled before that it was an unusual spelling but had forgotten the combination of letters. Anyway, I looked her up on Facebook and found her! I sent a message: "Did you and I do summer musicals together in the late 60s in Kailua?" She responded yes. We talked on Facebook Messenger for an hour and a half, catching up. She lives in the Bay Area now and works for Facebook! She travels all over the world for her work. We've decided to meet up the next time she's in the Pacific Northwest.
I first came to Hawaii over 45 years ago. Some things have changed - but not the weather, or the quiet, or the beauty. I'm glad we're back again.
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