Well, it's been a few days, so I thought I would take the time to blog a little...like...I have a ton of things I need to be doing, but i'm tired and just want to chill, so I thought I would entertain you all that stop by to read my blog with something new to read. Lucky ya'll..lol
We started off early Mon morn...weather was yucky, the flight to Dallas was bumpy, but sitting in First class helped..at least in my mind it did..but actually they say the closer to the front your seats are, the smoother and safer they are. Our seats were the very first seats in the plane in First class, so you can't get any closer to the front than that and just be a regular passenger. When we left Dallas, the weather there wasn't much better, so the pilot got up around 36,000 ft before he found smooth air...from then on it was pretty much a great flight. When we finally landed in Honolulu some 8 hrs later, we were wore out and sleepy. There is a 4hr time difference there this time of year..its 5 hrs diff in the summertime. It turns out being one of the longest days cause you keep having to relive the hours...When we got there it was about 3:30 over there, but our time here at home was 7:30...time for bed..lol. But we had to make ourselves stay awake those 4 hrs, and it was hard to do..or else we would have been off on our time bad....as it was, we were waking up at 4 and 5 am...which was 8-9 am our time...so it took a few days to get on Hawaii time, just about the time we got used to it, it was time to come home...lol.
Hawaii is a beautiful place. We stayed on the island of Oahu. It's amazing. Our view from our lanai was breathtaking to say the least. We spent a lot of time out there on it, enjoying the sound of the waves, the view, and the wonderful breeze that came at us directly off the ocean...the moon shining down over the water is an amazing sight to see. At night, we watched planes come into view from out of nowhere, at first, their super bright lights looked no bigger than one of the millions of twinkling stars, soon becoming a blinking beacon in the pitch black sky, letting you know another plane full of people had made the long journey over the ocean and were probably so glad to see land and all the bright lights below...I know we were!
Our first day we just enjoyed our resort. We got up and ate breakfast at an all you can eat outdoor buffet. Nothing like enjoying island fresh pineapple among other fruit. Bacon, eggs, rice, different types of sausages..just all kinds of breakfast foods. You ate outdoors and watched the waves roll in and enjoyed the breeze. You had to be watchful of the birds though, for they didn't seem to realize that you didn't intend for them to eat out of your plate! There was a gentleman sitting at a table beside us that had set his plate down and then walked back to the buffet to get something else and a bird landed on the table and started to eat right off his plate. When the man came back, he just shooed it away, and the waitress brought him another plate...we then headed back to the villa and retrieved our beach gear. Tony and Chad wanted to snorkel. Donna and I would have liked to , but we didn't want to get our hair wet...ha ha..the water was cold actually, but we got used to it after a few minutes. I got ready to come out a little sooner than Donna did. I was already sitting in my beach chair and here she comes out...I told her to pick up her dress a little so the water could flow between her feet and lower legs, but did she listen? NOOOOO...the wave caught the tail end of her dress, it was like a sailboat catching the wind in it's sails and the fight to stay upright was on! HA HA...I can still see the look on her face as she struggled against the inevitable...the waves motion coming into shore sent her "sailing", her arms flapping as she was trying to maintain her balance, then when it came back, it did the same thing to her dress only in the opposite direction, and here she goes, arms once again reaching for some sort of invisible support...when the wave got past her, she was trying to stand upright, but couldn't get a good foothold, and she loses her balance altogether, and she takes off going sideways down the shoreline, past some other people sitting out on the beach, her arms flailing, trying to stay on her feet, but the momentum was just too great and down she went...I tell you, I laughed so hard..I only wish I had had my camera handy...and bless her heart, before she could make it all the way in, she lost her footing with the next wave and she was once again floundering in the water...even the people in the water busted out laughing...and the people on the beach sitting down from us couldn't contain their laughter either...it was so funny!! She finally was able to get in an upright postition and stay on her feet long enough to get into her beach chair...what a time we had that day..LOL. ..Tony and Chad played in the sand like two little kids, burying themselves in it..it was a good time for them...Chad grilled out steaks that day and they were awesome..we went to bed early for Hawaii...still wasn't on schedule with the timing thing...
The next day we went to Pearl Harbor. We've been there before, but Donna and Chad hadn't. Chad really enjoyed it. We stayed there a big part of the day. Later, we were going to meet up with Resiana's birthmother, Monke, pronounced Mon-i-kay. She has been staying with friends and family recently. We picked her and her friend up and took them out to eat. We later took them to Wal-Mart and bought them some food and supplies. When we took them back, they invited us into their home. Trucie, the lady who the house belongs to, is sick and needs care. Monke helps her in exchange for room and board. After we went into the house, she called for us to come to her room, where she welcomed us with a big smile. Within minutes, she told her family that she wanted to sing to us. She called for them to sing with her and to bring us gifts. Of course all of this was done in the Marshallese language, so we didn't know what they were saying or about to do...Monke told us that Trucie wanted them to sing to us. We told her we would be thrilled to hear them sing. They sang a song, and brought me and Donna a headpeice, which they put on our head like a crown. They gave Chad a necklace made of seashells, and Tony a handwoven necklace made out of coconut husks. We later found out that the necklace they gave Tony was the type that represented an important chief. They put it around their neck as they sang. It was almost like a crowning ceremony you would see in some sort of ceremonial event. This of course made me and Donna cry. It was so touching..and humbling. To think that these people, who are so very poor, gave to us the best they had as a way to thank us...and the best they had was nothing more than a couple of songs and handmade necklaces and headpeices. But there was no way you could have put a pricetag on any of the gifts they gave us. No professional singing group have sung any prettier song to us than what they sang that night. We didn't understand a word they sang to any of the songs, except for the last one..the last one was ♫ So long, goodbye ♫. That was their farewell song. One of the ladies, who Tony and Chad adopted as their "mother" because she had a lot of facial features that really did put you in the mind of their mom, asked us to pray for them. They believe in Christianity. That the Lord hung and died on a cross for our sins. They asked us to come back and go to church with them on Sunday. We accepted the invitation...that's later.
We flew to Maui one day. Can't say I was impressed. I guess we just didn't know where to go to see all the pretty sights, although we did find this huge "mountain"..I don't know if it was a dead volcano or not, but it was over 10,000 ft high. I had Tony drop me off at a station at 7,000 ft...I felt some tightening in my chest and was afraid to go further. I found some real Eucalyptus growing on the side of a road, and I was so excited. Normally, I love the smell of it...but let me tell you, you do not want fresh Eucalyptus in an enclosed area, say like, a car. I couldn't take it for 5 min. I had to roll down the window and throw it out..I was so disappointed. And I couldn't get rid of the smell the rest of the day. I guess the oil had gotten in my skin and clothes, and even after washing my hands like, 1365413 times, I still reeked of it...ugh. They all laughed at me for "stealing" it to begin with, but hey, it was on the side of the road growing everywhere! (and I sorta gave it back..lol). We rode around all day, went along the coast..then flew back to Oahu that night....
One night we went to a luau. They made us handwoven bracelets out of palm leaves and flowers, Donna gave the Hula a try, and we had our pic taken with a Hawaiian guy and a Hawaiian girl...We enjoyed the food, and the show itself was ok, but i've been to a better one on Kuaui.
We flew to Kuaui for a one day excursion also. Now this island is beautiful! It has some awesome sights to see. We drove up to the top of a mountain/volcano...and the sights along the way were breathtaking to say the least. Words or pictures do not do these sights justice..you just have to see them for yourself. This is the island that we came to when we got Carter, Michael and Crystals firstborn. Tony drove us to the very resort that we stayed in while we were here getting him..I walked out onto the back lawn, where I have a pic of me, Michael and Carter standing underneath a crooked tree. The tree was still there, only quite a bit larger, and I couldn't help but cry as I stood there and relived that moment..remembering back 11 yrs, to the day we were coming home, and going out there to take some final pictures before leaving...remembering how happy we were to be getting our first grandson!....again we flew back to Oahu later that night.
It's Sunday now, and we were anxious about going to church with Monke.. we had planned on going to church over there somewhere...we had heard there was a Holiness church on the island and we were gonna look it up and go to it's Sunday service. But Monke asking us to attend her church changed that. We didn't know what to expect..but there was no need to have worried. The women of the church wore very colorful dresses, and their hair was adorned with fresh flowers, flower headpeices and flower rings...even the little girls were dressed this way. The men wore regular clothes, and their deacons wore suits. Not that it mattered how any of them dressed, just trying to set the scene for you...the church was open aired. One side was solid windows, from ceiling to floor, that had been rolled open. The other side was sliding glass doors, one right after the other, all open. So a cool breeze blew straight thru the church! Everyone was so friendly to us..like it was normal to see 4 American people sit in their congregation every service..of course we got some stares, but when we would return their look with a smile, we were always given one back. They sang a song to open their service, and of course we didn't understand a word they were singing...they read a bible passage along with the minister. When they started the 2nd song though, I tell you what, I felt something. I felt their humbleness. I felt the peace they had. I felt their contentment, but mostly, I felt the love they had for our Lord. I mean they were really putting a lot into the song... I could not help myself one iota. I cried. I don't know if i've ever felt the Lord in any song i've ever heard anymore than I did that morning while they sang. I looked over at Donna trying to focus on something else so I could redirect my tears, and there she sat, crying just like I was...she had felt it too. What amazes me is, it wasn't the words of the song that touched me..I mean, I had no idea what they were singing or saying..it could have been a gospel version of Old McDonald for all I knew, but there was no mistaken the feeling I felt! I looked at Monke, who was sitting beside me, singing loudly, and in perfect harmony I might add, and this intense feeling of love and gratitude for her come over me. This woman had given me 2 grandchildren. She had made the ultimate sacrifice of letting her children go, releasing them from a life of hunger and homelessness.. giving them up forever to people she barely knew...trusting that this was the christian family that she had been praying for. And she had given them to MY children. And she did it because she loved Resiana and her unborn baby. The realization of what this woman had done and the sadness she must have felt upon letting them go, hit me like a ton of bricks sitting there beside her. The feeling of love I felt for her at that moment of realization, was overwhelming. I wanted her to know that. But I couldn't find the words to say. So I reached out and took her hand and held it, hoping she would feel the love I had for her with this gesture. When the song ended, I began to gently pull my hand from her's, but she grasped it tighter, not letting go. I knew then that she had felt what I had tried to convey to her. A few minutes after the song ended, she slipped her hand away so she could turn the page on the service program. From that moment on, I knew I would do whatever I possibly could to help her. After service, they introduced us, best they could, to a lot of the people and we went to eat at McDonalds. She had never ate at one before! Before we left, they invited us to a birthday party for the woman she took care of. It was on Mon night...when we got there, they offered us seats on the couch, but we noticed that everyone else was sitting in the floor. I asked Weina, the woman's sister, why that was and she said that it is their custom to sit on the floor. That way she said, everyone was on the same level as everyone else and nobody had to look to up anyone. It shows our honesty to one another. Such a simple thing to do, yet the message it conveyed was so astounding to me..The guys proceeded to get down on the floor, but I told them I was not able to do that and they were fine with it...(thank the Lord)...cause what happened next would have done me in ...everyone was enjoying the party when I see this 2 inch cockroach crawl across the floor...my first response was to jump up and holler...but I didn't...Chad saw it too, and he remained calm as well..and he was in the floor..lol. It had run behind something, but I guess it decided the coast was clear so he come out of hiding and crawled alongside Weina's leg and stopped at her foot..I could contain it no longer..i'm like.."Weina, look, look!!!!"..and she says..."Ahhh...it ain't gonna bother nobody...it's just hungry too"..and she shooes it away with her hand sending it straight for Tony who sees it coming straight for him! He begins to scramble, trying to get out of the floor and out of it's way...lol..you should have seen him...everyone busted out laughing..thing was, this happened while a family member was saying the meal prayer, so they are trying to keep it down, but Tony, who can't hear much and has no idea they are saying grace, continues to try to get up and shoo the roach away from his leg sending everyone who can see into semi-uncontrollable fits of laughter..he said later that he had seen 2 or 3 scoot across the floor in another room and was trying to keep a lookout for them incase they came into ours...we sang songs again, and I was surprised at the gospel songs they knew..and were able to sing with us in English..then it came time to eat. I'm sorry, but there was no way I could eat the fish that they brought out to me that was still whole, guts and all. The only thing missing from this fish was it's eyes. I apologized, and they just laughed..I felt bad, but I didn't want to puke either...oh me. After about 2 and a half hours, we said our final goodbyes. We wouldn't be seeing them again. There were some tears, hugs and a few last pictures...the kids all swarmed our vehicle and wouldn't hardly let us leave... Tony and Chad both gave their hats to the boy that lived in the house and his friend. We have promised them a box with some Alabama gear in it..we also told them we are supposed to return in August and would try to visit them again then.
We came home the next day, but not before driving to Honolulu and going to Waikiki beach and doing a little sightseeing. It took me several days before I could get back on schedule with the time difference.
This trip has been something I had wanted to do with my siblings for a long time now. The only thing that would have made it better would have been for Darrell and Tamara to have been there...maybe next time huh Doe?