Tag Archives: hawaii

sweet pea

14 Feb

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Two years ago today my husband sat across from me on our Valentine’s date and told me he would be deploying.  I was wearing my six-week old son on my chest, eating sushi.  We were stationed in Hawaii, so every date seemed like a dream, no matter what.  Even with a child, it was an idyllic place to celebrate.  Bonsai Sushi on the North Shore.  I stared off in the distance, and felt my mind leave our Family celebration as I absorbed what this meant.  Ever since my dear HD had graduated school it was beyond a doubt that he would deploy at some point.  Once he took his assignment in Hawaii, it also became certain that deployment would last one year.  No one avoids this, in his position.  Furthermore, he had no intention of trying to avoid it.  I saw it as one of his rites of passage.

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My Perfect Mug

27 Jul

Ten, maybe twelve years ago, I bought a mug from a little cafe in my college town.  My roommate worked behind the counter at this little market-style shop, and we all enjoyed walking downtown for pastries and tea.  They brewed Lion Brand coffee there, too, and I bought a mug with that logo on it.  I loved the coffee, and the classic drawing of the lion’s head. 

Back in those days I would carry my coffee to class with me every day.  I lived about three blocks from campus, so I rarely got ready for school early enough to drink my cup before leaving the house.  My roommate and I savored our morning walks together while drinking our coffee.  We were different majors, so most of our time together was spent in very personal moments, like sharing the first words of the day over fresh coffee. 

Once on campus, this empty mug got thrown in my back-pack.  Many mugs were lost, borrowed, broken, or otherwise misplaced.  Sometimes we splurged on styrofoam cups specifically for walking to school with.  But week after week my Lion Brand mug remained.  Never broken.  Never lost.  Continue reading

Hot Autumn

20 Sep

It’s a hot one today.  My little valley in Central Oahu is generally shaded with clouds that are blown intermittently by the steady winds, but not today.  The city must be dangerously hot right now!

It’s hard to feel like it’s the autumn here in Hawaii.  We see Halloween decorations, and I know that the October Classic is right around the corner, but nothing in the air feels like fall. Last year it was pretty depressing to be so warm, but this year doesn’t have the same sadness.  Instead we’re just trying harder:

I’m following the Braves’ game right now to maintain my eagerness for the playoffs.  We’ve volunteered at our church for Halloween.

I thought I was cut-out for a more adventurous lifestyle than this.  Maybe I would be if I could pack up my pals and bring them along.  It’s the end of September, though, and I miss Tennessee. I want to wear jeans and sweaters and boots!  I thought I would love living in Hawaii, or Germany, being in explorer mode with only my husband around.  But I’m not so adventurous after all.

Explosions

4 Jul

I could see the grand finale of the fireworks display over Pearl Harbor as I drove home from the airport tonight.

Do you believe in rock’n’roll? Can music save your mortal soul? Can you teach me how to dance, real slow?

My hand was still regaining blood flow from how tightly he held it the whole ride to the airport, as I returned home without him. We’d both told each other that it wasn’t so bad. We’d said it had gotten easier now on our third week apart this year. There’s always a hollow, empty space left behind, though. At first he still lingers, like the tingling in my hand, or the dampness of the hand towel where he last dried his mouth after one more tooth-brushing. But gradually his absence makes his presence fade.

I fool myself into thinking my bed isn’t empty by sleeping on his side of the bed. That way my side of the bed is empty. But I’m still right here! So, you see, no one’s missing!! Brilliant!

Fortunately, for me, he has always come back home right about the time I’m supposed to wash him off the sheets.  It’s scary to think that the time will come when I have to do that.  When I have to celebrate the 4th alone. And then New Year’s.  Birthdays, anniversaries. When I will have to relearn how to live life alone.  Well, separated.

I know that you’re in love with him ’cause I saw you dancing in the gym.

Old

20 May

I haven’t been to a concert in a year.  This is officially the longest I’ve gone since being about 15 years old since seeing a live band in concert.  Going to shows was the substance of my social life, period, through highschool, college, and beyond.  After moving to Charleston I began working a 9-5 and HD was on a school schedule so the concert-going began to wane.  Now it’s like we’re completely different people.

The last show I saw was Bon Iver.  He performed his “For Emma, Forever Ago” album.  The HD had fallen in love with the album, but I hadn’t given it my full attention until we were seeing him live.  The album doesn’t incorporate drums into the songs, but on stage he used as many as three drums while performing “Skinny Love”.  It was one of the most emotional shows I’ve ever attended, not to mention I was about six weeks pregnant.

The opening band was Elvis Perkins in Dear Land, who I’d never even heard of until that point.  He was masterful, making new fans out of us.

Since then we’ve moved, HD began his new job, and then Young G was born.  I’ve finally found a babysitter, but can’t get G to take a bottle  yet.

This year just disappeared so quickly.  It sounds like such a long time to say I haven’t been to a show in a year, but it doesn’t feel like I’ve waited that long.  Years are getting shorter.  Then I look at my son and imagine us a year from today.

He’ll be about sixteen months old, and HD will be deploying. And he’ll be gone for one year.

Then I’ll update a blog to say I haven’t seen a show in three years, I’ll have a two-and-a-half year old, and be a combat-veteran spouse.  More gray hairs, more sag in my ass.  Less willingness to stand for three hours to see a band.

Time to seek out the local scene!

Food, Words, and Love

25 Mar

Sometimes I think that simply by moving my blog to another site it will magically inspire me to write more.

I haven’t written regularly in a blog or journal since being married — three and a half years — and it is making me ache.  I am missing my own life, or forgetting it.

After my husband finished dental school and my personal income was reduced to a pittance, I fell away from budget-making.  I felt like I was only capable of keeping tabs on a pauper’s penny and not the Young Professional’s income.  My husband’s earnings were more than I had ever lived on in my life, and so my spending habits were not threatening our way of life by any means.   I had no trouble keeping our spending within limits.

Over time, though, our food budget began to skyrocket.  I was thrilled to stop squinting at the price-per-unit on every item, making sure I chose the absolute best can of tuna for my dollar.  I was thrilled to be able to make a menu, then a shopping list, and then choose fabulous ingredients from Whole Foods and other markets. All the while never studying prices.  This was such a luxury after years of living off the food-bank donations and sneaking into the cafeteria at college.  Though we weren’t eating saffron and caviar, there were many fine cheeses in my fridge.

Now we are a family of three.  Our infant son doesn’t take up much space or money, just a lot of time.  Cooking and shopping aren’t my number one priority every day, he is.  His food is all natural and straight from my body, which in turn makes my personal nutrition all the more important since it supports two lives.

Other bills have increased, too.  We pour money into savings right now, praying for a home to own and early retirement.  We live in Hawaii right now, too, where the cost of living is what you might expect for a mere 35-square-mile piece of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 2,000 miles from the nearest land-mass. Everything is over-priced here, exorbitantly, and we pay dearly for many things I purchased without thought in Charleston markets.

My goal is to reduce our grocery bill by half.  I am imposing this limit to challenge myself.  I also hope to find better products: organic, locally grown, un-processed, free-range, and natural ingredients for preparing meals from scratch.

I am not capable of making a complete overhaul of my habits to effectively accomplish this by next week, so I’m just going to make changes one at a time. As they come to me.  I expect to use my freezer a lot.

All I really want to do, though, is create: food, words, and love.