Monday, April 19, 2010


Tomorrow, I get paper in the mail.

Blank, plain paper with nothing printed on it. Absolutely nothing.

And I am ecstatic!

Never in my life have I been so excited about paper!!

It took several weeks of exploring both this island and Maui in search of paper that would be practical for the printing of our wedding invitations. In a down economy, most places that would typically supply paper had liquidated their supplies. And once you liquidate a supply of anything on an island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, there's a good chance it isn't going to show up on shelves any time soon.

(Side note, that scared me into realizing that if anything catastrophic happened on the mainland, those of us in Hawaii would just be rationing things like food, medicine, and water until we ran out).

But! I found what I needed online. And dag gummit, UPS says it's going to get here on time and everything!

Which takes a weight off my shoulders and makes me feel so, so happy.

Ah, the simple things.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Crunch Time!

To all:

You may find that you get your paper invites a little late. I'm doing the best I can. Paper is in short supply on the island so I am patiently waiting for it to be shipped from Lord-knows-where, Mainland, USA.

But, once I get the ball rolling, they'll hopefully be sent with ample time for some RSVP action.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Java Effect

I once knew a girl who worked at Starbucks. She worked there for years. She said her favorite thing about it was working the drive-through window, and this is why: Once in a while, someone would come along who decided to spread some love. For no apparent reason, they would pay in advance for the coffees for the car behind them. The person who just got free coffee from a drive-through stranger would, being so pleasantly surprised, then pay for the coffees of the car behind them. According  to this Starbucks employee, this pattern would continue for an average of 2 hours, or until there was a gap in the car line.

I think that there is a vibe similar to that Starbucks drive-through going on on this island. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has been cheerful, helpful and has gone out of their way to spread the love.

Every single person we've encountered has been friendly, welcoming, and warm. Without exception. I wish I could pay them all tribute here, but my memory isn't so good with that sort of thing.

The people who run the ship yard jumped our moving van twice today for us because it had a bad battery. They didn't have to do that. They had jobs that required them to labor in the sun all day, sweating, operating heavy machinery, with major deadlines. They weren't even working in the same area we were, they just saw that something was awry with our car and came over, already prepared with jumping cables and a toolbox.

In contrast to this, on the day the Tsunami hit while I was on Maui by myself, my car battery died in the evacuation area. When I was able to return, my car wouldn't start. Several people had jumper cables--I could see them in their truck beds!--but it took begging and pleading to get someone to take 5 minutes to help me get my car started again.

Another person who was moving things out of their container came over to help us move couches because they were too heavy for me to lift. Then Isaac helped him get his heavy things into his truck bed.

People actually let you turn out onto the highway here if there's a long line of traffic to wait for. People say "please" and "thank you" and "aloha". People invite you to cut in front of them in line at the grocery store, even if you have more stuff than they do, just because your arms are full and you look overwhelmed.

In Borders, I was looking for a book about the Big Island. I was looking with fear and trepidation, because if I had been doing something on Maui that made me come off as a tourist, well...just being a "haole" on Maui is more or less a crime worthy of punishment. But here, other locals who didn't even work in the store came over to help me pick the book they thought would be the most helpful.

In turn, I feel more patient, more inspired to practice kindness where I may normally try to be an unseen passer-by. I wonder if it's that coffee drive-through window effect. Or maybe it's something in the air. Maybe all that sulfur gas from the volcano just re-wires our brains a little bit to make us friendlier.