New Website Look

Eventually, this entire blog will be transferred to my updated look at jackiepiascarlin.com. You can view it now, but there are some pages that are presently being worked on.

I’ve drafted blog entries during the past year but hesitated to post them. Yes…sometimes the writing ogre appears and self-confidence just slips away. You know how that feels. In the coming months, I’ll be more diligent….

New to blogging? Be a guest on my website’s blog page.

Any questions or comments can be left at the website.

 

My Plantation Mentality

Black snow fell in the early 20th century too, and when it happened we closed our windows tight and waited for it to end. When it was over, the ash that mixed with the dirt became fine dust that settled on our window sills and furniture causing such chaos to my breathing that I became allergic to housework. When I left Pa`ia, I left the ash, dust and noise of harvesting, and the smell….it was like breathing rotten eggs every time we passed the Pa`ia Mill. It was a joke that living in Upper Pa`ia was better than living in Lower Pa`ia because of that sulfuric odor.

The same olfactory experience happened as we drove along Hansen Road. The road snaked beside an irrigation ditch which carried that same putrid water from a Pu`unene holding pond that smelled like bad farts.

But we didn’t complain (out loud) because it was these discomforts that came with our shared plantation life. Our plantation mentality—we never complained, and we let things go. We were raised to be kind, respectful, quiet-spoken, and obedient.

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Our parents belonged to the plantation, but some saw that there were opportunities elsewhere and left. However, not once did I hear that they left because of the black snow.

On a higher level, the plantation gave us a unique history and diverse culture. Let’s not forget what’s been created and shared….

Our ancestors created a system of communication when they first arrived to work in the cane fields. They learned each other’s words and mixed them into a useful language, Pidgin. In my generation, we couldn’t speak our parents’ native languages outside the home. We spoke Standard English every time we left our camps and went into the classrooms. But on the playground, our Pidgin tongues were in control. It still works today. Try try.

We were there as prejudice diminished between ethnicities. During our grandparents’ days, multi-cultural relationships were frowned upon. They didn’t dare to cross the road between each other’s ethnic camps, but gradually they did. In our days, more mixed marriages happened. With these mixes came the many beautiful skin hues of Hawai`i today…the rainbow children.

Our foods are worldly. Hawai`i Regional Cuisine originated from our parents who sat in the cane fields sharing lunches from their kaukau tins, or congregated at the pineapple cannery’s wooden lunch tables eating from bowls covered with wax paper and held together with rubber bands in brown paper sacks. Our parents swapped recipes and made them at home—bacalao, adobo, spaghetti, saimin, hekka, laulau, sweet bread….I can’t remember them all, but don’t forget the ‘poke,’ too. “Eh, wait. My muddah used to to make dis,” crosses my mind after I’ve eaten at a restaurant featuring our cuisine. I can’t get over the steamed belly pork on pupu menus these days. For a while, I thought only Filipinos bought that cheap cut for adobo. And after the plantation stocked the irrigation ponds with tilapia, we fished for free. Who knew?

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We are distinct from others when we say that our parents (or ourselves) worked in the sugarcane fields; the sugar mills, and in the pineapple canneries/fields. We also survived after our homes and our neighborhoods were demolished to make room for more sugar production, then highways, then shopping centers.

The waving cane fields will disappear, but this era won’t be forgotten. Our era created Pidgin—now an official language, beautiful multi-ethnic families, and our famous cuisine.

Remind our children and our neighbors where we come from, and what it was like to live then, whether good or bad. We inherited a unique history. We are the sugarcane era. Be proud.

The $1,000 Rock

We decided to nix Zion and Bryce National Parks after visiting our kids in Las Vegas, Nevada in early February.

“It’s 10 degrees outside,” I said as we checked out from The Clown Motel in Tonopah. Under a brilliant blue sky, the iced covered ground glared back at me. The clown at the entrance of the motel is a beacon for travelers. One never knows what to expect from a clown, but our room was clean and comfortable. David had stayed here during one of his motorcycle jaunts. (He didn’t tell me it had a reputation for being haunted.)

“It’ll be warmer in the car,” David replied. Our car is an older luxury car equipped with a decent sound system and custom weather control. Heat in our cushy leather seats, and personal climate knobs both on the driver’s side and passenger’s. Green digital numbers illuminate the speed limit on the windshield beyond the steering wheel. It also tells the driver when he or she is about to reverse into something. It is fancy.

We continued on Route 95 towards our new home just before Reno. Although not warmer by degrees, the drive was gorgeous, giving me a view of America that I hadn’t experienced before. David remarked that he had never seen it as pure. The entire desert had been snowed upon, leaving not a rock uncovered.

A couple hours into the drive, we passed beautiful snow frosted mountains over a flat area of land. David pointed out some low bunkers in the middle of this vast nowhere.

“What do you think those are?” he asked, my attention zoomed to rows of low shapes in the snow.

“I dunno,” I answered. “What are they?”

“Those are ammunition storage bunkers. This is the largest ammunition storage depot in the country.”

“OHHH-KAYYY,” I mumbled with trepidation.

As if he had read my mind he said, “The last explosion was in the 50s. They’re all separately stored, so it won’t cause a chain reaction if something like that happens again.”

As if that would change my uneasy feelings about being there at that very moment.

As uncomfortable as I felt, I kept my sanity and sat perfectly still as we drove through Hawthorne, the town nearby. I kept my obnoxious thoughts to myself. The town had a population of 3269 in 2010. According to the Internet, the population had grown 4.4% in 2014.

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Houses throughout the neighborhood surrounded its Army presence—barracks, office buildings, machine shops, etc. Further on, the town itself had many empty store fronts. We stopped for gas and a restroom visit. I relaxed a bit more as we drove out towards Walker Lake. I kept thinking of the chicken pot pies we planned to pick up at a bakery in Yerington, not far from there but still a bit from our home in Carson City.

Up ahead, the lake’s surface made neither a flutter or a ripple. Tall, red, rocky cliffs lured over the highway as we drove pass the little residential area on the lake front. I imagined at one time, this area could have been another ‘Lake Tahoe.’ “But not today, Cleo,” as David would have said.

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On the two lane highway, we both noticed what looked like a dirty piece of ice on the road in front of us. It didn’t seem very big. David drove over it rather than swerve to avoid it. Then we heard the “ice” bounce a couple of times and hit the bottom—of our car. Within seconds, David steered off the road to a lookout overlooking the placid lake.

“That’s it. We’re not going any further,” he prophesied.

He shifted the car in “park,” and got out. He knelt down to peer under the car, then stood up without an expression. He sat back into the driver’s seat and explained our situation.

“We’ve got a pool of oil coming out of the pan.”

“What do you mean?” I asked dumbfounded.

“That ice that I drove over? Evidently it wasn’t,” he said, in deep thought. I translated his momentary silence as pretty serious.

We both sat there for a while, thinking of what to do next. We were about 150 miles from home, and the nearest town was behind us. But thank goodness for cellphone reception. He searched the Internet for a towing service to get our car back to Hawthorne. When he found one, the dispatcher said it would be around 45 minutes before anyone came to rescue us.

Luckily, it was high noon, the sun was out, and the weather was calm. A police officer drove by, stopped and picked up another small rock that was down the highway beyond us. I wondered if he had picked up that rock we had just met. David, the social moth that he is, walked over to talk to the officer. When he returned, he told me that the wild goats on the cliffs above tend to loosen the rocks as they graze. Thus the sign that warned, “Falling Rocks.” Funny how I hardly gave those signs any serious thought, until now.

An hour and a half later, assistance arrived and towed us back to town. The tow service also had a repair shop, but couldn’t help us because his mechanic was out sick. He recommended another repair place that might could fix our car that day. He drove us there, David paid him, and he left.

All kinds of cars obviously needing repair, were strewn all over the outside area; every vehicle covered with slushy ice.

We walked into a disheveled office. I immediately noticed fast food cartons overfilling the trash can and baby furniture dominating a corner. David tapped the ringer, and in walked an unhappy person coming from the repair area. David explained our situation and the unhappy person brought him to the back where he spoke to someone else, evidently the expert mechanic. I wasn’t happy myself by this time.

The mechanic explained the situation, that he couldn’t repair the car until the part came in to replace the damaged one, which would probably be the next day at the soonest, and oh yes, the part is gonna cost a bit over $400 plus labor estimating at around $800.

David and he squabbled over the cost of the part. The mechanic could most likely find a part for $70 over the Web, but it would take days to get to Hawthorne. There was one bus that could get us back to Carson City, but then David would have to return to get the car. There were no car rentals in the town either. The owner of the repair shop offered to pick up the part (ordered from Reno) in a nearby town the next day since his wife had a doctor’s appointment there. This way, he guaranteed it would be at the repair shop the following day.

With all this weighed, David agreed to the owner’s suggestions. The unhappy person then volunteered to drive us over to a motel, a half block from where we were. I could even see the pleasing signage of the motel from where we stood. The Sand and Sage. It was even poetic.

We walked into its narrow reception area where the desk person with no teeth begrudgingly took David’s credit card and gave us a room key.

“I’ve stayed here once before, in room #112,” David volunteered.

“Well, I can give you room #115 today,” the toothless person answered. In the meantime, he couldn’t process David’s American Express Card because their one phone line was in use.

“I’m sorry, I’ll sign you in as soon as the phone line is free, OK?” the person said.

I looked out the window just then and saw a young man with a lit cigarette between his fingers beckoning his two large dogs into one of the corner rooms.

I turned to the desk person and asked, “Is our room nonsmoking?”

“I usually open the door and window after check-out time in the morning to air out the room,” he answered, pleased with himself.

“What about pets? Do you allow pets in every room?” (I didn’t want fleas in my bed.) He leaned over to me and whispered, “Why? Do you have pets with you?” I believe he would’ve waived the $10/per pet fee for me.

“No. I just don’t want a room that had animals in it before,” I said and turned away.

We walked out of the office to locate our room #115, which was no where close by. We walked around the corner, upstairs on the spongy second floor balcony, and around to the back. I was about to lose my composure as I wound my way back to the office, having already lost sight of David. Suddenly, he called out to me, and he pointed to our room, located in back.

I entered the dim, dingy room and immediately noticed the broken night stand, the drawer’s face practically falling off its hinge. I lost my cool.

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“I am not staying here, David. Look at this place. This is a dump!” I didn’t even sit on the bed, I was afraid of the unseen filth.

“Well, you do something then!” he barked back. By then, I felt sure he was going to leave me there—forever.

He went to the heater and turned a knob and then another.

“I’m going to the office.”

David returned shortly with the desk clerk. He fiddled with the knobs, too. The heater made a noise.

“There, it’s working,” the clerk said.

“I’m not staying here without a decent heater. It’s 10 degrees outside, and I’m not paying for a cold room,” David complained.

The desk person mumbled something under his breath, and David demanded, “Don’t charge my card, do you understand? We’ll go across the street and get another room.”

We picked up our backpacks and walked across the street.

“Do you think they’ll charge your card,” I asked.
“They can’t,” David replied. “I didn’t sign it.”

The motel across the street was freshly covered with adobe red paint. A typed sign tacked on the front door said, “Closed due to tornado damages in the office.” A tornado in the office?

We stood in the snow in the advancing afternoon, looked around, and saw an America’s Best Inn sign further down the icy street.

“Let’s go there,” David suggested. “We’ve stayed in those before, right?”

I nodded. We had stayed in those chains in Lake Havasu, Arizona and in St. George, Utah. They were decent, not  fancy, but decent. Anyway, what other options did we have?

We checked in at the America’s Best Inn. It cost more than the room we had in the Linq hotel in Las Vegas where we were just a couple days ago. It was modern and very comfortable. This room, however, was adequate, clean, and very non-smoky with no pets allowed.

Sighing with relief, I flopped on the bed and put my feet up while David explored the room.

“Jackie, look at this,” he said as he pointed to the black and white photo on the wall. I got up to look and realized it was the very place where our luck had turned, the very spot where we hit the rock.

Images of zombies appeared in my head. I immediately returned to the present when David commented, “You know, by the time this is all over, we’ve had spent a thousand dollars. Consider the rooms, food, tow, repairs and fuel. That’s how much we’re spending on this trip.”

“Shoots, we should have gone to Zion like we planned,” I answered. But because of the weather we decided to cut our road trip short.

“Let’s go get something to eat. I don’t want to be walking after dark with ice on the ground,” he said.

“Yeh, OK,” I said, zombies after dark returned to my mind.

We walked down the isolated street to a small Chinese Restaurant where David had eaten before. He remembered the proprietor of the restaurant being very nice to him. Only one other couple was eating as we walked in. A petite Chinese woman greeted me with a folded take-out paper menu.

“Hello, how are you?” she asked. The gap in her front teeth was prominent.

“I’m fine, thank you,” I said.

“You order. Then I bring to you,” she said. I looked through the menu and ordered a bowl of wor won ton soup with vegetables, and a plate of kung pau chicken. I was about to stash the menu in my purse for later reference when she said apologetically, “I’ll take the menu, please. We use it again.”

“Oh, OK,” I smiled. Chinese are very frugal.

David was outside on a phone call when the food arrived.

“Do you want me to bring the food later? I’ll keep it warm,” she gestured to David.

“Oh no, that’s OK. He can eat when he comes in,” I said. I took a sip of the soup, and then tasted the chicken. I waved to David to come in.

We loved the comfort food that this woman had prepared. I felt all-of-a-sudden relieved of all setbacks and zombies.

She came and poured more water and asked where we were from. I learned that 20 years ago she had moved from Reno and set up her restaurant here. I asked if she ever wanted to go back to a big city, and she said no, she was very happy where she was. I commented her on her cooking, and she was pleased.

We ordered sweet sour pork to take back to the motel room. She bid us goodnight as we left, she bowed and smiled widely and thanked us for coming in. We thanked her too.

The next day, we went back to her restaurant for brunch. I mentioned that we might be back if our car wasn’t repaired. She laughed. She’d be glad to have us, but she hoped our car was fixed.

When we arrived at the repair shop, there was no one in sight. Our car wasn’t in sight either. The door to the shop was locked, and when we phoned in, no one picked up. David was very positive about the entire situation, though. He said that our car was probably on the lift, and that the owner hadn’t returned from his wife’s doctor’s appointment yet. He figured it would be about 2:30 p.m. before the car could be worked on.

We walked around town a bit more. I think the whole downtown was made up of four or five blocks. I was getting frazzled. Then I had a great urge to write. This one time, I didn’t bring a journal with me. We searched for a place where I could buy one, and came across a hardware store that sold spiral notebooks. Who knew? I picked out a yellow one to keep my spirits alive, and I felt very relieved.

By the time we returned to the repair shop, the owner was there working on the car. In about 45 minutes, the repairs were done, and I had filled five pages in my clean yellow notebook.

The owner was very apologetic about the delay, and wished us an uneventful drive home. Funny how a bit of courtesy can change a grouchy individual’s attitude. (Mine.) I felt I could trust him if we ever have a mishap near there again.

At the crossroads to Reno and Carson City, we realized that we had missed the turn to Yerington where the chicken pot pies were. Oh well, we’ll get them next time.

Hike Haleakalā

Recommended age to hike Haleakalā Crater: 14-90 years old.

Jackie Pias Carlin

Last year, at 65, I wanted to see if I could still meet the challenge of a day’s hike in Haleakalā Crater.

My first Haleakalā Crater hike, as an unexperienced hiker at 22, carrying only a loaf of bread that seemed to weigh 10 lbs. in my backpack, was in 1971. My boyfriend (we married four years later) carried most of our food. We walked to Paliku Cabin in one day with a couple who had just recently moved from New York City. New Yorkers are used to walking—fast. I doubt if they heard the silence of the crater. I didn’t. I was miserable. But as the years progressed, I have hiked into the crater many times, learning to trust the quiet, and loving the experience. Once we even hiked down Kaupo Gap, or to describe it correctly, we slid down the Gap on our rear ends, laughing most of the…

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Hike Haleakalā

Last year, at 65, I wanted to see if I could still meet the challenge of a day’s hike in Haleakalā Crater.

My first Haleakalā Crater hike, as an unexperienced hiker at 22, carrying only a loaf of bread that seemed to weigh 10 lbs. in my backpack, was in 1971. My boyfriend (we married four years later) carried most of our food. We walked to Paliku Cabin in one day with a couple who had just recently moved from New York City. New Yorkers are used to walking—fast. I doubt if they heard the silence of the crater. I didn’t. I was miserable. But as the years progressed, I have hiked into the crater many times, learning to trust the quiet, and loving the experience. Once we even hiked down Kaupo Gap, or to describe it correctly, we slid down the Gap on our rear ends, laughing most of the way—or else I would’ve been crying. So different from my first experience.

This time, a group of us from the University of Hawai`i Maui College hiked down Sliding Sands and up Switchback for the day. I wore my old waist-pack with room enough for an orange, a few pieces of venison jerky, two Snickers bars, trail mix, plastic poncho, and two 2-liter bottles of water. Our assigned hiking leader suggested that I use walking poles. I ignored the advice. He also set a goal to hike the 11 miles in and out of the crater in six and a half hours. I felt it was ambitious. We would start at the top of Sliding Sands Trail. 9740 ft. high above sea level, and end up back at the park headquarter’s parking lot at around the 6,000 ft level by 3:30 p.m.

We met at the parking lot around 9:00 a.m., and left one car that would be there at the end of the hike. We piled into the other vehicle that drove up to the summit about 5 miles higher. Soon we commenced on our day trek into the seemingly empty dust bowl of Haleakalā Crater. Grateful that it is a National Park, the terrain remains the same—like a desert (I’ve driven through desert), like the moon (I’ve never been to the moon), like a powerful explosion of gas that really happened…a long time ago. The trail wound down the side of the crater’s lip, around near and distant pu`u, and disappeared into the distant red dirt. The sun felt good, though, and a hint of fresh, cool breeze feathered my face.

IMG_1095It was so still, I could hear the clouds floating overhead, a whisper murmuring nothing. An early June morning, the sky was a perfect cerulean blue.From the rim looking down, nothing seems to change in the crater. It looked like this 43 years ago when I made my first hike. Why bother hiking it time and time again? Is it the nervous anticipation and adrenalin high that I get when we start planning? Is it the secret triumph of actually finishing the hike without mishap? Because it can be dangerous. I can never answer that question until I’ve completed it, and every time the answer is about something else.

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Sliding Sands Trail was dustier than I remembered. Each footstep created a cloud of fine red dust settling on our shoes. Rather than walk directly behind my companions, I decided to wait a few feet behind them so I wouldn’t breathe their puffs of dust. My shoes (old leather Vasques) were the same ones I wore in the 80s when I practically slid down the trail on my bottom end down Kaupo Gap. Luckily, my girlfriend made me laugh the entire time as we poorly acted like mountain goats down that trail. Now, these familiar, waterproof, heavy, and prehistoric boots were not like they used to be. We walked at a very brisk rate. Our leader said we could complete our hike in six and a half hours.

We passed a family on Sliding Sands, returning uphill, who had started earlier in the day, with just a bottle of water in hand. The two young children kept up with their  parents—not happy, but not whimpering either, taking it slow.

As we took a right turn on this downhill trail, my knees started acting funny. One sort of locked into place, it felt.  I kicked that leg out repeatedly so the joint could settle back to where it belonged. I guess it worked because it stopped hurting when I reached level ground. I heard the advice of our assigned hiking leader, “Use poles to ease the weight of your body against your knees as you’re descending.” Right. Too late.

The weather changed with the scenery. We were down on flat ground by then, and at our first stop I peeled off the first layer of my garb, a blue long sleeve light cotton shirt, almost to shreds from repeated washings. I wrapped it around my waist, under my pack. Under that I wore a white long sleeve t-shirt, and a tank top under that one. I had on yoga tights under a pair of jeans, too, and used  my old garden hat with a wide rim to protect my face from the sun’s rays. The sun floated higher in the sky, and I looked around for wild goats meandering on the cliffs, but saw none. Along the trail, though, were yellow buttercup-like flowers, native grasses, white flowers, and hoards of silver orbs—budded Hinahina (silverswords).silverswordfield silversword_sm

I had not seen these many beautifully strange silverswords in my previous hikes. During my first hike in 1971, I saw one dried up silver plant, its blade-like leaves drying on the cinders around it. One year in the 80s, baby silverswords grew haphazardly on the side of a black lava pu`u draped in grey mist, as if a giant had scattered these babies with a flick of his/her hand.  But this year, bubbly, hairy balls of young Hinahina heavily sprinkled the red to black cinder terrain. We passed them in different stages of growth. Squat, silver-white cones peeked out from their bladed bush tops. Matured plants with flowers-miniature red sunflower-shaped blossoms burst out of tall, thick, hairy shoots protruding from its centers. Since it’s against the law to touch them, we admired each plant from arm’s distance.

If anything, this is one good reason to hike the crater. The silverswords are rare, and only exist in Haleakalā, Mauna Kea on The Big Island of Hawai`i, and in the Himalayas.

I was glad when we stopped for a photo-op break. I was in need of some trail mix and a Snickers Bar, anyway. It started to drizzle a little, and I quickly put my poncho on. As soon as we started up again, the drizzle fizzled out. I hastily folded the poncho and stuffed it back into my pack. The rest stop had also relieved my knees, but now my toes were feeling like they could burst out of those leather boots.

We walked across the crater floor, passing Hana Mountain to our right, then to a pu`u that I had completely forgotten about from past hikes. By then the cloud cover had dissipated, the sun was high in the sky, and as I lifted my head to measure my distance to my companions ahead of me, the hike straight up to the top seemed—endless. Was there another trail that bypassed this one? I don’t think so. I was beginning to think that age had something to do with this minor lapse of memory.

The redness, the density of this part of the crater consumed me. I still had to hike up that side of the pu`u, one foot after the other, until I reached the top. It was by then that my ego questioned my ability to make logical decisions these days. What was I doing in the crater at my age? I drank more water and ate the other Snickers Bar.©

At least my boots weren’t putting any pressure on my once-pampered toes. But I thought now was a good time for those recommended hiking poles.

When I arrived at the top, the group discussed whether to take a side 1.5 mile trip to Pele’s Paint Pot, or go directly to Holua Cabin-our lunch break destination. As an artist, Pele’s Paint Pot was something I shouldn’t miss. But I was tired, and I needed some alone time to re-examine my bruised spirit. They decided on Pele’s Paint Pot, and I, at my own meandering pace, walked to Holua Cabin alone. It was a chance to let my inner thoughts fly, contemplate on this day’s experience, and wonder about my life decisions.

As the group walked in the opposite direction towards bright colors and sun, I walked right into rockier, blacker and gruesome beauty. I wondered, for a moment, if I had made the right decision to be alone. I had entered a different zone.

A solid mist descended, shrouding the trail in front of me. The climate had changed from hot to cool. The mountain cliffs were jagged and unfriendly. Everything around me turned grossly distorted, silvery and ghostly. Huge protrusions of boulders liked hunched trolls appeared and disappeared as the mist moved. John Milton’s Paradise Lost came to mind. The place was getting pretty eerie.IMG_1099

I was a bit out of my element, but I reminded myself that my friends were minutes behind me, the cabin was a mile or so ahead, and if I just followed the trail, I’d be fine. I was in the crater. (No wild boar attacks, no extraterrestrial encounters.) I compared the distance from my house to my favorite restaurant in Kihei, on a drizzly afternoon. No big deal.

My surroundings fit my moment’s regeneration. I felt that I was being reborn, coming out of flames, walking through limbo, and ascending into a new chapter. The trail became a metaphor for the way my month was going; slow-growth, rugged with unexpected turns. It was going to be fine, like always-albeit with some rocks along the way.

I walked along the narrow rocky path as the fog lifted, and between rocks and dried grass, bright yellow flowers appeared. My boot tips hit protruding rocks in the trail causing pain, but the pleasing solitude and pretty flowers encouraged me. The fog passed, and ahead, was Holua Cabin, waiting in a green flat meadow. When I reached it, I turned around and saw that the rest of the group were just minutes from the cabin, too. They were hiking at a good pace while I took my sweet time.

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We shared our lunches, being careful not to drop anything on the grass as the nēnē hung around waiting for something to fall. After lunch and bits of talk-story, we started our trek upwards.

We crossed the wooden fence, surrounded by `ama`u ferns, that separates the park from private lands, and stepped upon the stone slabs of the very narrow switchback Halemau`u Trail. From past experiences, “Switchback” has threatened my tenacity and courage. There isn’t another accessible way home from here, except up.

This time, I wasn’t going to count the turns on the trail because every turn seemed like it was the end of the trail, and it wasn’t. It has made my brain go batty. It has destroyed my spirits before. Up, up, and turn. Up, up, and turn. About a dozen more of those. I said I wasn’t counting.

Every once in a while, we turned and looked back on the stone steps we had taken—all the way to the crater floor. Imagine being on the top floor of the highest skyscraper looking down.

About the 12th turn, the clouds vanished giving us a clear view down Ko`olau Gap to Wailua, along the east coast of Maui and Hana Highway. We were at 6,000 ft. above sea level watching the cobalt Pacific caress Maui’s cliffs with cords of white water.

Parked cars came into view just ahead as we reached the end of our journey. Just then, I tripped over a stone; tired but not delirious; embarrassed as a fellow hiker came to aid. Argh, my mother alway told me not to drag my feet when I walked.

At last, we reached the parking lot where we all rendezvoused that morning. Few of us sat down on the curb, took photos of each other, and waited for the driver to retrieve his car that he drove to the summit. It was exactly 3:20 p.m.

The silence and beauty of Haleakalā Crater is worth the temporary inconvenience of physical pain, especially time for walking alone and going within, and enjoying Nature in its naturalness. This time, I knew I was in a good space.

I discarded the leather Vasques when I got home, and promptly purchased new and lighter hiking boots from REI. I’ve already picked out my walking poles for another hike before I’m 70. I’m gonna walk slower next time.IMG_1094

Rightful Identity has new identity

I completed the rewrite of the novel, Rightful Identity, in early 2014. In March of 2014 a new title emerged after the death of a close relative. The new title became Aunty’s Place. 

The narrator of the story became Aunty Lani, and the hānai family inherited the main focus rather than one solo character.

Visit www.jcarlin.blog.com where a page to Aunty’s Place exists.

TOMOOC and attention spans

Our attention spans are not very long…maybe 20-40 minutes in front of a computer screen are all we can handle? We all are busy people, so sitting for two hours in front of a webinar can be daunting.
Also, web content should not be long and tedious. I learned in web design that paragraphs should be brief with lots of white spaces to rest the eyes.
Shouldn’t all this pertain to an online class as well?