Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Floating on a Raft....

Here come those memories again. I was looking at some of Quilly's beach photo's last night and my mind floated back to a time when we lived in Hawaii.

Quilly's photo brought to my mind a memory of being at Bellows Beach with my parents. I had to have been between 3 and 4 years old. My dad had me in water that was waist high for him. I was sitting on a body raft and giggling in the moment. I can remember my dad smiling and saying, "Angel, can you find Mommy? She is an awful good swimmer and just might sneak up on you." At that point I leaned over for a look in the water and saw my beautiful mom swim under me. It sticks in my mind that she had on a yellow swim suit with red colors on it, maybe flowers, and she swam with her sunglasses on. I remember that the water was so very clear, so clear that it had no color. The ripple of the waves mixing with the sunlight made intricate patterns of shadow on the sandy floor. The water always tasted yucky but it was always so warm and inviting.

I was just a little girl when my dad was stationed at the Air Force base. I think I was maybe a year old and we lived there until I finished 1st grade (early memories are so fuzzy). Being so young, my memories are snippets of pictures and feelings. All of these snippets include the joys of family. My mom had done much of her own growing up in Hawaii and had many relatives there.

I remember being at Nana and Grandpa's house a lot. In my mind, their house was huge with big open rooms. There was a front concrete patio with a brick wall. Along the driveway there was a rock retaining wall that led to the road. I can remember someone holding my balance as I stood on that wall to watch the 4th of July fireworks. The smells were so strong and the loud noises muffled because my dad put his flight line headset over my ears.

I remember going for walks with Nana around the neighborhood and telling the barking dogs "no-no".
Here is a funny one.....I remember faking coughs so that I could sip Nana's homemade cough syrup that was always on the refrigerator door. It was a mild concoction of honey, lemon, and rum.

I remember our own 2 story home. My cousin would come over to visit on a regular basis and we would play our imaginative games. Always our role playing was about pretending to be grownups and it was always a race to be the first to proclaim that there was coffee in our pretend cups.
I remember a neighbor boy named Calvin and how we were always teased that we would grow up to be married to each other because we played so well together.

I remember my dad taking me to school one day. For some reason that I don't remember, school had already started and it was to be my first day in class. When we showed up, the class was getting ready for a field trip to the zoo and I was given the option of attending with them or going back home. I can remember thinking, "of course I am going back home. I am not going to spend the day at the zoo with people I don't know."

I remember in school that I had a friend named Susan. Once we did a presentation as a whole class in Polynesian dance. We spent weeks making grass skirts by rolling newspaper around pieces of straw and gluing them into place. On the day of performance, we had to go to school in our swim suits, preferably bikini style. With leis around our necks and flowers in our hair, we did dance arrangements with balls on string. I don't remember the name of them but it was a skilled art form and we had to do it a certain way. Each of us had two of these balls on string. We spun them in circles and made them bounce in pattern back and forth as we alternated hands. I remember a man there dressed in royal finery to resemble King Kamehameha. My mom still laughs at the scene as she remembers that I was the only fair skinned redhead on the group and I stuck out like a sore thumb.

Another big memory for me in Hawaii is going to the zoo. Though I didn't go on that day with my new classmates, it was always an experience I looked forward to. What sticks out in my most is a bridge that went over the giraffe habitat. I remember that I would run ahead up to that bridge, sit down on the side, and share my roasted peanuts with the giraffe. The bridge was just high enough that the giraffe had to stick its tongue out and up to enjoy my delights. I would always cringe and laugh at the same time as I felt the roughness of that tongue.

Now it is time for me to get back into the world of today. This has been fun though. Thank you for sitting and sharing a few minutes with me and my memories.


  1. Jules, what wonderful stories, you have such clear memories of it all. My memories of that age are much more fuzzy, my Dad left when I was 5, and I remember very little from before that! What fun to share peanuts with a giraffe, and a fantastic memory to have - bet you can't do that nowadays!

  2. Fun memories. Simpler times it seems.

  3. theseare beautiful and precious memories... thank you for sharing.

  4. Poi Ball Dance. That is what those balls on strings are called. :)

    I enjoyed walking down this memory lane with you, thanks for sharing.

  5. Isn't it FuN reminiscing sweet childhood days...I enjoyed reading your recollection, I can even sense the state of contentment your mind was at while reliving these precious moments...very nice.

    have a good day ~

  6. Mima...I am glad you enjoyed. Those are actually about all the erly memories I have, unless something else gets triggered along the way. Yeah, feeding the giraffe was always a highlight. I wish we could still do that now a days.

    Jeff.. you are so right. We have more technology to make things easier and all it seems to do is make things more hectic.

    Polona...I am so glad you enjoyed. I enjoyed sharing them.

    Trek...I think you are right. Gosh that spurs on other memories too. Makes me think of yummy bowls of poi pudding for snacks and then the little boxes of rice candy that my mom used to buy me for a treat. I still buy those for my girls today and they squeal with delight each time.

    Joni...big smiles here. That is such an encouragement that you could feel the memories.

  7. Sharing your memories is like to be with you back in times in a faraway beautiful Island, it's like reading a fairy book. Thank you so much for sharing these delightfull moments.

  8. oh my don't your girls look like you :o) I agree with Mima, how do you remember these things?


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