Sunday, February 3, 2013

Surreal, mundane, and remembered

Iced Coffee Tumbler RePurposed for Pog & Vodka

So, I was down on the lawn with Coco, and I was readying my camera to take some video, and this butterfly flew into frame, and - well, you just gotta see this:


It has been a running gag since we got here that Coco has been wrong about everything she remembers about costs and benefits.
  • Hawaiian Airlines does not allow free check-in for one bag. 
  • The Tiki Terrace breakfast buffet is not ten bucks, it's $19.95, and we don't get a voucher.
  • The Ohana Breakfast does not include shrimp cocktail, lobster, and made-to-order omelettes, just the usual steam table line.
  • There's no wi-fi in the room.
  • There's no microwave in the room.
  • We don't get cookies on our bed when housekeeping does the room.
  • Returning guests don't get room upgrades, just coupons for eight-ounce bottles of water.
  • Telling the world you are honeymooners does not get you free upgrades to first class or a beachside room or a waiver of the daily parking charge, just a lei or a bottle of California champers.
I think some of these are just Coco's misremembering, and some are the result of a tightening economy and shrinking profit margins. In any case, good to know.


Besides the ghosts of remembered bargains, Coco and I have both felt some company on the trip this time.

Ed Putnam is here, of course. The Putnam family had a long history of visiting Maui, and the last family trip came in 2008, shortly before Ed passed. In 2009, Coco and her mother came here on a trip to spread some of Ed's ashes in the water at Black Rock, not a half mile from where we're staying. Ed's presence, never far from Coco's consciousness in the first place, is making itself known in different small ways as we move through the landscape and the visit; I think it is a welcome gift for her.

And Gene Feeley is here. We lost my brother-in-law more recently, just last October. I am not sure he ever visited this part of this island, although I know that he and my sister Linda had been to Hawai'i. Perhaps because I was bequested some of his aloha shirts by my sister and brought a couple along (I wore one to prom last night), every time I see a man of a certain age, a bit rough around the edges but obviously successful, I think of Gene. You see these men frequently in Hawai'i, as they have the wherewithal to make the trip and the time to enjoy themselves after long years of hard work. They usually display a certain kind of savvy and smarts, perhaps with indications of physical work in their past, before or as they (with help of a capable spouse) built companies or corporations or chains and moved from their working class backgrounds  to become men of means. These men were part of the engine of the American dream, such as it was, and I am not sure we will see their like again. Gene was one of them, and he is missed.

Whale watching today was awesome, and not in the Excellent! or Groovy! sort of way, but more in the whole evoking an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime kinda way. I am sure Coco took a few pictures and will let y'all know about it.

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