Although I wasn't one of the people she tagged, Lisa inspired me to write this post about a few of my own punahele (favorites) -- in no particular order:
#5: I know I should come up with five totally original things, and I promise I'm not copying you Lisa, but reading has been a favorite thing of mine my whole life. As the daughter of a librarian, how could it be otherwise? I read all the time ... I can't help myself ... the back of the cereal box (or Triscuits, which I'm partaking of now) will do, but I start first thing in the morning with Scripture, move on to the newspaper, the internet, blogs, and of course, my beloved library books, and it just goes on pretty much throughout the day, till it's the last thing I do before I turn out the light. I keep a log of the books I've read; so far in 2008 I'm up to 54 (#55 is Jimmy Buffett's latest, a cute little story about a pig named Rumpy).
#4: Although it isn't something I do much of anymore, I just love to travel. There's just something about going new places and experiencing other cultures -- and when you're from an island in the middle of the Pacific, just about anywhere else is a different culture -- that gives me such a lift. I'm looking forward to doing more of it when I'm an empty nester (less than 2 years to go -- whoo hoo!) -- but unfortunately this puts me at odds with The Coach, who really, reeeeally doesn't like traveling. Oh well, who knows, I may just strike out on my own.
#3: Once upon a time, I dreamed of going to culinary school and becoming a chef. Alas, it wasn't meant to be, and while I still do love to mess around in the kitchen, I'm guessing that part of what was motivating me back then was my love of fine dining. I could eat in a four-star restaurant every week. Alan Wong's, Cafe Diva, Hoku's -- once in awhile for a special occasion is never enough. I'm into it all: the menu choices, the presentation, the service, the ambience. I feel like, if I really wanted to challenge myself, sure, I could do gourmet cuisine, but man oh man, when I'm sitting there at that starched white tablecloth and there's someone in the kitchen who really knows what they're doing, it's just ... heaven.
#2: You know how there's a song, or a genre of music, that just, well, sends you? Whether it's classical, or country, or gospel, or jazz, you never fail to be moved? For me, it's Hawaiian music. Of course that's mostly because it's what I've grown up with, it's the soundtrack of my earliest memories, it's just my soul music. A year ago I started dancing hula again after taking a break from it for about a decade and a half, and every Wednesday night for me is like spiritual refreshment, when Kimo takes up his ukulele and sings the old favorites and we all just fall under that hula spell. Which sort of leads me to ...
#1: Home. When I was 18 years old and graduating from high school, I could not wait to get off this rock. I left for the Mainland, and I gave it a good try, sticking it out through college and graduate school and one year in LA endeavoring to launch a career. But one day it hit me, and I knew there was no doubt about it: the islands were calling me back. So I packed up and came home. That was 27 years ago, and it's one decision I've never second guessed. I met TC (whose family has been here since 1828!), and we knew this is where we were meant to be. And as I said, I do love to travel, but there will never be another place I'd want to live. People who are not from Hawai`i often tell me they envy me living in paradise, but I can see in their eyes or hear in their tone of voice that they could never imagine themselves setting down roots somewhere so isolated, no matter how beautiful. That's cool. Chacun a son gout. I'm blessed everyday by the beauty of this `aina, it's true, but mostly I love it because it's home.