Fact of Life #2

(Blog #3 about Kai's Rite of Passage, and Fact of Life #1)Yesterday afternoon Kai and I went to the pool to lounge. At least I wanted to lounge.  After a day of waking earlly, kayaking and hiking, I was ready to read my book on a beach towel and snooze. But she was bored.  "It's no fun to hang out in the pool with no other kids to hang with."Hah!  I thought.  I hope this makes you appreciate your siblings!  But I said nothing.  I slid down the 75 foot … [Read more...]

Fact of Life #1

(Day 1 of Kai-Kai's 13th birthday rite of passage)"Do you want to hear a fact of life?"  I asked Kai-Kai as we walked back to our hotel room after sitting in the hot tub tonight."OK, but I think I know most of them.""Well this one I don't think you got.  Did you know that when those 2 guys asked us 'Where are you from?' that they were interested in getting to know us and seeing where the relationship went?""What guys?""The 2 guys in the hot tub.""What 2 guys?""The young buff guys who … [Read more...]

Rites of Passage

Christening gownToday, Kai-Kai and I leave for Kauai to spend 4 days together for her 13th birthday celebration.  This is my Chinese-American-Christian version of the Jewish bar/bat-mitzvah.In graduate school, I learned about rites of passage and how important they are for helping individuals mark a change in identity.  These rites often involve funny clothes, family and food (think christenings, graduations, weddings, even funerals).  In the past I haven't considered some rites … [Read more...]

The Solution to Ruined Watermelons–Granita!

I LOVE WATERMELON!It's one of my favorite fruits, right up there with really ripe mangoes, lychees and longans.  Because it's the only non-tropical fruit in my top four, it's my fallback for life on the mainland. But I'm still not sure how to pick them.  According to my cousins, their dad always picks perfect melons--the secret being thumping them to hear the right hollow sound.  Having never learned his watermelon-whispering ways, I thump away at the grocery store, but my results … [Read more...]

I’ve Learned some Lessons Well

Today I had the privilege of spending time with one of the women I admire most--my Sunday School teacher Nan.Nan started teaching the junior high class when I was in 8th grade.  I was pretty jaded on church youth programs, having just endured a Big Island youth group trip where I felt like I had been thrown to barracudas, and had learned to swear in defense (a habit, unfortunately, I've never broken). Nan announced that we would study the book of Revelation, humbly protesting that she was a … [Read more...]

My Mother is an Elk

She became one about 3-4 years ago when she realized that joining the Elks meant she could get relatively free parking at the beach with a shady place to sit and sip iced coffee while grandchildren played in the pool and waves crashed against the sea wall. "Do you have to wear funny hats with antlers?" asked my husband."No!""Do you have to do secret ceremonies and give your allegiance to Satan?""No!  You have to believe in God to join.""What is the mission of the Elks then?" I asked. … [Read more...]

Termite Night in Hawaii

"Termite night!  Termite night!" Mama has just announced to the whole family."The kids don't know what that means," I told her.When flying termites swarm on hot muggy nights like tonight, our family turns off all the lights and spends the rest of the evening in the dark.  That's because termites are attracted to light, and if they see our lights, they might bore their way into our wooden house and make it fall down in the night. termite fumigationPeriodically, houses across Honolulu … [Read more...]

A Seattle Whirlwind Adventure

As I write, I'm sitting on the floor of the Seattle airport at the only free outlet I can find, recharging my computer.  The kids and I are on our way to Hawaii! We have a 6 hour layover here in Seattle, so I had the crazy idea of renting a car, driving to Seattle and having an adventure. I think this idea came to me because I once took a personality test that asked what I would do if I had a 5 hour layover.  The options were something like:a.  Find a seat and a good book and wait … [Read more...]