Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day and Knitting

I'm new in town. The Hawaiians call me Houli ... and it's not really a term of endearment if you get my drift. So all us Houli's here in Ocean View - odd lot that we are - tend to stick together. I've never experienced prejudice, except a bit as a 'woman', so this has been quite an experience learning to live "in a strange country".

Yes. I am aware. Hawaii is a state. One of the 'United'. But, you know how everybody questions that whole Virginia thing about being a Common Wealth. Well. I don't know what to call Hawaii. It's part 'reservation'. Part tourist trap. Part Big City. Part Country. Most of what I see? I would refer to as 'third world'.

People live according to their means. And there ain't much. My 'neighborhood' is a small town on the main highway between Kona and Hilo. Elevation around  1500 to 2000 feet. Some people live in tents. On their own land. Some people live in lava tubes.

Some people live in coffee shacks - houses pieced together with scrap wood - with 12 volt lights hooked up to batteries that are charged with a solar panel or a generator. They run their frig on propane (if they have one) and their stove (if they have one) is also run on propane. Water comes from a catchment tank. Pumped by a pump that runs on the solar powered batteries. Drinking water is procured at the local county water supply and trucked home in water safe (and some unsafe) containers.

Kenny and I are some of the people who live in a 'coffee shack'. We have friends who live in tents, friends who live in shacks, friends who actually rent or own really nice homes - like you find on the mainland - brick, tile, double walls, electricity, county water. But, the nice places? They are in the minority.

Yesterday. Labor Day. We were invited to a pot luck with our houlie friends. They own the local laundry mat which is the social gathering place during the week. We enjoyed fabulous food, tremendous laughter, and the music of the host and his "band". I met houlies that have lived on the island for 20 plus years. Some, like me, just got off the boat!
It was nice to interact with people who hear "we live above the cinder pit" and are automatically sympathetic and question "how is it up there, on top". (Elevation about 4500ft)

It's kinda cold. WINDY. And I found out why. There's two big TALL volcano/mountains to our East. The winds come over top of their icy surface and blow on us in gusts from 5 to 25 miles per hour. We have felt our house sway enough that we have stopped being alarmed at the movement!

Life on the volcano. It's a fun adventure. And new friends and good times are making the transition possible.

Knitting. It also makes my world a peaceful place. I'm making another pair of soakers. They are bumble bee striped .... wanna see?

The color here is not great. But, it does give you an idea of how they'll look eventually.

Something old. Something new. Life. It changes you. You grow or you die. Betty's Big Adventure continues and she knits. And from one houlie to another? Be nice. Just be nice. You never know whose tender heart you may be hurting with your prejudice. 
Aloha and Happy Tuesday.

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