Imagine the title of this post delivered in flat, measured tones by a Caucasian man; then imagine an imitation of that in the feminine voice of my diminutive little sister, and you have an idea of what I hear when I call her in Hawaii.
We heard “aloha”s and “mahalo”s in plenty in person this week; after a whirlwind confluence of events and sudden planning, we visited Hawaii ourselves – my mom, my big brother Joe, and Michael and the boys and I.
It was a wonderful visit. In a lot of ways Honolulu looks like Los Angeles, only with cleaner air and slightly more jungly vegetation. On our first full day we drove to the north shore to swim. In Hawaii, drivers drive in a slllllooow . . . leeeeeisurely fashion, unsettling to visitors from Los Angeles. John chased chickens under the trees, and a little child in swimming trunks, all of about four years old himself, warned us, “Hey, your baby is getting away!”
We swam; we had lots of meals together with family; we rested under rustling palm trees by a peaceful lagoon; we said Mass for Dad, and asked for help from St. Monica for children who stand on airline seats and repeatedly push the stewardess call button even when threatened with a personal Armageddon; we sat on the balcony of the Ilikai Hotel after the children had gone to sleep, watching old episodes of Hawaii 5-0. It was lovely.