Friday, August 13, 2010

The Seven-Day Summer Speculation: Day Four

1. A Favorite Memory
     Although less of one specific moment in time and more an event compiled over several days spread out over several weeks, one of my favorite things that we did this summer was stay in a condo on the beach in Kihei. Two of my Granny's sisters are nuns, and they have a friend, Sister Candie, who works at The Church of St. Theresa, which is literally two walking minutes away from the ocean in Kihei. Instead of living in a convent, as my aunty nuns do, St. Theresa (the church, not the matron) owns a condo in a very lovely complex that is so close to the ocean that if you stand on the lanai (porch) in the back of the condo , you might get sprayed by the waves! Haha, just kidding... it's not QUITE that close, but still... 
     So anyways, Sister Candie was going to be away at a conference in California for quite some time, so she offered us the use of her condo! She gave us the code to the lockbox and told us to stay there whenever and for however long we like. It was such a generous thing for her to do!
     And it was absolutely beautiful. Here's a picture of the view from the back lanai, just to give you an idea...

That thin sliver of blue just past the green? Yup. That's the ocean. I could walk to it in 30 seconds, tops. It was so nice to stay there... tons of the aunties and my cousin Jennifer and her kids came and went, having big barbeque dinners with us and just enjoying our time together in different surroundings. All of the aunties (who are significantly older than me) were introduced to Wii bowling, which they became absolutely obsessed with! We had running competitions going throughout the entire last half of the summer, to see who could hold the championship title the longest (I am proud to say that I hold that championship title ;). It was so fun to see my whole family together, away from inevitable family drama, laughing and having fun and being together.
     My nieces and nephew absolutely LOVED swimming in the pool, and my Aunty Ada and I had quite the girly heart-to-heart in that pool. I also taught myself how to play the ukulele at that condo... Needless to say, I hold so many dear memories close to my heart from the time we spent at that condo. It really was much less about staying in a nice condo like that, and much much more about the fact that we were all staying there together. It means so much to me to look back on those memories of all of us enjoying the fun and the sun and the sand (and the air conditioning!) there together, and to know I'll have those memories for the rest of my life. That is what I truly cherish, and that is why staying at the condo was one of my favorite things of the summer- because we ALL did it... TOGETHER.
     Here's some photos of my cousin, sister, nieces and nephew and I in the pool, courtesy of Uncle Bill and Aunty Ada's underwater camera :). There's also some photos I took of the one of the sunsets I watched with my Granpy when we stayed there.
Jennifer and her youngest daughter Jiyanni

Uncle Bill! (And me on his shoulders!)

Jayden and I!
Jayden and Kami

2. A Lesson I've Learned
     One of the most difficult things that I have been presented with is something that I struggle with all the time: patience. I am not, under any circumstances, a patient person, and that applies to people, situation, traffic... it's so easy for me to lose my temper with someone or at something because I am being impatient, and the thing I heard God say to me the most about this during the summer was so simple: "Be still." It's so difficult to hang on to sometimes, but people and life, really, don't always need to be moving at warp speed. I don't have all the answers, I don't know all of the reasons why people do the things they do, and I don't know why there always seems to be just a few hours too short in the day to accomplish everything that needs to be accomplished. But there is a reason for everything in this magnificent Master Plan- and I need to just be still. Listen. Let things happen as they happen; let people decide as they decide.
     And not be so hasty about everything! Especially my temper.

3. A Wonderful Relative
     My Aunty Ada is someone in my family that I never cease to marvel at. She is clever, and crafty, and thrifty, and can make a meal fit to feed an army out of just about anything. She is honestly one of the most giving people that I know, right up there next to my Granny. I love to just hang out with her and talk story, because she can talk about anything and everything and make it just the grandest time. A walk down to the grocery store becomes an adventure; sitting in waiting rooms becomes storytime; a few minutes in the kitchen is like a trip into the Food Network. I always learn something new from her, whether it's a recipe for something delightful or a new story about a family member that makes me go "Ohhhh... that explains it." She's truly one of my favorite aunties, and living life at her pace is nothing short of an adventure :).
In our truck-bed seats on the ways to and from camping :)

4. A Realization
     I always say that when I graduate from college, I'm going to move to some big city and live the fab life, and travel the world, and forge my own new life in this great big world. But something I realized this summer- as we were driving to the airport to leave Hawaii for the year, actually- is this: Home is where the heart is. And my heart truly, and forever, lies nestled between the palm trees, and up and over the waves as they ebb and flow over the soft white sand, and around and through the fresh trade winds that blow over the mountains and hills and the valleys. No matter where I go in life, whether it's to LA or New York or Chicago or Italy or England or France, or even if it remains here in the dry desert heat of Arizona, my heart will always take me back home.

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