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The Vog

Life in Kailua-Kona

sunny 31 °C

So, I have been hearing a lot about the 'vog' that plagues the Kona side of the Big Island. Vog is the smog/polluted air and volcanic dust that spews from the Kilauea volcano (the only currently active one in the Hawaiian islands), and causes health problems ranging from breathing difficulties to lowered immunity to chronic cough. Apparently, as it is told, the winds tend to blow this air over the mountains where it settles over Kailua-Kona and the coastal areas surrounding it.

I have been here now on the Kona coast for three days, and have been coming here yearly for vacation, and I don't feel a thing. The air looks perfectly clear to me, bright, sunny skies, no clouds, no eerie haze, no tightness in the chest. I am beginning to have suspicions that this is somewhat similar to Seattle being known as the rainiest city. Those of us who have lived or do live there know that this is not really true...it is a convenient misrepresentation that keeps many people from being interested in moving there. It keeps many away so that only those who really work for it, or who have lived there long enough to appreciate its beauty will know the truth. That on summer days, the clear days, it is one of the most beautiful places in the United States. (Sorry Seattleites!)

And it does not actually get that much rain. Yes, lots of clouds, yes, grey days, but the sunny days are treasured and enjoyed to the fullest. And we all know that when the rainy days get to be too much, Seattle people just have to get out. You just take a trip during those prolonged days of gloom, and when you get back, you feel fresher and the days are likely getting longer and brighter. It is part of the price of living in a place that cultured, that nice, that naturally beautiful. I have a feeling the same holds true for Kona. No one wants anyone else to know how perfect and lovely it is here, so they tell others about the 'vog' and it discourages them from wanting to live here. But those who decide to stay anyway are let in on the dirty little secret...that the vog days are fleeting, and the beauty and sunshine and ocean and plumeria...
are forever.

Posted by globalmomma 14:32 Archived in USA Tagged islands island big seattle volcanic ash sunshine days hawaiian pollution kona rainy vog Comments (0)

The North Shore

Turtle Bay, Hawai'i

sunny 25 °C

Ahhh, life is fine. The sun is shining on our 'endless summer', and although it is only August, we have been following the sun since we left Seattle in March. I wondered if I would get tired of the sunny days and the heat, but so far, the answer is a clear 'Nope'. Instead I feel it is incorporating into my DNA in the way a virus might, insidious and silent, until I realize I can not live without it. The sun in Hawai'i is like joy juice lemonade, making me smile as soon as my eyes open in the morning. I love walking to the pool outside our current condo in the morning, taking a cool dip with the baby before breakfast. I love stopping along the highway for a quick five minutes to walk along the beach, getting sand between our toes. Hearing the crash of the waves, smelling the salty, glassy, ionic air... I could get very used to this lifestyle. In fact, I think I already have, as I cannot fathom leaving!

We are running an experiment. On August 24th, we flew Hawaiian Airlines from California to Honolulu. We have a one way ticket, so there is no current set date to 'go back'. We are living each day as if we live here now, jumping in with both feet. When people ask where we are from, we tell them we have just moved here. I try this mental experiment in order to gauge my own motivations and desires. When I tell people a small fib such as this, how do I feel when I speak the words? Do I feel the sense of price and satisfaction I would expect from someone who is happy with their life? Or do I feel somewhat off, that this does just not fit, it is a square and I am a circle. With this particular white lie, I feel good. I want this to be the truth. I like the concept of moving to Hawai'i, so maybe that is just what we will do. Sometimes to get to your deepest, truest desires, you have to try out your thoughts by expressing them to others. This works wonderfully for me, so I recommend it. Another time it felt just right: I was in the auto showroom selling my car in March, before our trip to Italy. The saleswoman asked me, 'What is your work in Italy?". Offhand, I answered, I am a writer. I didn't mention WHAT I was writing about, or the fact that I am a doctor, I only mentioned that my writing was taking me to Italy. "Wow", she replied, "that's awesome". "Wow", I thought, "It really is". IMG_2791.jpg

Posted by globalmomma 09:05 Tagged ocean beach surf sand summer north bay shore hawaiian writer turtle hawai'i haleiwa Comments (1)

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