A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about sunshine

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)

Guilty Pleasures

sunny 28 °C

I am currently feeling a bit guilty, since the Eastern Seaboard is about to get pounded by hurricane Irene. And last week there was an earthquake centered in Virginia that shook the coast. And Seattle has had one of the gloomiest summers on record. To have all of this good fortune and summer is really more than one can expect. It is downright obnoxious. I can feel the loathing and jealousy... Yet, this lifestyle is not for everyone. It is filled with its own set of irritations and difficulty. We literally move day to day, and so do our finances. There is not much advance planning or saving. There is not a lot of consistency or rhythm to our days. I worry about the stability of our household as it might affect our son. The only real stability in his life is in our core family, and the fact that we are always here for him, always around, providing a comforting and secure environment...I think it is enough. I think it is what is most important. But he doesn't have the space for large toys and swingsets, his own hand-painted room or backyard. His playground is the local church lawn, where we played yesterday while waiting for Daddy to get out of his interview. The beach right down the street. The cobblestone streets and piazzas of Lucca, where we spent several wonderful weeks. The great room at his grandparents' house, where he could go up and down stairs and throw items into a fountain. He sees everything around him as a toy, a playground, as entertainment. Maybe all children do. I am not sure, because we don't have toys to distract from the interesting play of the world around us. Sometimes I want him to have those things: a doggie, a train set, a plastic playhouse in the yard. Other times I am happy for the way he has learned to entertain himself with everyday items, and I wonder how that will carry over into his adult life. Hopefully he won't be bored, and will continue to look at the world around him as if it were filled with wonder and play.

He did recently take a couple of toys from his cousins that he took to right away...they are called Zoobles. They are small balls that expand when you push a button. They go from eyes closed/ball form to eyes open, arms wide, awake. I must admit, they are interesting, and he now carries one in each hand, wherever he goes. He has even figured out how to open and close them with the push of the small button, our little engineer, always curious about how things work. His second favorite toy is his Daddy's keys, which close up also to be a rectangular black object, but when you press a small silver button, the key pops out. He loves to sit on the floor and open, close, open, close, that key with delight!

Bottom line: Bodhi does not care at all where our home is. He does not seem to get the concept. Maybe that is for the best, in fact, maybe the concept of home tethers us down. He is content wherever we are, and wherever he is. Talk about a Zen master, living up to his name.

The hardest part about living day to day, moving place to place, is missing those that you love, especially as they are going through hard times, like hurricanes, hardships, winter. I miss the community, the connectedness of having shared experiences. I miss day to day contact with people I care about. This lifestyle is not all roses, but it still smells sweet.

Posted by globalmomma 19:18 Archived in USA Tagged winter beach buddhism summer weather hurricane hawaii warm sunshine community zen hawai'i Comments (1)

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