Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Secret Place

There is a place, a secret place that is not really secret...[but it felt that way to us]

Green and black sand...

Raging surf...

A very nasty road...

And incredible sights.

Am I going to tell you where it is?

This would be a gem you'd need to discover on your own.

Tribute to a drive train:
Unforgiving and desolate landscapes...
Come with a sense of humor, a lot of guts...

...and enjoy the beauty and the beast of the land of Hawai'i...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunsets for Dad ~ Forever

All day I felt a bit apprehensive.

Well ~~ all the while I've been 'in charge' of my Father's box of Ashes, I've felt a bit odd.
Not bad odd.
Just a tad bit odd.
As if there was a weight on my shoulders.

In our last visit, he'd requested to come back to Hawai'i.

Around 5pm Hawai'i time, we put the 'box' in the Jeep and jumped in. My son and his wife drove me to the Old Kona Airport Beach.
I wore a 1965 vintage dress that had been made for my mother by Doi's of Kawaihae.
I felt elegant in the dress.
The mumuu flowed around me ... to just above my ankles.

I pointed to the path that Dad and I had used in 2001.
*There,* I said to my son and his wife.
*That's the place, pull in and park by that sign.*

Before Ed and Joy even got out, I found my feet leading me down the path towards the ocean.

To my relief, the tree was still there.
The picnic table still chained to the tree.

I glanced towards the north.
Yes, there was 'the rock'. This was the place. My son and his wife caught up with me.
I dropped to the sand, lava, and coral chips...that made up the beach... and began digging with a piece of flat lava that my son had handed to me.

No special words really.
I had none.
For Dad and I exchanged few words here, but simply enjoyed each others company.

The sun was setting soon.

This was the right time, the right moment.
The tide was coming in.
I dug quickly, my son dropped by my side and began to dig also.
We stopped.
*Big enough?* he asked.
[Thank you Joy for taking photos...]
*Big enough.*

I opened the black box.
The box that had traveled on several airplanes and had waited a long time for its contents to be released.

The ashes looked like ground up lava rocks, with chunks...but nothing very large.

I pulled the twist tie off the bag [it was not difficult to open the plastic box]. I felt the contents through the bag. Felt its consistency.

I touched the ashes.

Yes Dad, had been gone for 5 years.
This was a 'mission'...his final trip to the place where he was always happy.
A place where he always enjoyed the sunsets.

Ed, Joy, and I gathered bits of white coral and made a circle.
Then I laid a Hawai'ian head lei in a circle over the coral.

Everything was biodegradable...no harm to the environment.
I felt a sob pull tight in my throat as I gently patted the sand.
I felt happy ~ yet sad.

I did and didn't want to let go of his ashes...the last physical connection I had to my Dad.

I sat back with my camera and took some photos of one of the most gorgeous Hawai'ian sunsets that I'd ever seen.

This was the right place.

This was the right time.

I said Aloha to my father with my head bowed.
...and then I said Mahalo quietly, and thanked him for being my father. Mahalo Dad, may your sunsets always be spectacular.

Side note~~~
We went to dinner afterwards at the Kona Brewery.
Just before we left the singer strummed up the song *White Sandy Beaches* and *Over the Rainbow*.

Yeah that did it for me...I cried when we got back home and sat on the porch watching the moon rise over the Mauna Loa Preserve.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hawai'ian night

We stayed up until 1AM 'our' time then dropped to bed exhausted.

I highly recommend Huggo's on the Rocks as a divine place to eat.
I ate a teriyaki burger with steamed rice and listened to the waves dance below us.

I woke up 3am Hawai'an time and at least used the time to download and sort my photos from yesterday.

Now, I SURE do wish we'd picked up coffee last night!
I'm dying for a cuppa!
[back yard]


Milwaukee daybreak.
I watch as our airplane is loaded. The sky is incredibly beautiful. The temperature outside is in the 40’s.

We don’t wait long to board and the sun breaks the horizon as we take off.

It only takes about 20 minutes for me to fall asleep. I’m tired and the engine’s noise lull me into a deep sleep.

I awaken to look down out the plane window.
Well, we are not in the Midwest any more. The land looks dry and brown. I see a couple of fields that are formed in circles. Irrigation I think.

Soon the terrain gets interesting and Ed wakes up and leans over to watch out the window with me.
I point to places and he explains some basic geology to me. I enjoy it, especially when we fly over a zone of ridges.
The southwest, I conclude from the air, is definitely something I’d like to see and explore some day.

We land in Phoenix. A huge city in what appears to be settled in a ‘dry river bottom’ at least 50 miles wide [I think this is what Ed said].
We disembark.

I am impressed by how nice the ‘helpers’ are in the airport. We have to leave the security area to pass on the next concourse. Which means another long line waiting to get searched.
I know the drill.
Sweartshirt off.
Shoes off.
Laptop out of my bag.
Grab my toothpaste and personal items that are in a zip lock back and toss them into a bin.

Ed and Joy had moved on to other search lines.
Everything passes.
The fellow behind me reaches over and dumps my stuff on the table, … I don’t know if he was trying to hurry me or if he is trying to help.
I grab my stuff and scurry to a bench.
The area is surrounded by too many TSA agents to count.
A police officer passes by again with a big black dog. We’d seen him before and wondered if he was a ‘drug’ or ‘bomb’ dog.

I toss my shoes on, throw my toothbrush bag back into my carry on.
I stand up and look around. I cannot see Ed or Joy.
A sea of people and TSA agents and I cannot see them.
I glance down at my ticket and realize well…we should probably meet up at our gate.

I remember my little itty bitty cell phone and grab it out of the camera backpack.
I call and leave Ed a message that I am headed for our gate.
I call Joy and speak to her. She is behind me somewhere in the massive crowd and we decide to meet up at the gate.
At the gate, I realize that I must have dropped my sweatshirt where the gent dumped my stuff, or where I sat to put on my shoes.
Double crap.

Tonight's sunset was delightful.
I'm looking forward to sunrise.
Rest now...another new day tomorrow.
I fall asleep with the scent of pikake flowers coming in from the tree next to my open window.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Makua kane~Father

Makua kane~Father

My father introduced me to Hawai'i in the winter of 1965.
We traveled relentless hours by plane to a land of mystery...to a 6th grader.

My father was one of those who did not believe in a 'tour-travel package'. We rented a house and took to the Big Island roads with only one thing in mind.

We discovered many wonderful things.
We traveled the Chain of Craters road, whose length can no longer be driven.

We discovered hidden water falls, twisted roads, sugar cane fields...roads where mom would say, *Tom, this doesn't look good!*
We road the Saddle Road.
We discovered friends and how to snorkel.

We played.
We had fun.
We made cherished memories.
And throughout my childhood, we went back...and Hawai'i became my dream land also....

In 2001, I escorted Dad back to Hawai'i.
I got the sense from him that this was where he always wanted to be...a place for him of wonderful and fond memories.
Of happiness.
Of togetherness.
Indeed, I feel it too.

In February of 2005 my Dad told me on our last visit together that he wanted to go back to Hawai'i. He wanted to visit *that place under the tree* to watch the ocean.
He could do that forever.

He died in June of that year.
I am taking him back.

I am revisiting those wonderful happy memories and making new ones with my son.
...and so it continues.
Mahalo Makua kane~~~

I'm Gonna Miss Her

She's packed her bags.
Her camera bag, her clothes thingy with zippers.

I put my Hedgehog toy in it.
She tossed it out on the floor.

I put a pull toy in it.
...on the floor, again.

I sat in it and she yelled at me.

She even cleaned her car and vacuumed it.
Which means I am definitely not going.
She always puts blankets down for me.

She mentioned an airplane.
She says she can't take me to a place called Hawai'i.

Why not?
I borrowed one of her shirts and tried to look human...but I guess the ears give me away, eh?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tainter Creek Encounter

So last night I'm set up on this almost a road 3 miles from my house. I'm going to re-visit Tainter Creek at sunset. The sky is golden and in the valley it is reflecting on the trout stream.
I've got my tripod set up and am examining different views I'm going to take...yes taking some at the same time.

I hear a rumble rumble slowly coming down the road. There is only one residence on this road and that is 2 miles further east. I stand up and face the road.
Here comes a vintage 70's Chevy that is more rust than blue, balding tires, two men inside...balding also.
Unshaven, one has bib overalls, the other has on a t-shirt that might have had a color 'in the day'.

They pull up. Their windows are down.
I say 'Howdy!'

They look at me.
'You 'specting' to see somethin'?' they ask, looking over at my tripod and camera.

'Just photographing the sunset on the trout stream.' I reply, smiling.

They look at me like I just got off the first UFO from Mars.
Then they eye each other...

'Uh-huh'...they both draw it out slowly.

Then they let off the brake and slowly rattle off into the semi darkness.

I got the picture, but my moment with them was priceless.
I'd wished I'd have been brave enough to ask to take their picture.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Error Code 0x80070057

Eek gads.
I inserted my SDHC 4G card into the card slot on my laptop and got this message *0x80070057 Incorrect Parameters*~~ *Windows Explorer has stopped working*

The screen blinks, Windows disappears and then reappears not recognizing my memory card for the shots I'd taken today.
Curse, curse, curse.

Of course this cannot be correct.
I reinsert the card.

So, how many times does it take an idiot to figure out that this card might be corrupt?
3 times.

I look up Error code 0x80070057 and find all sorts of frightening information. I narrow it down and decide that my Registry is not corrupt, my Windows 7 is not sick, nor is my laptop going to explode nor implode.

Out of 35 shots, I did get 4. I deleted all photos within camera [Nikon D40] and then reformatted the card while it was within the camera.

No huge loss, although I think I may have had some fabulous shots on it.
Good timing too ... I'm going on a trip soon and am happy to replace the card hopefully to prevent another heart stopping moment when I read *0x80070057 Incorrect Parameters*.

Actually I hope never to get one again.

There are programs that will supposedly retrieve lost data on corrupt memory cards. I'm not sure about them and have never used one.
However I don't plan on putting 1,000 photos on one card and waiting until the end of the week to see if it works.
I'll be downloading daily.

After all I have this need to see and SAVE what I've done nearly every day!

Also thank goodness for point and shoot cameras. The day was not a total loss.

Morris leaping~~

Morris and I walking away from my Pentax OptioW80 set to take photos in an interval shoot~~
Little water 'falls' breaking over some rocks~~
Stepping stones~~
Nikon D40 2.5 second exposure~~

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Foggy Morning

My eyes snapped awake.
I glanced out the window.
Deep fog.
Beautiful September fog that makes driving in the valleys treacherous, yet coats the land with a mysterious feel and an excellent back drop for photos.

I jumped into the car [no wallet, but I had my cameras!] and drove down into the valley and across the Kickapoo River as the sun was begining to rise. Although I could not see it for the deep thick fog.
I turned up a narrow twisted gravel road, well....it sorta was a road. It felt like a small lane.
Not a well used lane as it led to the top of a ridge where corn and soybeans were planted. If the ridge was planted just right, I'd be able to look down upon the foggy valley.

However, it wasn't. Not to be disappointed, I decided to take my time and enjoy the sunrise and then head back down the narrow twisted [and rough] road.

These shots had to be taken with a tripod. The light was so dim, yet I couldn't resist seeing what I could 'pull' out of the shots.

On my way down I was stopped by a sight I'd not seen going up.

An old silo in a pasture, framed by leafless trees and fog.
This little back road was proving to be a photographic pleasure. I'd pulled my car off to the side of the road, but really had no worries.

There was only one residence on the road.
A man in a truck drove by sipping on a cup of coffee ...

and probably wondering what the lunatic with the tripod was doing. He probably muttered something about tourists, but he lifted three fingers from the steering wheel and nodded.

That was a friendly greeting.

My last stop was on the bridge over the county road. Now I always always want to stop and take photos here. But it is out in the open, within sight of the highway,...and well. Let's just say I am the shy photographer.
But I was stunned by the sight of Black Bottom and THE Fog.

My first shot was to the West, and to my surprise, it turned out quite colorful.

ISO 200

To my surprise, the East shot was nearly black and white. I took several shots of this as there was little traffic and suddenly I didn't feel so strange being spotted doing what I love best.
[Okay, I love riding BEST, but this is a damn close Best]
ISO 200

This was my second favorite of the morning, the silo took first.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm Going...She's Packing!

I'm a very observant Jack Russell.
I know.
I know that SHE is leaving me...AGAIN.

She did this once before this year when she went to a place called Virginia.

I don't know what a Virginia is, but she came back from there rather quickly.

It is this place called Hawai'i that really concerns me.
She has packed a suitcase for this AND a big camera back pack.
SHE thinks I don't notice.

But I have.
I'm watching.
I even put a Hedgehog toy on top of the Suitcase thing.
SHE was not impressed.

SHE tossed it aside as she mumbled about items she needed to take.
SHE however did explain to me that she'd gone to this mysterious place before I'd been born. [wow that must have been ages ago!]

That this place had beautiful sunsets and sights to see.
There were coconut trees and a salty ocean to swim in.

I looked at her clothes and saw that she had packed some wild looking shirts.
SHE called them Hawai'ian shirts.

But I'm dreaming that SHE is going to come to her senses and take me along.
After all, don't I go on almost ALL of her camera adventures?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Send in the Clouds

When I was a kid...hmmm, back in the days when you took everything an adult said at face value...
when we still honored our grandparents as they knew best. [really, I think they did!]

When I was a young girl. I don't know the age, but I was all arms and legs, full of energy and ambition [as long as that included goofing off or riding my cousins' horses]...I got bored one afternoon.

I complained to Grandma.

Grandma suggested that I lay back in the grass and stare up at the clouds for a while. I thought she was nuts, but I did what she asked.
For this she taught me patience in a way I suppose, but she taught me to appreciate the beauty of the sky.
She told me to watch clouds and see 'what' fantastic things I could find.

I recall watching the clouds with growing interest.
I also recall Grandma waking me up after I'd fallen asleep lulled by the warm grass under me.

I learned a lot that day as a young girl. All by simply laying on my back and watching the sky.