I’m still here

16 03 2020

Aloha to everyone. I’m still here at the studio in Kaaawa, isolating myself from the current COVID19 corona virus pandemic. As I fall into the elderly age category, I thought early on that it would be best to stay inside.

I canceled all my appointments right away, and I sent money to the services I normally patronize to ease their stress of losing income. I bought gift certificates from restaurants.So far, so good, and I am not sick. I wrote to my friends in Italy, and they replied they are well but vigilant.

DH went out for groceries and reported all was calm at the market. I wiped down each item with vinegar solution before putting it away.

I watch TV and check Facebook, keeping in mind that I can think for myself. As always, one has to discern fact from fiction and opinion.

I came across an article that I share below, via my friend Naomi’s feed—giving credit to the original author.

Naomi, who lives in Germany, wrote: Saw this and had to steal it!

“Lockdown
Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.”
Brother Richard Hendrick (Ireland)
March 13th 2020

Friends, please keep the faith, be well, sing, and know that you are loved.

~ Rebekah





From icky to humorous; a Hawaiian language lesson

3 03 2020

In papa ʻŌlelo (Hawaiian language class) we are learning about possessives as well as how to build sentences, being mindful of verb tenses. I offered a descriptive sentence from a real-life experience that kumu Keoua Nelsen had fun with:

There was a dead rat in the glove compartment of my car.

Ahahaha!

Translation: There are some dead rats in our car! How many dead rats are in your car? 7 dead rats! Oh, really?! Best that you swap for a new car!

Don’t worry. We cleaned it out!

~ Rebekah

P.S. The Hawaiian for glove compartment is “ka pahu mikilima,” literally “the mittens box.”





Puppy love

21 02 2020


Who doesn’t love a dog? Massimo, at left, is no longer a puppy. He no longer chews out the stuffing of his bed, but he still plays with toys. He likes to press his warm body up to you as close as possible to cuddle.

He’s visiting here while his peeps are at school. Workers are at his house, so his dad brought him here so he wouldn’t get out of the gate. He’s a runner, as we found out from past experience. What a chase that was!

JJ, who lives here in his forever home, was acquired from the humane society. He has nice eyeliner. We don’t know his age, only that he is an old man now. He has no use for toys, but is very barky, especially when neighbor cats enter the yard and when the brown truck and refuse truck drive up the street. I guess we should be thankful that we have an excellent watch dog.

JJ likes going for a walk, although now he goes a few yards only to stop in his tracks to pause and simply look around. If lost, I don’t know if he would find his own way home. But, he likes to show off for people. If walking in a pack, he likes to be the pack leader.

We love our dogs.
Rebekah





My choral (and) conducting gurus

28 01 2020

Mark Hayes with me and Rev. Danette Kong in the pink lei

This past weekend I attended a three-day choral music workshop by well-known pianist-composer Mark Hayes. Keawalaʻi Congregational Church at Mākena, Maui, founded in 1832, was the venue.

My takeaway, literally, was a folio of sacred and secular music and a series of published articles on how to improvise at the piano. I later found all of the “Improv Notes” on the www.markhayes.com website. One can download them for free.

I am reminded of other times in Honolulu and at Cannon Beach, OR, when I was fortunate as a chorister to sing under the baton of Rodney Eichenberger who is associated with Florida State University. He has coined the motto “what they see is what they get.” I found a Facebook page named “The Rodney Eichenberger Cult.” Indeed, he has a following!

I mined the internet and found “The Life and Philosophy of Choral Conductor Rodney Eichenberger, Including a Detailed Analysis and Application of His Conductor-Singer Gestures” by Adam Jonathan Con. The preview of the book at books.google.com is a fine description.

I’m now inspired to sing in a spring concert with my group, the Windward Choral Society, this February 9, at 4 pm, at St. John Vianney Parish in Kailua, Oahu. We will be singing African-American, spiritual, and gospel numbers. Susan McCreary Duprey directs.

The best part of the weekend on Maui was meeting up with my cousins Rev. Danette Kong, who is the music director at Keawalaʻi Congregational Church, and Steven Lum and Prince Steven who came from Oahu and joined us at this beautiful spot.

Looking toward East Maui from Mākena

Keawalaʻi Congregational Church

L to r: cousins Steven, Prince, Rebekah, and Danette

~ Rebekah





Give and take

17 01 2020

Hibiscus

Rocky of Ohana Tree Service and his crew of six gave the yard a haircut that should last for two years, he said. Except for the vegetable and flower boxes that I’m now encouraged to renew myself, the place looks very tidy. The kou, Maʻafala breadfruit, and avocado tree on the ma uka side are pruned back. The kou lost a huge limb in the recent wind storm.

Kou

Avocado

While they were at it, the crew shortened the height of the panax hedge and red hibiscus bushes, and they raked up all the debris. I took the opportunity to cut many tall ti leaf stalks for others to decorate Iolani Palace today, the 127th anniversary of the overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani. The property is more airy and I can see and hear the surf on the reef as a result. The neighbors are happy!

Panax

From the original bid, Rocky negotiated a higher price that we were happy to pay. We sweetened the experience with gratuities—two Maʻafala breadfruit saplings that they had been eyeing and subsequently freed from the bigger root (a prized variety) and an avocado seedling growing in a hanging basket. Avocados abound here, and although the gentlemen already had lots, one accepted, saying, “If they give, you have to take.”

~ Rebekah

P.S. — The calamansi is bearing again. More marmalade soon! RL





Not exactly a hurricane

13 01 2020

Stormy-weather view, still gorgeous. (Photo by the author)

KAAAWA—The weather dominates the news this week. I don’t recall a wet season this bad; it seems to get worse each year. Extreme wind and rain reminiscent of a hurricane has downed trees, caused the ocean tide to deposit sand on Kamehameha Highway, and raised hopes of school children for no school.

All we can do is wait for the sun to dry things out so we can begin the clean up. It looks like residents like us will have to do it themselves because professional yard services are booked. Ours is not the only community with weather-related challenges, yet I thought of sharing some views to remind folks to travel with caution.

Road crews standby amid sand-covered highway at Kaaawa Beach Park.

Some of the debris at the high tide line on what used to be green lawn. Too much plastic.

Approaching Kaaawa Elementary School and looking toward Kaaawa Valley

Unstable atmosphere

Ebb tide

Stay safe, everyone!

~ Rebekah





The twelfth day of Christmas

6 01 2020

Mister Snowman and Rudolph

We let these two stay up until the twelfth day of Christmas. Rudolph has turned off his shiny nose until next year. I mua! Onward!








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