Visiting Places That Make Us Better People

At this time last year, I was getting ready to go to Oahu. The Crankee Yankee had been wanting to gut our ancient kitchen for years, so he offered me two weeks in Hawaii in exchange for renovating the kitchen. Well, how could I turn that down? The kitchen was ancient, the ceiling needed to be replaced, the sink needed an upgrade and the counter tops were just plain awful.

So how could I possibly refuse? He knew that I wouldn’t be able to stand living in a kitchen renovation, and he also knew how I longed to go to Hawaii. So before I knew it, I was packing for Oahu.

I hadn’t flown since 2001, and when I got on the plane I remembered how I had loved to fly. I had a middle seat, and no one was in the other two seats. It was wonderful. When we landed in San Francisco, it was just another perk as I had always wanted to go there. So in the two hours waiting for the flight to Oahu, I walked around, bought a book, took in the sights, had some lunch and got ready to go to Honolulu.

Getting off the plane in Honolulu I could hardly contain myself; I couldn’t stop smiling and I kept thinking; “I’m here! I’m here in Hawaii!!” Everything was different than being at home in New Hampshire; the air was warm and inviting, the scent of flowers was everywhere, and everyone just seemed happy.

The next day when I was getting ready for my first tour, I had to laugh. All of us visitors were dressed for summer weather; it was very pleasant outside and not too hot. But the Hawaiian folks were bundled up in sweaters and heavy coats; this was their “winter.”

I could go on and on about the tours and the wonderful things I saw, but what remains with me still is that feeling of “*ohana.” Ever go somewhere and feel that somehow you have been there before? That’s how I felt every day in Oahu. Even after I got home, that feeling of ohana was with me; in fact, it is with me still.

This morning it is freezing cold, and there is a beautiful full moon above. There is still ice and snow on the ground, and we in New Hampshire are in the cold arms of winter. But spring will come, and while I wait for it, I still have Oahu in my heart.

*From Ali’i Resorts: “Ohana speaks to the concept of a larger family that is not necessarily connected by blood. A person’s ohana can include their best friends, neighbors, or anyone else who is special in their life.

An ohana is special. The people within it are bound together by genuine compassion, culture, support, loyalty, and love for each other. To become a part of someone’s ohana is a great honor.”

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