No Rain, No Rainbow!

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Almost every Saturday before 8:00 am, I make sure I get up early to shop at the farmers market.  This morning was no different from last Saturday’s routine except I noticed its a little gloomy, very still and there’s a nip in the air.  I look forward to smelling, touching and admiring tropical flowers from the flower vendors at no charge.  But really, my purpose was my usual shopping for fresh local produce to support local farmers.  The early morning short drive to Wailuku was a breeze and my timing was impeccable.  I got there just in time for the rain.  Mind you, this was not just drops here and there, it was sheets and sheets of rain like Noah’s ark days!

No umbrella, no hat, no raincoat, no problem.  While everyone was running to the closest canopy or vendor’s tents, I was walking leisurely, visiting my favorite produce stands and buying my kale, carrots, avocados, cilantro, cucumbers and mustard cabbage, like the usual.  After all, no sweat, its just rain.  In no time, I was done with what I came there for, except, I was soaked and dripping wet. Funny thing when it’s raining in paradise (oh, yes, we do have those days), you can tell the tourists from the locals without even looking who’s talking.  I heard a lady with a mild English accent saying that this is their last few days on the island and was asking everyone why it has to rain today.  Few shoppers were in a hurry to get out of the rain because their hair will get wet, complaining that this is not what they’ve come here for and the rain ruined their Maui vacation.  Another guy with his camera was livid because his very expensive camera was getting wet and his brand new Nike will get muddy!

I looked around and it appears to me, I am the only soul smiling amidst the sudden change of weather.  Imagine this – I was practically having my morning cold shower while shopping for my vegetables.  I was kinda’ happy that it was pouring rain, don’t know why. I didn’t mind being soaked, wet and a bit cold – it’s quite soothing.  I actually enjoyed the free water from heaven cleansing us all and giving life to all living things on the land.  I can just imagine the next week’s harvest because of today’s rain. How gorgeous and colorful the flowers will be after today.  As I was walking back to the car, I can hear my Grandma saying, “Jean, it’s either God is crying for all the sins of mankind or He’s getting ready to show us a reminder of his promise – a one of a kind and beautiful rainbow.  Remember, no rain, no rainbow.”  You gotta’ love grandma and her simple wisdom.

As for me, no doubt about it, I love the rain and it doesn’t get me down.  It’s peaceful, it’s soothing and it has healing power to “chillax” (chill and relax) weary minds.  Rainy days bring back good and old memories from my childhood.  Comfort food tastes better when it’s raining, cuddling seems a must, perfect time to read your favorite book and hot coco or tea suddenly sounds delicious.  P.S.  Did you know the best known natural prescription for insomnia that works all the time?  Yep, you got it.  It’s not sex.  It’s rainy nights!

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Local Island Lifestyle: Kanikapila – musical jam session.

In every gathering whether it’s formal or informal, artistic expressions seem to be one of the important part of any celebration for the kama’aina.  Singing, dancing  hula, playing musical instruments, story telling and chanting are just few familiar ones to mention.  Musical jam session or kanikapila is my favorite.  It could be small with two people or it could be an orchestra.  You can never tell how and who is going to start it and it’s difficult to predict how it’s going to end.  Rule of thumb, expect the unexpected, go with the flow and enjoy.

Unplanned, unrehearsed and uncandid, one person may start strumming his ukulele and hum a familiar tune.  The person sitting across the room stands up and pick up the tune and starts singing his heart out.  Another person in the room heard what’s going on and decided to pick up his guitar and join the group.  Then next thing you know, there’s Joe bobbing his head to the sound of his drum and Jane grabbed two spoons struggling to pick up the beat but didn’t gave up. Others can’t stand it any longer and got tired of just tapping their feet or clapping their hands to the beat of the music, got up and dance with the rest of the merry makers.  Imagine the sheer energy, melodious sound and collaboration of talents.

That’s pure, unadulterated, cannot be duplicated and one of a kind real good time.

Hana hou!Jamming by the beachAuntie Charmaine with her uke.

Oh, Hello There!

Maui is not all about sandy beaches and gorgeous sunsets.

Yesterday was hectic and was not paying attention to small details of life.  I was reaching to switching “on” the hot water for the outdoor sink. Guess who’s sitting pretty on the handle? My heart did skips few beats and I felt my knees buckling. After few deep breaths, I managed to run inside the house, grab my camera and click, click.  Don’t know exactly what you call this reptile, I have to find out.