Hawaii has been calling me a lot lately, and I know why. This winter business is really starting to get old, and I know there are a lot of people out there who would agree.
I’m tired of sleeping under so many blankets that I feel like a pressed flower. I’m tired of slipping and sliding on ice so much when I walk any place, that I feel like I should be given a score in Olympic figure skating. And I still haven’t gotten over the mental anguish of Stuart’s near tragedy driving over the mountains. I’m ready for some sun, and sand, and palm trees. We all are.
And so next Saturday-we are going to answer Hawaii’s call. We are heading to Maui for spring break.
We were under Hawaii's spell from our very first visit. I remember the excitement I felt before we even got there. I remember the thrill of getting the plane tickets, and booking our hotel. I remember how exciting it was just to say “We are going to Hawaii!” We chose the island of Oahu for that first trip. I badly wanted to visit the grave of my Uncle Pete-and I also wanted to visit Pearl Harbor so that I could make the journey out to the Arizona memorial.
The minute we stepped off the plane, I knew Hawaii was a place I would love forever. The beauty there is staggering! And my Uncle Pete felt the same way.
Below, he is pictured at the Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor.
And it was his love of Hawaii that led my grandfather to choose the Punchbowl Cemetery on Oahu for Pete’s final resting place.
The excerpt above, dated March 23, 1949, is from a journal my grandfather kept. It says:
“The recent notice that Roly’s remains can be brought home-more or less the reopening of an old wound! My conviction that he’d be at peace in the Islands-he loved it so, over there.”
The marker for Roland Erich Going Phm2c
(My Uncle Pete)
My Uncle Pete is on the left, pictured with his friend Fred in Honolulu, and the car they were so proud of.
A photo Pete took of the beach at Waikiki and Diamond Head. This is the only photo I have that was actually taken by my uncle.
Pete, on the far left, with friends in Honolulu.
During this trip to Maui, we will stay at a tiny vintage motel right on the beach. We will have plenty of time to soak up the sun, watch the swaying palms and make an important decision. A decision that started with a box of See’s Peanut Brittle.
Several years ago, I bought the peanut brittle from a friend who was selling it to raise money for the choir group she belonged to. The cost of the peanut brittle was $15 and I gave her a twenty-and so she gave me a five dollar bill in change. This five dollar bill…
I went to the website on the bill and I entered the serial number. And lo and behold, the bill was first registered by someone in Honolulu! How cool is that?
I plan on taking the five dollar bill to Maui-but the question will be “to spend or not to spend.” Part of me wants to return it to Hawaii, where it started it’s journey. But part of me wants to bring it home again.
And I have to be truthful and confess that this particular bill has been along on several other trips to Hawaii -and we’ve always decided to bring it home again.
Because if we bring it home again, it gives me hope that there will be a next trip to Hawaii, and another chance to make the decision…
And I want to go back. My love of Hawaii is in my blood.