Monday, June 29, 2015

Sixteen Sweetness

 How did she get from this to this?
 Life's an hourglass. That's for sure!

 Three-time Caldecott winner David Wisner 
autographed his book for Cammy a few years ago.
 He told her he had never before met anyone
 born on this exact date.
Such a fun, serendipity moment!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Pearl Harbor

 Our visit to Pearl Harbor happened to be on the the weekend
of the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe day.
The day the Nazis surrendered in Germany in World War II.
It made our day there even more poignant.
 "Those who have long enjoyed such privilege as we enjoy
forget in time that men have died to win them."
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
Bill of Rights Day, November 27, 1941

 Being aboard The USS Arizona was both sobering and humbling.
Almost half of the casualties on that fateful day
 occurred on this naval battleship.
Among the 1,177 crewmen who were killed in the attack 
were 23 sets of brothers.

All 21 members of the Arizona's band, known as 
U.S. Navy Band Unit 22 were killed.
Most of it's members were up on deck 
to play music for the daily flag raising ceremony.
When the attack began they instantly moved
 to man their battle positions
 beneath the ship's gun turret.
At no other time in American history
 has an entire military band died in action.

 Since 1982, the U.S. Navy has allowed survivors to be interred
 in the ship's wreckage upon their deaths.
A memorial was built at the USS Arizona site,
 thanks in part to Elvis Presley.
In March 1961, Elvis, who had recently finished 
a two-year stint in the U.S. Army,
performed a benefit concert at Pearl Harbor's Block Arena
that raised over $50,000.
The monument was officially dedicated on May 30, 1962,
and attracts more than a million visitors a year.

This was a serendipity moment.
Those who know me will know why.
Perhaps a distant relative of my husband?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Shipwreck Near Goat Island on Oahu

 I'm guessing this is not a common sight on a Hawaiian beach.
One of the days we were in Hawaii a 55-foot sailing boat
slammed onto a reef and got destroyed.
The coast guard got stuck trying to rescue the people 
and then helicopters were sent in.
We heard them throughout the night.
Thankfully all were rescued and taken
 by ambulance to the local hospital.
 The following morning the once pristine beach 
was filled with wreckage.
The ocean continued to relentlessly spit the debris onto the shore
 as if to say,
"Respect me. I don't want your junk."

I went out for awhile and helped some neighboring beach renters
gather and throw the trash higher up towards the beach houses 
away from the continuous tides.
I found some interesting items:
Benadryl pills, a tube of denture fixative, nicotine patches,
a golf club, an empty yogurt container.

 This was a reminder to me about the power of the ocean.
She can be calm, tranquil, inviting.
But also turbulent, dangerous and scary.
Respect her.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Beaches, sea turtles, blossoms and shave ice

 Of course you purchase the traditional tourist photo 
with beautiful Polynesians.

 I took this photo from the ancient temple area of 
Pu'u O Ma'huka Heiau
overlooking the stunning Waimea Bay.
 We enjoyed a day in lovely Haleiwa,
and watched the sea turtles come on shore.
The Hawaiian Sea Turtle, or Honu,
is the symbol of longevity, peace, good luck, humility,
and the spirit within.
 This shoreline was different than the other beaches
 with black rock everywhere.
 I had fun watching these little friends waiting for 
the sea turtles to arrive.
As you can see the little girl was wearing a princess dress.

 One of my favorite shots.
 We were advised before our trip that we absolutely had to visit
Matsumoto Joe's Shave Ice while on the island.
And those folks weren't kidding.
We may have gone back more than once:)

 On our many drives, Bill was very patient with me 
as I kept asking him to stop the car and pull over
so I could get photos of all the amazing blossoms
 on the side of the road.

And yes, we also stopped to take home a piece of the famous pie!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Cycling to a higher realm

One of my dearest and best friends of 37 years
left this world suddenly on Memorial Day while on a regular bike ride with his wife Ann.
He arrived at the summit just a few minutes before her and when she caught up she found him
down on the road still clipped in his pedals.
Apparently it was heart failure.
The shocking thing is that he was 55, in perfect health with excellent weight and blood levels.
As Ann put it, "It was simply his time to go."
And then this beautiful declaration:
"He is my eternal companion-he is still just a few minutes ahead of me."

Trey is an exceptional person.
Our friendship goes back to university days.
I always felt like he was a brother to me.
I sang at his baptism into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
(in which he is currently serving as a Bishop),
I, and my other dear best friend Robbie, introduced him to his awesome wife.
(Ann was one of my mission companions.)
Trey is literally an "Ironman."
Almost 24 years ago he was hit head-on by a narcoleptic driver while cycling,
By all accounts he should have been dead.
After countless surgeries he is filled with metal
He is a miracle.

I blogged about our relationship in a post a few years ago.
You can read it HERE

Trey wrote an excellent book in 2013 that is on many 'must read' lists.
It details his accident and the lessons learned through his bike-riding experiences.
It is titled:
'Pedal Forward: The 10 Life and Business Lessons I Have Learned on My Bike'
You can read more about Trey here:

I have been a bit weepy this week as well as remembering so many wonderful times.
I was so looking forward to spending time with Trey and Ann
this summer as they come to Utah for their youngest son's wedding.
(Of course, I know Trey will be here regardless of his passing.)

This is how I've been feeling:
"The thing about old friends is not that they love you,
but that they know you.
And then one of them is gone, and you have lost a chunk of yourself.
Loss is singular, one beloved at a time."
~Anna Quindlen

Until we meet again my friend,
Happy cycling in the great beyond!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Laie Hawaii Temple

 Such a lovely temple.
Bill and I enjoyed a portion of our day doing work for some 
family members we had found through Family Search.

 As we were leaving the temple we had a serendipity moment.
We ran into some former neighbors of ours who were there for their son's wedding.
They insisted we stay to witness their marriage sealing.
It was a lovely moment.

 Another wonderful serendipity moment was seeing our friends Gene and Andrea Priday.
They are serving as directors of the visitor's center.
They oversee several missionaries with a large amount of them being sisters.
Gene was the Registrar for several years at BYU when my daughters worked
in Records and Registration. 
And his sister Janet is one of our dear, long-time friends.
The world is indeed small and especially in the church family.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Polynesian Cultural Center

 The Polynesian Cultural Center was born in 1963
as an extension and focal point of BYU-Hawaii.
I have been hearing about it for most of my life.
What a thrill to finally get to go there.
It is everything I had heard and more!

 My husband was in charge of this year's university conference for technology
which is held every four years on the BYU-Hawaii campus. 
He has been a few times over the years and it has never worked for me to tag along.
But this year, the stars aligned.

A new addition to the PCC.
This is Joseph Kekuku, the inventor of the steel guitar.
The statue was done by sculptor Leroy Transfield,
a BYU-Hawaii alum. It was unveiled on April 27th of this year.
Kekuku, born and raised in Laie, was a huge influence
on country, jazz and big band music.

 Check out the guy climbing the coconut tree!
The PCC is comprised of different villages representing all of Polynesia.
My favorite village of the day was Samoa...
(Photo credit: Trip Advisor)

Mostly because of this guy:
Kap Te'o-Tafiti of Samoa.
He was amazingly talented and so very funny.
He had the entire crowd in the palm of his hand.

 I loved seeing the carved tikis.
They remind of my dad.
He was a talented wood-carver
and carved many different tikis during his lifetime.

 I also enjoyed visiting the Maori village.
My dad served a three year LDS mission to New Zealand
and I grew up hearing the stories and feeling a connection to the people.
(Isn't this a beautiful ceiling?)

 After visiting all the villages we were treated to a delightful water parade.
 This was my favorite photo I took all day.
I'll admit I was super excited for the luau.
Okay, I like food!
It was fun to see the unveiling of the kalua pork
that we would soon be eating.
Sorry Wilbur. You were delicious!!

 Bill let his sweet-tooth take over and went back for seconds at the dessert table.

 There is a new shopping village that has been added to the PCC in the past couple of years.
Several retail shops as well as food carts and other vendors.
Many of the employees are BYU-Hawaii students.
We happened upon these sisters performing a lovely hula dance at the center gazebo.

(photo credit:

The highlight of the experience was the outstanding musical production
performed in the arena theatre called "Breath of Life."
Complete with amazing fire-dancers.
It was stunning and and the perfect way to end our wonderful day!