Friday, April 29, 2011

A Day in the Life of Kathryn

Kathryn at home
I have this friend, Kathryn, who somehow lucked out and landed in Hawaii after college, and stayed there. She's lived on Oahu and the big island of Hawaii at different points in her life since then (1984), and now lives back on Oahu on the north side of the island. She's a teacher, and has devoted her life to patiently teaching English to non-English-speaking kids to help them get through our education system. What's great about Kathryn and her teaching is that when a bunch of kids want to do the can-can during recess--kicking in unison with their shoes off--instead of normal playground games (to the chagrin of the principal who would prefer the shoes stay on), she doesn't make them stop. That's Kathryn. She appreciates the uniqueness of her kids--not only her students, but also her own two offspring, handsome Pepe (18) and lovely Vika (16). 

So my brother Rick signs a contract to complete a six-month stint in American Samoa to work in their government's legal system. I wanted to visit him, and noticed that in order to fly to American Samoa, you first must make a pit-stop in Hawaii. Darn those pit-stops. Hawaii it was, then, and when I wrote Kathryn to see if she'd have time to meet up with me, we ended up making plans for her to 1) pick me up at the airport; 2) take me all over Oahu; 3) let me stay at her house with her two kids, four dogs, and two cats (and a really big spider, but that comes later); 4) take me back to the airport for me to get to Samoa; 5) pick me back up again when I return from Samoa, at 5:30 a.m.; 6) bring me back to the airport to fly home to Arizona; and 7) feed me the entire time. Nice friend, eh? Can't do much better than that.

View from Kathryn's back deck, overlooking the ocean

K picked me up, and we started on a three-day mix of relaxation, sight-seeing, meeting her friends, and generally doing exactly what I wanted to do--see how my friend Kathryn lives and how she's doing here in Hawaii.

Her new slightly used Mercedes, a treat to herself, got in a few miles with K taking me all around the island, from Diamond Head to the beach along the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge. Her house was a delight, up on a hill overlooking the ocean. Windows are open almost all the time, and the constant breeze kept me cool. Due to having four dogs that tend to stake themselves out a spot in the living room, that's where K slept, giving me her bedroom.

Dogs staked out in the living room;
me eating breakfast
                  So let's introduce the dogs:




And the big guy
whose name I could never

Two left feet! Our pedicures.
So what all did we do? Mostly, the whole visit with Kathryn was eye candy. Mountains, steeply rising from the ocean. Oh, the ocean, too. Ahh. We visited a few shops I wanted to see--first of all, a yarn shop that is owned by the sister of the lady who owns the yarn shop in my little town. Then, a bead store. The bead store just so happened to be kitty-corner from the Honolulu Goodwill. Let me tell you, that is one great Goodwill. In between the bead store and the Goodwill was a lovely nail salon, and Kathryn and I stopped in for a manicure and pedicure (my first, and now I'm hooked).

Manicure with painted flower, LOVE IT.

  I spent an inordinate amount of time on K's bed. Check out this bedroom and you'll see why:
The breezes, the fresh tropical air!
Note the cat on the bed...and the
sparkly things dangling from the windows.
Her dresser is one decked out after my own heart, a bunch of crap all over the place, and I loved it:

OK, the spider. My last night there, Kathryn is nosing around the bedroom, doing whatever, and I hear this "Trach, you gotta come here and see this." Well, my immediate response was "it's gotta be some big bug, no way." It was. I peered around the doorframe (not coming into the room if at all possible), and could see the creature in the photo below on the wall BEHIND WHERE MY HEAD WOULD BE WHEN I SLEEP:

Note the hand in relation to the spider, they're about
 Geezy Pete. K thought I'd be interested in the thing because I'm some sort of biologist (whatever), but nope, not so. You can see we ("we." I can hear Kathryn laughing. Not "we"; it should read: Kathryn) eventually captured it, but not that first time. Chaos ensued for a bit while Pepe and Kathryn, with me cheering them on, tried to get it, but it creeped away to somewhere BEHIND THE BED.

I then figured that I would really dearly love to sleep in the living room with the dogs instead of ON THAT BED. Why should I keep taking Kathryn's bed away from her? Generous me would gladly give it up. As luck would have it, about 45 minutes later, K finds it again, we box it up, take a picture, and SHE LET IT GO IN HER YARD. Spooky. I slept in the bed pretty soundly that night, though.

Well, I don't want the last picture in this entry to be of a huge spider, so here are some last photos from Oahu that will remind you that all is not creepy crawly:

I don't remember exactly where this was, but it's Oahu and lovely

Better view of the ocean from K's yard. There it is.

View from a trail above K's house;
her house is down on the left hidden by her yard's trees.

The mountains on Oahu. You see this just about everywhere.

Walking the beach near J. Campbell N. Wildlife Refuge.
Old cemetary. K is walking with Lealani, a neighbor and good friend.

Smucks and Marley showing off their easy life.




  1. Hi Sue! Its me Lea Lani. I love your new blog, and appreciate the great photos you posted of Kathryn's life. So nice to have met you and I'm happy you enjoyed your trip to the Pacific - hopefully many more to come! My blog I've kept of our life in Tonga is so come by for a visit and keep in touch! I'll follow you on the blogger and hope to read more of your blogs, especially interested to know how your gardens turn out! You'll motivate me to keep blogging, I've really fallen off since I've been in Hawaii. The move to Fiji is still going slow. Keep in touch. Aloha, Lani

  2. Thanks, Lea--so great to hear from you, and yes, let's keep each other motivated to continue blogging. Love yours, too--been looking through it (and yes, I think pineapple is one of the best foods too!

  3. Sue,
    What a wonderful Blog! (Katherine gave me a heads up) Would love to see a picture where we could all appreciate how great you look after losing the 50 pounds. Anyway - Enjoyed the writing and the pictures - thanks for sharing
    Peter (Eckhoff)

  4. Hey Pete! Long time no see! Thanks for taking a look at my blog--one of these days I'll post some before/after weight-loss pics, when I get down about another 10 lbs. Hope all is well, and keep in touch!