Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Norfolk Pines in Black and White

I love black and white photos. They are so clear cut and sharp. No colors interfere with the meaning of the shot. The darkness is obvious against the light, and the contrast is easy to see. I sometimes wish life were like that - black and white and easy to understand. All the colors of life blend together in this confusing way, making me unable to determine where the lines are. I can't seem to find the pretty white fenced-in path that leads to all things beautiful. Wouldn't it be easier if I were colorblind and only saw the darkness and the light? But then again, black and white photos are filled with gray as well. And if the world were colorless, we could only lead pale and colorless lives. Not all things need to be known and understood this very moment. Sometimes the colors need to blend and time needs to grow before we can really see. 

These are some photos of the Norfolk pine trees that grow all over the island. They always remind me of Lincoln Logs for some reason. Their scattered branches and clumps of needles are best shown in black and white, I think. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Day After Easter

Monday, Monday... I hope you all had a sparkling weekend and a blessed Resurrection Day! This is the first day in a while that I can leisurely sit down with my tea and enjoy some catching up with you. There was much work to be done last week, and by the time the weekend came, the minutes kept filling up with adventures, road trips, strawberries, and slightly unexpected guests. Strangely enough, I took no photos this weekend, just let all the joy and friendship seep into memories. 

Among other things, we took a last minute road trip to the other side of the island, and since it was Earth Day, we stopped at two of three possible Starbucks to keep refilling our thermoses with free iced tea. Driving along the coast is a favorite of mine, and good company makes it even better. 

On Easter Sunday, we had a group of our good friends over for our traditional lunch after church. Let it be said, the jelly beans had a very short life. Two epic games of "Jacuzzi" later, we found ourselves at the tennis court, where I proceeded to embarrass myself with my obvious problem with depth perception. I never was very athletic, but had more fun than I thought I would. 

It was amazing to be able to spend these days with such great friends and family, and I am so thankful, knowing how undeserving I am. The other day, I overheard someone say that Good Friday meant you had to be a good person, that it reminded you to do penance and whatnot. This stuck me as very sad, as I thought this completely missed the point of Good Friday, the day Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of His people. He died because we could never be good enough to cover our sin, because there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. Only by grace are we saved through faith. Being good has nothing to do with it. If we know that Jesus died for us, then we should be filled with a desire to obey Him out of gratitude. The incredible hope of the Resurrection that we celebrate on Easter Sunday should fill us with hope and belief that Jesus conquered death, that we will overcome through Him. This is true love. This is a freedom beyond measure.

hibiscus after the rain

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Seaside Signage

The small details are the ones that count, right? When you live on an island, the sea seeps into all the little cracks and crannies of life. It doesn't take a long time to realize when you're by the seaside; all the signs are pointing to it.

You know you're at the seashore when the pedestrian crossing signs look like this:

Quicksilver and Roxy- surf shops for those who know how to spend a Quickdollar. (As a note, have you ever noticed that the Quicksilver/Roxy stores in the mountains show surfing movies on their TVs, while the stores by the beach show snowboarding movies? The grass is always greener...)

Mmm... Aloha is so tasty

Lappert's Kauai Pie? Best ice cream ever!

 I love this sign - it would go great in my imaginary beach house!

Bubba's Burgers - great beach food, but I must say their milkshakes are better than their burgers.

No, it's not a snow cone, a slushie, or even a shaved ice - it's SHAVE ICE.

Found this down at the harbor - it's all written in Pidgin, which is a slang made up of English, Japanese, and Filipino words and who knows what else.

I'm a sand people, what are you?

I thought it was cool how the store was able to put an outrigger canoe up above, making you look like you're Overboard.

Aloha means: Hello, Goodbye, Love, Peace, and pretty much whatever you want it to mean.

E Komo Mai means: Welcome 

This should have been my license plate, but unfortunately, my only boat is imaginary, and for some reason, the state won't give me an imaginary license plate.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Island Life, Part Two

There's just something about quiet harbor days that gets in your soul and makes music with your memories. I took these harbor photos the day before the tsunami, strangely enough, when the world felt peaceful and the boats weren't capsized. I love these houses on stilts above the calm waters. Beach houses are amazing and all, but harbor houses have a beauty all their own.

...boating downhill...

Cars can only get you so far on an island. One of the best ways to see the bigger beauty of the coastline is by sea. Kayaks and canoes are a lot of fun if you don't mind a little exercise and a lot of fresh air.

Abandoned boats in the harbor strike me as some of the most peaceful things in the world.

There was this solitary man gazing out to sea, and this solitary chicken gazing at the man gazing out to sea.

I'm not quite certain what kind of tree these are, but it reminds me of photos I've seen of Africa. It's so beautiful how the leaves grow on the top, leaving the stark branches silhouetted against the tropical sky.

...I'm going to call this one Stu...

The sounds of Hawaii: ocean waves, myna birds, rustling of the palm trees, and ... WEED WHACKERS.

This poor man was having a little difficulty attaching his whale weather vane to the roof; he was also probably wondering why I was taking his picture.

...classic postcard shot...

Call me crazy, but I, like Lilo, enjoy taking photos of tourists, especially of snorkelers. They're such a fascinating species ;)

A couple Fridays ago, I went to art night at one of our small towns. The art community gets together - musicians line the sidewalks and the art galleries open their doors to show off their paintings. It was rainy and dark, so I didn't get many good photos...

These orchids are absolutely real, showing off the artwork of their Creator.

One of the best things about island life? Sunsets on the sea every single night. I love living in a place where the people line the sea at the end of the day and cheer and clap as the sun sinks beneath the horizon.

"I want to live where the talk of the town was about last night when the sun went down." ~ Jack Johnson

I would also like to thank Maya over at Completely Coastal for sharing my post about the Bethany Hamilton movie Soul Surfer. Completely Coastal is a beautiful blog - if you enjoy seaside living and decor, you'll love exploring this site. I really enjoy looking at all the photos and getting ideas for coastal decoration. Thanks so much, Maya!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Soul Surfer: The Story of Bethany Hamilton

Last night, I had the opportunity to watch the new movie "Soul Surfer" which tells the incredible story of Bethany Hamilton and how she overcame some extremely difficult circumstances. Here in Hawaii, Bethany Hamilton is kind of a big deal. She's a professional surfer, the daughter of surfers, and if you haven't noticed, surfing is a big deal here. But Bethany Hamilton has become more than a surfer to the people of Hawaii. She is a soul surfer - her heart and soul is what makes her who she is. 

When Bethany was only thirteen years old and destined for a successful career in professional surfing, she was attacked by a shark while she was surfing with some friends. The shark took off her left arm just below the shoulder, as well as a huge chunk of her board. Bethany remained calm, in shock, as her best friend's dad tied a tourniquet around her wound and paddled her to shore. By the time the ambulance took her to the hospital and the doctors stopped the bleeding, she had lost over 60% of her blood, coming dangerously close to death. When she recovered and was able to go home, Bethany still had the hardest trials in front of her. I can't imagine how frustrating it must have been, having to learn how to do everything with only one arm and hand, not being able to play the ukulele or guitar, not being able to dress yourself. But for Bethany, the hardest thing was not being able to surf, which is what she loves to do. The movie shows the journey Bethany took learning how to surf again, how she got over the obstacles that stood between her and her passion, how she came back to professional surfing.

The movie "Soul Surfer" captured a key ingredient to this moving story: the faith and trust in God that Bethany has. Bethany's Dad quotes Philippians 4:13 - "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Bethany learned that whatever happened, God was the one in control. Even when bad things happen, God has a greater purpose. Sometimes we don't see things clearly, but it's all about perspective. God gave Bethany the strength to surf again. He gave her perspective. She learned that life wasn't just about surfing, that there's something bigger than that. Through all of her struggles, Bethany Hamilton was given the opportunity to reach out to people and tell them of the hope inside her. Her witness was made greater through the hard times. 

The movie came off as a little corny at parts, but overall I really enjoyed it. The story is amazing, even if you're not into surfing. It's also a great family film, if you're looking for a good excuse for a family outing. "Soul Surfer" stars AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany Hamilton. The cast also includes Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, and Carrie Underwood.  Watch the trailer and spread the word! Don't miss out :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Island Life, Part One

 Living in Hawaii has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Not many people get to call paradise home. Although I can't always be on vacation here (yes, people do have to work in paradise), I like to get out and explore my island - the people and places that fall through the cracks so many times. The seaside is always my favorite place to escape to, rain or shine. There's just something about being on the edge of the land looking out to the indefinite that puts your mind at rest. The islands also have a lot of local farmers' markets that provide locally grown, organic food and a unique atmosphere for the community to get together.

We're in the last stretches of the Rainy Season here. I took these two photos a few months ago on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I love rainy days at the beach - the tourists are few, the air tastes like heaven, and the sea sits by itself with a happy face at being ignored.

And here's a photo of random wild chickens eating some Lucky Charms.

Walking to the farmers' market...

At this particular open-air market, the vendors have tables scattered throughout a shopping center. Here's someone selling wheat grass...

...and a gecko...

...someone selling macadamia nuts...

These are flowers that grow in the cooler regions of the mountains. I can't remember what they're called, but they are so beautiful and exotic, like they came right out of the Garden of Eden.

...someone selling orchids...

This guy was playing an electric ukulele. The ukulele is probably the most popular instrument around here. If you are interested in listening to some, I recommend trying the musical genius of Jake Shimabukuro. Watch this video and get blown away.

Stat tuned for Island Life Part Two which I hope to post later this week.
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