Sunday, May 23, 2010

Carefree Travel in Europe

My daughter, Becky, will be traveling to Germany and Denmark soon for a summer session program. 20 days on the continent. Since she started going to college, I kept encouraging her to take a semester abroad as part of her college experience. Now that the travel is fast upon us, I am worried about this and that. This morning, I got up at 4:00 am to pen her a list of things she should be doing, things she should not be doing, yada, yada, yada.

Now that I have completed my list of cautions and advisories, I feel suddenly lighter. In the meantime, I have given her a list of 20 things she should remember.
I wonder if all parents have the same anxieties as they allow their children to spread their wings in Europe?

Parents are filled with anxiety, concern, worry, and the worst case scenarios.

Youth are filled with hope, excitement, enthusiasm, and the desire to capture life.

No wonder we don't see a mass exodus of empty nesters traveling abroad just to explore the world. We are too full of anxiety, worry, concern, and the worst case scenarios.

The irony of the situation is that all of us parents have lived through our "devil-may-care, all-out-adventure" stage of our youth and have survived very well, thank you very much. So why would our experience cause us to shackle our kids with our anxiety?

So to Becky Hughes, I take back my list of 20 advisories and encourage you to have a GREAT TIME in EUROPE!!! Love you very, very much!! Love Mom

Monday, May 10, 2010

May Day is Lei Day

Coming from Lahaina where plumeria were abundant, making a lei meant scampering outside with a paper bag, picking the fragrant blossoms, sitting under the mango tree, and stringing the garland of flowers. A snap!

Plumeria are like gold in East Hawai'i. Living in the mountains, making a lei takes a lot more time and effort. There are the fragile but pungent yellow ginger. But you need to pick the just about to open blossoms about noon time, place them gently on beds of wet ti leaves or paper towels and store them in the refrigerator until you have enough flowers for a lei.

Ti leaf leis are also an option but they do not have the lovely fragrance factor. Ti leaves grown green and abundantly in our area. The simple leis can be dressed up by using the various colored ti leaves, adding in fern or fake maile leaves, or wrapping ti leaf roses. Red leaves, purple leaves, yellow leaves, green leaves...the possibilities are many provided you have patience and ingenuity.

Travel a few miles up and liko lehua lei materials can be found along with the various ferns. Pick the shoot tips, clean the materials, spread out your mat and then spend the next two hours or so wrapping the arrangements of flowers and greenery on a backing. A treasured lei indeed.

But the simplicity of making a lei are gone. To wear a lei for May Day in the mountains takes time and planning. Perhaps that is why the gift of leis becomes more precious.