This month’s biggest revelation is that, although it’s still sunny and warm each day, the year is actually coming toward an end. In a sudden and panicked realization of this passage of time, I hurriedly prepared my holiday cards and mailed them way too early. This will likely cause some alarm in the recipients.
Below are some tidbits from the last month. I hope that you’re all well and enjoying the march of seasons.
Tropical Halloween: I’ve spent most of my Halloweens in the Northeast and have come to associate it with the change of seasons and colder weather. Here on the south shore of Maui, the days have cooled a little, but only from the low 90s to the mid 80s. The hillside of the crater on the eastside is called ‘up country’ and weather there is milder and wetter. On Halloween weekend, we went ‘up country’ to a farm in Kula to pick-up a pumpkin, have a waffle dog and look at the goats grazing with a view of the ocean below. Our chosen pumpkin now sits in our backyard as a reminder of past Halloweens when raccoons would steal them for dinner or neighborhood kids would swipe them to smash in the street.
Island Formation: As part of my role as a trail steward at Haleakala National Park, I’m learning more about the history of the islands. The islands were all formed by a single hotspot. Hotspots are where magma flows from a puncture in the Earth’s crust. The build-up of hardened lava eventually forms a seamount and then an island. Since the hotspot stays in one place while the Pacific tectonic plate drifts slowly to the northwest, new islands are formed in a line from the northwest (older islands) to the southeast (new islands). In fact, a new island, Loihi, is already forming under the sea. Just in case you were hoping to move to Loihi, you will not be able to buy beachside property for a few thousand more years.
What I Miss: During the month of October, I received lots of texts from friends in New England that included photos of the bright autumn foliage. Looking at the photos, I can almost hear the rustling of the leaves as they’re blown across the trails that Abbey and I once hiked. I also received a reminder to register for the Manchester Road Race. I felt sad about missing out on this Thanksgiving Day tradition that we’ve taken part in for years. Most of all, I miss all the spontaneous chats between workouts and seeing friends on a daily basis.
What I Don’t Miss: I don’t miss ticks. Definitely not ticks. Also, I won’t miss needing to pull off miraculous recoveries in order to remain upright after an early morning slip on an unseen patch of ice. Most of all, I don’t miss wearing long pants. Shorts life is for me.
Sunrise/Sunset: Hawaii does not observe daylight savings time. This means there is never a dramatic shift in sunrise and sunset times. In addition, Hawaii is much closer to the equator. New York is about 2,800 miles from the equator and Hawaii is just 1,400 miles away. On the longest day in the island, June 22nd, sunrise is 5:20 AM and sunset 6:29 PM. On the shortest day, December 21st, sunrise is 6:57 AM and sunset is 5:49 PM. There’s only about two and a half hours difference between the shortest and longest days. In New York City, the difference in the span of daylight can reach nearly six hours.
Fourth Friday and Made In Maui: On Maui, five of the bigger towns host a ‘party’’ on a different Friday. Our town of Kihei hosts ‘Fourth Friday’ each month. One of the local shopping areas is blocked off to allow about twenty food trucks and dozens of tented booths to be set up. There are also vintage automobiles and live entertainment.
Last weekend, the Made In Maui festival was held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Local artisans gathered to offer their food, drink, arts, crafts and clothing. It was a great opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping and visit the food trucks assembled nearby.
Not So Prime Shipping: I’ve been a long-time Prime member with Amazon and have always enjoyed the option for two-day shipping. I shouldn’t be surprised that Prime to Maui isn’t likely to arrive in two days. Sometimes the packages don’t arrive at all. There are no big malls or outlets here. Most of the shops are small specialty shops and many cater to tourism. On the flipside, I don’t really need much since I’ve worn Life Is Good t-shirts everyday for four months.
Dangerous Paradise: I’d have to say that I appreciate the aloha spirit present on the island. Residents of the island are mostly friendly and warm. As we make our daily rounds, the dog walkers in my area are respectful and careful. Despite being introverted, I’ve made acquaintances when volunteering, at CrossFit and the nearby bike shop where, unfortunately, I’ve been a frequent visitor due to six flat tires.
This ‘paradise’ can have its hazards. Two weeks ago, a couple vacationers drown when swimming in the ocean. The waves are getting much bigger this time of year. This week, a kayaker went missing and has yet to be found. People often worry about sharks, but most of the tragedies here are from misadventures.
That noted, Hawaii has the highest average life expectancy of all states with an average of 80.7 years while Mississippi is lowest at 71.9 years. Maui itself has an average of 83.3 years. So living here isn’t detrimental to the residents. It’s potentially more hazardous to overly adventurous visitors.
When you move to the ‘rainbow state’, you might expect to see more rainbows than just those on the state’s license plates. The first three months were pretty underwhelming. I was starting to think ‘rainbow state’ was a misnomer. Now that we’ve entered into a more rainy time of year, the state is beginning to live up to its claim with rainbows popping up on a regular basis. I have to say, seeing a rainbow is always a nice surprise and never gets old.
Coming up next month: Thanksgiving in Hawaii.
P.S. — Abbey shenanigans…