Transitions and Treasures

Christmas 2014 is now in the history books but was quite epic for me this year. On the one hand, it is a time of major transition that will take some adjustment. Both my children and their families have moved to distant parts of the country so this was the first time ever there were no kiddos around to enjoy Christmas morning (to be fair, my oldest brother spent Christmas with me and my parents and he’s still acts like a kid sometimes, albeit one who is now retired). Still, the celebration was one that was amazing. Christmas day is my Mom’s birthday and I always try to spend the day with her. This year work gifted us an extra day off (pinch me–that still blows me away) which allowed for a few days to spend out-of-town at Mom and Dad’s. And while it was eerily quiet and definitely NOT the hallmark of past family get togethers (due to sheer numbers, not drama), it was decidedly very different without the kidlets.

Christmas is tailor-made for little kids, their excitement, their energy…it’s the perfect recipe for experiencing the joy and fun of Christmas. Not having any little kids around this year left me completely out of step, off-balance even, though I did enjoy the time spent with my parents and yes, even my adolescent-like brother. We talked, laughed and ate/drank but it was clearly different and weirdly odd from past Christmases when the house is full of noise and activity.

Yet it appears that Santa reads this blog because he sent these two incredible treasures.

Santa to the rescue!

‘Colorado Santa’ gifted me a vintage and exquisite genuine alligator handbag which was from my much beloved grandmother in Germany. This bag is probably over 60 years old and is so beautifully made; it’s almost a work of art and one that I’m almost afraid to use (but definitely WILL!). It will be one amazing accessory for sure but more importantly it will be an absolute treasure in my heart/soul and one that will always make me always smile at its history. It  will (a) remind me of two very special family members and (b) remind me of my German heritage. Every time I’ll look at it, memories full of love and gratitude will be triggered about two very special family members. <3

‘Hawaiian Santa’ (and newly appointed manager of Martin & MacAurthur in Kona 🙂 and who also happened to be the same benefactor of the once beloved Goldpfeil wallet brutally eviscerated by one damn standard poodle who shall remain nameless!) gifted the gorgeous wallet with Koa wood monogram. It is beyond gorgeous and unfortunately the photo does neither piece any justice. If you don’t know about Koa wood, check out M&M’s website ( – their stuff is fabulous and gorgeous.

Both gifts absolutely took my breath away, will be forever adored and will make my heart sing whenever I look at them. Of course I love them–they are both truly exquisite (I mean, what’s not to love–they are both gorgeous), but I’m in love with the heartfelt memories they will generate especially at a time when I was feeling off kilter and out of sync. Should Sam begin to cast even a tiny glance toward either of them, he shall be flogged like the red-headed step child that he is! Seriously though, when not being used, they will both be under lock and key behind closed doors and kept well away from that dimwit!

Oceans of gratitude and love to both ‘Santas.’ I hope they know how much their gifts meant to me and how incredibly grateful I am for their thoughtfulness. You guys are truly the best!

What made your Christmas wonderful? Was it different from past Christmases? <3

Catching the wave

A few days ago I traveled to the Big Island to witness my granddaughter graduate from high school. It’s such an honor to share this rite of passage from schoolgirl to poised, confident young woman.  While Sam couldn’t be with us, his absence gave me pause to reflect on this life tradition.

The Waveriders are the school mascot.  A fitting moniker given the location and when you think about it, a very apropos analogy for life beyond high school.  We all have ups and downs, the trick is to keep riding the wave of life, always hoping to catch the next big one.

in Hawaii, graduation is more than just a celebration of a young person’s transition from school to “the real world.”  It had an almost carnival feel to it.  Mere words seem inadequate to describe the feeling.  People are laid back and casual, some come in T-shirts and shorts, most wear Flip flops.  It’s really about celebrating the human family because indeed it takes a village…parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, school officials, community.  They all play a vital part in transitioning our beautiful children into thoughtful adults who honor them by contributing back-doing the same thing for future grads.  This is especially true in Hawaii. Ohana here means no one gets left behind.

This process is much like hospice therapy. When I return to the mainland, I’ll have an even better sense of that. Witnessing the profound stories of patients, their friends and family celebrating the life of remarkable people. Their final journey to the next life with friends and family near their side, wishing them a joyful journey into the next realm, whatever it might be. While we may be saddened by their leaving us, it kind of reminded me of those high school graduates. They’ll be leaving their families soon, off to college or to begin starting of their own families. Just like hospice patients, they will still need us by their side to reach the next chapter riding the next wave of greatness through our actions or our legacies.  Go forth Hailey!  Catch a big one.  I’ll be here watching you soar till it’s my turn to have you watch me catch my last one on earth. <3