Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pineapple Express

Last year this time
nine members
of my family came to visit
from upstate New York.
They all stayed
at the Queen Kapiolani,
which is on the zoo side of Waikiki.
This included my parents, both of my sisters, one brother-in-law, his parents
and my niece 11 and nephew 13 that I hadn’t seen in
ten years.
They rented two cars
plus my Hyundai made a caravan.
My brilliant husband, volunteered to stay home and cook for the tribe.

Two unforgettable weeks of hurry up and wait, from hiking up Diamond Head to strolling Waimea Falls. Patiently looking for this one and that one in the forty ninth ABC store in the International Marketplace. My camera snapping hundreds of pictures, capturing precious moments.
One of the highlights was a kids fishing contest for golden tilapia on Easter in my small fishpond.

Still the days flew by, on the last day here I took them to Dole Plantation.
Having acquired some wisdom by this time, we decided to skip the Maze
instead we boarded the Pineapple Express
to ride the train and hear the history of the plantation.
Taking us back over one hundred years
to when the settlers traveled by wagon train
across the southern plains with the Navaho, Apache and the Hopi.
Everyone on the wagon train had their job, knew what was expected.
Most got along, because they had to, to survive.
When the leader said Wagons Ho--the smart ones all got
into their wagons and followed. When the Indians
attacked they circled, got out their guns and shot
anything that moved. There was a certain order to things.
Only this was 1900’s Hawaii, so it would’ve been the Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese,
Hawaiian, Japanese, Puerto Rican, Korean, Okinawan and let’s not
forget the haole (white man). And this was a pineapple plantation reminding me of the song
about owing your soul to the company store, another chapter of the story.

Yes we’ve come a long way since the 1900’s.
Today we tell each other our plans, agree
and then do something else entirely, makes you wonder
when we lost our ability to communicate, I mean how many families
do you know that resort to yodeling
next to the outdoor
kiosk at the local tourist attraction
torn between the handmade coconut purses and
the parking lot,
looking one more time
for your missing loved one.

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