Winter Solstice

When the weather is so nice (no snow) it’s hard to believe that next week is Christmas…..our first Hawaiian Christmas….we have friends coming from Wisconsin (Anton and Marcia) that will be fun, the last time we spent Christmas with them was in India, 2000. We have plans to watch the sunset at The Beach House, according to Martha Stewart, the most romantic place to watch the sunset, besides the food is great! Christmas in Hawaii begs the question that all good Hawaiians ask at this time of year – ‘what flavor of Spam so we serve for Christmas dinner’? You’ll have to check back next week to what Marcia and I come up with!

Donna, the South Shore Monk Seal coordinator, is on the mainland for a couple of weeks, so I’m the substitute. That means I’m called at every seal haul-out here on the South Shore, I get to call volunteers to provide coverage since there are quite a few tourists on the beaches. We’ve been fairly lucky so far and had a couple of days off, good because many of our volunteers are off-island for the holiday. We had one morning that a new seal (to us) RO18 hauled out on the Poipu island, but so many people crowded around that he didn’t stay very long…..he is a north shore seal that isn’t used to people, like K31. Many turtles have been coming on shore too. It’s funny to see the tourists crowd around a seal and when a turtle comes up, the whole mass crowds over around the turtle. So many pneople feel like they should go touch either the seal or the turtle, not comprehending that they are wild animals as well as being protected. There is a significant fine for harassing either one. The turtles, the Green Sea turtles, are very large many over three feet in diameter.

We’ve had rain all week, though not all day long. We are always surprised to notice that, given the high humidity, our clothing dries so quickly after getting soaked. And the temperatures have bee extremely pleasant, highs around 80 and overnight lows 65…. We even need a sweater or light jacket in the evening. We are, however, ready for Christmas.

20131222-142946.jpg. Speaking of the weather, one of our former Verona neighbors sent us a couple of photos of our house after a recent snow storm. It looked nice, and was good to see (thanks John!). But did I mention that it also looked very cold?

We’ve been struggling the last few weeks along with the Packers. Initially they were to be on national TV for several recent games, only to be replaced when Aaron Rodgers was injured. This means that we either skip the game, or go to a sports bar to see it. The local sports bar tries to be ‘all things to all people’, meaning that they have about 50 TVs, and try to show all games. And the chaos reaches a crescendo when various teams score at the same time. West coast teams have become our bane, since we have so many west coast visitors here. Their screams and shouts of joy overwhelm the rest of us. But even this week we found some Packer fans too shrill, so we departed at halftime. Gone are the days of enjoying a quiet afternoon watching football!

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