We returned home from Honolulu on Sunday night, and Alley was very glad to welcome us by running madly around the house. Oh to be that energetic!
Tuesday, Election Day, dawned bright and early for us, we had to be at the poll at 5:30 am. It is only next door so not a long walk. Elections in Hawaii are very odd in that the poll workers are sequestered, and can’t leave the polling place until the election is over….no breaks. It is interesting to see all our neighbors traipsing in. Unfortunately, by the time the polls close, 6pm, we are all pretty punchy. And we have to then take down the voting booths and tables, put everything away, and sweep the room. This year was particularly stressful when, at 6 pm there was still one last voter in a booth. All 14 of us poll workers were sitting and waiting to clean up, when finally at 6:15 pm she emerged to inform us that she messed up the ballot. A new ballot was provided and she re entered the booth. 14 tired people then sat down and waited…..again. Finally, at around 6:45 pm she completed her ballot and had it read into the ballot box. Since our precinct was the first officials were finalizing, all the precincts in Koloa were waiting for us to finish. Hawaii could take lessons from Sara, the Middleton, Wisconsin election official and schedule shifts; 14 hours is a long time for us retired people to work uninterrupted!
Allie was very very happy to welcome us home, she hadn’t eaten since early morning. After eating, she bounced around the house not letting us to relax at all. She was super energetic – it was obvious that she didn’t get enough stimulation during our absence. She even wanted to help load the dishwasher.
Charlie got a telephone call when we were in Oahu telling him that he had won a Master Gardener class for a drawing at the county fair. Since it was my birthday, he kindly gave it to me as a birthday present. It consists of a semester course meeting once a week and 50 hours of volunteer time. I expect to learn a whole lot about growing plants in Hawaii. It sounds very intense and it has an examination upon completion. It’s pretty cool since it normally costs $160.
We got a call again about seals playing in a small cove near the airport and I trekked down to observe 5 seals frolicking. Charlie and I returned the next day and saw 6 seals playing together in the water.
These are three young adult males defying what we say is the solitary nature of monk seals. Mimi says that this is “sex play” determining dominance in young males. Occasionally, weaners and sub adults hang out together. At any rate it was quite a treat to see them like this.
Saturday night was the 150th anniversary of Grove Farm. The Wilcox family bought the land and established a sugar mill in Lihue in 1864. 24 year old George Wilcox irrigated and made a successful plantation that was made into a museum in 1968. The celebration entailed a luau that invited celebrities and the entertainment featured a Hawaiian trio, Wailoa; a renowned hula group that has won many awards, Halau Ka Lei Mokihana o Leina’ala; an internationally known jazz singer, Melveen Leed; and Wilcox School Creative Arts students (3rd, 4th, and 5th graders). We were fortunate enough to have a front table that included Robert Noble (the Grove Farm staff member who put the program together), Donna, an astronaut Milli and her husband (Milli went into space in the 90s), Tree and Shannon (seal volunteers), and Maya (a good friend of Donna’s who happens to be Barack Obama’s sister). Not only were we entertained by the official entertainment, but also by the guests at our table. Everyone had extremely interesting lives to tell about.