Planet Haolewood

A toolbox, a change of underwear, and a surfboard.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

1982 Family Vacation


Each of the students in my eighth grade class (a group whose members probably compose the majority of Planet Haolewood’s audience) wrote a short paragraph in our school year book that was supposed to sum up how we felt about our cozy little school. I chose to relate a story about how in the summer after 4th grade my teacher instructed each of us to write a letter while school was out, photocopy it and mail it to everyone else in the class. That way each of us would receive 20 letters over the summer. Most of the class did not complete the assignment (you know who you are, people! I’m still waiting for that letter…) and of those who did I was apparently the only one who sent a copy to our teacher, Roger. On the first day of the next school year Roger thanked me and gave me a box on pencils to take with me as I set out to begin life in “the upper school,” which is what we called 5th-8th grade.

In the letter I wrote about my family’s trip to Kauai and about our hike to a beach. While we were at the beach it rained so much that the small stream we had crossed to get there had swollen to a raging torrent. When it was time to leave we had no choice but to cross the stream again and risk being swept out to sea. I held my dad’s hand tightly and I remember being very scared but we all made it ok. That was 24 years ago.

No one in my family remembered the name of the beach but it’s a small island and I have been able to figure out where it was. I’ve been there several times and crossed that very stream on days when it was not flooded. At the age of 10 trying to imagine what I would be doing when I was 34 is something that never would have occurred to me. Had someone asked me I probably would have responded with an indifferent “I dunno” and run off to play in the ocean. Where will I be in another 24 years? I dunno… I’m going surfing.

6 Comments:

At 10/08/2006, Anonymous Whitney said...

I remember that we had a good time on that vacation, but you sure couldn't tell it by looking at this picture of the three of you! I also remember that we hiked what the guidebook told us was the tallest mountain in Kauai, but it was nothing like the one you're talking about here. It was a liesurely hike that was rated "hearty family" in the guidebook. Do you remember that one, Bor?

 
At 10/08/2006, Blogger BOR-ee-us said...

The tallest mountain in Kauai is Mt. Kawaikini (5208'). It rains over 400" a year there. To get to the top you would have to either scale a 3000' cliff or trailblaze many miles through a swamp. Definitely beyond even the heartiest family. I don't remember the hike but I bet it was "Sleeping Giant" which is a mere 1241' above sea level. I do remember having a good time on the vacation but not much else. I wish I remembered more then I would be able to notice how things had changed since then.

 
At 10/09/2006, Blogger Tano Sokolow said...

When I was 5 my family vacationed on Maui for several months, and it's become a common family story how we took a hike through a bamboo forest, crossed a little stream, and then when it began raining, we found ourselves having to cross a raging river. I actually did lose my footing, and my dad caught my hand, probably saving my life. And I went back in '96 and found the same place. There's now a trail built through the bamboo forest, and two bridges to cross the waterfall. It's actually out in Hana, on the trail to the seven sacred pools. Funny.

Hi, Boreas. I've been lurking here for a week or so. I found Judy's blog, and that led me to all you sevies. Hi, sevies!

 
At 10/09/2006, Blogger BOR-ee-us said...

Welcome, lurkers!

 
At 10/11/2006, Blogger Summer Pierre said...

I read this yesterday and it's been on my mind--so much so that you appreared in my dream last night. I think you were warning me about that river--oh the symbolism!

 
At 10/13/2006, Anonymous Dirk said...

I recall walking with you across that rive mouth. I also recall that there was a short German with some expensive photographic equipment among the folks gathered on the wrong side. He asked me to carry his equipment because I was taller, which I did. About half way across it occurred to me that he shouldn’t have asked, and I shouldn’t have undertaken it because if anything happened like you losing your footing, the camera stuff would get dumpt. But we made it without incident.

 

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