Say hello to another Hawaiian winter

Cover of "Winter is"
Cover of Winter is

Today was the first day of winter. Well, it doesn’t really feel like winter in Hawaii, but it is a bit chilly. Yes chilly, to tell you the truth I am just cold.  There is daily fall like breezes (tradewinds), daily rain,  and for some reason it is cold and flu season. Really, I have had a cold (or the flu) for the past week. Apparently there is something going around, I wonder where it came from. To have a cold in Hawaii anytime of year is like getting a cold in New York during the middle of July. It is a bit unnatural.  I know colds come from germs, not from the weather itself, but it does suck to have a cold while the sun is shining, you are dressed in summer attire, and the ocean is calling for you to jump in.

I have tried to explain the concept of winter in Hawaii to my mainland friends. They don’t seem to understand. But I think I finally have an understanding of seasons in Hawaii. The season change is just a little less subtle than the mainland. No the weather does not get down to 30 degrees, but when it gets down to 70 degrees that is cold. I have “Hawaiian blood” now. I get yelled at by my friends on the east coast when I tell them that I drive at night with the heat on in my car. Unfortunately my apartment does not have heat, so to stay warm at home I put on a sweater.

Fortunately, I am not the only one who feels the effect of an Hawaiian winter, last week one of my co workers had on a turtleneck. I did not realize that locals owned turtlenecks in Hawaii.  I am disappointed that I left my winter wardrobe in New York, I could wear my turtlenecks and winter boots (ok maybe I wouldn’t go that far). However, it is nice to know that other people are cold, and I am not just a weird east coast girl who does not understand tropical weather.

My Hawaiian winter is rather interesting. I can still go to the beach in the winter. Hopefully I feel better soon so I can go into the ocean.  The sun goes down early, and the mornings are rather chilly. So even though there is beach time, it gets cut down in the winter.

There is no snow on Oahu. I miss snow. I want to wear a nice puffy coat, with  a sweater dress. Well, not really, but it was a cute outfit. I like that I don’t have to run to my car because it is freezing outside. I love that I don’t have to heat up my car before I drive it. It is so nice that my care is ready to drive all winter. No icy windows,  no sliding on the roads. Actually I think I am starting to like my Hawaiian winter more and more. Forget snow. Snow is cold, and messy, pretty to look at though.

I miss Rockefeller center. I miss the coldness of central park in the winter. It is something about the smell of winter in New York that truly makes it feel like winter. Nothing like watching your cold breath come out of your mouth, and shivering as you walk down the street.  Ice Skating in Hawaii is not the same. Who comes to Hawaii to ice skate? I guess I need to make a quick trip to New York to get my winter fix, then return to the island. I was never a fan of freezing cold weather, and now I

hate it even more. The beauty of winter is nice from afar, but to have daily sunshine and 70 degree weather makes Hawaii a nice place to actually spend winter.

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

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The Tsunami that never happened! (Oh thank goodness)

Never before have I been in a Tsunami, and to tell you the truth I really don’t want to be in one. A large series of waves over taking dry land does not sound like a cool thing in my head. But I have learned when you live in Hawaii, there is a risk that you may be in a Tsunami. So everyone search for high ground, and prepare the emergency kit, because Tsunami’s are real, and there may be one coming for an island near you!

Ok let me be honest with you, before 2004 when the big Tsunami hit the south pacific, I had no idea what it was and the type of damage that it could actually cause. I had never even heard the word used before that time, but when it hit I was surely made aware that it is a seriously dangerous disaster that caused a huge number of deaths. Who knew that an earthquake could hit in one place, then a Tsunami is formed to add damage on to another. Well it real, and the threat of actually being in the middle of one quickly threw me back into a reality check, that I really do live on an island in the middle of the ocean, strictly surrounded by water.

When the 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile on Friday, the world had one natural disaster quickly followed by another. By early Saturday morning the tsunami alarms were sounding on the Hawaiian Islands. At about 2 am I got a frantic phone call and text message from a friend in NY asking me if I was alright. My thoughts were did something happen to my family in NY that I didn’t hear about, because I was fine, and trying to sleep! Then she told me about the tsunami warning in Hawaii, and wanted to make sure I was ok.  I just went to thinking, damn girl your crazy, of course I’m fine, and why are you waking me up at 2 am for this! I had no idea how serious the alert seemed to the outside world. Next came the loud blaring alarm starting from about 4 am in the morning. Remind you I have never been on tsunami alert before and had no idea what that annoying noise was. So my thoughts: “why don’t they stop making all that noise so I can get some sleep”. I had no idea news channels were broadcasting that an impeding natural disaster was on the way and the country was praying for Hawaii to be safe.

As the night went on more alarms, and to me, more annoying noise, nope I didn’t get up out of my bed to find out what it was. It was just noise disturbing my sleep. For a quick second I thought maybe it was a fire alarm, but figured I would hear people outside or someone would knock on my apartment door if we were in serious danger. Right? So I just attempted to sleep through the loud sirens that would wake sleeping giants. When morning came so did the phone calls. Friends on island telling me that we were on tsunami alert and to get to hight ground. Well I live on the 8th floor in a high-rise in the middle of the island, so I am safe right? That would have been one serious world ending wave to reach me, so what is all the panic about? Then messages from friends in NY asking if everything was ok, wow I didn’t know so many people cared about my well being. Well I guess it takes a near death experience to find out that people really do care about you. Sad? Yes.

I finally woke up from my bed when the sun was up, turned on the TV, and realized the island was in full on panic mode. On facebook, messages about this tsunami on the way to Hawaii. People sending out prayers for Chile and Hawaii. Wow this is serious! Food stores flooded with people. Gas stations running out of gas. Stock up on food, water, and toilet paper! Too bad I had a fully foodless house, and only a few bottles of 16 ounce water. By the time I had woke up to go to the store, yeah you know it was out water completely!! I have never seen shelves so empty in my life. I guess they were really preparing to be shut in for a few days.

Poor me I had no food, limited water, no batteries, and only two rolls of toilet paper. So they say Hawaii dodged the bullet. The major Tsunami never happened, no waves, we were left high and dry. Luckily, nothing happened. But maybe it was me who really dodged the bullet, it wasn’t until the threat of a natural disaster, that I realized, I am not at all prepared for one. So big Thank you’s go out to Mother Nature for looking out for me on this one! I am oh so glad that we had the Tsunami that never happened.

Oh yeah my gas tank was on empty too, so I would have really been shut in my apartment with no hope! 😦