Living in Hawaii

2015 has been my Kaleidoscope Year.   It’s been filled with bright colors, ever changing shapes, always interesting turns and yet continually dazzling in an odd sort of way.

I think that God has decided that I should pay attention to my own words. Change is difficult but change is growth and change is good. Without going into detail, today I experienced a Catharsis. Time to let go and time to embrace new and exciting opportunities.   No, WJJ and I are not getting a divorce –he can’t afford it –LOL! No, I’m not sick or dying. It’s nothing that serious.

This morning as I was writing an email that started with “Aloha” and ending with “Mahalo” I suddenly realized I actually live in Hawaii. Based on the fact that we’ve had homes here for over thirty years, one might say I’m a little slow on the uptake.

It gets better. This week, I was enjoying an afternoon with two of my female friends. I heard myself lamenting about leaving Boston and how much I missed living there. It then occurred to me, it’s been over 12 years since we moved into our home in Kahala. Since then we have spent much more time traveling and staying in Hawaii then being in Boston. We’ve actually lived in this house longer than ANY other house in my adult life.

But obviously, I still have one foot here and one foot in Boston. To be fair, all my family lives in the Boston area so I certainly have some strong ties there. Perhaps my body and soul are here but a piece of my heart remains in Boston.

As always, I reflected on my new discovery. And like a ton of coconuts, it hit me! Why was I always comparing Boston to Hawaii? And more importantly why would I try to replicate my Boston life here in Hawaii? In Boston, I was the consummate busy social executive living in the middle of the city. It was fun, hectic and exciting.

But this is a different place, a different day, a different time. And in case you hadn’t noticed, I am actually over fifty. I think this might be the time to take some steps (even baby steps) to make changes and truly commit to my life in Hawaii.

As I continued to ponder I thought about how many of my “transplanted” Hawaiian friends really LOVE living here. So what have I been missing? We live on the ocean –but how many times do I actually walk outside and fully embrace the power, beauty and strength of the waves?   We have a beautiful heated pool –yet how many times do I jump in sans clothes and feel the warm sunshine and water enveloping my body? We have orchids and plumerias growing in our yard, yet how many times do I simply walk outside and enjoy the sweet natural fragrance of beautiful Hawaii. Hmmmmm.

Next, what about all our wonderful friendships we have developed here? Actually, I stand corrected, they are not friends…they are Ohana. For those of you who don’t know the Hawaiian culture, Ohana means family (in an extended sense of the term). The concept emphasizes that families are bound together and are there to cooperate and help one another.

Our Ohana is abundantly overflowing. For example, when the tsunamis were going to hit Hawaii, Mark and Mirella, Kat and Mau, and Gladys and Terry called us immediately to leave the oceanfront and come to their homes.   We packed our bags and went to Colonel Bob and Terri’s. Fortunately the tsunami never really hit but we were safe and sound spending the night with our friends. And the best part was the delicious breakfast Terri prepared for us. Zippy’s got nothing on Terri!

My list can go on and on –so many friends–Mike and Aida, Cheryl, Mary, Kimi, Marti, Bob, Kathy, Linda, Robert, Kyoko, Massimo, Ani, Alma, Taryn, John Michael White (who was so amazing when I had Lyme Disease/Bell’s Palsy). And of course last but not least “my” Gina Ho –who has been like the daughter I never wanted! LOL WJJ calls her our boomerang –she just keeps coming back. But indeed the connection is very deep and very strong. So many friends– so much kindness and love.

Yes, I miss my Boston friends and I certainly miss my family. But the reality is I am only a plane ride away. It’s not about changing where I live, it’s about changing what I do to see those I love more often. Of course, our doors are always open for our Ohana to visit Paradise. Note to self: –Keep remembering Hawaii is Paradise.

Starting right now, I am going to make a concerted effort to “Fall in Love with Hawaii”. Now don’t you all go telling WJJ about this because he really thinks that I am NUTS –(of course that would have to be Macadamia Nuts!) He has loved Hawaii from the time he first stepped foot here when on R & R from Vietnam.

As always I am solution oriented. So here’s what I have decided. When I am yearning for a touch of the East Coast, I’ll call our friends Mike and Anne–Mike is Italian and from Philly. We can talk Philly Steaks, spaghetti with gravy and sports.   When I’m craving lobster –we’ll go to Red Lobster and have the Maine lobster pizza. And when I desperately need my FIX of Boston with all her grace, elegance and formality, all I have to do is call my dear friend Dante who just happens to be the General manager of Azure at the Royal Hawaiian.

I’ve known Dante for many years since we met at the Four Season in Boston. So all I have to say to Dante is “ Boston” and he fully understands exactly what I am longing for. With lush colors, rich fabrics and a decadent array of luscious libations, Dante creates the perfect menu, décor, and ambience so that our special dinners are nothing short of “Boston Perfection.”

So without further ado I am officially committed to Hawaii. I am going outside to the ocean and embracing the beauty of Paradise. And maybe I’ll drive to the North Shore (wherever that is) and go to a Luau. Then I’ll read a book about Princess Kaʻiulani and book a tour of Doris Duke’s Estate.

OK, perhaps I should take this one baby step at a time. I know I’ll make myself some pupus and a Mai Tai and sit on the lanai. OMG –did I say pupus instead of hors d’ouvres? Did I say lanai instead of balcony? Can it be I really am Kamaʻāina? I’ve got to tell you, based on my current weight; those muu muu’s are looking pretty darn good! But trust me I’ll never ever swap my Manolo Blahniks for flip flops!

Am I really Hawaiian? Could be! Only time will tell.


Much mahalo for reading this!


With warm Aloha,

Kipani –that’s Tiffany in Hawaiian

P.S. Dante –next dinner let’s take a giant step –you can replace the Boston Scrod with Opakapaka and the Boston Cream Pie with Haupia Cake!

aloha-in-sand-with-lei.jpg (577×325)

One thought on “Living in Hawaii

  1. First of all I love your writing! You nee to put a book together of your blog! You could have been a professional writer! From friend that has loved Hawaii from the first when I came for our honeymoon I am glad that you are embracing the paradise that we are so fortunate to live in. I cannot imagine living anywhere else in the world! Having lived in Rome until I was nine and then moving to another major city Chicago I thought I would never live in a small “American” town, but the weather, the ocean that I take advantage of almost everyday, the Aloha spirit that lives on I am deeply rooted in the beautiful islands I now call home. Tiffany, you and Walter are Ohana and we deeply cherish your friendship.

Leave a Reply