We woke up to the quiet,
spectacular beauty of a morning touched by the brush of Jack Frost
and the subfreezing temperatures of Ms. Northwind.
No matter that it was a
frosty morning outside, we were warmly cocooned and transported to
Hawai`i via Aloha Joe's live Internet radio show.
If there are any
Hawai`iphiles or homesick Hawaiians out there, here's a link that
will either transport you there, or bring Hawai's tropical warmth to you via
its music, or make you
yearn for Hawai`i so badly that you'll be on the next flight home:
Joe.com: The Music and Spirit of Hawai`i
Aloha Joe's show is pure
Hawaiian music pleasure. He's on every Saturday. AJ is a Californian who fell
head over heels in love with all things Hawai`i, including his
lovely wife, Helen, from DH's hometown of Hilo. He has transmuted that love
into broadcasting Hawaiian music over cable TV and the Internet,
doing an outstanding job of it.
With a huge Aloha for Hawaiian music
and its musicians, he plays the latest and most beautiful of
Hawaiian tunes. Today, he played the perfect
song to honor George Harrison by playing Keali`i
of In My
>> Click on the graphic for
Keali`i's album info
>> Click here
to listen to a sound clip of In My Life
We got into the spirit
of song requests after we heard our friend Hedy making hers, I Miss You, My Hawai`i by Nā
Leo. While DH thought of
a Hawaiian song that would be appropriate to honor George
not only as a musician but also as a part-time Maui resident, I
began tapping out a message on AJ's
Music Request Line.
>> Click here
to listen to a sound clip of I Miss You, My Hawai`i
We decided on Kanaka
Waiolina (Violin or Fiddle Man) by Shawn
Ishimoto, as it celebrates the strings-playing Hawaiian
serenaders of Old Hawai`i, and George was a modern-day minstrel with
his stringed instrument, the guitar.
>> Click here
for album info and to listen to a sound clip of Kanaka Waiolina
After the radio show, eager to try
out the new
camera, DH braved the cold with O and Freddy B in
tow. He quickly returned to the warmth of the house, after a brisk walk. He
said it was
bone-chillingly coooooooold out there.
What one finds in the frosty air of a winter morning may surprise and enchant,
but I'm your basic Chilly Willy. I was willing to wait for the sun to
make its full appearance by climbing higher in the sky to warm the
I spent the morning feng
shui'ing this computer. I decluttered. I thinned out my overstuffed bookmarks
file and made room on my computer desktop. I then tackled the
long overdue chore of making the shift from Netscape Communicator to
Microsoft Internet Explorer. Unable to handle the volume of java and
cascading pages on the Net, NC kept locking up.
As I worked, I watched -- listened to
-- the George Harrison retrospectives on TV, often tearing up. He
was an enlightened, non-egoistic man of peace who used his fame to
do much good. Hearing
"Here Comes the Sun," I looked out the window and sure
enough, the sun was bright and the sky, clear.
I welcomed the chance to
stretch my legs, and a trek in the snow sounded like a good
idea. I've mastered Rule #1 of winter living. Our ten
years of winter weekending in Big Bear have taught me well.
Layer, layer, layer!
On went the baggy
fleece pants over the leggings, a heavy insulated jacket over a
thick sweatshirt, a wool cap with the jacket's hood pulled over it,
and clunky, fleece-lined Sorel snow boots with thick socks.
Not a pretty picture,
but it maybe worth at least a thousand words. Hmm, maybe a
picture is in order? Tomorrow...
All this sartorial
effort may sound downright bizarre to anyone from Hawai`i. All of that
just to take a walk? Yup, and that's nothing compared to
getting ready for a full day of skiing.
Maybe I'm weird, but I
absolutely love walking in the snow. I love the fresh, crisp
air. The crunch of the snow. The look and feel of it. So much that I've
incorporated fake snow into the dining table centerpiece down the
hill to remind me of snow's beauty.
Winter walking holds its
unique rewards and delights. For one,
I get to enjoy see nature in another guise. Aside from the loveliness of landscapes covered
in snow, the contours of the mountain landscape are more evident when trees
and terrain are bare. Not only can you see farther, the crisp air puts
Big Bear's spectacular granite rock formations and towering trees in sharp perspective.
Our Sheltie kids, bred
to withstand the gusty winds and cold temperatures as little shepherds
in the land of their ancestors, The Shetland Islands, are
invigorated by the cold. With their silky topcoat and fuzzy
undercoat, they are naturally layered. O kept looking up at me,
Freddy B & O: "See our
Solitude, if you crave
it as I do, is easier to find in cold months than in summer. We
didn't come across a single person on our walk. Not one car
drove by. And that is also why I don't ever take walks alone in the
With all those layers,
I'm as roly poly as Frosty
the Snowman. I don't think I could get up easily
if I fell on the ice. Imagine lying like a beached whale, flailing around trying to get
up. Again, not a very pretty picture. And no, I'm not doing that
one for tomorrow's photo shoot.
"I've fallen and I
can't get up."
Imagine being found that way a few days later...
My eyes have seen glitz
and glitter: the lights of Paris, the crown jewels, the Hope
Diamond, chandeliers, Christmas lights, fireworks, and Disneyland's
Christmas "wintry" scenes. But there is NOTHING more
beautiful and glittery than the sun hitting a snowscape at the exactly right angle, picking up the
glint of millions of snow crystals.
Until you have seen this
breathtaking sight, you have not yet experienced the words: sparkle,
shimmer, and shine.
"Life is a Gift."
P.S. If you would
like to share a portion of yourself with words, in response to
this journal entry, you may do it here.
only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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