Hawaiian Music & Nature's Glitz & Glitter

Saturday, December 1, 2001
Frosty Big Bear, California


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:

>> Aloha 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 Reichel's heart-touching rendition of In My Life.  

>> 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 Harrison, 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.

Nā Leo

>> 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 day.

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, smiling.  

Freddy B & O:  "See our smiles?"

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 winter.

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."

Author Unknown

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.  

 "The only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson


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This web journal was created on a September Morn, 
September 29, 2001
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