Agoura Hills, California
for an enlargement
The feeling of close togetherness, an extended island family united by
Aloha, and beliefs, and caring, and sharing, is what this Christmas gathering
was all about.
Who's in the picture?
In no particular order: Uncle Clif, Aunty Blanche, Iain, Orin;
Uncle LeRoy, Aunty Faith, Kisa; Kent, Loreen, Kyle; Uncle Larry,
Aunty Bobbie, Brian; Jeff; Lisa, Ryan; Uncle Eddie, Aunty Aileen,
Steve; Laurent, Judie; Aunty Sue, Samara, Jonathan,
Alana; Uncle T
and Aunty D.
version of the "Where's Waldo" game:
Look at the picture above.
Where's Alana? Where's Uncle Eddie? Where's Aunty
Blanche? Where's Kisa? Where's Jeff?
The person who spots ALL five wins a brand-new 8' X 5' flat-screen
Next time, if somebody's
blocking your face, no need be so polite. Deal wid it, island-style.
Just give 'em one beeg whack on da head, and say, "Eh, brah/seestah,
you in my face." No shame. He/She will get the message. We 'ohana,
wot (We are family, aren't we?).
Our extended family's Christmas
celebration is traditionally held at one of the kupuna (elder) --
that would be us -- generation's family home, potluck style.
This year, the
"next" generation picked up the hosting reins for the
first time, and at 1o'clock, we hit the road, heading for Kent's,
Loreen's and baby Kyle's new home
in Agoura Hills.
Long drive, wuz, but
traffic wuz good. We neva min' , not even litto beet. (Translation:
It was a long drive, but traffic was good. We didn't mind it,
not even a little.) Being with locals from Hilo, Ola`a (now
known as Kea`au), and Honolulu, that pidgin comes right
This Christmas Day in
Southern California was gloriously clear and spectacularly sunny.
Our eyes lapped up the urban sights as we drove through downtown LA, past
Little Tokyo, before heading into "The Valley" and then
finally arriving at
We got to our
destination at 2
pm, just in time. The happening spot was on the lana`i (patio)
with lots of
wala`u (talk story, kibbitzing) about everything under that
California Christmas sun: defense missiles, Kyle,
digital cameras, Kyle, trucks, Kyle,
classical music, Kyle, fishing, Kyle,
writing, Kyle, computers, and Kyle.
L to R: Uncle Clif, Uncle LeRoy,Uncle Larry, Uncle T, & Uncle
The Cool Hawai`i Dudes on the Lana`i
Hawai`i Dudette Aunty Faith (Kyle's
Gramma) was decked out in Christmas finery, including
matching necklace and dangly earrings made out of itsy bitsy
Christmas tree bulbs.
Aunty Sue donned her Christmas
Here's she's on that evil make-you-pûpule (crazy) dance
< ^ < >
Some dressed in festive holiday
garb: Uncle LeRoy in his red Aloha shirt; Uncle T in his
Christmas Aloha shirt; Uncle Larry with his t-shirt with The
Lord's Prayer in Hawaiian, no less; Aunty Faith in her Christmas
sweatshirt and jewelry; Aunty Sue in her poinsettia sweater;
and last, but not least, baby Kyle in
his Christmas red overalls:
Uncle Brian, Nephew Kyle,
Nothing like local style
pûpû (hors d'oeurvres) to help the beer and punch go
The Chinese market
screwed up on Uncle Brian's clam order, but it turned out to be an
unexpected windfall, as his cooked-on-the-spot Dungeness crabs were
a HUUUUGE hit. Aunty Aileen's platter of sliced sashimi, Uncle
Eddie's boiled peanuts and edamame (soybeans) and Loreen's and
Kisa's freshly fried -- brok' da mout' -- stuffed won ton were
also consumed with great relish by this group of islanders. Whoever
made the clam dip -- that was real `ono, too.
Brian & Crab
Brian shared his crabs with the rest of us.
(somehow that didn't come out right)
L to R: Uncle T, Lisa, Ryan's back,
Uncle Larry, busy barbequeing
(yes, in December!), Steve, Aunty Aileen, Aunty Blanche:
Deez guys wen w'ack doz crab. Dey wen hahdleh come up foah
Translation for the kotonks: They consumed those crabs
with gusto, barely coming up for air.
Mother & Daughter
Aunty Blanche & Grandma Yamamoto (Kyle's
Great Gramma) from O`ahu
"You can do better than that.
Iain and Aunty D
with Laurent on the other side of the camera
"Great shot, Laurent!"
The Newest Expatriates from
Lisa (HBA grad) & Ryan (St. Louis grad)
E Komo Mai
i ka Hô ka Beeeg Island!
(Welcome to the Mainland!)
Gathered in the dining room, kitchen and family room were more clusters of chattering groups.
L-R: Samara, Jonathan, Alana, Orin
like to know what the cuzzes are looking at?
Hint: they're stationed in the PLAY room.
The apple of everyone's
eye was KYLE -- the first
grandkid for this 'ohana. Just plain irresistible, he stole my
heart, and everyone else's. He never ever fussed, not even once,
although the rest of us did a fantastic job of fussing over him.
What a Sweetie!
Kent's and Loreen's is the perfect home for our
`ohana gatherings, and a row of tables
and chairs, easily seating all 27 of us, stretched across their great room.
The house was decorated with two trees: one with Disney ornaments for Kyle
in the foyer, and the other with gifts piled high underneath it in
the living room.
The Gryffindors in front.
As host family, Kent and
supplied the main dish -- turkey, stuffing, gravy, rice (with island
folks, a must) and all the trimmings, paperware -- no washing dishes
for this akamai (smart) group -- and hashi (wooden
The Slytherins in back.
The rest of us guests
are the potluckers, and the meal was rounded out with island-style
potato-macaroni crab salad, tofu salad, sashimi, tossed salad,
and teriyaki steaks. With coffee, luscious apple pies,
jello cream pie squares, and fancy cookies finished up the
I think this photo is superfluous.
The previous two shots covered everyone.
But Jonathan's smile cracked me up and I just had to include it
"What smile is
that?" you ask.
It's this one:
"Too many soybeans!"
And then, the GAME
began. Who could build the coolest house out of graham
crackers, M&Ms, candy canes, mints, chocolate candies, gumdrops,
candy corn, marshmallows, mini-oreos, wheat squares, red whips,
shredded coconuts, sprinkles, using marshmallow creme as glue?
The competition was hot
and furious, and the four teams pulled together to erect walls,
reconstruct crumbling walls, landscape the grounds, build a moat and
even place a manger in the sideyard.
Gothic Cathedral with Landscaping
Aunty Aileen, Uncle Eddie,
Uncle T and Orin
Castle with Drawbridge and Moat
Uncle Larry, Laurent,
Steve and Aunty D
Rustic Cabin with Collapsible Walls
Uncle Clif, Iain,
Suburban House with Manger
Aunties Blanche, Aunty Bobbie,
So, who won? You be the
All good things must
come to an end, and we said our late night goodbyes amid hugs,
kisses, and gift exchanges. Christmas 2001 in Agoura was a special time of gift-giving,
talk story, laughing and teasing, visiting family and friends,
feasting, and the usual fierce, cut-throat competition.
We missed you, Cassie
and Ethan in Colorado and Shannon and Matt in Massachusetts!
As I put this together, I hoped to bring a little bit of your
families to you. Know that we are thinking of you with lots of love.
"Life is a Gift."
aka Aunty D
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
| what | archives