Oh, Great Pumpkin, Where Are You?

On Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin rises from his pumpkin patch and flies through the air with his bag of toys for all the children.Linus


It’s a fall day in Maui. I mean, it actually feels like fall! The sound of the rain falling is so comforting and there’s a chill in the air, enough to wear a cozy sweater.rainyThat and the smell of nuts roasting mixed with my pumpkin caramel latte candle and the few decorations I managed to sneak into the moving truck..or ship..makes for a perfect fall holiday!nutsshoesI asked our neighbor if we get trick-or-treaters up here, but sadly he said no. Good thing I didn’t buy that huge bag of candy or I would have had to enjoy it all myself..bummer. Happy Halloween and don’t forget to brush your teeth! –A, RDHbird



The butcher knife goes in, first, at the top
And carves out the round stemmed lid,
The hole of which allows the hand to go
In to pull the gooey mess inside, out –
The walls scooped clean with a spoon.
A grim design decided on, that afternoon,
The eyes are the first to go,
Isosceles or trapezoid, the square nose,
The down-turned mouth with three
Hideous teeth and, sometimes,
Round ears. At dusk it’s
Lighted, the room behind it dark.
Outside, looking in, it looks like a
Pumpkin, it looks like ripeness
Is all. Kids come, beckoned by
Fingers of shadows on leaf-strewn lawns
To trick or treat. Standing at the open
Door, the sculptor, a warlock, drops
Penny candies into their bags, knowing
The message of winter: only the children,
Pretending to be ghosts, are real.

Mac Hammond


Sorry, I won’t be able to come into work today. I’m too sick from all this vog.B

The vog has rolled in! Our view of the ocean and the west Maui mountains can sometimes be hazy, but this is something else entirely. Yesterday we could barely make out the water. We learned of the term vog only 2 days after we arrived. The guy at the apartment complex that so kindly went through Craigslist listings with us told us not to live in Kihei. He said that’s where all the vog goes. Hmm we nodded, having no clue what he was referring to. Well, now we do! Vog is the term for volcanic smog. The Kona coast is more affected by vog because of Kīlauea, the most active of the 5 volcanoes that form the island of Hawaii (the Big Island). But when the trade winds blow for long periods of time, we get the vog too. It gets incredibly hazy and noticeably warmer. Vog is not the same as smog. It is formed when the sulfur oxides emitted from the volcano react with the ocean water, giving off an aerosol that scatters the light making it visible.


I was 8 years old when my parents and I first visited Hawaii. We went to Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island. One of the greatest experiences of my life was viewing the active volcano, Kīlauea, from a helicopter. There was no way my mom was getting in a helicopter so it was just my dad and me. It is a treasured memory, to have witnessed a scene not unlike the one above, of lava pouring into the sea.


5 Things You Don’t Realize About Hawaii Until You Live Here

1. No one drives slowtruckYou think everyone is on island time until the lifted, camo painted Toyota comes flying past you on a two lane highway.slow-down


2. It gets really coldcold

During our last couple of vacations to Hawaii I realized that really all I wear is 1 swimsuit, 1 pair of shorts and a few tanks. When we were planning on moving here we assumed it would be the same. We soon found out that upcountry actually gets quite cold at night.


3. There are seasonsbigbeach

There is mango season, north shore surfing season, south shore surfing season and summer.


4. Hippies are not dangeroushippie I was trying find out how to get to a beach I had heard was good for body boarding and stumbled upon a guide book that had a review of the beach. They gave it 5 stars but mentioned the only downside was that hippie/vagrant types often hang out in the grassy area. They went on to say though, if you come from a big city and are used to vagrants, the ones in Hawaii are much less dangerous.paia


5. It’s not that expensivemilk
Yes, if you look hard enough you can find a $10 gallon of milk. And yes, it is true that a lot of things are more expensive here than on the mainland. But Maui really is a state of mind and a different way of life. For the most part, there is no “keeping up with the Joneses.” You return home happy to live in such a beautiful place, share the catch of the day with your neighbor knowing they’ll do the same for you next week, and keep practicing aloha.


The Sheep and the Goats

Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.Matthew 25:40

I’ve never used a budget before. This probably seems very ignorant or just naive, but I’ve never made one because I’ve never thought I needed one. Until now. We have one income, rent and a mortgage.house

Despite our efforts and that of our realtor our house in California has still not sold. We entered the market right when things were picking up and received an offer within 8 days. After 29 days of escrow and 1 day before closing the buyers backed out. Even in that short amount of time the market had considerably slowed. Our move to Maui was already set in stone, we weren’t going to back out at this point.

When my parents got married they didn’t have much money. In fact, they completely ran out of money on their honeymoon. parentsLuckily, they remembered the cards from their wedding they had stowed in the glove compartment and ripped them open to find enough to get them back home. I have been fortunate enough to grow up in a time of prosperity, where my parents worked hard and did well, providing everything I needed and most of what I wanted.

Tonight, I made my first budget. And it made me really sad. Thinking of all the things I wanted to purchase to make our new home adorable and things I would have to do without, like an awesome rug in the family room and a fancy barbeque for our freshly caught fish. Then I stopped to listen to myself. How shallow was I being? There I was, in a cozy chair in front of my iMac, wearing my plush robe and warm, fuzzy socks, and getting upset about how poor I am when my eyes filled with tears. I am so rich. I have a husband who loves me, family and friends I know I can always count on, a home from where I can watch the sun return to the ocean each night, and a God who will provide absolutely everything I need. I am so rich.view

Ashamed of myself I asked, how can I be a better person? How can I help those who have so much less than me? Like my Uncle Gary said in a powerful sermon he recently gave, we are looking for the thirsty, the hungry, the shivering, the homeless, the sick, and the imprisoned. It is in them that we will find Christ.

Matthew 25
The Sheep and the Goats
31-33 “When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.
34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
 I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, 
I was homeless and you gave me a room, 
I was shivering and you gave me clothes, 
I was sick and you stopped to visit, 
I was in prison and you came to me.’
37-40 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’
41-43 “Then he will turn to the ‘goats,’ the ones on his left, and say, ‘Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—
I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
 I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
 I was shivering and you gave me no clothes, sick and in prison, and you never visited.’
44 “Then those ‘goats’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn’t help?’
45 “He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.’
46 “Then those ‘goats’ will be herded to their eternal doom, but the ‘sheep’ to their eternal reward.”