Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Vacation

I spent Christmas week in Kileau-Kona, HI with my son. It was lovely and there were many highlights and pictures. Feel free to view my public Facebook posts for more details. This is one I put first on Facebook but thought it belongs in the blog also. 

I sit here, right now, nearly 11 a.m. in my pjs with my hair all messy, having gone to sleep with it wet after a late night rendezvous with the manta rays that apparently had somewhere else to be. I have no complaints that they didn't show up, they are wild creatures, after all, even though they show up 97% of the time, says the tour guide, and the tour company offered another free go at it on another day.

I am trying to be grateful for the experience although there were lots of reasons it could have been distasteful. Like jostling with 18 others for a hand-hold on a floating frame designed for ten with half those people being children who could barely swim and wouldn't follow the rules on a venture really suited only for adults and the big stranger beside me repeatedly sticking his elbow in my head and a woman my age pukes in the water and I'm in pain the last 40 minutes, unable to relieve myself. I know it was the ocean but we were all sausage-stuffed into these wet suits that made us look, for all the world, like shark bait (seals or sea lions, in my case) and the closest toilet was a 20 minute bouncy pontoon ride away and then the restroom door was double locked and the tour guide only had a single key so I had to find a private space where there was no forest in which to hide. And then stopping at Wal-Mart and finding their restroom closed for cleaning, I was beginning to think my life was an outtake from "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."

So due to all the craziness and the encroaching hunger, the steak I thawed for supper was put back in the fridge for tomorrow when we have more time and we opt for a quicker version (pizza for him, salad for me) and then I was so exhausted I fell into bed with wet hair and knew nothing until 8 a.m.

But no. I don't regret going to meet the elusive manta rays. And I don't regret the messy hair. And I'm ever so grateful for all the fish I saw while bobbing beside that floating frame and just being in the ocean. And the exhilarating ride on the Zodiac and being beside my son, snorkel masked and flippered, bonding over this one ill-fated excursion and seeing how completely relaxed and laid back he was about the whole thing and how we can spend this week together in this warm and wonderful place. And the gratitude continues for the glorious aquamarine of the ocean so close I can feel the spray and the surfers who entertain all day long and the rocks that cause the surf to sound the glory of God and the vastness of it all.

I sit here evaluating every post I make on FB because while it brings mutual rejoicing in most, it breeds envy in some. Yes, I have been accused of bragging - which says more about the accuser than it does about me. I call this place paradise but that's a subjective term. I only post the best moments (until today's frank commentary) because I don't think anyone needs to be brought down by complaints. I am here because I set aside a little life insurance money for this purpose a year ago. I would rather have my husband than this vacation. My posts are all done in the attitude of "rejoice with me" for those who can. I have learned through hard experience, one primary rule of life:
"Paradise" is subjective. As is happiness, success, fulfillment and contentment. It has everything to do with GRATITUDE and nothing to do geography. 
May you see today all the ways God loves you, all the gifts, large and small that are right. in. front. of. you. now.

More pictures here.

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