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Thoughts on ordinary and not so ordinary adventures in the life of one Mom

Saturday, September 4, 2010

"I Call Taking a Shower First"

        I don't think I've ever heard this phrase coming from my kids until now.  I hear this practically every day in Hawaii.  We are taking advantage of all the outdoor opportunities in this natural paradise, and it's a dirty business.

        The messiest of all is by far the sand.  It gets everywhere!  Not just everywhere on your body.  It consumes all the places where you and your stuff resides...... your home, your car, your drawers full of clean clothes, your purse and your reusable shopping bags.  In fact, our checkout lady at Safeway, Lehua, spent a good two minutes shaking my bag out before she would put my newly purchased groceries in it.  I told her she didn't have to do it, but she insisted.  Maybe she's had a taste of turkey and sand on a whole wheat roll and wanted to spare me the experience.

        When you are ready to leave the beach,  you wash off in the ocean in a big wave, which helps a little.  Next, you rinse off at the beach-side showers.  After our first public shower, where we hogged all the spouts for an uncivilized amount of time, a local told us where the more powerful showers were.   They were better, but even after that, we stilled trekked plenty of sand to our apartment a good five blocks away.   I swear you could fill a kids sand box with what's left in our shoes, bathing suits and towels after a couple of hours at the beach.  I know what Joseph feels like when he doesn't want to go to the beach because he'll get all sandy, but the prospect of missing out on frolicking in ocean or snorkeling is too unthinkable to make me deny myself this pleasure.  I've decide to live with it, especially since I have no choice.

       Then there's the sweat.  It's true, we are more active here in Hawaii with so much outdoor activity and everything else within walking distance.  But more physical exertion is just part of it.  The weather is deceptive.  When the sun is blaring on you, you feel hot.  Otherwise, you feel so cool and comfortable in the constant breeze that you are surprised by the moisture soaking through your shirt in just a short walk.  To say the least, it's a wet heat.  On the plus side, no chapped lips.  On the minus, poofy hair.......with sand in it!

        Today, we discovered yet another reason to shower.......mud.  We hiked to Manoa Falls in the gorgeous Manoa valley.  This is where we see rainbows every evening from our apartment.  The reason: it rains every evening.

The wet valley is behind that rainbow
 That leaves morning hikes full of muddy trails and dripping leaves.  Slippery rocks, plus mud, plus kids equals a royal mess.  It's worth it, though.  The valley is pristine, the falls spectacular, the sweat profuse the poofiness

Part of the muddy trail to Manoa Falls

        In Phoenix, we don't really get too dirty.  There's certainly no sand.  There's hardly enough humidity to cause us to sweat (and not much reason to work one up, at least in the summer). And there's not much opportunity to wallow in mud (although when the opportunity does arise, we sure do take advantage of it).   Sure,  we shower after the pool, but it's not because we feel dirty, it's because we feel unnaturally clean, almost antiseptic, with all the chemicals we've dipped ourselves into. 

          We are getting down and dirty here.  One with nature, if you will.   But, so far,  we always come home eager to wash that nature away and get back to normal.  Never before have I or my kids been so dirty..........or so clean.

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