A Palm Reading

It’s Summer Solstice morning and our oldest daughter calls from Seattle at 7:30am to say that her step-sister had her baby. A healthy boy with red hair and a Dutch name. I am bursting to tell the Bearded One, who isn’t back yet from his morning walk.

Mornings have been my hardest acclimation time, but since we’ve been in the house 3 weeks now, I’m not even taking the anti-anxiety pill anymore. Still, this is a real upper, we love this red-headed sister, and I holler to the Bearded One out the open window — She had the baby! — the second I see him opening the gate.


The Bearded One grins and waves. I can’t tell if he’s heard me or not. Between us are palms galore waving and rustling in the wind. The house builder was a member of the Hawaii Palm Society and the acre is chock full of palm trees, thick and thin, tall and short, palmate leaves (like a wide-spread hand and called fan palms) and pinnate leaves (like bird feathers and called feather palms).

Suddenly I remember the other huge excitement we’ve been waiting on and shout again, since he is closer now, by the newly delivered gravel pile, “Did you get the newspaper?!”


He holds the Hawaii Tribune-Herald up and I whoop, and then repeat my news about the baby. “Over eight pounds,” I say, forgetting the exact number, “and a bit of red hair!”

I offer to scramble eggs and fry toast and the Bearded One accepts eagerly and starts to read the newspaper at the built-in island between the kitchen and the dining room (which has no dining table but instead houses our bed until we get many projects finished upstairs).

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I have a day of cooking lined up, potato soup and fried rice. We like the Hawaiian Portuguese sausage and I’ve used it in omelettes, burritos, spaghetti, and hash browns.

It’s good to see the Bearded One enjoying a morning newspaper, but I need a bit of hot water and ask him to go turn on the decrepit Paloma, whose pilot light does not stay on.


“Done,” he says and hops right up. I’ve got such a good life, I think. The Bearded One and Tom will install the new Eccotemp propane flash hot water heater tomorrow.

The generator is working again after having stopped because of not having ethanol free gas and getting clogged.


A gem of a man in Hilo fixed it immediately when he heard our tale of it being our only power until we get solar, which is still several weeks away. Friends and family fill the waves washing ashore here with love, and I am reading our 79-year-old neighbor Jim’s novel, which is an honor. He has a fibrillating heart, is a self-proclaimed survivalist, he likes to talk story, and he is a character. The manuscript sits on the end of the kitchen island. I’m on page 27 and there are 133 pages, single-spaced.  I’ve read several chapters out loud to the Bearded One late at night, around 8pm.

He returns and I fill the dish tub with hot, soapy water. Washing dishes as I use them helps keep the mosquitoes away. Which we have plenty of, and I have bites, but I’ve learned a protocol – ice, wet washcloth, itch cream. He is humming the song we’ve both had in our heads all week, “You Can Do Magic,” by America. “You can have anything that you desire,” he sings as he plops back onto the stool.

I cook eggs and toast as the Bearded One reads. Our first pet, a gecko, hangs out on the kitchen island.


He likes the Bearded One’s Coke and the morning bagel that I put out to defrost. Geckos are Hawaii. All homes have them. They hunt bugs relentlessly. No roach would last 60 seconds in our house.

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The wind blows through the palms and I listen to the doves calling and cooing.

“Ha!” says the Bearded One, and quotes from a Letter to the Editor, “The council’s rush to enshrine its slavish subservience to the shrill hysteria from an army of aging hippies living in Puna!”

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“Is that us?”

“Yes, I believe it is,” he says.

I bring over the Bearded One’s breakfast and look at the front page of the Puna paper,


a Solstice article about the dedication of a landing pad for extraterrestrials down in Kalapana. We’ve been there a lot.

We agree that this new baby being born on the very cusp of the Solstice is a good sign. We’ll read his palms.

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21 responses to “A Palm Reading

  1. Ooooh! A gecko, the BO, a new baby, palm trees, sea, home improvements, AND a landing pad for the aliens! You want for nothing 🙂

    So happy to read the pills are not required right now. You have been in your new home the same amount of time I have been a puppy mummy! It seems like forever in some ways and mere minutes in others! Whatever else it seems, it is most certainly new beginnings for both of us 🙂

    Aging hippies ROCK!! 🙂

    • Time is surreal these days, Pauline. Like puppy time, exactly. I have no idea how to post on Wednesday mornings anymore. What is Wednesday? New beginnings indeed, and thank you again for your love and attention. From one aging hippie to another. 🙂

  2. That is one hip gecko! Really glad it/she/he is your pet.

  3. I hear some contentment creeping into your post. It sounds like such a lovely spot, even if the “accessories” are old and in need of replacement. Love the ghecko, I bet he puts a smile on your dial. x

  4. Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey…or lizard might be an easier catch in this case, cheeky little man! After the B.O’s coke and blueberry bagel eh? Everything seems to be bolshie in your neck of the woods…the water heater, the generator, all protesting changes and slowly circling with their hackles up. Change is like that isn’t it, even if it’s good change it makes you more wary and twice as likely to twitch.

    You are touching your neighbours with your beautiful soul 🙂 you are right, what an honour to be reading Jim’s novel. The B.O’s Gecko looks more like a Tyrannosaurus with a sugar habit! You had best hope that you don’t see THAT lizard any day soon 😉

    How proud you must be to be reprobated aging hippies! SALUTE to you all and SO glad that you found a wonderful group of fellow hippies/ferals to share your ethos and to bolster happiness and community :). LOVING these Hawaiian posts and really loving those gorgeous palms…lusting after them actually 😉 HUGS to you and the B.O. and a scrumptious jelly doughnut with a hole in the side for ease of entry to Mr Gordon (Gecko) 😉

    • Geckos are cheeky! I swear they look at me like they’re going to start a conversation. One just walks in the front door each morning. Another one hangs out over the kitchen sink. He is missing half of his tale, and now there is a little new bud of a tail growing back. I looked up geckos and lizards in general in ANIMAL SPEAK (a book by Ted Andrews) and saw this tail thing is a detachment or separation, which I can relate to. Lizards are all about dreams and intuition. Maybe geckos are my little totem animals these days! Warm hugs to you at your winter solstice. 🙂 xxoo

      • Surely those gorgeous colours are a symbol of happiness and bright open communion? Friendly gecko’s might be just what you need. Do they eat fruit (like our pilfering strawberry guzzling lot out here)? If so, you might be able to make a good friend of your little kitchen gecko as it seems the one that walks in the front door is hooked on coke and bagels 😉 HUGE hugs to you in your summer solstice but I would like to keep our winter solstice and our winter in general for a few more months please with LOTS of rain to fill up that big water tank outside. NEVER been happier to hear rain on the roof as I am now…I actually do the happy dance now 🙂

      • We’ve named our little kitchen island gecko Jeffrey. He came again this morning and licks the raisins in the bagel and sups a little spoonful of Coke. I like the name Gordon, by the way, but it’s my mother’s partner’s (not married but together for almost 20 years) name so couldn’t be our gecko’s, too. 🙂

        The Eccotemp is in! It works well — 45 seconds of hot and 15 of cold for every minute. Sheer luxury! You play with the cold water to adjust it. It’s the way of tankless propane. And our next project is the catchment tank! I’m looking forward to your blog on Wednesday http://www.theroadtoserendipity.wordpress.com about your installation. We get 150 inches of rain per year, if you can believe it. It mostly rains at night, when the ocean winds meet the cooling land. We listen to the rain at night, too. 🙂 xxoo

      • Amazing! You won’t ever have to bother watering the garden ;). Can’t wait till you get round to veggie gardening and seeing what you do with your space :). Excellent on the hot water by the way. Nothing like not having reliable hot water and then getting it to make you MOST appreciative for it :). Jeffrey was the name of my first boyfriend…he probably licked raisins from people’s bagels and drank their coke too come to think of it! 😉 Have a blast today doing whatever tropical things are de rigeur in Hawaii… probably swatting gecko’s off your lunch 😉

  5. Smiling big all the way through. Lovely!

  6. You sound so happy! That makes me smile! I’m just tickled pink things are looking up. Hi Jeffrey! HAHA 🙂 xoxoxo! Love, Susan

  7. Christine Widman

    Hi…back from a weekend in Flagstaff. 80 degrees there 106 here. So the mountain air was heaven.
    And it was heaven coming home and reading your blog.
    Vitality and sweetness in each word.
    I missed Solstice entirely…was on the road north and then watching our grandson (playing Michael) in a joyful youth production of Peter Pan.
    Which – given the fairies and fairy dust – was rather magical/Solsticey.
    Re: Hippies – An article in the Flagstaff paper referring to climate change deny-ers saying they were being silenced by the press. Loved the article’s irony, especially the sentence about Flagstaff having an above average IQ about environment. :-)))) I so agree.
    We would love some of that rainfall dropping here.

    • Welcome back to Tucson, Christine, and I know you’ll have a lovely week with the grandkids, so the magic continues. Stay cool, my dear friend. The weather here is quite consistent. 80-83 degrees F as a high and 65-67 as a low. It rains hard usually at least once a day/night, so there’s humidity, but it’s really not oppressively hot unless you’re in a car without AC. We have no AC — the truck is a 1991 so it’s AC takes the old, banned Freon. Which brings me to climate change! Wishing for rain for the Azure Gate…most beautiful B&B ever. http://www.theazuregate.com Aloha! 🙂

  8. Oh what a gorgeous little gecko 🙂 such a pretty green. Glad to hear things are going well for you both Christi. Congratulations on your new little step rellie! A new life to grow into possibly the president of America one day 🙂 you never know. Love to you both xoxoxoxoxoxox

    • Oh, Cathy, you are so sweet. 🙂 Thank you, and to tell you the truth, I think the job of U.S.A. President, as it is currently structured, is an impossible job and wouldn’t wish it on an enemy. lol Love back to you! xxoo

  9. Congratulations on the new grandbaby! Especially since he has red hair!! A bit of Viking in the far past, no doubt . . . 🙂 I think one of the best things about the complex relationships that evolved around so many of our generation (I’m pushing it to include myself, really 😉 ) is that the babies have so many grandparents they are bound to find some to bond with. So good for everyone!

    Love your wee gecko; I can’t believe it likes coke and bagels, but maybe it’s the sugar content, eh?

    Those temperatures sound so perfect to me; and I’ve always said I’d love it if the rain came in the middle of the night . . . and there you are; listening to it making music on the roof and the foliage . . . so lovely!

    If I had palms, I’d get you to read mine, too, hahaha! Your place sounds magical, truly, and that was s sweet song; sounds just like you and the B.Ol.

    Glad to hear things are coming along and that you are acclimatising; not needing the pills must be happy-making in itself.

    Things are busy here and I haven’t been reading as many blogs as I like to, but I do try and check in here and there as time permits. In the meantime, everyone is on my list morning and evening, so I’m adding a wee bit to those waves of love that are washing up for you.

    As to the ‘shrill hysteria’, I myself met an elder couple (about my age now, I think) who first protested DDT pre-World War II (this is back when I lived on South Pender Island in the Gulf Islands with my older son and his dad). That couple were seen as raving lunatics then, too. People want to think the world is meant to be Disneyland, all sanitized and ‘safe’, but it’s not. There well be real hysteria from those living in De Nile, as we say, once the SHTF. Wait and see! Reality life will replace reality telly . . .

    In the meantime, I’m glad to know fellow travellers on the hysteria line of life, living and thinking in ways that give me hope. Big hugs to you, my friends!

    ~ Linne

    • Hi Linne! and thanks for the lovely comment and waves of love.:) I agree about all the grandparents and others a child has in our society these days in the wake of divorces and blended families of all kinds. It can be quite a good thing…as my ex-husband’s wife says, “You can never have too many people who love you.” Glad to hear you’re busy and thriving. Hugs and aloha. xxoo

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