He is whistling and wearing a brown wide-brimmed hat, shorts and sandals. It’s our twenty-something son, aka His Majesty, who is now living in Puna, too, and was just dropped off at our house after hiking at the ocean with 20 other yoga enthusiasts he works with at Kalani Retreat Center, a 40 minute drive south of here. He looks like a hippie.

“Hey, Dude!” shouts the Bearded One from the lanai where he has laid out the gillion pieces of our new barbecue His Majesty has blessedly agreed to assemble.



I look out the kitchen window and scream, “He’s here!” as if this is the Second Coming of Jesus Himself. It could just be this week, but there’s sure a lot of religion on this island. Native Hawaiians are a spiritual people, and so are the Japanese and Filipinos who live here. Whites or haoles are a minority. There is a small church of some kind on every other corner in Hawaiian Paradise Park.  Nothing big.

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On Tuesday, I meet Emily Naeole in the laundromat, candidate for County Council and as she says, “on a mission from God.”


She is my age, 57-years-old, native Hawaiian, and full of the Holy Spirit. We talk story a bit, and then we hug and say goodbye before she starts praying with a spiritual hippie couple our ages who we met earlier.

We go to the grocery store and an elderly Japanese man helps me find a coffee dripper cup, and when I laugh and use the word “lucky”, he is horrified. “No luck,” he says and points up. It was God, is all I can understand. But he is adamant.

I finish our neighbor Jim’s novel and return it to him with compliments for his story and spunk. It turns out he is not only a survivalist and a 79-year-old first time novelist, but also a minister of the Ten Commandments and contributes daily on Christian websites.  His truck bumper stickers proclaim his religious beliefs plainly.

Then there are the so-called Punatics — the army of hippies young and old who are socially active for Mother Nature in Puna. The hot issues I’ve detected so far are GMOs and Geothermal energy. Marijuana is illegal, but widely used and minimally prosecuted. Political signs show lots of young politicians. One of the WWOOFers at the farm we stayed at for seven weeks is a Rasta. He actually cut his calf-length dreads while we were there. Fifteen years of growth. He will never ever cut his long beard, though.

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Spiritual seekers really do seem to congregate here.

“Hi, Sweetie,” I say and give His Majesty a huge hug.  He takes off his hat and he’s sunburned, except for his head which is just short of shaved bald.

I cut up a white pineapple,


which the Bearded One harvested earlier from our acre where there are hundreds, and which our neighbor Jim says are so good you can eat the core.  I agree with him on this.


The three of us talk on the lanai and munch and watch hundreds of giant black carpenter bees hover around the nearby dead tree that is their palace.  Like flying ping-pong balls. They’re a tropical island bee and not aggressive to humans, just to wood.  We watch them a lot.  “It’s a Zen thing,” says the Bearded One.


We tell all our news – plans to cut new windows upstairs with Tom on Thursday,

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ordering the water catchment tank, the delay of delivery of the thin-film solar panels and the big generator for the solar batteries until mid-July, and the successful installation last weekend of the Eccotemp tankless propane hot water heater which works great.

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His Majesty will have a shower later, he says. After he assembles the barbecue.


But before the barbecue, we go back inside and he lays a big baggie of Kalani granola — he works in the kitchen — on the counter for me and starts doing yoga on the kitchen floor. He tells me about teaching his first yoga classes.

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Seven people came to one of his 6am classes. They all liked it, he says, and are spreading the word.


26 responses to “Punatics

  1. Such a bright spot in my day, Christi! I’m living vicariously through all my Villager friends, but I think you are the only truly tropical Villager. Pineapples! Mmmmm………
    No animals, though . . . what’s with that? I miss your goat, chicken and puppy stories. But I expect you will either have livestock again or have more run-ins with them . . . I can wait . . . 😉
    How nice that your son lives nearby now. And is a yoga-teaching hippie! What more could you ask for? Well, besides world peace and a winning ticket, I mean. 🙂
    Big hugs from the deliciously cool north. It’s a great spring so far and I have hopes of it lasting into September, then morphing into a deliciously cool autumn . . . and maybe that will last into next April . . .
    In the meantime, it’s so nice to ‘visit’ with you. Have a wonderful July, all of you~ ~ Linne

    • The animals! Cats first, since we’ve seen rats up in the palms eating the palm seeds. Plus I love cats. There’s a Humane Society up on the highway, and there’s an active Craigslist life here, too. I love the beautiful sunny cool days in the Pacific Northwest…there are just so few of them! May it be sunny and deliciously cool for you this year. Love and aloha, Christi

  2. Whilst I decline being prayed with, over or for – I do enjoy the company of truly spiritual people. [Positivity, joy, trust in the future and global kindness are high on my list of attributes of ‘spiritual’ folk] I suspect you will find many of them in your new home 🙂

    How lovely that His Majesty is near-by and also a hippy 🙂 Keeping it in the family! 🙂 I am amused by the BO’s illustration of his yoga class – there may have been seven participants, but one was clearly not yet ready to be up! 🙂

    I don’t know what a white pineapple is – how does it differ from a yellow pineapple? But the thought of being able to pick/gather them from your own garden is a pretty scrumptious thought…… And you are clean and making more light in your hippy house and despite those inevitable delays it is all coming together …….. So exciting!! It will be like my first month with Siddy – hell on wheels surviving it in one piece, but just fabulous now we have worked out how to communicate and have got the daily routine in place 🙂 Big hugs to the New Farmlet folk and bring on the animals 🙂

    • It is wonderful to have HM here! And his sister the nurse is planning to come in late September. This makes me very happy. White pineapple is just a kind of pineapple. I had never had it before, either, but the guy who lived here and planted them all made delicious pineapple wine from them. Doesn’t that sound good?! And I hope to get a couple of kitty cats this week or next. First come the kitties. Big hugs back to you and Siddy and Orlando! xxoo

  3. Oh that pineapple! Yum!

  4. Aloha Christi and Keith 😀 yummy white pineapple! Mum used to make wine from all sorts of bits and bobs and I remember her making pineapple wine once. I think it was nice from vague memory. What about pineapple and apple cider? Or even pear and pineapple? Mmmmmm! Positive prayer is always good for the soul. It can even be like a form of yoga for the mind. A form of release and letting go. That’s what I believe anyway 🙂 . That poor person lying down is me with my weird vertigo problem after trying hard to do the old ” downward doggy” 😀 love to you all and I’d love to see a photo of your native bees as I love them Christi xoxoxox

    • Hi Cathy! We barbecued pineapple last night and it was wonderful. We’ll be doing that again. I love the idea of prayer as a form of yoga for the mind — very true and cool! Me, too, about the yoga. I went to one class decades ago and haven’t been back. I’m not saying I won’t, just that I haven’t. 🙂 And I’ll try to get a picture of the bees. They are immense. The females are big and black and the males small and golden. They females do all the carpentry. The sawdust flies. 🙂 Love and aloha, Christi

      • Hahaha loving the girl bees with attitude and skills 🙂 . Yum to the barbecued pineapple! Did you sprinkle it with brown sugar as well to caramelise? My form of sort of yoga is to sit with a cup of tea and with my eyes closed and just listen and smell, especially when the sun is shining and the deck is warm 🙂

      • No brown sugar, Cathy, although the recipe called for it, and for rum! I would have put the rum in if I’d had any. 🙂 One of our guests doesn’t eat sugar, so I left the sugar out and they were still wonderfully sweet. No caramelizing, tho. Another time. 🙂

        And your yoga sounds like meditation, which is part of yoga, too, and the part I practice as well. The smells, yes! And sounds. And tea! lol

      • Ooh Christi I’ve just heard about a possible eruption of one of the large volcanos on one of the islands in Hawaii ! It’s not near you and Keith is it? Please be safe.

      • All safe and sound here! No word of an eruption, but they are slow blows, not like the violent Mt. St. Helens back in 1980 near Seattle. We’re warm and balmy and working on windows. 🙂

      • Ah that’s good to hear. I thought that the volcanos in Hawaii are always spewing out lava down to the sea, sometimes through residential neighbourhoods but in a regular slow flow 🙂

  5. I’m learning a lot about Hawaii! Very interesting! I’m so glad your son is there and your daughter is headed out soon! You sound good 🙂 Cool! Sorry about the delays but you are making great progress! I was raised in the Catholic church and to this day I cannot go to church. I’m very spiritual but I can’t take organized religion or any of that fire and brimstone crap. White pineapple, YUM! I can’t wait to see pictures of your new kitties! Hugs from Texas! Susan

    • Hi Susan! I’m learning a lot about Hawaii, and it feels good to share it. My first husband was raised in the Catholic church, too. He went to a Catholic school through grade 8, and he feels exactly as you do. No more of that. And I am really ready for kitty cats. Garfield is now the much-beloved pet of my niece and her husband — he even made a little cat video of Garfield. I miss him the most of any animals. The B.O. isn’t really all that hep about a dog yet, so we’ll see. Puppies are a lot of work, as we just experienced this last fall with Arly — who is now the much-beloved pet of our old neighbors. We’ll see….Thanks as always for your loving comment. Hugs, Christi

  6. Christine Widman

    BBQed pineapple. Den has a great recipe for that. Makes it here at the B&B for our breakfast fruit. It’s scrumptious. I will have him email his recipe to you. He is off to Wyoming to photograph wildlife for 10 days but we keep in touch via iPhone text messages.
    Your house is becoming full of life and activity. So glad you have hot water for your showers now!
    Hot water. More windows to let in the tropical breezes. White pineapples. Zen bee watching. Soon a cat. And HM. Hallelujah.

    • Please do have Den send that recipe! We marinated a white pineapple in orange juice, cinnamon, ginger and cloves for an hour in the fridge and then grilled them on the bbq for 15 minutes. Delicious! A great discovery. Praise be. 🙂

  7. My wife and I have a grill exactly like yours. You sure seem to be making it work in Hawaii.

  8. On religion, if you miss the community but not the holy rolling, try the Unitarian Universalists.

  9. The way you describe His Majesty makes him sound like Dr. Livingstone albeit minus the pith helmet ;). Glad Austin is transitioning to a hippy. It will do him good to blend in with the natives ;). Nothing like small churches to contain big faith I have found. The smaller the church, the more people have to fight to keep it going and the more important it is to the individual. I can’t see Ms Naeole’s black sunglasses and she is going to need a suit and a black hat if she is going to run on that platform 😉

    You could have used your past skills to knit your past together with your future and Mr Rasta Wwoofers dreds could have had a new life at Farmlet Mark2 as a delightful human door mat. I am SOOO jealous! You are growing pineapples? WILD PINEAPPLES!!! It sounds like a horticulturalists dream. If I ever win the lottery I am heading over to forage on your property…be forwarned 😉

    Slowly moving into the 21st Century but Hawaiian eco-style. I love your transition Christi-girl. I love the foliage, the soil, the EVERYTHING about Farmlet Mark2 and best of all that the spirit of the place has started infusing your words with a deep and wonderful joy 🙂 Hawaii is taking you under it’s wing and you are taking Hawaii under your skin a win-win situation 🙂

    Oh DEAR! One of His Majesties yoga students appears to be deceased! It being Hawaii, might be advisable to do something with that yoga corpse before the flies set in and all…just sayin’ ;).

    • Hi Fran! The pineapples are amazing. They need no soil, just the air here, it seems. They grow out of lava rock and have virtually no roots. And they are soooo sweet! As I get my kitchen more in shape, I’ll be making something with them. The barbecued pineapple (marinated in orange juice and essentially pumpkin pie spice) was excellent.

      You’re right about the 21st century…piecing together technology in Hawaii, and living with a “third world” infrastructure are eye-openers, but Hawaii is feeling more and more familiar. I like the indoor/outdoor lifestyle…it’s virtually always in the 70s F. (low 20s C) At night, it can get to 67 or even the low 60s in the winter, and it’s in the low 80s here each day in the heat of the day. I wear so little clothing compared to Seattle. 🙂

      And the yoga pose…isn’t there a corpse pose? 🙂 Love and aloha. xxoo

      • Hawaii sounds like the closest thing to heaven on earth with that temperature range. Corpse pose? Hopefully His Majesty doesn’t specialise in that pose otherwise he might get drummed off the island 😉

  10. Maria Patrizzi

    Hi, C & K- Big sigh of adjustment! Hurray for you! Your daughters are so terrific- and Roger was here, omg he is a fabulous dog! When Molly was in the boat, Roger even knew which boat she was in- he followed it with his eyes & head! Just sitting on the dock, so patient so loyal at only a year old! Love to you- Maria

    • Hi Maria! I heard about this great Fourth of July party! Molly called me on her way up, and I was sooo happy to hear you were all getting together. Your daughters are so terrific, too. I still love telling people that they all went to preschool together. And yes, Roger is a gem. Glad you got to meet him. Hey to Michael! Love, Christi

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