Tag Archives: Kona

Gulches, goatcheese, and gifts


Without being too melodramatic (just the right amount of melodramatic), I would like to tell you that I had a harrowing experience and I need you to fully appreciate it. Yes, yes, see the last blog post.

I am a cautious person by nature. Okay, I am a fearful person by nature. But, like the sidebar says, this blog is about leading a brave life. God is using the scary things of life to teach me and giving me risks to take to train me. There is a difference between what God uses and what God gives. It’s fairly simple: He uses everything and he gives good things.

Let me use two examples.

Example #1.

This weekend little sister and I drove to Hilo. Originally it was for the purpose of going to see her coach a soccer tournament. This was cancelled due to flooded fields (which you would think happens every other weekend given the location. The rainiest city in the U.S). However, since we had already planned to visit the Farmer’s Market and the mall, we decided to drive the 250 miles anyway. I went to college in Hilo and I felt due for a little blast to the past. There is also a very nice Starbucks in the beautiful ranch town of Waimea at the halfway mark. So, that kind of sealed the deal.

It poured rain the entire day but we loved it. Even the Farmer’s Market downtown was a fun memory lane experience. We bought these for way too cheap.And some stinky Puna goat cheese for way too much. But it’s delicious.

We then spent the rest of the afternoon in the mall eating junk food, shopping, and watching Tower Heist. I recommend it. Junk food and the movie.

And then we got on the road, heading home to the dry side. Now, between Hilo and Hamakua there are three horseshoe turns around some rather high gulches. Somewhere in the frightening neighborhood of 500 feet. I drove around these gulches countless times when I was in college and every time my palms would sweat. It was worse if I was the passenger peering down to the waterfalls below. We were happy to see that the state has begun installing mesh over the rock faces due to years of rockslides and boulder damage. Check it out here.

On Saturday we cleared all three gulches when all of the sudden, coming out of the last turn, our truck started to fishtail. This startled me. And then the truck slid completely sideways into oncoming traffic. This scared me. And then the truck turned around and slid towards the gulch drop off. This terrified me. We hit the rock wall once and bounced back and then hit the one section of wall that was already gone. In its place was a temporary barrier filled with water. That thing busted open, spilling water everywhere. And then we stopped, without going over the edge. We were done screaming by that time and hyperventilated some prayers out as we crept up the road and over onto a shoulder. The police came, the report was filed, and we were able to drive the mashed up truck to Waimea going approximately 30 miles per hour with every muscle in our bodies tensed for action. Megan’s boyfriend-worship-leader-barista (baristo?)-hero met us in Waimea and drove the rest of the way home.

And that is something scary that God USES. Because now I am not scared of the gulches anymore. Because I will never drive around them again.

Example #2.

I don’t know where I am going to live in January. But I have to move back to Oahu for a class. Home is comfortable. Home is easy. Home is great. But I gotta go. I’m making plans and I have no job and I have no apartment. Just a storage unit full of stuff and a registered nursing license. And a God that has good gifts for me if I just keep moving along.

And that is an example of a challenge God GIVES. Because I am not afraid of being homeless or jobless.

So, take stock of the scary things in your life today. Any harrowing experiences you need us to fully appreciate? God will use it. Any challenge you are avoiding? God may be giving it.

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I’m only in it for the Participation Ribbons.


Now that I am a registered nurse, I am not busy at all. As several helpful people have pointed out, I have only had my license for two weeks so the jobless state should not be bothering me yet. And for the most part it is not bothering me at all. I focus on classes, some volunteering, job-searching, spending time with the family, and exercise.

A lot of exercise.

I know, I know. As my good friend Audrey would say, “my life is so hard”. My entry today is very Audrey-esque because she writes a runner blog that will inspire you like it has inspired me.

Yesterday I spent some motivation money on running gear since I’ve been building up my mileage. I’m not a competitor so I need to do what I can to keep going. Check out the neat-o arm bands for my iPhone.

I splurged on last season's Asics GT2160. Not sure I've ever known my shoe model before.

Running and I have a spotty history. Twin sister and I started running at 14 because we were bored. We had just returned from Kona after three months in Asia with our family. It was still a new town for us, we had very few friends, and it was a hot summer to spend inside our little two bedroom cottage. I remember Dad telling us we should try to run down to the Kona Pier and he would pick us up there.

We started running those 2 or 3 miles every day and we kept up the tradition through the teenage years. We ran to outrigger paddling practice. We ran to the Old Airport Beach Park for soccer practice. Somehow Sara got skinny and I got, let’s just say “muscular”. By the time I was 19, I decided I hated running and I did it very sporadically through college. And dropped 20 pounds. What the heck. Running, you mock me.

But, when the mid-twenties became the late twenties, I realized that this new found metabolism wasn’t going to last forever so I hit the pavement again. And this time I loved it. Mostly because I have so many friends that run and it became social…which is one of my favorite things! (Have I told you how much I love people?) Audrey especially helped me to learn to love running on Oahu with all of the coastal areas and pretty hills in Manoa. And now that I am back in Kona, I am running the old twin sister routes. Good times.

But now, since I have a ridiculous amount of free time (the calm between the storms, people), I have also picked up another old love. Swimming.

When I was in elementary and middle school in Florida, we were on a summer swim team for three years. Running was Dad’s doing. Swimming was Mom’s. She had great memories of her swim team days and signed us up gleefully for our own memories.  The Oviedo Barracudas. We were awesome. By the second season, the Barley girls were famous. Because Sara was fast and ribbon-winning, Megan was the only one in her age bracket so the whole pool cheered her little one-person races, and Erin was the sister that made lots of friends and got participation ribbons. That team was a cool club of little kids with ill-fitting swim caps, even iller-fitting speedos and college-aged coaches.

And then, since we loved swimming so much, Mom signed us up for the “YEAR ROUND” swim team. The Blue Dolfins. kicked. my. butt. All of the sudden, the cool kids were the ones who trained for Junior Olympics, wore multiple old suits for “drag training” and showered in the locker room. I still remember trying to squeeze two suits on and getting into the pool without bending at the waist. We were expected to swim 1,000 yard warm-ups and then sprints on the clock. I can hear Coach Dale yelling out “On the 30…go!” “Get that bottom up, scissor those legs…what kind of flip turn was that?” My flip turns usually mutated into the kind that took the least amount of energy so that I could continue swimming without being the lame-o that hung on the lane lines part way through practice. And our wonderful parents humored us by letting us shower in the locker rooms even though we lived ten minutes away.

The really great thing is, that swim team not only humbled my bad Barracuda self, it gave me life-long swimming skills that I have never forgotten. I haven’t been on a swim team since (unless you count a semester long Advanced Swimming class in college) but it is a skill set that I have in my exercise arsenal. I even did an ocean swim with some great ladies who have now talked me into trying out the Master’s swim team. I know full well that I won’t keep up but that’s OK. They can kick my butt too.

I may run the occasional 10K but I’m not a competitor. I’m in it for the friends and the participation ribbons. And hopefully to avoid getting too “muscular”. So,thanks Mom. And Dad. And Audrey. And all of my other exercise-y friends. Because of you, when the late-twenties become the early thirties, maybe I’ll be ready.

If you want to come along, I will get you a ribbon too.

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