Thoughts Of Guennigirl — My School Bus Kids

(Editor’s Note: Following are thoughts shared by Guenn Adare. She writes about life’s journey of joy and sorrow, of fulfillment and loss, of gaining wisdom out of loss and pain, of healing and transcending our suffering, and of being of service to humanity and to one’s God  — unrequited agape love for all and everything.)

By Guennigirl

How nice, here I am in the library, and my bus student, Gabrielle, 4th grade, came up from behind and gave me a hug.  Aaron, another bus student from last year, also called my attention to say hi to me.  Just the kind of connections I love from my bus students.

I decorated my bus for Christmas before driving the run this morning.  The Scotch Tape didn’t hold the garland up in a couple of places, and so I passed the scotch tape back to the kids while I was driving, when I saw Shyrome and the others trying to fix it.  I was happy to see that they were trying to fix it without me asking them — that meant that they were enjoying the decoration, which means they are sharing the mood I want to create in my schoolbus.  That is the reward I was hoping to achieve.

Remember, I became a school bus driver because I love kids.

Thoughts Of Guennigirl — Hamakua Morning

Image courtesy of Guenn Adare

By Guenn Adare

The morning clouds are lifting, tinted with pinks and a hint of soft gold.  Sunlight and cloud struggle with each other to see who will win the day the soonest.  The noisy coqui frogs that invaded the eucalyptus forest on the opposite side of the highway from my camp less than a year ago, have gone to bed with the morning light. It is just right, neither hot nor cold, nor dry nor humid.  The blue waters of the ocean stretch to the horizon, past the plantation homes before me, with the coconut palms that spike high above the canopy of the other trees that top out far below them.  It is 7:30 in the morning, and the sound reaches my ears of a weed-eater in the yard of one of the old sugar plantation homes in my camp of predominantly Filipino ancestry.  Later on, today, I too, will be doing the same things, tackling my own back-yard, a foot high in grass, and another steep hillside of eight foot tall grass with my weed-eater.  The Chinese sweet potato farmers, all speaking rapid-fire Chinese, who live above me, have just left to harvest purple sweet potatoes, for the fourth day in a row.  This is the biggest harvest of the whole year, probably in anticipation of Thanksgiving. Read more

Thoughts Of Guennigirl — Letting Go

Image courtesy of This Recording

By Guenn Adare

Can’t play the game of pretend anymore…

You see me and you smile,

But your words and your actions do not match.

For the smile hides

That I am not welcome in your home…

That I am not wanted by you or your wife.

I am an obligation…

Your welcome mat is silence…

Phone calls not returned…

E-mails not answered…

Gifts not acknowledged…

Communication refused…

Invitations turned down… Read more

Photo Of The Week — Touching Up The Laupahoehoe Train Museum Mural

Guenn Adare shot this photo of Jill Amaral, Lisa Barton's sister, in May 2010. Lisa Barton is one of the founders of the Laupahoehoe Train Museum. Jill painted the original mural on the side of one of the buildings at the train museum several years ago. In this photo, she is touching up the old paint.

Thoughts Of Guennigirl — Through The Eyes Of A Child: My House

Jakob Winkler art

By Guenn Adare

I say 1957, but really, we lived there for four years, from 1955 – 1959.

Mom and Dad slept in the bedroom at the front of the house.  There was a bedroom adjacent to their room.  That’s where the baby, Janice, slept, born in 1956.  In time she had beautiful thick, long, brown hair, with natural ringlets.  She was the baby swan and I was the ugly duckling, the tomboy, with my cowlick on the left side of my forehead where the bangs always arced up no matter how long they were, and my blunt cut medium length hair halfway down my neck, with no curl or style to it.  I didn’t care about my hair, most of the time, I was too busy playing.  But as I look back at our childhood pictures, it was sort of like the contrast between Cinderella cleaning the ashes and Cinderella in her ballgown.  I was the dirty Cinderella in the ashes and my sister was the gorgeous, charming Cinderella in the ballgown.  When she became a little older, she learned to charm Mom and Dad into believing that she was the innocent victim of my injustices, all the while lying and knowing full well that they would believe her and not me, she enjoying every minute of the truth she was twisting as she wrapped Mom and Dad around her little finger yet one more time.  Though we have been best friends since becoming adults, she still chuckles when I complain about her lies to our parents to make herself seem like the good girl and me be the mean sister.

I shared the bedroom towards the back of the house with my brother, George.  I can remember getting up to go to the bathroom at night.  A jaguar lived under my bed at night.  He liked to hide there.  If you bent down, you could see his yellow-green eyes glowing in the pitch black under the bed. Read more

Thoughts Of Guennigirl — Through The Eyes Of A Child: Sidewalk

By Guennigirl

Donald Kinney art

1957 – CARACAS, VENEZUELA

Warm sun beating down on the velvety smooth skin of my  shoulders, the earthy smell of my skin.  Playing, running, roller skating, pretending, up and down the uneven slabs of concrete of the sidewalk along the busy road in front of my little house.  Out here, on the sidewalk, I was free, because the thick hedge with the cigar-shaped red flowers separated the sidewalk and me from the house.  No one from the house could see me, and I could go as far as I wanted to go, to wherever I wanted to go, in my mind, and there was no one to stop me.

One day a sailor in his spanking white sailor suit, walking on the other side of the busy street, let out a wolf whistle.  I knew that it was for me, the five-year-old.  As any girl with pride and “correct” upbringing would do, I ignored him and did not look his way, but inside, the wolf whistle fed all my flames of vanity and ego. Read more

Thoughts Of Guennigirl — My Life Of Adventure; The Beginning

 

 

Alyse Rađenović art.

 

By Guennigirl

I was born in March of 1952, in White Plains, New York, a suburb of New York City. I was the oldest child of four children, two girls and two boys.  Dad worked for AIU (American International Underwriters), an insurance company, which later became AIG, the insurance giant.

My mother grew up on a large wheat ranch in the rolling hills of the Palouse country, on the  outskirts of Walla Walla, Washington, in the southeastern corner of the state.  She was the baby in a family of five girls and no boys.   My father was born in western Washington, an only child.  At age 2, he moved to Shanghai, China (now known as Beijing, China).  He lived there until he was 16 years old, when his family moved back to New York City. Read more

Thoughts Of Guennigirl — My Children’s Dad

Image courtesy of Chicken-Stratch: 13 Things Archives

By Guenn Adare

(Excerpts from a letter to my daughter)

I shift back to Richard, your dad.  I have hurt so many times over the years, watching (your) Dad hurt you kids, his children, by his neglect of and apparent emotional detachment of what’s going on in your lives.  I have watched him hurt all of you, it was sort of a way of life with him and you kids, I have seen it coming time and time again.  I was powerless to prevent it, because I knew how he was.  I couldn’t stop you kids craving and never stop trying to have a close, connected relationship with him.  I couldn’t tell you it would never happen, that you would never have that kind of relationship with him, because none of you kids would have accepted what I said, you wouldn’t, couldn’t stop hoping. Read more

Thoughts Of Guennigirl — My Dad

Fathers of Daughters painting by Molly Brose

By Guennigirl

I always idolized my dad.  I yearned for his praise.  A handful of times in my life he gave me one-on-one. There was that dance with him at the Sun Juyu Hotel our family would stay at for the weekend on the shores of Lake Atitlan in Panajachel. He stuck up for me when I couldn’t bear to eat soup Mom was insisted I eat when I had just come down with (what later turned out be) hepatits. He laid on my bed beside me at night just talking with me when I was 12 years old or so.  There weren’t too many times, but at those times I felt special to him. When he danced a dance with me, it felt like I was the queen of the world.

I remember the four years we lived in Westfield, New Jersey, and Dad was an up and rising, very hard-working executive working in Manhattan at AIG. It was  the same scene night after night when he would arrive home, after work, after dark, having walked one mile from the train station.  I believe the train ride was one or two hours from Westfield to the station he got off at in New York City, a few blocks from the AIG offices.  I think his commute to and from home to the office was probably about 2 hours each way, a pretty long commute.

I was between ages 9 1/2 to 11 1/2 at the time, in fifth and sixth grades.  I would be standing in the living room or the large opening between the dining room and the living room, and watching him as in walked in the front door.  I would size him up.  Did I dare say “Hello” to him tonight?  Did I think that this night I could say an entire sentence to him?  Or was this the rare night that I could say a whole paragraph to him?  How much could I say to him tonight without getting my head snapped off?  Many, many nights, I dared say nothing at all. Read more

Thoughts Of Guennigirl — Stray Dog

Norrie Harman art

By Guennigirl

The light-colored brown stray dog warily watched the man from a distance.  He had learned not to trust man, and had scavenged for his food since he was a pup.  He had learned that man kicked and beat dogs, so he did not go near man.

But this man was kneeling down, with his hand stretched out at arm’s length, with a piece of meat in his hand.  The dog was not particularly hungry, but something about the man made the dog curious.  The man was still, and did not feel mean or angry, to the dog, like he had sensed about other men.  The man stayed still, with his hand outstretched in the direction of the dog, and waited without moving, for a long time.

Finally, the dog got up his courage, and slowly began to inch towards the man.  The man continued to stay still, not moving other than to occasionally shift his position slightly when he became uncomfortable from staying in the same position for too long.

The dog slowly continued to come closer to the man, until he was only a few feet away from him.  Then he lost his courage, because he remembered having been tricked by man before, and turned back.  But he only went a few feet away, because the man remained still, even though the dog had turned away, and the dog felt the calm and reassurance of the man. Read more

Thoughts Of Guennigirl — Did You See The Sky Tonight?! Thoughts On Not Taking Anything For Granted

Vallee Johnson art

(Editor’s Note: Following are thoughts shared by Guenn Adare. She writes about life’s journey of joy and sorrow, of fulfillment and loss, of gaining wisdom out of loss and pain, of healing and transcending our suffering, and of being of service to humanity and to one’s God  — unrequited agape love for all and everything.)

By Guennigirl

Did you see the sky tonight!?   It was so beautiful.  The moon was full, and there were big expanses of cloudless sky.  The moon was shining a silvery, midnight blue path off the ocean, coming right towards me.  The air was warm, not so very cold like it was last night.  It was one of those scenes that you could look at for a long time and still not drink it all in.  I would love to have been sitting somewhere, with someone, just gazing towards the ocean at the beauty of it, and talking.  A great setting for slow talk, small talk, occasional talk, talking story.

It’s not an uncommon view on this island, but I think the people who grew up here, have seen it all their lives, and take it for granted.  When you live on the landlocked mainland, that view of the moonlight reflecting off the ocean is like a diamond glowing in the middle of a black coal mine.  You can’t take your eyes off of it. Read more

Thoughts Of Guennigirl — Saying So Much With So Little

(Editor’s Note: Following are thoughts shared by Guenn Adare. She writes about life’s journey of joy and sorrow, of fulfillment and loss, of gaining wisdom out of loss and pain, of healing and transcending our suffering, and of being of service to humanity and to one’s God  — unrequited agape love for all and everything.)

By Guennigirl

There is another Emily Dickinson poem that I also love, because I love what it believes, and as in all Emily Dickinson poems, it says so much with so little.  As usual, I can’t remember the title.  Here goes:

He drew a circle

That shut him out.

Heretic, rebel,

A thing to flout.

But love and I

Had the wit to win.

We drew a circle

That shut him in.

Here is another saying that I love.  It is funny, but it rang so true of my situation when I worked as head greenhouse grower for Bart Olson at Olson’s Greenhouse for several years.  While I was head grower, the greenhouse grew from one acre to five acres, and I was responsible for the growing of the plants in all of it.  We grew for big box stores, too.  The buyers would come and measure the height of the poinsettias with a ruler, I had to make sure they fell within the specs. One year, maybe more than one year, I can’t remember, I grew over 100,000 poinsettias.  I had a reputation for being able to solve problems that stumped many other growers.  I finally quit him, as he offered me a 33% raise ($3/hour raise), thinking, “No pay is enough pay to work for him!” It felt so good to quit him, I have never regretted it, even though I went from him to a brainless minimum pay per hour job.  Here goes the saying:

We, the willing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful.  We have done so much, for so long, with so little, that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing!

Boy, was that true of me at Olson’s Greenhouse!

Thoughts Of Guennigirl — Connections

(Editor’s Note: Following are thoughts shared by Guenn Adare. She writes about life’s journey of joy and sorrow, of fulfillment and loss, of gaining wisdom out of loss and pain, of healing and transcending our suffering, and of being of service to humanity and to one’s God  — unrequited agape love for all and everything.)

By Guennigirl

I didn’t tell you, but last week I talked to the grandmother of one of the students on my bus.  She and I have been friends ever since I got to this island, because she knew a Mormon missionary who was my neighbor in the 1970’s.  He is about 80 now.  When he heard I was in Hawaii, he started to cry.  He served from Ninole to Ookala, including Laupahoehoe.  He has such fond memories of here, and his family and I liked each other.  When he found out I was here, he wrote a letter to me that week, and I showed it to my friend here.  She was so happy.  She and he exchanged letters.  Since then, she and I, and her family, we feel close to each other.

I am now assigned to visit teach her.  We were talking last week, I was in her living room, and she had piles of paper all over the floor.  She is doing her genealogy, even though she does not go to church.  (She is Mormon but her husband is not.)  She said that she and her sister-in-law have so many memories between the two of them that would be lost when they die. I told her I would love to get her and her sister-in-law together, and write down what they said while they reminisced.  She was very receptive to having me do that.  She knows I do the church interviews, she likes to read them and comments to me about them, because often she knows the people I am writing about.  I told her I have a friend who is very interested in the history and the people of the Hamakua coast, that he might enjoy getting involved in the project of documenting her history, with me.

Thoughts Of Guennigirl — Are You Listening To What’s In Your Heart?

Image courtesy of Hilo Shore Lines

Image courtesy of Hilo Shore Lines

(Editor’s Note: Following are thoughts shared by Guenn Adare. She writes about life’s journey of joy and sorrow, of fulfillment and loss, of gaining wisdom out of loss and pain, of healing and transcending our suffering, and of being of service to humanity and to one’s God  — unrequited agape love for all and everything.)

By Guennigirl

The sky and moon and clouds and ocean are beautiful again tonight.  This morning was another one that was indescribable.  It was 6:30 AM, light sky but the sun wasn’t over the horizon yet.  The moon was low, and it was round and full and huge.  As I drove up the Ookala hill, it hung just above the horizon.  It just couldn’t get any more awesome.

Seeing the full moon the last 2 nights has made me feel so tempted to go to the presentation that I told you about, that they do at Mauna Lani? (whichever hotel it is), each Saturday that’s closest to a full moon, this month.  My head is logical, and says no, but my heart says, “But I really want to go!”

Here are the lyrics to the little jingle I wrote  (could be sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, but the rhythm wouldn’t be the same as the tune I made up for it): Read more