Memories for Miriam, Alice, Theo, Delia, Tessa
and anyone else who would like to be here
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Alice and Miriam love playing with the dollhouse. They discovered that besides the house, the dolls have a store, with a baker in a white suit, baker's hat, and apron. They set up all the shelves, and the dolls lined up to buy things from the bakery and store. The baker lives next to the store with his daughter, a beautiful doll in a blue dress. Here are the dollhouse and the store, as Miriam and Alice set them up:
When we were all children, one thing we often did -- even before we were old enough for kindergarten -- was to go outside and play. Both Elaine and I have written about this one way or another.
Most summer days, we went out and looked for some other neighborhood kids, and played somewhere on our street until it was time to eat. Arny played monopoly at the Rosens' house. for hours. After dinner sometimes all the kids on the block -- and there were a lot of us -- would play hide and seek, or ride bikes until dark. Our mothers would go out on the porch and yell our names if they wanted us to come home, and if we heard them, we repeated the kid's name and yelled "your mother's calling." If Arny or Elaine were indoors playing across the street, our mother would send me to get them. We knew how far we were allowed to go, and what time to come back. Later Evelyn did the same: she played with her friends Robin and Lissa.
When kids went to kindergarten, they learned to walk home alone or with friends. I walked with my friend Judy after a day or two of my mother walking me (with Elaine in a stroller). When she was five, Evelyn quickly caught on to how to walk from morning kindergarten at Burns Park School to her afternoon daycare. In cities all over the country 30 to 60 years ago, even very small children walked or took buses and subways all by themselves.
Now children don't go anywhere by themselves very much. There are a lot of reasons, and parents think it's better to drive their children to elementary school and activities. They have play dates instead of just going outside to see who's around and wants to do something.
Well, recently, a lady in New York let her 9 year old son go on the subway by himself. She gave him a pass and some money, and he got home just fine. Then she wrote an article about how well he did, and how much he enjoyed himself. But a lot of people said children should never do this any more. My adult readers should read this article about it in the L.A.Times.
In disagreement, Evelyn emailed this:
Actually, unlike I used to think, I now disagree with the blog posting. These things work if you want them to, but I think a lot of people don't want to have their kids go out to play. ...
I'm not sure such small changes, and one extra year of parental surveillance, is worth getting upset about. It's ... not so bad as they like to make it out to be. In big cities, it's different, but in suburban neighborhoods, I'm not so sure that it's such a drastic difference. Maybe I'll rethink this again in another year or two, but right now, I'm convinced that things are the same as they ever were.
King Kamehameha was the king of Hawaii around 200 years ago. He was born on the Big Island of Hawaii, and became king of all of the islands. The statue in the picture shows him in his special feather helmet and cloak, which only the high officials could wear back in those days.
Now Hawaii is a state in the United States, just like Virginia and Michigan, so it does not have a king. Like all states, Hawaii has a governor. Her name is Linda Lingle.
Today on the dive boat the driver, named Nue, told me how he accompanied his cousin, a professional surfer, to ride a surfboard to the boiling water where the lava is going into the sea! They made an offering to Pele of a ti leaf with some fruit or flowers. In this video, you can first see him walk up with this offering. There are also other parts about riding a surfboard with a long paddle. Nue is very good at doing this too.
A news story about Nue and CJ Kanuha appeared in a Hawaii newspaper. The picture shows Nue, as he was telling me this story while we were on the dive boat today:
Last year, we all enjoyed many stories about Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess. People are afraid of Pele because she makes the volcanoes erupt. Even now, some Hawaiians leave flowers and food for Pele to try to keep her happy. They don't eat her special ohelo berries.
In the first photo, you can see some flowers leis that people have left for Pele near the place where lava is flowing into the sea. We saw a mouse running around on the lava. Maybe he was eating the food people left for Pele (or just food they dropped when they were viewing the lava). We tossed a few of our chips to Pele, just for fun.
Yesterday in the afternoon, we spent several hours watching the lava flow into the sea. We stayed very far away from the very hot lava.
We watched the glowing lava and the steam clouds that came up as the hot lava hit the ocean. The ancient Hawaiians must have found this type of volcanic activity very amazing, and thought that Pele was very frightening. We certainly think it's amazing, especially at night when the lava glows and lights up the steam clouds.
Last year we saw an offering to Pele that was near to the Halema`uma`u Crater. People had left flowers and even some crackers. In April, right at that place, Pele started a new volcanic eruption, so you can't go to that place any more. Since then, the parking lot where we were last year is all covered with ash and with lava formations called "Pele's Tears" and "Pele's Hair." Pele's Hair is like spun glass, when the wind blows the molten lava into fine threads. Pele's tears are little tear-drop shaped lava beads that form in the plume of the volcano. You can only watch the new plume of gray, white, and brown smoke and dust from the museum about a mile away, but it's still awesome! In the daytime it looks like a big pillar of steam and at night, we saw it glowing deep red.
Today we went to the swimming pool that belongs to our condo complex. It's nice, but we missed Miriam and Alice, and remembered how they loved the pool last year. This satellite photo shows the location of the pool, and also shows how close to the ocean we are this year.