Jan's Introspection

me and my latest - whether they be plans, insightful thoughts, ideas or realities.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

...............On the way back from skydiving, we visited the Dole plantation. Susan loves pineapple, so it was a must. I really didn't know how pineapples grow. Of course, now I do. I have a picture of that too. We tried some pineapple icecream and I thought, "pineapple icecream - big deal." Oh MY! It is a big deal! We had to have pineapple icecream everyday after that! I am hooked!

Monday, January 27, 2003

Somehow, somewhere in my life, I instilled it in myself not to feel or show fear. There have been a few times in my life in which I was asked, "aren't you afraid?" or "weren't you afraid?" and my answer is generally no. For many things in life, I just go in empty... with a clean slate so to speak because the situation is new. I think it makes total sense.

Do you think jumping on a soft pillow would be scary? Is jumping into a pool of water scary or better yet for those of you who are slightly afraid of water, how do you think it would feel to jump into a gigantic bowl of jello?

Why is it then that people are afraid to jump into the wide open air? I think air is about as soft as it can get!

Susan and I stayed in a very nice hotel on the island of Oahu. Once again, we got up very early for our scheduled activity. I had been looking forward to this ever since Susan mentioned the idea of jumping out of a plane. The first thing we had to do upon our arrival was sign many clauses which for the most part said we would not sue anyone and we do know that we could get hurt or die. After the first few paragraphs, I chose not to read anymore and just signed.

The atmosphere was perfect. Everyone is happy and energetic - just overall at peace with themselves - you could tell. Even waiting for my turn was pleasant because it was fun just being in the atmosphere. The guy I jumped with is Stanley. He's a cool guy - very nice. When we got on the plane, we were told that we were to hobble on our knees to the door as opposed to scooting on our butts as originally instructed. no biggie

Sitting in the plane, the guys joking around, telling the same jokes they always tell, but "they never get old." I was a bit concerned about when he was going to hook me up to him; afterall, he was going to be my lifeline. The other guy, Susan's jumper, joked about how the hook was broken; he was trying to mess with me 'cause I also expressed concern for when he was going to attach himself to Susan. I think the joke was really on Susan though who, by the way, was quite stoic looking throughout this event.

There was a moment on the plane, where I guess i was afraid; my heart suddenly started beating at an abnormal pace. I told myself there was no way I would back down on this. Of course I was able to bring myself to another peaceful state and it was our turn to make it to the door - that...... was the hardest part, but did I have a choice? not in my opinion! to the door we went. Naturally, I tried to hang on to the outer edge of the door, the photographer kept pushing my hands off - finally,,, Out we were!

Flying through the air at an unknown speed surrounded by the wind and the wind noise! That was the freest (look it up, it's correct) feeling I have ever felt in all my life. At this point, I am not even aware of the fact that I am strapped to a man. I feel free! I feel alone! I am secure! This is life!

Moments later, Stan opens the parachute and everything slows down. This was okay too, but I personally think the freefall is the best part. Stan said something to the effect of how dangerously close we were to the mountains. I thought he was still joking around, so it didn't bother me one bit. He flew us around steered us between the mountain and the ocean and slowly we landed. Landing was easy for me; it was my job to keep my feet off the ground so he could land. No problem Stan! You do the honors! ...and he did a very nice job.

This was the epitome of a natural high!

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Kayaking! - We didn't do it. We had it scheduled on our third full day on Molokai'i, but I told Susan that I really just wanted to chill. Chill we did. It was a beautiful day of just wandering, sitting, eating, reading and writing.

The fumes and the bumpy ride from the bus the day before took a toll on me and I didn't want it to take over this day. It was good to have a day without activities. Since mother nature is in charge of the tides, we couldn't just plan kayaking for later in the day.

Well we did have one other thing scheduled for later that day - a massage - ahhhhhhhhhhhh.... what a relaxing joy that was.

Saturday, January 25, 2003

The forced basket weaving class - After our wonderful lunch at the edge of the Pacific, Susan and I were going to take a stroll along the beach. We heard, "Hey take home a souvenir - you make it!" We already looked at the various items that others had made, so we were a little intrigued. We sat with the man and he proceeded to teach us how to make a fish. I was pleased with that and thought to myself, "okay this is cute; let's go walk now." But no..... that wasn't the gentleman's plan. He got out more palm tree leaves ( i just learned they are called fronds.) With these, we were to make baskets!

Of course I started joking about how my father used to talk about the "basket weaving classes" and how I was supposed to avoid them. Well guess what Dad! Basket weaving is not really that easy! I got bored so I conveniently became the errand runner - looking for a diet coke for Susan. When I came back, the gentleman was ready to start cleaning the area and told me to finish his basket. I said, "no, you finish your basket; I'll take the broom." (I have pictures)

Susan wove a wonderful basket. Her basket looked much nicer than the teacher's basket. I on the other hand wove a fish with a little string coming out of his mouth and am quite satisfied with that. Hey we don't all have to be good at everything!

I Love you DAD!

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Back to the present... Southeast Georgia - Snow! Yes, ladies and gentlemen we had snow in the Savannah area of Ga. Wouldn't you know it had to be on one of the days I had to do some clean up work outside. It was a substantial amount of snow and it did stick for a little while. The snow was beautiful coming down, but it bugged the heck out of me that some people were hoping for the worst. I heard two or three people (men) mention how they were looking forward to seeing a bunch of people end up in the ditches. One of them liked the idea just for entertainment and the other was bragging about how much money he could make. What jerks!

Why are you guys such idiots! ... and you know, if you're not one of them, i'm not talking about you, so don't let my words BUG you!

Monday, January 20, 2003

I've known about leprosy but..... not really. I now know much more than I did before I took that mule road down the cliff. The mule ride lead us to a destination which I don't think is "correct" - I guess I mean politically correct. Especially now, after learning a bit about the history of this peninsula, Kalaupapa, I don't know if it's really a good idea to make it a "tourist attraction." On the flip side, if it weren't for the visit I made, I wouldn't have learned more about it. ~ still contemplating ~

Our tour guide has leprosy himself. It was obvious that he is not happy with either the state of Hawaii or our nation. He spoke negatively about most things. The only time he really sounded happy was when he pointed out his own home along with his collection of cars and motorcycles.

Frankly, the tour was not the greatest. Since I am prone to motion sickness, the bus ride did not help matters. I am quite sure that most of the people on the bus were in agreement that the tour would have been better with less driving around. We were rushed through the most beautiful areas and stayed a bit longer than necessary in other areas.

moving on.........finally, I was able to escape the diesel fumes and headed back to the mules which I'm sure you know had special fumes of there own. It had been said that climbing up would be easier on both the mule and the human than it was going down, but..... I didn't think so. Of course not! I do tend to be contrary, don't I?

It was a good ride. The turns were still a little scary.... actually, I thought they were scarier than when we went down.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Thursday, 1-2-03, we had another early morning. I was looking forward to this. We had a mule ride scheduled. Whenever we said "mule," I pictured a donkey in my mind. When I saw the mule, I thought to myself, "Hmmm - it's almost as big as a horse." You know why they take mules down the cliff, right? Neither do I, but I think it's because they are so sure footed. Graceful they are not!

klip klop, klip klop a little ways down the road until we get to the beginning of the cliff. It was comfortable - okay - I thought - this is good. My mules name is Mr. Ed. I wanted time to bond with him; afterall, I am the whisperer of all beings other than human (I'm still working on that one.) No time to bond - just a quicky information session and then get on. I started talking to Mr. Ed from the beginning though. I wanted him to know that I knew that he was the boss.

Beginning the descent was scarier than creeping to the door of an airplane of which I was about to jump. I hung on to the front with one hand and the back of the saddle with the other. I didn't want to touch the reigns because I didn't want Mr. Ed to think that I would even think of telling him what to do. Here we go!

Ker plunk! Klop! klop! Sliiiiiiiiiiiiiiip! Oh my! My eyes are wide open! We just slipped and Mr. Ed doesn't seem to mind one bit. Whew! If he's okay, I'm okay! The people around me could hear me talking; they probably thought I was a little looney. "It's okay Mr. Ed - You're great! I love you Mr. Ed - you are doing a wonderful job. I trust you." In my head, I was thinking, "I sure hope this isn't the day he tries something new." I also told myself that this is definitely one of those times where I should literally go with the flow.

There were 25 or a few more turns each way. From the highest points, I actually managed to look out a bit; I didn't want to miss the beautiful scenery. I even took a good picture once. "Okay Mr. Ed, this is nice; I'm comfortable. Are we there yet?" I'm relaxed. Yeah, I am ...whoa! hang on! we just slid again. Susan's mule, loves to take the outermost edge possible. I was glad I didn't get him. When Mr. Ed turned, I usually looked in instead of out over the cliff because I wanted to stay focused on his objective and over the cliff certainly was not the objective. Finally, we are down. We took a little break and on to an old school bus we went to take the Damien tour. i'll get back to you with the rest

Thursday, January 16, 2003

New Year's Eve - Susan and I were eating dinner at 7pm Hawaii time which is Midnight east coast time. I mentioned it and had previously thought about calling a family member at that time, but decided against it since we were having dinner. Susan and I toasted the new year which was a good thing because we were both fast asleep by 8:30. We laughed about it the next day. Noise makers had been given out at dinner and the children were playing with them early. We saw a few beer boxes the next morning, so I'm guessing there was a little bit of a party.

The next day, we went "mountain biking." My affectionate name for it is Controlled Coasting. When I attempted to take the first trail and realized it was all down hill with a bunch of rocks in the way, I said to myself, "where is the fun in this?" and suggested to Susan that we start out with the road. We did. We ventured off on a trail later. There was still a lot of coasting, but I actually had to pedal a few times too; afterall, what goes down must go up? I took a spill too; Susan was ahead of me, so the only thing she heard was, "oh sh**" and she started laughing until she realized I was on the ground. I started laughing too since I wasn't really hurt - just scuffed up with the red dirt. I'm pretty sure she took a picture of that - a kodak moment? Later, she also took a tumble, but is it really my place to talk about that?

I don't think mountain biking is the thing for me. I prefer pedaling over trying to control the bike while coasting down a rocky trail; afterall, it's much easier to control the bike while your pedaling rather than coasting.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

I returned to work the same evening my plane landed. I hung out at a friends house then went to a meeting in which I won a $25 gift certificate to Pier 1. The big prize was $100 cash - Of course, that was the big finale! About five $50 Wal-mart gift certificates were being raffled off and they seemed to cause the greatest excitement. I was excited myself; I wanted that gift certificate. Sad? I think so.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

I'm back! Journaling the traditional way just isn't the same as this - of course not! I think this is much better since i can type, delete, think, retype, blah, blah ... much faster than anything i can do with a pencil and paper. I will tell you about my trip - not now though - why? i don't know - i have to get back in "the zone" not the twilight zone but the "jannie Zone." Perhaps they are the same - what do you think?