Saturday, July 7, 2012

baseball makes me feel lonely ...

Located less than 18 miles outside of Honolulu, Mililani is the only town in Hawaii, to date, to have been named an All American City (1986). Once a plantation, Mililani is located in central Oahu, and is the third wealthiest area in the islands. It has an uncanny likeness to the typical American suburb, and was named by Money Magazine as a “best place” to live.  Personal land may be on the smaller size here, but the public open space is vast, and geared toward family.

Living here is a dream, of course.  Some may even say "paradise" ... and,  with bills to pay and children who bicker, it is, arguably so.  Miles of white sand beaches, turquoise waters, tree-lined parks, and near perfect weather make it hard to miss the oppressive 90 degree temperatures and, before they know it, 20's that come with the winter months, back in our corner of the mainland.  If I could just live in my little rock-in-the-middle-of-the-pacific bubble mindset, there's really not much I'd long for.  But, as we all know,  that just is not the way things work.

The kids' need for socialization forces me to be outgoing and friendly.  It makes me, well, care that I know so few here, and am quite alone.  I am never more aware of this fact then when I'm at the ball field.  Any of us who have kids who have played sports know how it goes ... teams get close, kids grow together, families begin to spend time together.  Here, on island, spending time together as families is taken to a whole other level.  A game that begins at 11:00 has a 9:45 arrival time.  Kids warm up, pop-up tents are erected, camping chairs are opened, as are coolers and snacks.  Game time is the typical two hours, ending in the kids lining up, slapping hands, and "good games" aplenty.  Then it's time for the team meal, where it's go big or go ... no, it's just go big.

After each game, team families take a turn in supplying the players, their siblings, and parents with a meal.  While, in theory, this could be hotdogs, chips, and a soda, I've yet to it see it be anything less than two tents with folding tables, coolers full of drinks, camping stoves warming everything from pasta sauce to shoyu chicken, plates, napkins, chop sticks, and food ... oh, the food!

More often than not, tables are full of homemade delicacies such as chili, stewed meats, pan sushi, barbecued chicken, salads, noodle dishes, rice, beans, cakes, brownies, cookies, jello squares ... honestly, I've never seen anything like it.  Now, I'm not complaining, mind you, and neither is my tummy, as it's all been just delicious, and the festivities often last into the early evening hours.

The team parents are quite nice, hovering on the border of friendly, even offering up their coolers full of beer.  However, it's painfully (for me) obvious that we are on the outside in more ways than just our haole skin color.  And it makes me miss belonging.  I know it takes time.  I know most transplants are here temporarily, either with the military, or because they just can't swing it, for what ever reason, and so I understand the hesitation I sense to really take the time to get to know us.  I also know that we are here for the long run.  This island is our home until it isn't.  Our life is here.  And, next weekend, it's my turn to cook for the team.  Perhaps, through their bellies, I can help them to share in our vision to live in an 

Aloha State of Mind


  1. Robin, I understand your feelings! I have moved twice since Todd and I married. The last move, 2006, was the hardest. I know that you will pull through. If you need a virtual shoulder to cry on feel free to email or text!

  2. If anyone can show them you are there to stay, it will be you! You are an excellent cook, and more than anything a most excellent woman!!

  3. Thanks, girls. It's a wonderful place to live, just takes time to acclimate, I guess. Pam, please have that shoulder on stand by!


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