Friday night we attended a very unique party, thrown by our neighbors, Cam and Elia. I'm not too sure of the spelling of her name. Cam is a biology professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo with a specialty in genetics. They have two maniacal border collies that bark themselves into a frenzy whenever the poochies and I walk by. Anyway, every year, Cam invites his graduate students to a bash to kick off the school year. Neighbors and assorted friends are also invited. That's where we came in. The Volcano hippies, most of whom were past age 60 and whom the couple met at the farmers' market, were the only ones dancing, smoking pot and hanging out in the Quonset-style greenhouse. There weren't many plants in there. Instead, the greenhouse had been decorated with Christmas lights, a few chairs, a table, a boom box and some tapestries hanging from the metal framework. The kids were all drinking beers or sodas, milling about the grounds but not straying too far from the food. There were all sorts of interesting conversations going on. Neighbor Rick brought his granddaughter Hoku, who is a freshman in high school. She was the youngest person there. They didn't stay long. The sky was crystal clear Friday night. That's rare in Glenwood, and it seemed like you could see every single one of the billions and billions in the universe. It was really fun. They had roasted a pig, mufflon sheep, turkey, ham and vegetables in an imu, or Hawaiian earthen oven. Rocks are placed in a pit dug in the ground, then heated until they are glowing red. The meat is wrapped in banana and ti leaves, placed on the hot rocks and buried with dirt, then left to steam all day. There is no peaking allowed, as any entry into the imu will break the seal and release all the heat. So patience is required. The result is meat cooked to perfection, moist, smokey and onolicious!
Before we ate, there was a blessing over the food, a traditional Hawaiian chant made by an accomplished chanter. He was awesome. The rise and fall of his voice was enough to send chills up your spine. I got all kine chicken skin, l'dat.
Yesterday, I was zonked. Maybe it was from partying Friday night after a full day's work. I had been on my feet most of eight hours, then remained vertical for several more at the shindig, strolling cam and Elia's farm, mingling. So on Saturday, I got up at my usual 6 a.m., then lay down at 9:30 for a half hour nap. Then at noon, I crashed out again for another two hours. At four, I was out for the count for another hour, then went to bed by nine and slept through the night until 6 a.m. today. I must say, I did feel better today. I picked up some coffee and a couple of cookies at the farmers' market this morning, a little bummed that the sticky bun lady was absent. Later, we cut down a couple of trees. Ron operated the chainsaw and I tugged them with the tractor, encouraging them to fall where we wanted. Mostly, they did. We've had mishaps in the past, without using the tractor, like the time Ron insisted against my protests that a tree would fall fine and it instead took out my newly grafted and planted $20 avocado tree. There were no mishaps today, although the tractor canopy was spared by about an inch on one felling.
I went to the gym today. After about an hour, two more people entered. One left, leaving me there with another guy. He left, too and, unbenounced to me, took my car keys. When it came time for me to go, I couldn't find them anywhere. I searched every inch of the gym twice, patted my pockets repeatedly, gazed in the window of my locked car in the hope I'd see them locked in. Nothing. I was pacing the pavement between the gym and the car, still looking in the window on occasion to see if they had miraculously materialized on the seat, sure now that the guy had taken them but thinking I should go back inside once more to look around the gym before calling Ron for a ride, a call I knew he wouldn't get for hours because he was working outside and would not hear the phone ring or come in to check messages until nearly dark, when the key thief came trotting across the grass. I recognized his blue shirt, slippahs and bolo head.
"You took my keys!" I pointed at him and smiled.
"Sorry. I got back to my room and realized, 'these aren't mine.'" He was staying in one of the Kilauea Millitary Camp cabins.
"Good timing," I said, like I could have gone anywhere anytime soon. "Thanks!"
Tonight, the Olympics are pau and the democratic convention begins. Will the fun never end?