Locals like to blame tourists for their woes, for messing up the beaches and crowding the roads. The truth is that the vast majority of litter here is generated by locals. Tourists never find my road except by accident, the occasional lost souls who's made a wrong turn. It's a dead-end route used by residents, by their visitors, hunters, county road crewmen and cops. That's it. So that is where the garbage comes from. The idea that my own neighbors are so willing to trash the street we all share is unsettling, to say the least. When I lived in Gunnison, I'd get frustrated at the occasional bit of junk tossed out to land in my yard, so I know litter happens everywhere. It's noticeably worse here.
It's been hot and muggy for days with only occasional, light evening showers to cool things off. I'm not complaining. A reprieve from the rain is both welcome and appreciated. The poor poochies spend their days flopped in the coolest places they can find, their tongues hanging out, zapped of energy by the humidity. Good thing we live at 2500 feet. They'd die these days at sea level. The cats are hot too. Poor Alvin and Winnie have thick coats more suited to a chilly climate. It's a rare thing to see a cat pant, but they do.
The summer semester has not yet officially begun, but we have vast amounts of work to do in preparation for our residencies and assignments due in the weeks leading up to that, so my nose has been pointed toward the pages of books, reading, taking notes, formulating questions, preparing myself to discuss the material with some semblance of intelligence.
And speaking of intelligence, did you happen to catch the Scripp's National Spelling Bee finals last Thursday night? If you've read the annals of this blog over the years, you know I love it.A boy from Kona just misted making it into the finals. He finished 12th, which is spectacular. The kids are amazing, smart, diligent, disciplined. They are goofy, spirited and unique. With all the horror stories we hear of teens in our society today, these youngsters give me hope for the future of the world. The competition was especially keen this year, with many of the finalists going several rounds before someone would ding out with a mistake. The words were off-the-chart difficult and contestants were forced to rely on their knowledge of word roots of origin to get the spelling right. Seriously, these words were gnarly. One boy who was considered a favorite because he had come in second place last year, came in ninth or tenth this year, missing a word by one letter. I found myself tearing up when the bell dinged on him. You could see he was crushed. If you've never watched, be sure to catch it next year. It's really good. I think I look forward to it as much as the Superbowl. The winning word was laodicean. Look that up in your Funk and Wagnall.
I shall sign off now, lest you become laodicean about my incessant rambling.
A hui hou. Aloha!