There’s Silver in Them Thar Hills

It was a dark and stormy….okay, I’m not Snoopy sitting on my doghouse with a typewriter trying to write the great American novel, but it was gloomy and gray today.

Low clouds hung over town as I watched the fuzzy bands of rain move across the windows of our apartment. I moped about the weather at first, thinking of the San Francisco days of fog for weeks on end and how the gloom could bring me down. Then I thought about the past few days and how great the weather has been, after all, we went to the beach late afternoon yesterday and watched the dogs sprint across the waves, happy to be on their evening walks. A couple, visiting from somewhere, took photos of themselves on the beach with the sea-blue ocean behind them. Then they kissed and hugged, obviously happy and in love.

Every time Mark and I go to the beach, I’m instantly in a better mood, and yesterday was no exception. The water temperature was 82 degrees. It was like stepping into a saltwater bathtub, but with kids, surfers and dogs sharing the big tub with me.

So this morning, I realized it can’t be perfect weather all the time and I resigned myself to today being a gloomy day, which will remind me to appreciate the nice days.
But I forgot, I’m in Hawaii…..(nature always has a surprise)

I had to drive around the island for a few meetings today. With windshield wipers on, I first gazed out at the cloudy grayness in front of my car. Then I looked up the mountains. The rain had created ribbons of silver, rustling streams of water, falling between the lush greenness of the mountain peaks. Waterfalls were everywhere!

(Sorry, no photo, since I was driving.)

After appreciating the scenic drive, I had to stop at Queen’s Hospital for a test. It’s like driving up to a hotel. Queen’s is the main hospital in Honolulu, yet it doesn’t seem very big. I guess I’m comparing it to San Francisco Hospitals and Stanford Hospital. The landscaping is kept up with native Hawaiian plants. The parking lot was full, so I had to go to valet parking at the entrance. People were crowded around the drop-off area and not one person honked or yelled. Everyone quietly sat and waited and appreciated the moment, even in a stressful place like a hospital.

I asked for directions and only one person knew where I needed to go. I asked for a certain wing, but apparently no one uses its name. There’s very little signage in Hawaii. Street signs are tough to find and addresses are almost non-existent. Once I told them what department I needed, everyone told me, “Go down the hall to the elevators and get off on the third floor.”

As I wandered the hospital hallways, I was struck by how clean it was. There was no run down furniture, no gum on the floor or cigarette butt smashed into the pavement outside, maybe that’s because outside is not pavement. Nope, it’s stone.

A beautiful hospital, surrounded by tropical vegetation, with clean surroundings and calm, smiling people; is this why people live so long in Hawaii?

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