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Aloha From Kona Coffee Country

by Mary L. on 2/17/2015 6:52:54 AM

Aloha and Happy Tuesday! I hope this blog finds you happy, healthy and feelin' groovy!!

All is well here in the land of Kona Coffee! Any questions, call or eus here at Kona Mountain (by the way this is one of my new hawaiian make-up words for the day) eme= email me.

Well, maybe it's not so new. But here in Hawaii, we're kinda behind the times. Most of us on the island like that. Not quite so many problems. Sure, we'll get them later. But on Hawaii time. You know. Slower. But - I thinki - much happier

I was talking with some people visiting about Aloha, which I do talk about almost every single day, and I was saying that one of the things that I do here is show what Aloha really means, to some of the new members of our staff, and that I love doing it! I love coming into the store in the morning, and having my cup of coffee... and they interrupted, kindly of course, and said, 'You mean, Hawaiian's aren't born with Aloha?'

And I said no, I don't think so. We're not born with Aloha.

I think it's instilled in us by our parents, our family. It's like teaching a kid how to walk, and talk, and how to feel about things.

Then they asked, 'So it's cultural?" And I thought about it, and said yes, I think it's given to us as we grow up.

For example. I remember my first trip to Texas. I was at a Rangers game, and they were playing against the Mariners, who I love! And I was out there going 'YO! Mariners!' and hooping and hollering, and people were looking up like, geeze! And then the game gets done, and we're leaving, and I'm going 'Hi! How are you!' and I'm talking to people....

Well. It's amazing to me how in the bigger cities, people just don't take the time to say hello to each other any more. They really don't. I mean, when I'm in Los Angeles, I'll stop and say 'Hi! How you doing! How's life treating you?'

And people look at me like I'm pupule (ed. note: poo-poo-lay, crazy). Or, 'Humph. Shut up! Nobody wants to hear that!' But I say it anyway, you know?

So it's like, 'I'm sorry. I'm from Hawaii. We do that. We just... feel this way. This is who we are. You know... we're mellow jello... so slow down. Take a breath. Life is good!' That kind of thing, you know? But it makes me realize we are different.

I didn't know. I really didn't. Until I started traveling to the mainland as an adult, I really didn't know that we were just a little different. I'd always heard that people from Hawaii were laid-back, behind the times in every aspect.

But I never believed it. I just thought... so? We live in Hawaii. We have some things different here, like California has things different, or the East Coast has some things different. But I didn't realize just how different we are. Actually... I'm fine with that. So we're behind the times and take things a little easier. Hummm... maybe that's okay.

Some people think I was born on Maui, for some reason, but I was born on Oahu. I'm a Waianae girl, and Waianae is known as the 'rough' side of the island. People don't go to that side of the island just to see it's beauty. People don't generally go on that side of the island at all, because of it's roughness.

But it's beautiful! I didn't know it was different, when I was growing up there. I didn't know it was considered the 'rough' part of town. That didn't happen with me, or my family. I mean, my Dad had seven girls! He raised seven girls in an area like that. But it worked out. We never... we never actually perceived that that's the way people saw where we lived.

It was like, you see somebody who has a hole in their jeans (and that is when it wasn't a fashion statement) you just think, well, sew it! You don't think poor, you don't think grubby. You don't think badly of them. That's what they had.

So it was a wakeup call when I went to the mainland. Alaska. Well, I know most people don't think of Alaska as the mainland. And in Alaska they call the mainland the 'lower 48'.

Anyway, when I went to Alaska I found the culture of the people to be kind of similar to Hawaii. Because of the lifestyle in Alaska, you need people. You need friends. I mean, anything can happen at any given time with the highways and the conditions there. You need a friendly soul to pass by and say, 'Hi, do you need some help? What can I do for you?'

And that part of it reminded me so much of home. So much of home. I thought people were friendly. They did take the time to say hello. And I felt home-away-from-home... except for the climate and the conditions, of course.

I mean, the first couple of weeks I'd call my Mom and say... 'HUGE mistake!' HUGE! I want to come back home!' But my Mom would say, 'You know... life's a journey. Give it a try. You won't even satisfy yourself in life if you don't give it a try. Give it a try'.

And so, a month later, I'm, "Mom! I drove to the store today! Woohoo!' Because it's winter, you know, and icy and ... then it made me understand about sunsets in Hawaii. And all the things that we have here, that are unique. And that was, really, my first introduction to realizing we're different.

Okay! I got it! Hawaii! It's unique and beautiful. That's why they call it paradise. D'oh! But being born and raised here... the sun rises, the sun sets, so what? Yes we have palm trees, so what? So does Miami... you know? But it really is the culture.

Okay, it's a lot of things combined. But most of all, it's the culture, the way we were raised. My parents taught me that life... is worth life. It's so equal, in every aspect.

You don't look at anybody at any time and think... you're better. Or you have better. You would try to look at people and say, 'You need some help there? Hey, I can help you with that.' And vice versa. You get help in return.

So... it took me moving out of state for a while to make me realize what we had here in Hawaii. And when we came home, my husband and I, it was like the best day of my life! I mean, I got it! I know what the difference is!

And I think it was at that point that my Aloha bloomed. It was like that old saying, 'the light goes on', you know? And for me that was it. Alaska is a beautiful state, and there's that bond with people that I love so much, which is so much like Hawaii. But this is home. This is where Aloha lives for me.

Have a great Aloha day!