I never used to miss Hawaii. I never felt homesick for years after we left, just grateful. I hated Big Island with a passion, and swore as soon as my feet hit the mainland that I'd never go back.

I've recanted that since, because I don't think you can ever leave the islands behind completely, and I spent most of my growing-up years there. It's a lot of history to just toss.

Today, as I looked at pictures of Puna and Hilo for a project I'm working on, I realized that I was looking at pictures of home. Not my current home, not my future home, because I could never live there again, but my home, where I come from, where I will always think of when someone asks me where I'm from.

I guess I'm Hawaiian after all.

(*snerk* Gee, and I've already covered this territory. Sometimes it just slaps me in the face again.)
So of all the things, tonight while we were buying carpet at Home Depot, I met someone from Hawaii.  He grew up on Oahu, but like always, there was a kind of instant rapport.  For ten minutes it was just a list of all the things we missed, from plate lunch to loco moco, Zippy's chili (which he tells me you can order online!  I never even liked it that much, but it's home in a little plastic container.) and malasadas, and manapuas.  I got Frank DeLima's "Da Blullah" stuck in my head this morning in the bathroom.  He had Frank DeLima speak at his graduation.  He talked about Ala Moana, and I could hear the jingle in my head, still promising me all the cool things I always imagined must be sold there.  (Prince Kuhio mall was...erm...lacking, as malls go.  However, it still had Kaiko'o beat all to hell and back.)

I have decided that when we go back to finish ordering the carpet, I'm going to take him a package of malasadas.  I've also decided that I want to spend my 30th birthday there.

I never really thought of myself as having a hometown.  I never wanted to move back.  Gods, I don't even like the ocean that much.  I never wanted to claim Hawaii as my home.  It turns out, oddly enough, that I don't have to.  Hawaii claimed me, and for all its faults, Big Island will always be my hometown. 

December 2015



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