Woe! It’s Wednesday: Home Again

We’re home!

We had a whirlwind week in Maui.

Ocean view from our lanai!
Ocean view from our lanai!

A wedding. Swimming. Meltdowns. Beach. Whales. Food. Sand. Leis.

All of the above were part of our week, but none of them does justice to our time there.

We hit the ground running and didn’t stop for several days. We did go to the beach after about three days and it was heavenly.

I’m not normally a morning person, but for some reason, I can wake up early in Hawaii and enjoy it. I know it’s probably the time change, but even after a few days, I was falling asleep at 11:00 instead of 8:00 but still waking up around 6. I love that about me in Hawaii.

At this time of year, the humpback whales are in Hawaii to give birth view 3and breed. We love being on the water and watching them. We love sitting on the beach and watching them. We love sitting on the lanai and watching them. Basically, anytime we have an ocean view, we’re looking for whales.

To the right is a picture I shot from the deck of the boat on which we took a whale-watching excursion. It’s a calf, about to try to breach (when the whale throws him/herself out of the water, spins, and lands). We saw many of these baby breaches and a few large breaches.

We came home happy and exhausted. And looking forward to our next trip. Whenever it may be.

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Woe! It’s Wednesday: Vacations and Birthdays and Weddings

I’m writing this before we head to Maui for a week. While there, we’ll be celebrating a daughter’s wedding, a grand-daughter’s birthday, Saint Patrick’s Day, and try to cram in some relaxing.

The view from the church yard where Charles Lindbergh is buried.
The view from the church yard where Charles Lindbergh is buried.

We love being on the water. We love watching whales at this time of year. We love hanging by the pool. We love trying new restaurants. We love just driving around the island. We love being tourists. But we love knowing some of the local hangouts and secrets for life on the island.

It took a couple of trips, but when we were last on Maui in 2013, I finally found and visited Charles Lindbergh’s final resting place near Hana.

Each trip has seemed to focus on something. Finding the Seven Sacred Pools. Finding the graveyard. Whales. Turtles.

This may be the first trip with no “must do” or “must see.”

Other than getting a daughter married. That’s the primary focus of this trip. That and then we’ll concentrate on relaxing.

We’ve had some hard news in our family recently and we’re ready for a brief respite from real life.

Where do you like to go to escape from real life?

Woe! It’s Wednesday: Death, Where is Thy Sting?

As I’ve lost more family and friends in the last few years, I’ve become convinced of several truths.

Death is spiteful.

It wants to rob us of peace.

It’s ugly.

And it’s the great equalizer.

2013-03-29 16.38.33No matter how beloved a person or how despised, how humble or exalted, whether their death is memorialized by the thousands or unknown by more than a few, Death waits for us all.

I took the above picture of Charles Lindbergh’s gravesite on Maui in March of this year.

I’ve wanted to visit the site for several years, which is a bit odd in itself since I’m not one of those people who like to visit cemeteries or collect epitaphs.

I think it’s because I believe there’s more to the Lindberghs’ story. I don’t know much of it, just bits and pieces garnered here and there .

I memorized Psalm 139 a few years ago and my curiosity was piqued when I learned that a portion of it was engraved on Lindbergh’s grave marker.

“If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea …”

It’s fitting, isn’t it? For the man who flew across oceans and ultimately died and chose to be buried across the sea.

But that’s only a portion of the verse.

I memorized a slightly different version.

“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,               even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

The fact that the hopeful portion of that verse was omitted from the marker raises all kinds of questions for me.

Did Lindbergh himself choose the verse? Did his wife? Other family members? Did they leave off the rest of it because of cost? Did they know Lindbergh did or didn’t believe the promise?

Ultimately, I know it doesn’t matter to anyone but me if those questions are ever answered. Knowing won’t change anything.

Lindbergh is still dead. Still in heaven or hell.

I do know one thing for sure.

As hateful and spiteful as death is, as a believer in Jesus the Christ, I will experience death of my physical body, but I get to sneer at Satan and his plan to destroy me. I have the hope and the promise from another portion of Psalm 139.

“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

My days here are numbered. God knows when they began and when they will end.

Heaven has become more dear to me as so many friends and family members move into the mansions.

One day, hopefully not soon, I will get the last laugh at Satan and death. In the meantime, I still hate death. It’s malicious and I can’t wait for the day it will end its reign.