Tuesday, August 6, 2013

This is Paradise

Recently I read This is Paradise by Kristiana Kahakauwila which is a bound work of short stories.  In these pages I found myself in many facets well able to relate to the stories being told.

I am a native, not to the islands of Hawaii, but to upstate NY.  We too look on the visitors with a bit of disdain.  Yes, people do come to visit the Lake Champlain region of upstate NY.  They come by the bus load every Autumn to view our trees.

Seriously these people act like they have never seen trees before.  These people buy cheap souvenirs and litter our roadsides with their plastic trash.  Not that I'm angry about the purchases but I am a bit teed off by the trash they leave behind.

Though I no longer live in NY state I do recall the Autumn splendor that I often enjoyed outside of the tourist areas.  I loved the smell of the crisp fallen leaves, the rustle of the leaves underfoot as I'd stroll through my own wooded acres and the early frosts that would lace the windows each morning.

For me Autumn in NY wasn't the well beaten path but the drive to the local orchard for fresh made cider, picking our own pumpkins and even at times picking our own apples from our own trees.  Our own bit of paradise was the ordinary run of the mill days that ran quickly to snow shovels and sprained ankles on the icy walk ways in the blink of an eye.

One thing I have learned and learned well again just today with the fire destroying much of the house down the street is that my neighbors will pull together for one of their own.  The Army Family sticks together.  No matter where I move I'll always know that my Army Family has got my back and I've got theirs' too.

This post was inspired by the novel This Is Paradise by Kristiana Kahakauwila, a collection of short stories that shares a view of Hawaiians few tourists ever experience. Join From Left to Write on August 8 as we discuss This Is Paradise.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


  1. Your comment about the tourists having never seen trees before made me laugh. Growing up in the south, I was always mesmerized by the autumn transformation when I lived in Syracuse. It truly is beautiful there during that time of the year.

  2. I miss the Army! It is such a wonderful family!

  3. Another Army spouse here! I know what you mean about the Army Family pulling together in times of need. In some ways, they are more immediate than my actual biological family, who is so far away.

  4. Aloha e Rebecca,
    I am clutching my sides laughing! I've just had the tables turn on me because I am one of those people who spent one autumn in a car staring at trees! I had just moved to rural PA and, for a Cali-Hawaiian girl, the reds and oranges were impossible. I had never seen colors like that! But I love that you made me think of the connections between that moment and what I describe in THIS IS PARADISE.

    1. Its been almost 4 yrs since you commented on my blog post. I'm now moving again....to where you wrote about.

  5. Good memories of your paradise...hope they stick with you!

  6. LOL @ how absent-minded and disrespectful we tourists can be at times.


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