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James and Natalie's Visit


This was our fifth visit to Hawaii in a little over three years.  Having visited so many times lately, we were feeling sort of burnt out on the tourist stuff and preferred to spend the majority of our visit relaxing with the family at home and on the farm.  Most of the highlights of this trip happened at the farm.  We really enjoyed the peace and quiet away from the tourism and the traffic of town.  It also helps that the farm is a very beautiful piece of land.  I remember one evening my brother and I were walking through the upper orchard checking for wild piggies and we looked across the land to see the mist slowly creeping up the hill and over the coffee trees, all the while being backlit by the deep orange sun as it set over the South Pacific.  (I didn't have my camera with me then so no pictures, sorry) Gary said to me, "That's cool.  (Gary would never use a sissy word like beautiful to describe a sunset) It makes this place look exotic."  I turned to him and said, "Gary, I have to tell you, it IS exotic."  The whole place is truly beautiful AND exotic and it was wonderful to spend a lot of time there.

Fertilize Avocado Junk

Mowing Besides gawking at sunsets and unsuccessfully hunting for pigs, Natalie and I spent a fair number of hours helping out with the farm chores.  Among other things, we spent some time helping to build a rock wall, fertilize the trees, mow the lawn and clean up some of the junk on the deck [Editor's Note: It's not junk, it's a carefully placed pile of important treasures].  One thing about farm chores is that it's not just the time and effort of the actual work that you have to put in, there are also a bunch of annoying little disturbances that you have to deal with along the way.  For example, one afternoon I was mowing the lawn in one of the orchards (my favorite chore by far).  After only about ten minutes I ran over a big stick that killed the engine.  The battery was dead on the mower (another two-hour trip to replace it later) so I knew I was in trouble even if I could have gotten the stick out.  Gary came up to try to pull it out with the ATV.  No go.  The hill was too steep and the mower too heavy, so we had to go down the hill and fire up the tractor.  That worked fine and we managed to get the mower down to the driveway.  Next we had to pull off the blade housing attachment which took several minutes and tug on the stick until it came out.  Then we put the blade housing back on the mower which was tricky even for two people.  After all that, we pulled the mower up the driveway to the covering, but of course the truck was in the way and the chain was too long so we had to roll the mower all the way back down, move the truck, shorten the chain and try it again.  The whole process took at least an hour (not including the ten minute of mowing), and by then I was tired of 'mowing' for the day.  I guess the point of all this is that I have a new respect for all the work that it must take to keep a farm running at all, not to mention profitable.

We sure had fun playing with all the animals, especially the goats.  I made good friends with Skippy and he didn't even mind when I picked him up.  I sure will miss that little guy.  I also made friends with the chickens, but they're not quite as huggable as a little goat.  They sure can brew up some tasty eggs though!  Thanks chickens!  And thank you Gary, Valerie, Sarah, Emily, Carolyn, Ace, Justin, Matt, Skippy, Chompy and Cosmo for a wonderful and relaxing visit!

Friends Chickens

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