Hawaiian pancake meister extraordinaire...

It's early morning in Lanikai with the Sun burning up the horizon between two islands, the Mokuluas. Blinding red orange light turns soft, the sea and sky light up blue. 
and I smell something in the kitchen...
hot pan, butter sizzles..
secret batter flows into the middle of butter lava...
Volcanic eruptions, one side done! 
Flip, Viola! - are you drooling? click image to smell better!
My son-in-law's amazing and renown secret pancakes... ate it with pink sunrise papaya with squeeze of sweet local lime and maple syrup. Not possible to eat just one! One of many things I look forward to when I am there... and miss when I am not there.

Back in Santa Fe

Rooted in the Islands...

Banyan Tree, Kapiolani Park

Lauhala on Mokulua Drive

No better place to feel my deep roots...
with sand between the toes!    Aloha 'Oe for now.

Posting from Honolulu

What a difference a day makes...

and Today !!
 First Lotus Blossom of the season opens.
 ... if only I could open my heart into full bloom!

 Posting from Lanikai, Hawaii

My girls jump for joy!

... into a secret swimming hole, on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Yum... also comes in Lilikoi and Pineapple. Perfect refresher apr├ęs swim.

Posting from Honlulu; Makaha

Woke up this morning, rolled over, took this photo...

Then turned around and took another!
Ocean and Mountain

Sleeping outside seems so natural here.
Swimming in the Ocean, even more so... in the early morning light!

Posting from Hawaii; Lanikai Morning

Here comes the Son... my brother is born!

Back in Seoul with a brand new brother. Korean babies are carried on mother's back,
wrapped with a special blanket with ties just for this purpose. Early baby backpack.
Can you see my little brother's face peeking out from my mother's back?
Me and my sister in front, giant kimchi pots in the background. Notice the beautiful handmade clay chimney on the right. More on the amazing heating system someday...
My mother is probably tending to kimchi, denjang (miso) or ganjang (soy sauce), monitoring the delicate fermentation process. We were always neatly combed and side braided.

Me, camera ready and serious, my sister, free and funny with candies in her hand... toldya.! 
An outing with baby brother, barely one + me, dad and my little sister.
There were lots of fun family outings those days. 
Me, in early Samadhi, my sister counting her fingers, my brother, held too tight! eeeeeeek!
My brother, growing up... loves his mommy! Mom in traditional Korean clothes, air kisses.
Ah! the elegant sleeves... long full skirt, perfect sokchima (underskirt/dress) peeks.

My brother, my parent's only son, was born in Busan during the Korean War. Our family lived in this once sleepy southern coastal city for three years, long enough to add a new baby and for me to start kindergarten. My memory of Busan is a happy one even though we were war refugees from Seoul. Busan is now a beautiful, thriving city by the ocean... tourist destination, I hear. I'd love to go back someday!

Why Busan? The war!
With few precious objects buried in the backyard, our family abandoned our home, fled Seoul in a hurry, on an open train, (you can see the stars!) and rode to Busan with our relatives and tens of thousands of fellow refugees in bitter cold January. The Allied forces had lost ground, or as a strategic move by General Douglas MacArthur, some say, and retreated South, to the end of the Korean peninsula. The move was strongly advised but ultimately it was up to families... and many who stayed North perished tragically. 

2.1.2... two girls, ONE BOY, two more girls... is our sibling mix. When my brother was still just a little baby, the war ended, sort of as you know, we returned to our home in Seoul. We were lucky the bombs missed our house, just barely! Imagine starting over in a house abandoned for three years, while the war waged all around it... much of what we buried, gone with the war time plunder and vandalism... and three little ones.

The celebration of the arrival of my brother began in earnest once we settled back. Endlessly, joyously by the whole clan. War over, new Boy!

Do you have any idea how important a son is in our culture? It's beyond the imagination for modern Westerners. I remember the elaborate fuss; huge parties to mark 100 days old, one year old... rituals, gatherings, food, visits by far flung relatives, deep discussions about his name... I imagine my mother was deeply relieved and proud to have produced a son. He was the most adorable little boy!

He now lives in a beautiful mountain town in Northern California. He is a seasoned outdoorsman and an exceptional telemark skier, enjoying the fruits of his hard work. He is father of two beautiful, accomplished young ladies. My sweet nieces!

I love my family! I miss my father... and his many many many hugs when hugging was rare!... he could because he was his own funnyman. Ok, my eyes are wet.

Mid fifties, Seoul Korea
I just googled Busan - wowza! Looks like Canne. They should hold a film festival there. I will post some photos of us the refugees in Busan soon. Did not look like Canne then... 

"Impermanence" on Buddha's Birthday

To what shall 
I liken the world?
Moonlight, reflected
In dewdrops.
Shaken from a crane's bill.

... the entire world is fully contained in each and every one of the innumerable dewdrops, each one symbolic of the inexhaustible contents of all impermanent moments.

Excerpt from The Zen poetry of Dogen

Top photos: T. Thayer

My irresistibly adorable sister... an early grunge fashionista!

Age 4, post Korean war, Seoul, Korea 1954. The shadow!

How do you stay warm in bitter cold Korean winters? Homemade layers!
This is absolutely my all time favorite family photo. I remember all these clothes vividly... partly because I had worn them before handing them down to her. Everything is homemade and knitted with exception of the scarf and the shoes. I don't ever remember going to a store to buy clothes until we were teenagers, even then, rarely, and things were still made for us but gradually by dressmakers, tailors, shoemakers, etc. The world of bespoke elegance! ... yet I longed to wear American factory made clothes!!!

Red hat with white rabbit fur trim - I think we each had one. It was very warm.
Apron style brownish red, knitted wool dress with white cotton apron.
Probably more than one sweater underneath + some long knitted underwear.
Navy blue wool mittens with pale blue and red stripes with a long connecting string.
Multiple sox + korean style rubber shoes - even sox were knitted by mom.

This is how our mother kept us warm. But I do think my sister had something to do with this particular ensemble as there are NO photos of me looking quite like this. I was minimalist even back then. She, more practical and fun!!!... and thinks out of the box.

My mother was and still is the most handy and creative person I know. She can sew, knit, crochet anything and everything, no patterns ever. She even sewed perfect little suits (vests and pleated skirts, velvet trims) for us with my father old worn out suits. I am going to dig for those photos... they are somewhere!
EVERYTHING was recycled, nothing was ever wasted, out of necessity.

My sister grew up to be mother of three exceptionally handsome and brilliant boys. She now lives in La Canada, Los Angeles with her husband.  

My little sister and me... post Korean war, Seoul, Korea

Our two story house is just above and left of my head, down the stairs from this street.
Address: 166-16 Noo Sang Dong, Jong Ro Ku, Seoul, Korea
Fancy neighborhood, but dirt road just like Santa Fe
Click images to enlarge
Upstairs Sun Room of our house
A Sunday(most likely) outing with Dad, a budding amateur photographer.
How adorable are those bloomers peeking out from under my sister's dress?

Cooling our feet on a hike above our house;
Beautiful, lush granite mountain with a hidden Buddhist temple...
crystal clear streams, sun warmed rocks to play on, world's best playground!
I remember this spot as clear as yesterday.

She, so sweet and funny, me, painfully shy yet bossy... only difference now is darn 900 miles between us. More stories to come on how we spent our time during the war as refugees in Busan on the southern coast. And...three more siblings to come!

Mid fifties

Saffron robed beauties of Hawai'i nei... in season!

Maui Mangos from uncle Matt's garden in Kihei - all other mangos from elsewhere in the world will 
disappoint you after tasting one of these... 
Lilikoi blossoms & buds - the most unusual and beyond the dream beautiful... an early morning delight to find yesterday's bud in an overnight, magical, full explosion. What would a bee say?
Lilikoi on the vine in Lanikai, ripe!
Lilikoi (Passion fruit): Sunrise pink inside, sweet juicy burst... unlike any other fruit with mouth watering sweet tropical fragrance, growing just outside the door! 

They make some mean Lilikoi butter in Hawaii... the best is at Punahou Prep School Carnival in February, homemade by loving parents. I use just tinsy bits so it can last - perfectly delicious palliative medicine when I am homesick for Hawaii.