Monday Musings from Melinda by LHS Contributor Melinda M.
In the early ‘00s, I was a stay-at-home Hilo mom (SAHHM). Being a SAHHM had its challenges, for sure. For one, with only one road down the mountain from my house, there was no “quick” run into town or to a friend’s. For another, it was often raining all day long, limiting my options for things to do and places to go. But necessity is the mother of invention, so to stay sane, I created excursions out of the seemingly mundane.A favorite was going to Big Island Candies. This was like a candy store and museum all rolled into one! With a wide-open floor plan, clean bathroom/changing station and the friendliest of sales help (everyone’s an aunty!), Big Island Candies was our rainy day destination from very early on. Not only was there a little treat of chocolate and cookie for each of us when we entered, there was also a little bit of free Kona coffee for me! While enjoying our snack, we would walk, chubby toddler hand in mine, to the big plate glass windows where my girls stood mesmerized watching and waving to the workers as they made the hand-dipped goodies and waved back.
Rain or shine, we went to the zoo. Usually, we would first stop at the county stables to look at the enormous horses, then we made the short drive to the free zoo.To a small child, the Panaewa Zoo is enormous and rarely would we walk through its entirety.The playground had yet to be built but we’d see the tiger, the monkeys, and the deer and then visit aunty in the tiny gift shop, roll coins down the wishing well and maybe enjoy a snack on the lawn.
Another favorite was riding the rides at the mall. “Rides at the mall?!” you’re thinking. You know those clusters of 5 or 6 rides in which you plunk 2 to 4 quarters to rise 3 feet high in a rocket or move back and forth in a race car? Yup. That was our entertainment. Once, we showed up when the man who collects the money was there. He let us ride as many times as we wanted for free while he worked. Mommy AND daughter were very happy that day!
All of this came to mind the other day when I flew to Honolulu and rode the one escalator we have in the entire town up to the boarding gates. When we traveled, this was like the Six Flags of our trip. The girls would just go up and race down the stairs and go up and race down the stairs. That one up escalator provided so much entertainment while Dad and I splayed out exhausted, waiting for our flight to be called.
I wonder if stay-at-home Hilo parents still rely on these simple excursions today…