Recipe for a Hilo Winter

Monday Musings from Melinda by Melinda M.

Recipe for a Hilo Winter

  • 20 days rain
  • 12 pick-up trucks full of snow
  • 2 winter concerts, plus a dash of parades and get-togethers
  • 50 holiday cards
  • 1 tree with trimmings
  • 2 menorahs
  • 1 family gathering
  • 10 days no school
  • handful of squabbling, divided

You know its winter in Hilo when the days of rain seem to never end, when night arrives at 5:30 and when the pick up trucks coming down Saddle Road are filled with snow. That definitely defines a Hilo winter. Last week Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa got their first dumping of the season and though the clouds haven’t parted long enough for me to see it on the mountain, I’ve seen it off the mountain in the snowball-filled hands of my neighbor’s kids chasing each other down the street.

Her first snowman…!
In shorts. In tee shirts. Barefoot.

Fresh snow this winter.
And even if we’re all still in shorts and tee shirts, you know its winter because your calendar is filled with winter recitals, holiday get togethers and parades.img_2020From the Hilo Intermediate and High School band performance to “How Da Grinch Wen Steal Christmas” to The Nutcracker, we’re either cheering for our kid or those of our friends. Disappointingly, we didn’t make it to the parades this year. If it’s not raining, I really enjoy sitting curbside in the humid night air and watching for everyone we know pass by, from our Tahitian dancing daughter to our friends’ ukulele players, to our friends themselves.Then there’s the mail! Seriously, isn’t this the one time of year you look forward to traditional mail? I love getting cards from friends and family, opening them with my kids, reminding them of our relationship to all these people who are thinking of us, and taping them to our wall. I know it’s corny, but I feel surrounded by love having these cards up and I’m always bummed to say good-bye to everyone when it’s time to take them down.

Getting a tree is not unique to a Hilo winter, I know, but seeing them strapped to cars pulling out of KTA, Ben Franklin and Home Depot is a part of the scene here. Our family’s tradition is to fight over one at Home Depot and then squabble over who should decorate it and how. Ah, the holiday spirit!

Hanukkah menorah out on display!
We also clean and display our family menorahs – two! – even though we don’t light them until the holiday arrives.

And then, there, beckoning near the end of the calendar is the bright, shining light of winter break. Sure getting there can be stressful with science fair projects, work demands and gift buying, but it’s almost within reach and you can feel it in the air. This year we’re headed to see my family followed by a restful week together at home.

Next thing you know, it’s time to think about summer…


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