Posted by: littlehouseonthebigisland | November 28, 2014

Home is Where the Heart(h) is…

One of the most stressful times of year, for me, is a holiday.  Any holiday.  No matter how simple the plan, I want to hide under the blankets.  Or sit on the toilet and cry.  And now, life is jusScreen shot 2014-11-28 at 12.21.07 PMt that much more complicated because instead of being with my most strange, unique, and special family of blood, marriage, other legal bonds, and a lifetime of love and friendship, I am living far away, on an island, in an ever-changing, self-created community on our farm of practical circumstances and also, of the heart.

The through lines that bind these occasions together, are love and that as always, there is a confluence of strange and varied traditions and food preferences that would challenge the most flexible, creative chef anywhere.  Take the menu from yesterday’s Thanksgiving feast:

We did not have turkey.  Or ham, or roast duck.  We did not eat a single green vegetable.  Or drink wine or beer.  We did not cook anything on a stove or eat at a table.

Instead, we dined on grilled chicken, island beef, and locally caught fish, with Dutch oven-roasted pumpkin and egg fruit, cranberry relish, beef stew, and challah, washed down with Coke, in the grass and on blankets around a fire, under the stars, by moonlight and smouldering coals that kept bursting into flame.

The dogs, jealous and outraged, serenaded us from their kennel, and all around the neighborhood we could hear the happy chatter of other languages, gunshots, and the laughter of children, running around their own cook fires, enjoying Thanksgiving, rural, Big Island, Hawaiian style.

As for Little House, all was calm, all was bright.  Dirty cast iron pots piled up, and bits of grass and leaves were strewn on the floor.  As one of our woofers* carried the Dolphin back to her home, we gathered and put away leftovers. We poured the remainder of the stew into a giant bowl and covered it.  The dogs were fed their due of meat scraps and chow.  The cast iron got washed and set out to dry.  My husband and I walked over to a neighbors to say hello and play a rousing game of Dictionary, and the night settled in, cool and caressing.

At last, the dogs were walked one more time, in the cool, cool air that comes our way at this time of year.  And everywhere, it became dark and quiet. And so we left the rest of the mess in the kitchen, with the coals shimmering outside, and tucked in, all of us, in our soft warm beds, and went to sleep for the night.

And now I am quite certain of what I will at least try to do for Christmas eve.  We will gather once again around a fire, weather permitting, and if I am lucky and blessed, there will once again be no silent tears in the bathroom, and crawling under the blankets will be late in the cool dark night, curled up with my beloved, resting soundly, and ready for what may come.

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* Workers on organic farms.


  1. No more tears, except for the cleaning out of the spirit kind. I have got your back, as they say. Lola and myself believe in the evolving world. You are powerful and patience its self. Lol. We are grateful and here for the adventures of a lifetime upon lifetime. Love to all.

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