The Rocket’s Red Glare

Some friends invited us to pa’ina at their place for the 4th. They live in Papakole’a, on a Hawaiian Homestead lot. They really lucked out when they got this lot. It’s high on a hillside, overlooking Makiki and the Ala Moana area. Perfect for watching the July 4th fireworks!

Their lot had an aging simple wooden house on it when they got it. They hired a contractor, tore down the old house and built what could be called a Papakole’a mansion! It’s a beautiful three-story home with a back yard deck, pavilion and swimming pool overlooking the entrance to Punchbowl Cemetery and the city. Like I said, the perfect place to watch Ala Mo fireworks.

We arrived at their home about five o’clock and my boy Alex was almost immediately in the pool. He didn’t come out until 9:30! (Except for about 10 minutes to wolf down his dinner under threat of an ice water shower!)

It was great just hanging with nothing pressing to do. Every time I go to their house I meet all number of wonderful people, and have great chats with them. I met my friend’s older uncles and finally connected the dots as to which kid was a cousin from which uncle. And there is always time to stop and watch my kid play with all their kids. There is always such a great spirit at their home.

Mounds of food were heaped on the table, far more than even this large gathering could consume at one sitting. Aunties and grandmas oohed and aahed over the dishes, making sure to sample and compliment each one. Kids skipped the entrees for the Jell-o with fresh strawberries and blueberries. The adults enjoyed the steak, ribs, poke, sashimi and poi. The dessert table was just as impressive with fresh strawberry pie, chocolate pie made by one of the aunties, with vanilla ice cream on the side. YUM!

At 8:45, the fireworks started at Ala Moana and all the kids and parents scrambled out of the pool and out of the house to watch. Small kids delighted in the bright flashes and booms. Some danced to the musical accompaniment coming from the radio. I enjoyed watching the fireworks, but also got great pleasure from seeing the small ones so happy.

My boy?

“Alex, look! The fireworks! Can you see?”

Alex pokes his head up from the pool to quickly peer over the edge of the deck.

“Yah, I see ’em!” and he returns to swimming with one of the other boys. No matter, he’s having a great time.

After the fireworks ended, the gathering wound down pretty quickly. All the parents had to work the next morning and all the kids had to make it to summer school or summer fun or summer something.

We headed home and put another 4th of July into the books. Hope you all had a fine one.


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