The wayward Hawaii box finally arrived today. It left Honolulu on the 8th, was sent to North Carolina and then was turned back to Honolulu before landing in NY. It was full of luau stuff for my six year old son’s second grade class. We picked it up at the post office this afternoon after the festivities. I know what you are thinking; you are thinking that I can get everything in NY and what could I possibly need from HI. It is true that I am in NY, but I am in the sticks. The closest town to my Mom has only recently started coming into its own. Now that we have hit off season, it is hard to find a place that is open for lunch; the grocery store closes at six year round and I would also mention that there is no good Thai food to be found. So when some of my vital ingredients to cook local kine food weren’t going to make it for the event, I was kind of screwed. I had to give up the mochi (why does spell check keep changing “mochi” to “mocha”?) plan and I had to substitute some weird “thai” rice noodles I found in the store for my chicken long rice. I had a brief nori panic till Rick, former HI resident and sushi guy, left some for me at the restaurant on Love Lane (seriously) that he is affiliated with.
The post office in Hawaii wanted to know if there were any markings or anything on the box indicating what the heck had happened to it. When I first looked at it, it seemed OK until I realized that it had been opened up and resealed with USPS packing tape. Inside the box I saw that the package of potato starch (used to coat the mochi) was leaking and had been taped with USPS tape. The cans of coconut milk were both dented (I love that Keanu sent these. It is readily available in the local market which I pointed out to him. His response was, yeah but not Hawaiian Sun). So now my theory on the box problem has to do with an unknown white substance leaking out of it. Mom says they sent it back to HI to see who would pick up the suspicious package. Ultimately, aside from not having our silly swap meet gifts to hand out and the improper noodles in the long rice, there was no harm done.
Truth be told, the kids didn’t care and the food was a hit with them. They devoured the pig and even ate some spam. They all sat at one long table in the middle of the room, family style. All talking over each other with running commentary on the food. My son was excited and happy and helped me out by handing out the plates and asking for seconds on the pig when his classmates wanted it. Right before we ate today, my son’s teacher went over his report card with me. It was early for a report card but she wanted to do it before we left and our time is short. She talked about how she was teaching to his level (all of the kids’) and about how when she challenged him he would give her stink eye and rip the edges of the paper and tell her that he couldn’t do it. I love that she did this with him; that she didn’t just let him skate by doing work that was too easy for him. There is something to be said for a small class size. I can’t imagine that most teachers would be able to do these kinds of things. Our NY public school experience has been fabulous. I love our school and his class and his teacher. It is these kinds of things that make going back to Hawaii difficult. This is not part of my temporary NY life that I would have thought would make me feel sad about leaving but it does. Indeed, I can’t read his teacher’s comments without going all teary. We have spent the last six months carving out a small niche here in East Marion, or at least one that I thought was small. As we grow closer and closer to leaving, there will be many, many tear stained days leading up to our departure date; torn between happy and sad; prompted by the severing of these connections that somehow became personal.