By Diane Haynes Woodburn
I awake to a gorgeous Saturday morning. The aroma of blueberry pancakes wafts up the stairs to my cocoon of a bed — but it isn’t until I hear the hum of the cappuccino maker that I am truly enticed to join the living. Downstairs, I find my husband, Jamie, flipping the last of the pancakes. “Let’s eat outside,” I suggest. We grab our plates and settle at the little table on our lanai.
A nanosecond later, I leap to my feet.
“Oh, no!” I cry. “My roses!” Instead of smiling serenely from their cozy beds, my once-lovely roses lie strewn across the yard, à la confetti.
It’s been a rough year for roses in Kula — too much rain, too much heat, too much weird weather altogether. But I had persevered, coddling those high-maintenance beauties through it all. I weeded, pruned, and fed them. I even bled for the thorny little tramps. To add insult to injury, I’m allergic to those thorns; every scratch swells and stings, leaving scars. It’s truly a love/hate relationship. I hate the beating I take, but I love the gorgeous, rich blooms. And I wait for their flirtation with the sun, showing just a bit more of their jeweled colors each day. Golden yellow, sensuous fuchsia, tropical orange, creamy white, and yes, blood red — I welcome their deceptively sweet faces as a parent welcomes a prodigal daughter.
Now, surveying the carnage, I realize that my pair of one-year-old Australian Shepherds had seen them as something else: edible landscape.
Making paradise your home — and your home paradise — has its challenges, but also its joys. In this issue of Maui No Ka ‘Oi, we focus on both. From giving your home a Hawaiian sense of place, to protecting it from the elements (think wind, salt spray, and things that chew wood in the night), to the latest real-estate trends, our special “Island Living” edition is filled with useful information to make residing on Maui as cool and easy as a tropical breeze.
If you’d rather engage the elements of adventure, join the crew of Hawaiian Paddle Sports for a truly edgy (as in “hang on for dear life”) surfing experience — riding the outrigger of a canoe. Or (easier) float your boat with a mai tai from the crowd-pleasing mixologists at Monkeypod Kitchen. Try the ceviche recipe from Joe’s Nuevo Latino that hooked the judges at the 2015 Kapalua Wine & Food Festival, and wow your friends. And while we’re talkin’ food, check out Becky’s Backyard; our dining editor shares expert advice on creating an edible garden that won’t make you cry.
“There’s nothing you can do now,” Jamie says, shaking his head at the damage. “Let’s go to the farmers’ market. We’ll deal with this when we come back.”
Dazed (I’ve had only one cup of coffee), I accept his sensible offer.
The Upcountry Farmers Market is our Saturday place of worship. We go religiously to buy fresh produce and baked goods, and discover homemade foods and products clever Maui folks peddle to happy devotees. I give my rose woes up to the myriad colorful and welcoming booths offering coconuts, papayas, supergreens, flowers, vegetables, fudges, creamy goat-milk caramel, GMO-free everything, and too many other options to mention. And people, relying on one another to do the most with what we have on a small island.
Returning home, I find two happy pups wrestling on a bed of rose pedals. How can that be sad? Donning my overalls, a long-sleeved shirt and gardening gloves, I prepare to crawl into the rose beds for damage control. As I carefully bend a knee to what I hope is a thorn-free spot, I find myself thinking once again of our “Island Living” issue. Nowhere, I realize, is the island spirit better illustrated than in caring for the ‘aina (land), and even more importantly, caring for each other.
Here’s wishing you the joy of island living, no matter where you call home. And that all your unexpected challenges come up roses — on or off the stem.
A Hui Hou