Up and Away

In celebration of our twentieth anniversary, we have been sharing some of our favorite stories from the archives. I wrote this while on vacation with my husband in 2008. I had been trying to craft something professional and publisher-like, with no success. “Just have fun with it,” our senior editor, Rita Goldman, encouraged. “Tell us a story.” Since then I’ve been writing these small letters to you, as I would to a close friend, sharing the simple pleasures of life with gratitude and laughter. It has been my privilege and I thank you (and Rita) for laughing along with me.

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By Diane Haynes Woodburn

Diane Haynes Woodburn“Look at that!” I exclaimed to my two sisters-in-law. A cloud of dirt and rubble had risen from nowhere, a few hundred yards away. We were sitting happily in the shade of a big green umbrella, waiting for our table at a popular mountain lunch spot. Gorgeous views, sunshine, fresh air . . . how lucky were we? Our husbands, brothers all, had planned this wonderful reunion at Deer Valley to celebrate their birthdays, the sixtieth for twins Jamie and Jeff, sixty-fifth for Scott. Today the boys had gone fishing, and we girls chose to hike and lunch at the top of the world.

“Wow!” Elaine responded. “What is that?” The whirling dust cloud had grown in size and force, uprooting chairs and wooden umbrellas and flinging them into the air like Pick-Up Sticks.

“Thank goodness it’s not near anyone,” I said, feeling awed, but also safely far from harm’s way. Then another gust came — this one closer. It was headed straight for us. “Holy cow!” I thought. “If this umbrella goes, it could kill someone.” Small, mature female to the rescue! I jumped from my seat, planted my feet firmly on the umbrella’s steel base and held tight to the wooden pole. Wouldn’t Wonder Woman do the same? But no, it wasn’t Wonder Woman I was emulating. It was Mary Poppins. Up, up and away! The wind came up and so did I — still holding the pole. Umbrella and I were airborne. This wasn’t the lunch (er, launch?) I had planned.

“Let it go!” I heard a voice of reason yell. Good advice, I thought, midair, and loosened my death grip. Klumph! It was a rather undignified end to a short but thrilling ride. I crash-landed on top of the umbrella’s rolling steel base, obtaining some rather impressive bruises and lumps. Yards away, Andrea (other sister-in-law) tried a similar feat of heroism to save a dog from umbrella impalement. She broke her toe. Elaine hailed help. There was a fuss, of course, some ice, and most important, a lot of drama. We had, after all, saved civilization (well, at least a dog). A glass of wine (or two) and a wonderful lunch proved a brilliant antidote for our bumps and bruises. Best of all, we have a story that will last us into our dotage.

Wherever we go, however long it’s been since we’ve seen one another, it’s the stories of our lives that knit families and friends together. And there are no better stories than tales of travel shared with the people we love.

This issue of Maui Nō Ka ‘Oi brings you lots of fuel for your next adventures, including our annual Maui Resort Report. Whether you are a visitor or a resident planning a staycation, you’ll find this issue packed with fodder for memories.

Travel is a panacea for the soul. It opens us to new environments, offers new perspectives, asks us to be adventurous — and just a little vulnerable. Heroic rewards await when we let ourselves be lifted out of our comfort zones — even if it’s for a short umbrella ride.

A hui hou

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