Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii’

White and Purple Flowers, taken on September 8, 2012, Hawaii
Photo Credit: Kelly Vial 2012

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be a part of my husbands family reunion here in Hawaii. It was a beautiful, but hot day with little breeze. As we entered, my husband signed us in and grabbed our name tags that stated what line we were descended from. There are about 11 different family lines that stemmed from one common ancestor. I took our trays of food to the outdoor kitchen where there were many hugs and kisses going around, and new introductions being made. I don’t think I’ve hugged and kissed that many people in one day EVER! You could definitely feel the close bond of a loving Ohana (family). We made our rounds saying aloha to the family sitting down at tables or sitting on benches underneath the palm trees. 

After speaking and saying hello to all the Ohana, I decided to take some photos of the boards on display of the Meyer genealogy tree! Huge! It was stretched out over 3 or 4 different display boards. Another 2 or 3 boards also displayed old family photos of generations past. One looked like a collage, and the others were more formal looking with  8×10 photos with the ancestors name below them. Very nice!

There was a straw hut I guess you could say, that had members of the Ohana giving out goodie bags to the keiki (children). The children’s games were all set up- putt putt golf, a pinata swinging from the tree above, and many others. Some of the older kids were tossing a football, the younger ones were chasing each other around trees, blowing bubbles, blowing their little plastic horns which sounded like a high pitched whistle. The band under the tents sounded wonderful, playing local style music and just seeing everyone so happy, dancing around, doing hula and just having some good ol’ fun was just one of the highlights of the day. 

Before enjoying the food that our Lord had blessed us with, we had Pule Ho’okuu (opening prayer).  There was an abundance of food brought to eight banquet tables, laden with all the food you could possibly envision. Anything from fried chicken and hot dogs to Pork Adobo and spinach salad with tofu (which was my favorite), potato mac salad, beef curry, pies and chantilly cake, doughnuts, mini muffins,  and brownies; you name it and it was there. 

After the potluck lunch, there was a presentation given on the history of George Kahelelani Meyer, our common ancestor. Group introductions of the descendants by lineage were then asked to go on stage in front of everyone. Everyone snapping pictures of each generation and one person to speak and say how they were descended from this one man. After all eleven different family lines had their turn on the stage, we all gathered around in the biggest circle I ever seen, holding hands with one another while everyone sang “Hawaii Aloha” which was written by Reverend Lorenzo Lyons. This concluded all ceremonies of the day, but this didn’t stop me from playing with the keiki’s, chasing one little girl around trees, blowing bubbles with a 3 year old cutey and passing a football to one of the other boys. Mind you, I don’t have a football arm! But it was all in good fun and I had the best anniversary day with my husband and his extended family, that I truly enjoyed being a part of! 

Before we left for the day, my husbands grandmother, Evelyn was acknowledged by the entire Ohana as being the oldest living descendant of George Kahelelani Meyer. She had a beautiful framed picture box type of photo frame, where on display at the top, were two crossed bats that was an emblem of sorts and had a group photo of her grandfather as a member of the local baseball team. What an honor for her! Love you grams <3! 

Hawaii Aloha Song Lyrics by Reverend Lorenzo Lyons

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A Haole Girl’s Life

Living in Hawaii has been such a blessing and I have met so many wonderful people along the way. The spirit of Aloha is definitely instilled in the Hawaiian locals, probably even from birth. Everyone is so nice and you are treated as if you are family or even long time friends. Being from the mainland, it was a sort of culture shock for me and took some adjusting to. My husband and I moved from the Atlanta area, where we were always used to the hustle, the shopping crowds, the congested highways driving into downtown, and yes, even some rude people that have major road rage issues. So what happened to southern hospitality? I’m not sure. It has to be there somewhere, but I am thinking that the true southerners are more humble than most.

Within my first few months of living in Hawaii, I had my husband, Nakeu, who was born here in Hawaii, drive me around and play the part of “Puka Shell Tour Guide”. He drove to so many different places so I could play tourist and take pictures of some of the beaches and other sites such as the Byodo- In Temple and the Bishop Museum, which houses ancient artifacts of Hawaii’s kings and queens, and several different exhibits which helped me learn a lot about their culture and history. The museum had a dinosaur exhibit which is great fun for kids, the Hawaiian Hall, which boasts three floors that takes visitors on a journey through different realms. The first floor is the realm of Kai Akea, which represents the Hawaiian gods, legends and beliefs. The second floor Wao Kanaka, represents the realm where people live and work and also focuses on the importance of land and nature in daily life. The third floor, was called Wao Lani, and it is the realm inhabited by the gods; this is where I learned about the ali’i, or gods, and other key moments in Hawaiian history. The museum also has a sports hall of fame that displays pictures and memorabilia of Hawaii’s accomplishments in sports history.

The beaches offer you all the serenity you could ever ask for; all you have to do is just sit there on the shoreline and watch as the ocean’s waves come in, one after another. It is so peaceful. The salty spray of the water, the balmy breezes on a warm day, watching the surfers ride the swell, is so appealing at any time of the year. Since Hawaii doesn’t have your traditional changes of the season like they do in the mainland, it makes for the perfect vacation getaway. They do have a rainy season, but it really isn’t any different than any other morning or afternoon shower. Not really! It comes and goes and then the rest of your day is absolutely beautiful. I won’t try to paint a picture of Hawaii being the absolute best place for all people, but it is perfect for me and my family, even though it can be quite expensive!

If you are a foodie like myself, then you definitely need to visit! The local cuisine cannot be beat! Cinnamon’s in Kailua has the best Guava Chiffon pancakes I have ever eaten! That says something because I really don’t like guava too much nor do I particularly care for pancakes most of the time, but I will eat them on occasion. But whatever your taste buds desire, you shouldn’t have a hard time finding it here. Another local favorite spot is L & L Barbeque, they serve a variety of plate lunch specials that will make your mouth water.

Before I end this article, I have to tell you not to forget Island Snow, also located in Kailua, it is part surf shop and shave ice counters that have every conceivable flavor! It’s not a slushy or anything even close- I had one called Mele Melona and it tasted like honeydew heaven. To my surprise there was also a scoop of vanilla ice cream at the bottom! My taste buds just screamed, “Mahalo!”

 

I had a great day yesterday and I wasn’t even doing research on my family history! Today’s blog is all about free time and how I spent it with my Ohana. When I say family, I mean my mother and my husband. For those of you that know me personally, you know that my children live in the mainland with their father. I really miss them! Thank goodness for technology, social networks, cell phones and Skype! Even though our little family has had the best of times and the worst of times, together we live and make each other happy in the best way we know how. I really don’t know what I would do without either of them. We don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a good time together, and since I am unemployed at present, it’s not like we will be eating at fine dining restaurants and taking helicopter tours all over the island! My love for cooking puts me in the kitchen quite a bit. So whether I’m baking cookies, creating my own dishes to eat at home, I save money anyway. Keyword here is frugal!

It’s expensive to live here, to eat here, and the rent is the highest in the nation I’m sure! You have to pay for paradise, because it doesn’t come cheap 🙂 All in all, I love where I live. Now if I could just find a career doing something I love, such as writing, I would be in absolute heaven! I am so close to Waikiki, it’s only like a hop, skip and a jump away from the true beauty of the ocean. It’s  one of my most favorite places to be. The ocean calms me and relieves me of all the stress I have pent up inside. Just to sit on the beach wall, watching the sunsets and sailboats pass by, makes me a happier person. I see the beach and I can feel the smile begin to form on my face. Truthfully, I don’t think you could smack the grin off of my face when I’m in my happy place.

I just want to share some photos I took last night of the sunset at Queen’s Beach in Waikiki. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed capturing them. By the way, I am not a professional photographer and didn’t have an expensive camera. I had my trusty iPhone 4! That’s what the photos below were taken with. Nothing extravagant, but beautiful all the same.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Photographer Douglas Peebles , Writer Jacquelyne Froeber

It’s a perfect, sun-shiny day here in Honolulu, a time for family BBQ’s, eating hot dogs and hamburgers, drinking a refreshing  ice cold lemonade with slices of lemon floating in my glass; I love just sitting on a blanket in the green grass with family and enjoying the beautiful display of fireworks that will take place tonight. I can’t wait to adjust my camera settings to catch the light show that is destined to be beautiful as ever!

It’s a beautiful day here in Hawaii already, granted it’s only 7 am but it will be a promising day. I’m looking forward to the street parades, watching the children carrying their own little American flags, faces painted, all dressed up in red, white, and blue and just seeing the pure joy on their cute little cherub faces. Priceless! Its not only the children that are fun to watch; the adults ooh and aah over the beautiful fireworks and the goings on of the days celebrations just like the keiki do. They are just big children really, myself included 🙂

As we BBQ here in the islands, we need to remember the reason why we celebrate. Our veterans. The soldiers who gave their lives so we may be free.  Meanwhile, back on the east coast, there are devastatingly hot temperatures, thousands of families still without power even after an entire week; they have to cook out because that is the only source available to them. Many members of my family live on the east coast and I just want to wish them the best Independence Day ever.

Yesterday, my husband and I went to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, which is also known as Punchbowl Cemetery to pay respects to his father, Arthur M. Reinhardt who served in the U.S. Army. He was an SP4 and was considered a Specialist rank, which is equivalent to an E4 in today’s standards. This cemetery is located in Honolulu, Hawaii and serves as a memorial to the United States Armed Forces.

This cemetery lies in the middle of the Puowaina Crater, which is an extinct volcano. The cemetery grounds are very beautiful and the cemetery is well taken care of and is one of the top tourist attractions here in Honolulu. I looked like a tourist snapping pictures of everything from the Chinese Banyan trees, to the beautiful, vibrant Hibiscus flowers and of course, the cemetery grave markers of our fallen soldiers. The U.S. and Japanese flags were snapping in the wind, the sun’s strength yesterday beat down on my face and shoulders, but it was just part of the experience as a whole. It was a beautiful day and a moving experience for me. There is so much history here, and it is overwhelming when you see all those grave stones set in the rich dirt, lined up one right after the other. So many lives lost and they fought for the freedom that we take for granted every day. I could describe the perfectly manicured lawns or the beautiful, yet majestic Chinese Banyan trees with their grayish colored bark and large canopy of shade in which they offer or where initials have been carved into the trees’ bark, the reddish pink flowering bushes, the different trees full of pink and white blossoms, the marble monuments which display our fallen or the chapel with the stained glass windows and on and on. But I would rather show you. I hope you enjoy some of these images.

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Are you interested and intrigued by your family ancestry but just don’t know where to start? First of all, you will want to start by being organized with your findings. You could start by creating folders for known family surnames that you plan on researching. If it helps, write a small note that has surnames of your family listed. This sometimes helps keep you organized but at the same time you don’t want to overlook a surname either.


For me, my interest and infatuation with genealogy came from my father. More than 15 years ago, he sent me a packet and in this packet were two different sets of genealogy research papers with names, birth, death, and marriage dates along with the names of children on down the line. When I first started, never having the proper education as far as the topic of genealogy was concerned or having someone say, “this is how you should start and this is what you need to do to get started”, so I did what I had to do, on a limited budget. I taught myself! Granted, I haven’t learned everything I need to know. Why? Because every day you learn something new. But how you retain that knowledge and use it is entirely up to you, the student.

I won’t tell you that your family research will be easy, because it won’t be. You may have some members in your family that you look up and find everything you could possibly hope for, but not all family members will be so easy. You have to dig deeper for these others because they are hiding out. For all we know, they could be there. Just not in plain view sight! They could be in an old cardboard box at a historical library in a room with other boxes. Just keeping each other company while collecting dust. That’s a horrible thought when I think about it.

The following tips helped me in my research and I hope they help you too.

1. Interview Family Members ~ Get in touch with and stay in contact with living family members that you can “talk story” with. You may hear a family story or two that you may be able to utilize later. You could voice record the conversation or even set up a video camera for your family interview. You probably don’t have to take it to the video extreme but it is an option you may want to consider. Talk to grandparents, aunts and uncles and anyone else you think may be able to offer some insight to your research.

2. Join a Genealogical Society ~ What are the benefits? You can learn new research skills and techniques for starters. You can meet other local researchers and volunteers that may help you along the way too. It is a great way to network with others that share your passion on the topic of genealogy. You can attend monthly meetings and listen to guest speakers and even if you are like me, and have moved away from the area where the majority of your family may have settled, you can still join! (My family is mostly from Kentucky and Virginia, but I live in Hawaii) You may eventually meet some local family historians who are more than eager to share their own experiences and accomplishments. Another benefit to joining is the newsletter, it may be monthly or bi-monthly, but the information that is in them could be very beneficial! So what are you waiting for?

3. Family Albums and Scrapbooks ~ Looking through an old family photo album or scrapbook, you may find just about anything! One day I was looking through some photos my mother has collected over the years, and not only did I find a few old photographs but I also found obituary clippings and funeral cards too. Scrapbooks and photographs can tell a story like you wouldn’t believe. Remember it’s not just about finding the photos, you could find birth announcements, wedding invitations, birth and death certificates, vintage postcards, old letters,   military records or enlistment papers.  

4. Family Bibles and Journals ~ Look at an old family bible which most likely has writings of birth and death, names and dates, christenings or baptismal records. The possibilities are endless! My grandmother on my mother’s side use to have an old cedar chest in a guest bedroom. I wish I had access to the objects that were inside! I remember as a child, I would wear all her fancy old hats, scarves and jewelry that she kept in there. The jewelry wasn’t valuable at that time but they would be considered a great heirloom piece one day. She had old clothes in the chest along with a quilt she made, some doilies and some old books. Memories are wonderful things to behold.

5. Local Libraries ~ Visit your local library as you never know what you may be able to find there. Talk to the librarian and explain the research that you are partaking in. She may be able to offer some guidance or recommend certain texts. Unlocking the door to the past may only be a library card away! Here you can get familiarized with the printed work offered and also microfiche. Microfilm and the readers at your library may help spare you some time in researching and reading book after book. 

6. Internet Research ~ The Internet has evolved in so many ways. There are so many web pages dedicated to the topic of genealogy and family history research. You could read other blogs, read and participate in genealogy forums, read articles on the topic, groups on Facebook you can join, news articles. You can even view archived newspapers, look at old photos and anything related to this subject. Access to libraries online, genealogy files, online family trees, personal web pages that list members of their family tree, cemetery records and many others.

Below are a few of my favorite links that I like to utilize, but remember when doing your research, to have everything documented and to cite the source where the information was obtained from. If you do this right from the start, you can go back further in time and research other members of your family. For example, you may have a copy of your parents and grandparents birth or death certificates. This would name their parents, so this is a lead you can work with! Then you can research the parents and their parents and so on down the line. Good luck!

Links







There are many more sites to choose from but this list is just for starters. Good luck in your research and I hope this article has helped you in some way. 


Image Source:
Title:

vintage family photo album and documents

Caption: genealogy & family history
Creative image #: 108757760
License type: Royalty-free
Photographer:

Andrew Bret Wallis

Collection:

Brand X Pictures

Credit: Andrew Bret Wallis
Release information: This image has a signed property release. This image is available for commercial use.
Copyright: Andrew Bret Wallis

English: Mother's Day card

English: Mother’s Day card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to wish all the mothers out there a very special Happy Mother’s Day. Enjoy your day~ you deserve it!

I am spending my Mother’s Day with my mom today and wanted to share some photos of our morning at the beach! Have a wonderful day!





Kalama Beach, Hawaii
Flowers seen on the walking trail to Kalama Beach



My Mother Enjoying the Ocean


What a Beautiful Morning It Is!
Footprints In The Sand