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An October Saturday, Up-Country, and Pumpkins

October 13, 2013 - Ray Tsuchiyama

The summer months passed quickly in Kihei.

I watched episodes of “Breaking Bad” at night (at first I had no idea about the story, but slowly it grew on me, as a dark tragedy, but not that uncommon in our drug-filled society). And I grilled salmon steaks and vegetables.

Suddenly, in late September, darkness fell earlier and when I drove back after work to Kihei I had to put on my headlights, and I felt a cooler breeze at night and mornings.

On a Saturday we finally embarked on our first fall trip to Up-Country. We ate lunch at La Provence, a French-inspired restaurant in Kula. My daughter had the Eggs Benedict and I kept staring at her wonderful plate of two poached eggs, bacon, an English muffin-type bread, and avocado (she said that if a New York restaurant had avocado in its Eggs Benedict, she would be over there constantly).

I had a very French crepe, with ham and cheese.

Unfortunately, I ate one egg that morning before driving Up-Country, and per my spouse, I could not eat another egg that same day (my cholesterol level is low for my age bracket, but rules are rules).

By our outside table I saw bees hovering and then inserting themselves into flowers, plus an ochre-colored butterfly. The vines had flowers and a lime-like fruit (vegetable)? We wondered if it was an avocado or a green tomato or something else.

Afterwards, we headed away from the restaurant; we came across slowing cars and what appeared to be a pumpkin festival. We got out, and investigated a pumpkin patch (rather, a huge area – see photos) where families were collecting pumpkins and hauling them away in small carts. It was the Kula Country Farms Pumpkin Festival.

We left for the Lavender Farms, where we walked around in a mist. I read how lavender flourish in a mist climate, so the slopes of Haleakala must be ideal.

Then we drove down to Makawao town where my spouse bought a scented candle that she had regretted not buying before. It was in a store with a million candles, a million lotion bottles, and several stone Buddha statues.

I have often wondered about how the Maui “brand” is linked to Asian religions, notably Buddhism (there is a “stupa” by Baldwin Avenue in Paia), in the minds of many Maui residents (probably starting in the late 1960s with the “discovery” of Maui by the counter-culture movement in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury District), but there is a “dis-connect” (a recent word that I use frequently) with long-existing Buddhist temples, like the Makawao Honganji Temple just down the street.

In fact, Buddhist temples are throughout Hawai'i, except for Ni’ihau, and have long histories over a century of more. See:

See Maui News: The Hidden Jewels of Maui

Then we drove further down from Makawao (we had stopped earlier at Pukalani Foodland for flowers), and placed anthuriums on my uncle and aunt’s gravesite at Makawao Veterans Cemetery. There was a man in a folding chair in front of a grave site with many flowers. On a couple of grave sites were what appeared to be a small piece of fried chicken, red sausage, and rolls, and a plastic cup of ice tea. At Punchbowl there is only one (in the older section) small flower holding stand; at Makawao there are two large containers, each able to hold a small bouquet. We said out loud that we should bring more flowers the next time.

Then Paia, then back to Kihei. A fall outing.


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