Here's your super long post! Try to bear through it!
Of anywhere I've ever lived, Worthington Ave. at the Hickam Air Force Base, on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, was the closest to heaven.
No one could ask for a neighborhood more filled with the friendliest people, the roudiest, most energetic kids, and the greatest friends. Every day, whether it was a weekend or not, somebody was outside. And the weather was so unbelievably perfect for hanging out all day that you barely noticed it. We lived in a duplex with our best friends, the Prichies, (lol not really their name) who were only a step and a hop over the deck away. You could be sure out great friend SpiderBen would ride up on his red scooter with a new idea for a video series as soon as he was done with his schoolwork. Most of us were homeschooled, which was totally a plus. The Smiths, Rachael, Awestin, (yeah I know, I was trying to say 'awesome' and 'Austin' at the same time) Puddles, and Miss Airly (like a sister :3) were right across the yard with their amazing Wii bowling skills, to the left and down the sidewalk were the Morans and their adorable baby, (to whom I owe all my writing passion, because they first introduced me to Percy Jackson!) the Drakes were farther down, and the Dobrys were on the side of that long alley drive way, sometimes with their sprinkler beneath their trampoline. The Goldens and the Mays were way off, but they came down all the time to play. Just an entire road of friends. Every day we would just hang out and do the simplest but funnest things together, in that long alley, or at the park down the sidewalk, or across the road in front of my house at the tennis court and the loooong feild next to it, where we played capture the flag sometimes.
That familiar layout. Only a bikeride away from the library, or the docks where we watched the sun go down beneath the water. Even now, I could walk it blind-folded.. I remember running through the neighborhood, gathering kids, whoever wanted to play, to come out to play Manhunt or Capture the Flag. Every Friday night, under the moon. Sometimes even the boys would come in the afternoon and play baseball in the little yard behind the Smith's house, and KGR had to go out and coach when things got out of hand. ;)
I even remember constantly arguing myself into a knot with SpiderBen playing Capture the Flag.. I stole his Bama hat and stuck it in a freezer and he didn't find it all night. I was so mean to him, but we were best friends anyway. I never did apologize for that. Maybe if I had and made him promise before I moved away that he'd still talk to me, we'd still be friends now.
I remember making tons of paper cranes to hang on my ceiling in the room I shared with Red above my bed. Those were fun.
Now, painfully pulling my memory away from Fifth Avenue, I remember that Base Chapel. It's huge courtyard and the big sactuary and the MPR, (Multi Purpose Room, where the Ladies Bible Study was held, where the TNT Awana teams studied their verses, all kinds of stuff) all the classrooms.. Especially the homeschool room, where during PWoC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) about fifty kids stayed and did their work. (PWoC was a military women's program much like youth group for adults, only more sophisticated. All the women's kids stayed in various classrooms) In the AMAZING homeschool room I met my very closest friend in the world, who insisted on being called Peanut Butter in my blog. ;) (I'd rather call her Rose, because that's exactly what her personality is like. Absolutely beautiful.) We did everything together. I still remember the day I met her, reading my Sea of Monsters book from the library, thinking she was a teenager who was lost XD There at PWoC I also met my close circle of friends, Peach Prichie, (The sweetest girl you can imagine) Irish Dancer Jess, (an INCREDIBLE singer) and Maile, whom I couldn't come up with a nickname for. You never saw one of us without another, and Wednesday was most certainly the best day of the week because of it. :) Watching the chapel disappear in the rear veiw mirror was the last I ever saw of Peanut Butter, Jess, and Maile. I am not ashamed to say I cried very hard that night.
Awana was held at the Chapel, too. Oh, Awana... I watch the Queen (who is the commander of Awana at our new church) running things and doing the same things I did in Awana and it brings tears to my eyes, because it was SO much fun. SpiderBen and I were the best verse memorizers, always battling, so whenever the chart was put up during cousel time, SpiderBen and mine's little bar was way beyond the screen XD I remember sucking at the games and my team always having to stand by the dumpster.. But truthfully there was nothing like it.
I've only scratched the surface of the kinds of things I did. Good heavens, this is only the stuff on the Air Force Base! Not to mention being the Wicked Witch with SpiderBen in the Missoula Children's Theatre, taking dance lessons with Peach at the community center, and being a star swimmer with more amazing friends on the Hickam Hurricanes swimteam. My amazing three days at the North Shore beach cabin, shopping at the Ali Amanu mall, the Pearl Ridge Skyrail, Waikiki, The Awana camp! (THAT was totally amazing. BEST. WEEK. EVER.) some of the most INCREDIBLE sights... And I haven't even gotten to all the fun times at our Leeward church...
Once again, it was heaven, in all seriousness. It's where I belong. I've only scratched the surface of the kind of blessings I was able to experience there. I would give anything to relive it, but I wouldn't change anything. Maybe I wouldn't take for granted the priviledge I was given to live there. Almost all my friends have moved away, of course.. only Peanut Butter is left now, and she won't be there long. I could never know why I would be worthy to know and be influenced by such people, see and remember the things I saw, do and cherish the things I did. I still walk outside barefoot, remembering the feeling of the sand between my toes and the Tradewinds in my hair. Hawaii is so much more than a place, guys. It's so much more than gorgeous beaches and the perfect weather a sun that's always shining. I still call it Havai'i, like it's pronounced by the amazing natives. If the sightseeing's all you think it is, you're sadly mistaken. It's the people. It's home, to me.
I don't have many pictures of my life there, but what I remember will remain like a fire in my heart forever. I still remember SpiderBen saying "See ya," and riding on that alleyway with his scooter, waving to me like he did every day when I had to go inside, like he'd see me tomorrow. I still remember what it was like to sit in that plane, watching home disappear behind the clouds in a swirl of green and blue, and whispering, "Aloha" to myself. As the tears fall on the keyboard now, I acknowledge that it will always be in my blood. Mahalo, Hawai'i. I love you.