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Hi, Traveler,

Surprise! The photo shop really did develop our film in an hour--every one of our rolls. I had doubles made. These copies are for you.

In that first picture, there you are, arriving at the airport as you head west into the sunshine of the mid-Pacific for some much needed R & R.

Some of the photos taken from the helicopter reflected light off the low-slung clouds. But when the chopper dropped below the mist deep into lush Hanakapiai Valley in front of those gushing waterfalls, then later hugged the Na Pali Coastline, we caught some awe-inspiring views.

Look at that photo of you entwined among the roots of that massive landmark Banyan tree at Kinipopo Shopping Village. Another shows me later falling off the barn sour horse when it made a run along the Kuilau Ridge Trail. I can laugh about that--now that I don't ache as much. How did you ever steady yourself during the gallop to focus in on that action?

The shots that tourist took--the guy who was nice enough to use our camera and snap us underwater among those giant Pacific sea turtles at Ke'e Beach? The pictures are magnificent--don't you agree?--the creatures larger than life.

Those that I snapped of you collapsed onto the deck chair with your Tropical Fruit Smoothie really cinched the fact that you were on vacation.

But this season's surprise visit is over and now you're gone. Dead grass from the wheels of your golf cart litters the back of my van. The cologne you wore to the airport--the one I like so much--lingers on my face and in my hair from when we hugged so tightly.


by Ragen Mendenhall

For a long while, I stood staring out the window over this Hawaiian paradise. I clutched the lauhala beach hat you bought with the big woven hearts that bobbed up and down. Across the pastures of the Wailua Homesteads to the back of the mountain known as Puni, the Sleeping Giant then beyond, lies the eastern Pacific that separates us. My heart cries out. You've only been gone a couple of hours and I'm missing you already.

Earlier as I tidied up the house that you love and lived in a few short weeks, while making the bed where we slept together, I hugged your pillow and smelled traces of you. While they linger, I think I'll wait a day or so before changing our sheets.

Please don't wait too long to visit once more. Surprise me again!

Your Hawaiian Hula Girl

Mary Deal, 1996-97 President of Kauai Writer's Roundtable, has completed a mainstream romance, a mystery and a historical fantasy. Nearly complete is a trilogy of women's survival stories of island life. Her short stories, award winning poetry, essays, letters and other writings have placed in many and varied papers and periodicals. Additionally, she has successfullly conducted two international writing contests, each offering a $1000 Grand prize.

Also in Song and Story:
Kauai, Hawaii Vacation    The New Amsterdam   

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