No Bad Days in Maui

Posted on 8/29/2023
Maui, Molokai and Kauai. Not our first visit to the islands, but our first trip there together. Just the 3 of us. Over caffeinated, sleep-deprived, working off adrenaline. A delay threatens our west coast connection. Barely, we make our flight. Barely. No bad days in Maui, we chant.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Settle down. Settle in. Snooze. Snore. Startle.

Aloha, we hear. Aloha, we say.

Whisked away under Maui’s magical moon, we are giddy as high-school
cheerleaders just before the first football game. What if we lose internet? What if we can’t keep up with work? Or we miss the news? What if we don’t care?
No Bad Days in Maui, we sing.

Seaside with friends. Plates of small Monte Cristos on sweet bread rolls with a cheese flatbread drizzled in garlic oil. Chased by scoops of chocolate gelato. Waves crashing against the seawall, half-moon over Maui paired with a welcoming warm sea breeze.
No Bad Days in Maui, we think in sync.

Our buzz dies down. We navigate the palm-lined pathways leading to our condo. What does one really need in Maui, we wonder. Why did we pack so much? Just in case, we say. Just in case.
We reckoned the Polynesian explorers packed lighter than us when they glided from island to island in their outriggers.

Venturing on through our beachfront village with its palm trees, pools and exotic flowers, we chant No Bad Days in Maui.

Key pad works. Aloha vibes beckon us into a cheerful kaleidoscope of bold colors.

On to the lanai. A warm, west wind crashes into raucous waves. Almost Heaven. Western Maui.
And then to the closet to stash our stuff.
We open the closet door to a makana, a precious gift.
What? Who? How? Wow!
Not one. Not Two, but Three. Three matching camouflage colored T
shirts hang there patiently awaiting our discovery.
No Bad Days in Maui the shirts say on the back.
Who do we owe? How did they know? Our sizes? Our mantra?
Mahalo. Thank You. Mahalo. Mahalo.

We slip into a sea induced coma. No Bad Days in Maui, we dream.

First day in paradise. Front Street, Lahaina
Town for a whale watching mis-adventure.
We wear our matching No Bad Days in
Art galleries, surf shops, tattoo studios.
Street vendors serving up shrimp and fish
tacos. Cheeseburgers in Paradise. The ancient Banyan Tree. The Royals. Izzy the famous Hawaiian troubadour fills us with aloha. (please right-click to hear Izzy sing)

We meet Auntie Joan. She welcomes us as ohana…family. We learn that Lahaina was the seat of power for the Hawaiian Kingdom in the 16th century. Then came missionaries, whalers, plantation workers, travelers, tourists.
Tiny town. Huge history.
Burned to the ground now. Churches. Shops. Hotels. Homes. Dreams. Destinies.

The people of Maui. They are resilient, they love their island. They know about catastrophes. Catastrophes that obliterate a community in an instant.
Hurricanes. Tsunamis. Earthquakes.
Lahaina Town will come back. Their
language, their dance, their song, their artisanship, their agriculture. Their traditions. Their stories.

Pono. Just right. Balanced. Sustainable. Lahaina Town will come back stronger, better. Pono.

As Auntie Joan would put it, “No worry, honey, no worry. Together, we figure it out.
No More Bad Days in Maui, we pray. No More Bad Days in Maui.

To contribute to Maui’s recovery please click here:
Please visit us at

Not A Bot

Is it just me?

Why must I continuously give
evidence that I am not a robot? How
many times a week must I solve silly
puzzles, figure out distorted phrases
and images just to prove that I am a
Just to prove that I am Jeanne from
Planet Earth, meaning no harm. Not
a Bot. Not a Bit. Nor a Bite. Just

There’s nothing artificial about my intelligence. Whatever intelligence I
may have acquired has been the hard way. A mistake here, a retake there, another mistake, a do-over. Little lesson here. Big lesson there.

Invariably a bit of intelligence reveals itself, accumulates and situates itself in my brain. Each new piece of logic joins up with another. The lessons hang out together, merge and mingle. And, bam. My unique brand of intelligence reveals itself. Nothing artificial about that, right?

Just Jeanne, a human. Being human comes with its own challenges. For example, change does not come quite as easily for me as it does for my bot buddies.

New situation? New challenge? Just change the program. Robots change programs like we change our socks. Bots then get busy doing new stuff in new ways, adapting, adjusting to new and more challenging environments. I envy my bot buddies for that. I do.

Assuming you are not a robot, (and I won’t make you prove it), you may find yourself struggling with certain kinds of changes. For one thing, we humans have emotions. And old patterns of thinking. And, we wonder whether we even deserve whatever it is that we decide we want.

On one hand, we crave new adventures, lifestyles, and freedom. But…and this can be a very Big But…we strongly prefer certainty, predictability, stability, sameness.

We especially dislike when change is not our idea. Think 2020. Consider the numerous non-negotiable changes we had to make just to survive. Inevitably, things change. Inevitably, we are forced to adjust and adapt.

But what if we intentionally set out to strengthen our change-ability? Like when we commit to a workout routine to build our muscles, balance, and endurance. What if we intentionally increase our capacity to take risks and adapt to change?

What if we hang out with people who are intentionally letting go of worn-out routines and practices? People who are ready to explore new inner space? People who are ready to Just Keep Growing?

Assuming you are not a bot, this could be a lot of fun.

Another Birthday, Another Year to Just Keep Growing

Another Birthday, Another Year to Just Keep Growing!

Posted 08-14-23 

Birthdays are cool because we can celebrate however we want, wherever we want, for as long as we want. We can celebrate with friends and family. On our own. With our cat. Birthdays are our very own Personal Holiday. A chance to celebrate ourselves and to be celebrated. A chance to Just Keep Growing.

As a kid, my folks would always tell the story of my birth as part of my celebration. Like it was the best thing that ever happened. They would recall who came to see mom and me in the hospital. Who said what about me. Who brought what gift. What Dad said when he first saw me. Mom and I would pour through my baby book as a reminder of those facts. I got the impression that mom and dad were very pleased to be my parents. I was sure pleased to be their kid.

Decades flew by. And, I created a new birthday tradition. I chose a multi-day KATY Trail cycling adventure with the Biker Babes. The Biker Babes were an “elite” group of cyclists comprised of nieces, cousins, and friends. We were especially accomplished at
shopping for gear, staying hydrated and maintaining our electrolytes in extreme heat. Birthday week we would hit the KATY Trail, peddling alongside the meandering
Missouri River through Missouri’s wine country and agricultural belt… where everything just keeps growing.

Mid-August. Mid-Missouri. 90+ degrees. 100% humidity. Occasional bike wrecks.
Scraped limbs. Flat tires. Sudden downpours. A few tornadoes. Mud caked bikes.
All part of the fun. The more miserable the conditions, the more we jollied on.

Discouraging words were discouraged. Janis Joplin and Jimmy Buffett sing-alongs
were encouraged. Laughing was good. We would literally LOL for miles and miles.
Such Fun.

This year I am celebrating with my amazing Great Niece, Mara Elaine Belle who turns 7. We share a birthday and a love of bicycling on the KATY Trail.

I sure hope Mara knows how thrilled we are that she came along and that she always feels loved, special and is super celebrated. That goes for my other 2 dozen nieces, nephews. and greats, as well. I hope they always feel the kind of love that helps them to just keep growing.


She Just Keeps Growing

She Just Keeps Growing

Posted 08-02-23 

(Above: My mother Eva and me)

Urgent text from Eva: “Could we please check out the Assisted Living options?”

Me: “Seriously?”

Eva: “Yep.” 

And, just like that we’re into a new phase. My mom and me.  

Coming up on 93, Eva’s fit as can be. She’s lived in her own place on her own terms since Dad died, 23 years ago this month.

And, now she wants to explore assisted living?  

A bit of a shock, but okay.  I’m in.

Had I deluded myself that Mom would remain forever independent? Taking care business.  Helping others take care of their business.  Why, yes.  I suppose I had.  

Eva lives a mere 5 minutes away. We hang out, eat in, play games, do health care visits and grocery shop together.  We conspire via text several times a day.   We plan family events and take trips together. We are in cahoots.  Always up to something.  Scheming.  Solving problems, real or imagined. 

Mom still cleans her own home. She travels by air couple of times a year to hang out with east coast family.  She keeps up with the grands and greats personally, on Facebook, Facetime, Zooms, and Chats.  

The grands and greats are her tech mentors.  She always has some new skill to master.  How to save photos to the cloud. How to clear out storage space on her devices. They teach. She learns.  And, she just keeps growing.  

Eva has owned several i-phones, i-pads, computers, and smart TVs over the years.  She has the latest tools and, you better believe she knows how to use them. She may be the only person I know who loves hanging out at AT&T. 

Mom maintains a spreadsheet with birthdays, anniversaries, and other facts. She never misses a chance to make someone feel special with a card or a call on the precise date. She has faithfully kept a “just the facts” diary on her computer for decades.  If we wonder when, how or if this or that happened, she searches and, boom. She verifies or clarifies. You could argue with my mother, but you would be wrong.  Every single time.  

Mom recently welcomed her 16th great grandchild into the world.  She was loving on that sweet baby girl the very next day.  Eva loves learning and growing with her Greats as much as they love growing with her.  

Eva spends 30 minutes daily on her stationary bike listening to an audio book whilst peddling.    She faithfully completes her stretch routine and maintains a healthy diet.  There’s cross word puzzles and word finds. For brain fitness, you know.  She systematically sorts and organizes family photos and records to pass down.   

Mom attends Sunday School and Church via Zoom.  And heaven help the preacher when the Zoom becomes unfocused or muted.

What does Eva do to relax?  Well, she reviews land descriptions in the local newspaper, of course. A cracker jack abstractor, Eva was respected…nay..feared.. by land title attorneys throughout east central Missouri during her career.   Why?  Because, she was never wrong. Ever.  She detected legal errors in property titles before deals were closed.   Title attorneys took her advice or paid the price. 

Exploring assisted living facilities with my mom has been interesting, to say the least. We are not entirely sure if Eva qualifies for such a facility given her better than average capacities 

Irrelevant and regardless, we are exploring her options.  On one such fact-finding mission, she had three questions for the eager young facility manager.  

  1. How does the chef prepare the oatmeal?
  2. Can she please fold her own clothes?  She prefers to do her own laundry, as well. 
  3. And, most importantly…how fast is the internet?  She must have high speed service for her devices.  

“Well, nobody has ever asked these questions,” we hear.  

“Better find out,” Eva replies. 

One thing for sure.  Whether Eva continues to go it on her own or decides to make a move, Mom Will Just Keep Growing.  I love her for that.  We all do.  

My nephew calls us the Golden Girls.

Mom being Sophia, who always gets the last word and the best lines.  Me being Dorothy. My lines are pretty great too….especially my bloodline. 

Thanks, Mom.  Let’s Just Keep Growing…Together.