It’s not the cold and snow I dislike about winter in Wisconsin, it’s the dark and gloom.When we got here in March of 2017, not the best time of year to move from Hawaii to Wisconsin, we discovered our house doesn’t get any sun. Between the north-facing front with a porch that cuts off any possible sun to the southern exposure being blocked with the laundry room addition, well, it’s dark. We love the side porch during the good weather, but it took blocks out the kitchen sun.

With all of that in mind we decided to decorate with tons of color. The movers lost or broke a good deal of what we had shipped over, but there are a few pieces that survived. Today I awoke to fog and drizzle and another one of those gray days. I walked into the kitchen and saw this beautiful vase and it made me smile.
Back in the 90s I needed a wedding present for a friend. I ended up at Liberty House and finally found this lovely pitcher/vase. I had recently gotten divorced and could not afford this piece as a gift and I found for that bride and groom that was more in my meager budget. The bride loved whatever I got her, I seriously don’t remember what I bought, and that was that.
Except it wasn’t. I went back to the Kailua store and kept waiting for a sale. I was so in love with this piece. As a single mom paying off a very expensive divorce and having a mortgage it was something I should not have kept considering.
One day I went to buy shoes for my boys at their last price shoe rack. After I found something I went back to the housewares and fancy gifts section and saw that this little beauty was the last one. And it was 25% off! I whipped out the red Liberty House credit card with the yellow hibiscus and bought this for myself.
In 1996 we moved to Florida because my new husband had a terminal brain disease and I thought the healthcare and be more better and more affordable. I sold most of our belongings but I kept this and a few other Hawaii memories.
In 2005 my husband died leaving me bankrupt from all the medical bills and raising two boys. I also lost my home in Kailua thanks to the disease. I moved back to Kailua in 2006 and along came the vase. I truly thought I’d never leave Hawaii again except for vacations. Sadly, my now husband and I were hit on Kahakili Highway at 5:00 pm on June 18, 2015.  The driver had fallen asleep while behind the wheel of  a massive SUV. Of course it was a borrowed truck which was uninsured.
My traumatic brain injury and severe concussion got to be too much to work with people as a concierge and so, once again, we sold and gave away most of our belongings, shipped what we could not live without, and relocated to Wisconsin where my son and his family live here in Oshkosh.

A few other treasures from Hawaii made the trip including this. In the spring I’ll fill this with tulips from my yard and in the summer I’ll walk out to cut flowers from my native garden. I’ll use my vase and reflect on how happy I was to live in Hawaii for almost thirty years.

I don’t know what gave me the courage to buy a vase I could not afford or to move all those times to and from Hawaii. But I am glad to have this reminder of the grace and beauty of Hawaii in my heart and soul.