Holiday Letter 2005

Aloha dear friends:

Hilo Weather

This weather forecast from the Hilo paper pretty much sums up 2005 at our house—how many ways can you say partly cloudy, chance of showers?

A few interesting things did happen along the way between rain and work:

  • We had a private home concert with one of the world’s best boogie woogie piano players
  • We attended a beautiful wedding in Seattle and a 30-year reunion of KING Radio
  • We hired our first full-time employee because Sharene deserved a promotion from reservation agent!

Carl Sonny LeylandThe new year started off great as we hosted a benefit concert at our home with the incredible boogie woogie, jazz and swing pianist Carl Sonny Leyland. We moved the furniture, filled the great room with folding chairs, and about 50 music-lovers yelled for more as Carl riveted us with tune after amazing tune. He stayed a few days to do some sightseeing, and perhaps our best memory was listening to him play informally, which he did at every opportunity. The man loves to play and we loved to listen.

Our joy turned to sorrow a little later in January as Harrison’s dear Aunt Marie Lindner passed away, the first of several deaths and serious illnesses of friends and relatives in 2005, which marked a big change from trouble-free 2004. Fortunately, Sharene’s mother, Alys, celebrated her 86th birthday this year, and we have both managed to avoid major health problems.

Harrison's MGBIt was fun to wear “real” clothes again when we went to Seattle for the wedding of Brianne Oldenburg, daughter of friends Rick and Maggie. Harrison and another friend from his Seattle years took the visit as an opportunity to organize a reunion of KING Radio colleagues from the ’70s. KING played a big role in many careers and lives, but everybody was astonished at the turnout—over 50 people showed up from as far away as Connecticut, Texas and, well, Hawaii! No one missed a beat and many stories and laughs were shared. Who were those very young people in the photos that were passed around?

The photo on the right was taken not long before Harrison moved to Seattle in 1974. He wishes he still had the car (his first—a 1967 MGB), and he still does have the jacket!

Harrison and ShareneBusiness has been good, our little company has grown rapidly, and we’re thankful that we’re busy, but the island lifestyle has passed us by this year. “We worked while it rained” will be our motto for 2005! But we recently hired our first full-time employee to help us so we are hoping 2006 will allow us to get out and explore this beautiful place a little more than we have. Still, we know we have a great life here and we have no regrets about leaving the corporate life and making the move to this little dot in the middle of the ocean.

So for the close of 2005 we leave you with this:

Na ka uhane o keia kau e ho‘ohau‘oli i kou pu‘uwai, na ka pau‘ole pa la.
(May the spirit of the season gladden your heart, and may the sun always shine.)