Celebrating a 60th Wedding Anniversary—NF Blessing, NF Curse

09 Aug 2016

It's about 6:30 a.m. when we drive through the entrance of Volcano National Park. There are very few cars around, so it feels like we have the place to ourselves. I see no way to pay for entering the park, so I make a mental note to do that on the way out. We first stop at the steam vents. It is incredible to see the terrain all around us seeping steam. Terri's eyes are growing bigger and bigger as she scans everything around her. We take the short trail to one side and come upon Kilauea volcano in all its glory. Now Dad is clearly excited and tells me it was worth it coming all this way. Inside, I couldn’t be more thrilled. Outside, I smile and say, “Me too.” Mom, on the other hand, is only a little impressed and lets everyone know it. She expected to see a "mountain" with lava spewing out of it, “like in the movies,” she says. So to get a closer look we drive over to the Jaggar Museum lookout area. As at the steam vents, no one is around. It’s only about 7 a.m. now, and I'm realizing this is the perfect time to be here. Dad again says how grateful he is that we have come here. Seeing the volcano from this vantage point is really like nothing most people have ever seen. Still, Mom is not impressed. “This is not what I expected,” she says again.

Our next stop is Nahuku, also known as Thurston Lava Tube. While it may be tricky to get Mom down the path, if we do, then I think she will finally be impressed. I’m intent on pleasing her and am reminded how my preferences for Intuition and Feeling can be a blessing and sometimes a curse. After lots of careful handholding and Mom insisting she can do it herself, she makes it down the steep path. And…she is very impressed (whew!), though she gets a bit dizzy in the darker parts. If ever you visit Volcano National Park, you should not miss the lava tube early in the morning. We have to tip-toe around puddles, and at times I don’t know whether Mom can keep going. “Will I have to carry her out?” I think to myself. In the end, this was something we all agreed was amazing. Truly amazing…otherworldly amazing at the break of day in Hawaii.

After stopping at a few more points along the way and peeking into the Visitors’ Center (opens at 9:00 in case you visit), and watching the 20-minute documentary (fascinating, though our jet lag takes over here and there), we decide to head back to our house only a short mile away. I pay the entrance fee on the way out, and we arrive back at the house in no time at all. As I open the door, Hawaiian music pours out from the kitchen on Kevin's computer. It is sweet of him to create an island ambience for us, but I think I’m the only one to notice. I learned later that Mom noticed too. I need to remember that she still sees and remembers everything. Her introverted Sensing is alive and well!

If you want to read more about my Hawaiian family vacation, check out the previous blogs in this series:

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