A couple of days ago there was a soft knock at our door. When I looked to see who was visiting, I was pleasantly surprised to find our neighbors' daughter. Jean Nakamura was standing there with a five gallon plastic bucket full of macadamia nuts she recently collected from beneath their trees .. no small task. She not only gave us the nuts, but also brought along a husker/nut cracker for me to use and hand written instructions on everything from husking and cracking to roasting the nuts and how to dip them in melted chocolate in order to make one of Hawaii's greatest treats. Today I walked out our door to discover a brown grocery bag full of star fruit with a nice note from Jean .. yet another unexpected treat. I invite you to scroll down at the end of this post for photos of the macadamia nuts and the process of preparing them.
Jean and her brother Ken actually live in Honolulu. They come to Kauai every weekend and clean and mow and maintain the land that was home to their youth. I witnessed their Father caring for the land himself until his passing three years ago at the age of 96. Yes, at 96 years of age this wonderful Japanese man pushed a mower around a property that is partially hilly, full of many plants and trees, and appears to be nearly 3 acres in size. He had the physique of a 40 year old man and I was amazed to discover his age after he died. Since the passing of Mr. Nakamura, I have learned from his wife and children that he and Mrs. Nakamura moved onto their property in 1959. They lived there happily until his death .. Mrs. Nakamura has lived there alone since that time. Interestingly, in June of 2011, when I was just getting started with this blog I wrote a poem entitled Love Wail that was inspired in part by Mr. & Mrs. Nakamura. If you would like to read it, please CLICK.
Jean and her Brother Ken have been here frequently over the last couple of weeks. They have been mowing, trimming, picking fruit, gathering macadamia nuts and still taking time to walk around and share with their neighbors. They are preparing for a momentous event.
Tomorrow, Mrs. Nakamura leaves her life of 54 years. She leaves the beautiful home and grounds she and her husband created together. She leaves the place where they raised and guided their two incredible children. She leaves the aina they cared for ... the plants and trees they lovingly nurtured for all those years. Tomorrow, Mrs. Nakamura is moving into an assisted living care facility.
I cannot imagine the depth of feeling within the Honorable Nakamura Family of Au'wae Road tonight, as I sit in my office sharing what little I know about them with you. I do know they embody everything I find dear about this place .. Kauai. The memory of this family is forever precious to me. Their spirit has touched me deeply. They have given. Their essence will be forever present on the beautiful property they loved and shared with all of us. They honor Kauai and they are true Kama'aina .. in the highest sense of the word.
from Kauai to Paris ... and all places between
Looking Back - Click Here or on the link below for a blast from the past!