Summer: Yellow bicycle, shave ice, stay-cool days

  • Photo by Dawn F. Kawah​ara​

    A yellow bicycle stands ready to roll in Kapaa.

Summer solstice once again marked the longest daylight shine of the year as June hurried toward July, and summer has truly bloomed. The thunderous rains behind us (the volcanic eruptions continuing on our “little sister” island), and the heat turned up, the following proverb stands: “Winter’s thunder makes summer’s wonder.”

The signs abound, just look at those flowering trees, colorful gardens, farmers’ market fruit and vegetable offerings, and the light — the vivifying light that would make a Van Gogh or O‘Keeffe grab a brush and start painting the island beauty surrounding us.

Bathing suits and cotton shorts, T-shirts and sun dresses have replaced jeans, tights and hoodies in our island day wear; ice and cool drinks are refreshingly in mind as temperatures soar; fans whir through the days — and nights, as sheets are kicked off and louvers are left fully open; thoughts turn to salad, rather than soup, grilling out, and as temperatures rise, picnicking, watermelon, smoothies, ice cream, and shave ice (not to mention chilled rose or your favorite brew).

During hot and humid days, the call to head for the shore and cool breezes becomes strong. The idea of immersing yourself in a cool blue pool or the ocean at a safe swimming beach becomes a mantra hard to ignore. If you’re not able to take a dip, at least kick off those rubber slippers and stroll along cool sand and toe-nibbling foam at waves’ edge.

The option of meditating or just taking a good, old-fashioned, no-nonsense nap stretched out on cool grass in the shade of your garden or at one of our county parks might also be highly desirable (just make sure this is not under a laden coconut palm).

Last week we admit to having participated in, and also observed, all of the above. In between work and duties, of course.

Added in as a bonus was a pleasant midday stint singing along with friends who play ukulele as lovers of Hawaiian music and hula. The tradewinds kept our group cool as the strains of “Hawaiian Music” and “We Know the Way” wafted out from the Houselots Park shelter.

The tradewinds also helped make a morning walk along The Path in Kapaa Town a refreshing experience. It brought a smile to my face to see a group of mother-hen ladies accompanying some energetic tots on a walk in and around the bridge over the Moikeha Canal beachside of the Kapaa Library, and I liked seeing the noticeably happy biking and walking visitors and residents using the path by the sea.

The drum-like beats hammering together the frame of the new third-floor addition on the Coral Reef Hotel struck a good tempo, and a view of a yellow bicycle leaning on a coconut trunk demanded to be photographed. The missing rider (you may have guessed) was stretched out down on the sand. Later, looking mauka, mountainward, there followed the far view over the library’s roof toward Nounou Mountain (Sleeping Giant).

Where else, the thought entered my mind while in this vicinity, can you get your exercise, a local snack or shave ice, and then drop in to your local library so handily, and with such sights?

Which brings me to the subject of summer reading. No matter what genre draws you, and whether you go traditional with a book or opt for an audio or e-book, there’s a feast of choices offered by our Kauai libraries, which tap into resources available through the State of Hawaii Library system. If you’re a visitor, a charge of $10 will give you access to all library resources for three months; if you’re a non-resident who regularly returns, $25 will offer these same benefits for five years. Both plans cover electronic items once off-island and home again. Hard to beat such a deal, and also the summer reading rewards, activities and programs for residents of all ages through local libraries that began in June and will end July 14. Some lucky reader who registered will win a round trip for four to “anywhere Alaska Airlines flies!”

This, from the girl of yesteryear who was banned from Redlands, California, summer reading programs after too many wins, and who, in a fit of nostalgia, wishes to hear once again the siren call of the Good Humor man rounding the block come evening with his 10-cent frozen treats. (And can you believe this particular ice cream truck played a Mozart theme?) Ah, summer …

Two queries, Dear Readers: Will there be a drone navigating the star-bursts to photograph the July 4th fireworks to raise funds for the Kauai Hospice at Vidinha Stadium again this year? If so, where may we see this drones-eye view?


Dawn Fraser Kawahara, author and poet, made her home on Kauai in the 1980s. She and her husband, a retired biology teacher, live with books, music and birds in Wailua Homesteads. Shared passions are travel and nature. The writer’s books may be found in local outlets and on Amazon. More information at

  1. 47scooter July 2, 2018 6:11 am Reply

    Sweet! Reminds me as I navigate my oh-so-familiar routes to not take the beauty all around for granted, and to ask for help being a good driver. Now am wondering where to find a tethered hot-air balloon for viewing the pyrotechnics!

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