I'm up to the letter H of the alphabet blog challenge. The task is to work through each letter of the alphabet by writing out five favorite things that begin with each letter. Some people have finished this challenge in a year. But not me. I've been working on this for several years now.
It's taking me a while to complete this challenge. Partly because I haven't really pushed myself to finish it quickly. But also, when I do write, I tend to write long essays. But I'm determined to finish the challenge. I hate unfinished business. I don't like wasting time. Loose ends have a way of untangling tapestry, of mangling weaves, and making things messy and unattractive.
This time around, I'm focused on keeping my writings short and sweet and to the point. Or at least keep on topic, keep things simple, and make things easy to follow. Believe it or not, this post was originally twice as long! Had to do some serious editing to keep things on track. But at least I garnered a few more writing ideas for future posts.
Back to the topic at hand. There are many great words that begin with the letter H, like Heaven, Humanitarian, Hospitality, Home, and Honey. I also like Humility, Hamburgers, Ham, Hip Hop, and Horses. And after much contemplating, I've narrowed it down to my top five favorite things that begin with the letter H.
The name says it all. Hawaii. There's no other place like it. I feel uplifted and joyful the minute I set foot on these loveliest of islands. It's one of my fave places to visit. It's absolutely stunning with the clear blue Pacific waters; golden soft warm sands; majestic mighty mountains; wild lush jungles; pristine glittering waterfalls; and the rich land nurturing all life--plants and animals blossom and thrive in this resplendent, colorful paradise.
Some people love winter and long for snow. There are people who work and thrive in frigid, frozen conditions and are at home among the ice and floes. Others embrace the metropolis and chaos of the urban life, making a living in the crowded cities of tall skyscrapers and concrete surroundings. Some people stay in their suburban enclaves, comfortable in their sheltered existence with their shopping malls, and country clubs, and backyard pools. Others live in deep, humid jungles or roam endless, dry desserts. But me, I'm a beach boy at heart, and Hawaii is paradise, a most extraordinary and wonderful place to experience and enjoy the fantastic, tropical thrills of island life.
The sunrises are stunning--the brightening light revealing the vibrant colors infused throughout the landscape; colorful birds sing enchanting songs to greet the new day. Rainbows paint the heavens in the wake of gentle falling rain. Flowers bloom and flourish, and bountiful harvests abound. Fish and corals enthrall and shimmer with splendiferous coloring and rich shades and vivacious patterns. The sunsets are striking--the sinking sun painting the heavens in hues of orange, gold, and lavender dotted with stars, slowly appearing in the shadows of the fading light.
Native history and arts are prominent. The locals are a dazzling mix of so many different peoples, immigrants from all over the world, with a native population still alive. The blending of traditions and customs created something new, familiar and exotic and all together splendid and unique. The culture is fascinating. The laid back, chill lifestyle appeals to me. Their songs and stories are haunting and mesmerizing. Their dances are entertaining and engaging. And the food is exotic and delectable and divine.
And as much as I revel in the welcoming company of these friendly people--loving the feasts, the dancing, and the luaus--it's the natural beauty and glamour of the islands that entice me. I love the beaches, feeling the soft sand between my toes, the gentle sea washing over my feet. I'm happy when I feel the waves as I play in those shimmering waters. The ocean is magical, the sight and sounds of the surf splashing over the shore is serene and calming. I welcome the caress of the winds cooling me down when I take a break from the invigorating, challenging treks or the intense, fantastic outdoors activities.
I am captivated by so much beauty. Moonlight and stars glitter in the skies and reflect on the dark waters in the ebony embrace of the night. The untamed wilderness and ancient ruins draw me and lure me with their ethereal charms. I love exploring the verdant valleys and lush jungles; hiking up the rugged mountains with stunning vistas of the islands encompassed by the vast Pacific. It's a thrill diving into the deep pools; bathing in the refreshing waterfalls; riding the waves into shore; feeling the warm sun upon my skin. It's wonderful to feel the gentle breeze cool me down as I sit with a drink, gazing at the wonders and beauty of this spectacular land.
I often wonder and fantasize about what it would be like to live on the islands. I like that it's remote but not isolated. It's far enough away from the distant mainland and other places. But it's still a hub for trade and travel--so many tourists and businessmen come to the islands--with big cities, a bustling port, a lively nightlife, and plenty of activities and people that make life interesting.
Volleyball on the beaches, surfing the waves, cruising the scenic highways, drinking at the Tiki bars, frolicking at luaus and BBQs and parties, and dancing the night away. It's all so exciting and dreamy to live in a vibrant land full of natural wonders and friendly people, alive with a unique culture and an exotic way of life.
And yet, it reminds me of life growing up on the remote, rural coast. That's part of the allure of the islands. The greatest features of the islands are the people, the landscape, and the culture. And yet, what worries me the most about the islands are the people, the landscape, and the culture.
It's an island. You can't drive away to some other region for a weekend escape. You have to sail for days on end or fly long hours far, far away just to see other distant places, to meet new people, and explore different cultures. Your choices are limited by what's available on the islands. And it's a tad expensive to live the good life in paradise. The islands seem so liberating yet confining at the same time. And that's the inherent, conflicting attraction and cost of living life on these blissful, enchanting islands.
Still, even with all these concerns, there's just something magical about Hawaii. And if I really wanted it, I'm sure that I can find a way to live there, maybe make it home. But for now, I like it being a holiday destination, an adventure, a fantasy escape.
In the end, it's the wild spaces and natural places that draw me and enthrall me to explore and take in these fantastic lands and scintillating shores. And I always leave happy yet eager to return once more, to experience life in these terrific tropical terrains. And always I hear and long to answer the siren calls of these pearls of paradise, to return once more to live and immerse myself in these havens of life and beauty, these heavenly islands of refuge and resplendence in the vast expanse of the wild, immense, magnificent Pacific.
One word: CANDY. Free candy! That's the main reason why I love Halloween. The costumes and parties are just icing on the cake. When I was a small child, I liked dressing up in character and going door to door with my brothers and friends to get free candy. I still like dressing up for Halloween, and I still love candy!
Nowadays, I don't go trick or treating. I hand out candy to the Trick or Treaters knocking on my door. Then I go to a costume party. I like seeing the children smile, and I enjoy seeing what costumes they have on. The homemade costumes are my faves. I like to give them an extra candy treat to reward their creativity and imagination.
I'm very generous with the candy that I give out. I always buy a lot. I want to see those children smile and laugh joyfully. Sometimes, I even bake brownies and cookies. Half the time, the kids and their parents happily take them and eat them right away. The other half, along with the candy, gets leftover. Which means more treats for me for the rest of the week! I call it a reward for my hard work and Halloween spirit.
I like humor. A sense of humor is essential! Life is hard at times, but it's bearable and made better when you can laugh at yourself. If you can laugh after tragedy or some great calamity, then you're going to be all right. Life will go on.
I can tell what kind of people I'm dealing with based on their sense of humor. If they can laugh at themselves and enjoy a good joke, then we're going to get along fine! If you can't take a joke nor learn to laugh at yourself, then you're taking yourself too seriously. And life is going to be so much harder for you and the people around you.
I can always spot someone intelligent, wise, and trustworthy. They're the ones with the great sense of humor. And everyone likes a person who can laugh and bring some joy to our lives. Everyone likes funny people, because funny people make life fun. And it takes humor, wit and intelligence, to make make us see the truth.
I have a wicked sense of humor. It's stuck on teenage boy immaturity--so juvenile, gross, inappropriate things make me laugh. And I've been told by many different people that I take things just a tad too far for good taste...and they love me for it...most of the time. I don't just step over the line, I dive across it and plant a flag on the other side! I get a sick thrill out of grossing people out.
I make an effort to be appropriate and courteous in social and professional situations. But sometimes, I just can't resist being an imp. Some people just bring out the wicked side of me.
At a company sponsored community health fair, I was singled out by a vendor. I suspect that she had overheard my coworkers and I laughing over a weekend party, where I out drank everyone there and still partied til the sun came up. Since there were teens and young people there at her presentation, I think the old shrew was trying to make an example out of me in front of the large crowd.
I was sitting near the back row when she pointed me out and demanded, "You, there!,"
I looked around. Then looked back at her with my raised eyebrow. She impatiently sighed, "Yes, you!"
Oh, rude! I thought. By now everyone was staring at me.
She asked, "Do you drink?"
"Only when I'm thirsty," I replied.
That got some chuckles from the crowd. She didn't like that. She growled, "Do you drink alcohol?"
"Only when it's available," I answered. More laughs.
She demanded, "So you like getting drunk?"
"Only when it's fun," I said. Bigger laughs.
Now she was ticked. She snarled, "Do you like being a smart ass?"
I shot back, "Aye! It's better than being a dumb ass!"
Now the whole crowd was guffawing. Sometimes, I can't help being a jackass.
I value honesty. And it's isn't the easiest quality to have or deal with. My older brother is the most honest person that I know. He tells it like it is, speaks his mind freely. I admire him for that. Lots of people do. It's why he's considered trustworthy, and people value his word. They listen when he speaks. He's a very effective leader, very charismatic and forthright.
I am not as brave. I've seen people cry when my brother was honest with them. I cringe when he tells people that their fashion choices make them look ridiculous; or that yes, they've gotten fat; or worst yet, yes, your significant other is cheating on you.
Sometimes, people don't react well at all and throw things at him or cuss him out. A few try to hit him, which is hilarious, as he's a pretty big, tough guy. He has no problems handling things when they get ugly. He says that if people didn't want the truth, then they shouldn't have asked him for an honest answer. That just earns him more respect.
I love my brother for being so honest and fearless. But I don't like to make people cry. So I tend to bend the truth, or say things without really lying or telling the truth. Mostly, it's all distraction. And it's ironic, considering that while I loathe to reveal the truth if it's going to hurt somebody, I want people to be honest with me completely, even if it's going to hurt me.
Honesty is a quality that I look for and cherish in my friends. I really appreciate it when someone pulls me to the side and tells me when I'm being an ass or making a big mistake. I am grateful when I'm given a dose of reality to wake me out of my delusions. Don't let me go out into public looking like an idiot. Please, tell me when I look awful and sound like a mess. Help me be a better person! Help me be the best me that I can be.
I sometimes wish that I was as brave and straightforward as my brother and just tell the truth, especially when it hurts. But that's not me. It's not in my nature. As much as I encourage others to be brutally honest with me when I'm being a jackass or making a mistake, I struggle to do the same for others. I have to think about the pros and cons; I have to ponder whether revealing the truth will be beneficial and safe and necessary. Or if it's better to not say anything at all.
Who am I to judge someone's fashion choices or life choices for that matter? My opinions are my own. Your life is your own. And in the end, I'm not really sure if what is right for me is necessarily what is right for you. But if you really want my honest opinion, I'll tell you. Because I care.
Is it a kindness to let someone carry on with their delusions? So long as they don't hurt themselves or others, I don't see the harm. I struggle with deciding whether to be honest or keep others happy. And sometimes, that means saying nothing at all. Ignorance is bliss. But if you really want me to be honest with you, I'll do it. It might be hard, but if that's what you really want, then I'll tell you. Just don't throw anything hard at me if you don't like what I say.
5. Hot Dogs
I love hot dogs! Especially when they are grilled! I can eat them in a bun, wrapped up as a taco, or deep fried in batter like a corny dog! Pan grilled, stir fried, or even just kabobed on a stick, if it tastes good, I'll eat it! I've had them with rice, with noodles, with pasta, and with a salad. I like hot dogs with or without sauce. But condiments do make hot dogs taste awesome! I like to mix ketchup, mayo, and mustard to spread over hot dogs. And if there's pickled relish, that makes it even better!
Hot dogs are fantastic with caramelized onions, bacon, and melted cheese with fries. I love eating the grilled, smoked ones in kolaches, which are just bigger pigs in a blanket! I've even just snacked on them by themselves or with a side of mac and cheese. Hot dogs are delicious when cooked in a variety of ways.
A few years ago, a friend introduced me to pickled hot dogs. And they're great! If they can pickle eggs and pig's feet, why not hot dogs? I love the sweet, sour, and tangy taste of the pickled hot dog.
Hot dogs are the common man's sausage. And like sausage, they're made with various meats. And that includes the organs and the unappetizing parts and pieces that no one else wants to eat. Some people might roll their eyes and consider hot dogs awful, but I say, please, you've had much more disgusting things in your mouth!
Like eggs. Eggs are disgusting. Eggs are basically the period of a chicken. That's right, chicken menses in a shell! Think about that the next time you have eggs over easy or break that yolk over your toast! Think about that the next time you eat a cookie, a piece of cake, or have an ice cream, or anything with a pastry cream or custard. Pudding, too!
We eat a lot of questionable things. Milk and cheese come from animal titties. Honey is bee vomit. And fruits are the wombs of the plants. You like wheat, corn, and rice? That's all endosperm, plant placenta! Disturbing? Yes. But that's okay. That's life. It can be down right dirty and disgusting. But you need dirt and fertilizer to make crops grow. It makes it possible for plants to make the oxygen that we breath and the food that we eat to survive.
Hot dogs are like life. If it's good, don't judge or ask questions. Just enjoy it. Embrace the moment and savor the experience!
And there you have it. My top five favorite things that begin with the letter H. Tell me yours. What are your favorite things that begin with the letter H? Tell me about those heavenly things that make you smile or that you cherish and hold dear. I want to know what makes you happy.
B all that you can B
What you C is what you get, the beginning
What you C is what you get, the middle
What you C is what you get, the end
F is for Fun
G is Great
H is Heavenly
Brought to you by the letter S
U doing that thing U do
Zing Zing Zoom