Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Our Arrival

(the family back in Alabama)

We were in paradise. I had no idea how it had happened but surely the gods were looking down upon us, giving us this wonderful opportunity. In truth, this wasn't even the half of it. We just didn't know lay ahead of us yet.

The girls and I had arrived at the Honolulu airport, weary after an exhausting ten-hour flight from LAX. We all were so excited that our family of four would be together again. And that family was about to get larger. I was eight months pregnant and counting. I'd struggled through airports, a diaper bag flung over one shoulder, my shoulder strap bag on the other, thirteen month old Shirley on a hip and five year old Marie hanging onto my somewhat free hand. There had been delays and worries to deal with. Due to some mix-up my flight reservations stopped in Los Angeles, California and I had no passage to continue on across the Pacific. 

(A Pan-American Stratocruiser like the one we flew to Oahu on)

The girls and I had spent the night in a motel, me washing out diapers in the bathroom sink and draping them over anything available so that they would dry. Next morning, diapers all dry, neatly folded and in the diaper bag, the three of us headed back to the ticket counter asking, no begging, the agent for a seat on a plane. Any seat, any plane. At this point, I did not care. I had to get us to Honolulu, to Elbert, to just feel safe and secure. If I couldn't get us out of there no telling how long it would take. I didn't have time to waste!

                                       (This is how the airport looked when we arrived. Picture from internet)

Imagine, if you can, the total excitement we all felt as we deplaned and there was Elbert, tall and handsome in his Navy uniform, running to gather us up with hugs and kisses, draping fragrant yellow and pink plumeria leis about our necks. After all the hugs and kisses were done, we hurried to our car and he  drove off toward Waikiki and a small motel where he had reserved a room for us.

I was mostly drinking in the sight of my wonderful husband sitting behind the wheel of our Ford Fairlane, maneuvering the streets like he'd always done so. Yet, he had only been in Oahu about six weeks ahead of us. Our car had been shipped over from the states, along with our household goods, just waiting for us to arrive. Now we could set up housekeeping and be a family again. But, before I could even think about the regular routine of daily living, I needed to acclimate myself to this completely new and different world we had just dropped down into. We were sort of like Dorothy when she finally arrived in Oz. We sure 'aren't in Alabama anymore, Toto'. I was completely awe-struck by my surroundings. I'd never seen anything like it.

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