Archive for the ‘Hawaii’ Category

This was taken from my niece’s backyard where I’ll be staying in Hilo.

Ah – Mauna Kea.

Beautiful Mauna Kea

Awaits my return.

t's backyard


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hibiscus 1


Hawaiian style morn

Seven blooms on the 5th day.

If only twas May.


Sacramento, CA

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As soon as I took a seat in the waiting room, a man looked at me and this is our conversation:

Man: Where were you born?

Me: Born and raised in Hawaii.

Man: Hawaii. Those people are the most negative.

Me: Negative?

Man: In Hawaii, what do you say to people when you leave?

Me: Aloha?

Man: What do you say when you meet someone?

Me: Aloha?

Man began to explain his views on how these two words were soooo native-like and I wasn’t even in a grass skirt with a bone through my nose.

I was called in for my appointment so I looked at him and said, “Aloha.”

I wish I had said the following:

  1. There’s another meaning of Aloha. We say Aloha when we want to say Butt Off, Idiot.
  2. I was born on one of those newly found planets.
  3. On a bed, on clean sheets.


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Hawaii residents…another end to one of  our Hawai’ian history. Journalist Lawrence Downes’ mother is from Pepeekeo.

As a child, on sleepless nights, I felt comforted by the sounds of the sugar cane trucks hauling cane, feeling I wasn’t the only one awake. This has ended.

Sounds of Old Plantation Days

I miss the sound of the cane trucks tonight

Hauling cane through old sugar towns.

Not the bounce and rattles of the empties,

As they head back to the fields

Over the twists of narrowing country roads.

It’s the dull muffled thump of trucks

Laden with tons of fresh cut sticky cane

That pass my silent, sleepless nights.

I’m not alone on these nights,

In company of faces sitting high

In darkened cabs, the glow of half-burnt cigarets

Hanging from their lips like summer lanterns.

frances kakugawa


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brookdale2016_booksIt was an honor to have been invited to present two sessions at this conference attended by inspiring people from across the United States who are making a difference in our 50 states, working with caregivers and family members who are raising children without their parents.

Whenever I’m on the road, the magic word becomes “Hawai‘i.” What joy to meet three very special people with Hawai‘i connections in Denver this past weekend.

So here we are, the Hawai‘i Foursome: Dr. Matthew Kaplan of Pennsylvania State University, PA; Terri Byers, Director, and Lani Sakamoto, Supervisor, at the Executive Office of Aging, Honolulu; and me.


Dr. Kaplan spent many years at Hawaii Pacific University and now works with Space and Places to build meaningful inter-generational relationships.

Thank you, Mary Asenjo, Carmen Mendieta, and Melinda Perez-Porter of Brookdale Foundation Group for your continuous interest in my work.

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To friends on Oahu, would love to see you during my coming visit. I’ll be at Ward Warehouse:Native books on August 17 and Sept 3rd:

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Will be reading Wordsworth, It’s in Your Pocket on Aug 17th and I Am Somebody: Bringing Dignity and Compassion to Alzheimer’s Caregiving on Sept 3rd. Will be signing books on both days.

To my Hilo friends, I’ll be reading Wordsworth, It’s in Your Pocket at Basically Books at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept 10th. Am looking forward to seeing some of my former students who plan to be there. Book signing, too.

Now, to my Kona friends and former students, I’ll be giving the keynote address at the Hawai’i Community Caregivers Network conference at the Sheraton Keauhou on Sept 9th.

My first teaching job was at Konawaena High and Elem School. I taught Kindergarten.

During the first week, a child brought in one of those Life Science books and knowing it was too difficult for five year olds, I showed the illustrations and ad-libbed the text. Arnold ( I still remember you, Arnold) turned to look at his classmates and explained why I was not reading the book,”Her young yet, she don’t know how to read.” Being young, I had to prove I could read so I began to read the text and soon lost all their attention. Having proven my reading abilities, I went on and had a wonderful time. I still remember their names, as I do all the students I’ve taught. Hope some of my students still live in Kona, would love to see them.


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The Sea Meeting Pele

He explodes

Into a million


As her fiery tongue

Laps into

His undulating loins,

Sizzling and burning

Every ecstasy.

frances kakugawa

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