Memories of the Titanic

It is 6:00 in Hawaii and I am watching the movie Titanic while a cake is baking in the oven. Such a well made and moving movie. It’s one of the few that I have watched more than once.

I’ve wondered sometimes why the Titanic story moves me so. But then, I was born in 1925 and no doubt the adults were still talking about it and I picked up on fear and tragedy. I remember when I was about 4 my family went to a lake recreation area  on a Sunday and we rode the roller coaster  and went through the fun house Then my dad signed us up to ride on the famous old boat that toured Lake Okoboji. I began to scream and say I would not go on the boat. “You never know when it will go down,” I screamed, although I had never seen a lake or a boat before.Finally the family gave in and we did not go. I can still remember the fear that I felt, although I had no experience that would plant that fear.

One wonders how many fears we picked up from others, early in life and held onto. There are lots of things we inherit besides silverware and money. But then, perhaps I went down on the Titanic in another life.  (Not)

I survived my eye surgery and then have postponed my return to the mainland because of a muscle problem that is painful and making walking difficult. Darn.  I have finished my new book and signed a contract to publish, so I have lots to do. You can look forward to a book called My Half of the Conversation. I shall hope, when it comes out, that it rides with the waves of approval and does not go down like the Titanic.










Stream from the Koolau Mountains

I have probably posted this picture before. It is the best picture I ever took in Hawaii. So good, in fact, that it won me $100 when it was chosen as one of the best pictures of American beauty.

Well, I was supposed to be home by now, but I have to stay on for a few weeks because I had surgery on one of my eyes. Doesn’t that sound like Hawaii fun? It probably wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but then it wasn’t fun either. I am healing, and I had the best of retinal specialists here, which I don’t have at home.

My daughter Sara is living here now and has been very handy to take me to appointments and watch over me. Her little dog, Malia, is always with us and now and then I dog-sit. Malia loves to be here with me. She is very quiet and does not cause problems. I’m not a dog person, but then Malia is my granddogter.

I signed a contract today to publish my second book. It is a real mish-mash of writings that probably represent where my mind is in these later years. I think other older people will understand it, and their kids , if they read it, may better understand what is going on with them. Who writes books for old people? It’s probably an unknown category. It will probably sell 5 copies. That’s about the number of my old friends still living.

The weather here is just about perfect and I’d like to think that when I come home sometime in May it will be just about perfect there. It takes great planning to accomplish this transition.

Hopefully I will soon be back to sharing some interesting insights here . . the ones that maybe were too late to make the book.


Doris Markland







Sunset scene . . . sunset book . . .

I went this afternoon with daughter Sara and other friends to see a dance performance by many groups and age levels . . in preparation for the annual Merry Monarch dance competition. It was given on the stage at the Kamehameha school, a large and lovely school campus set aside by the queen for the education of Hawaiian children. As we left the building at the end of the show we were stunned by the sunset. It was unusual because we were rather high on the side of a mountain so we looked down on the scene. But something else was a cause for the strange picture we saw.  It was the haze we’ve been having from time to time. It’s called vog, and it is much like smog and caused by eruptions of the volcano on the island of Hawaii. It only happens on certain days. It comes and goes as the wind changes. It seemed to almost blur the beautiful colors as the sun slowly . . then suddenly . .slipped beyond the rim of the ocean.

I have ten days before I leave. So you can know winter is over when Doris Markland comes home. It has been a quiet winter. I’ve been out and about some but much of the time I’ve been writing and I think I now may have a second book put together. Now looking for a design for the cover. Can you imagine what a hard decision that is? This book is a collection of brief pieces I have written in the past year, rather thoughtful stuff, I guess, because when you grow old you try to figure out if you learned anything while you were here.

Funniest thing I saw this week on Facebook was a cartoon. A mouse comes to his door at the base of the wall. Two mice are standing there, with a book or pamphlet in hand, and they say, “We have come to talk to you about cheeses.”  I laughed right out loud, and I still laugh when I think about it. I do so love puns.

Fireworks on a lovely evening . . . . .

Late this afternoon in honor of a special day here there was a very long parade right down there in front of my place, and after dark a wonderful fireworks. I’m not sure which celebration it was as they have so many of them here.

See the railing in this picture? That is the railing of my lanai. I sat there this evening and watched the fireworks. How fortunate I am, as an old lady, that entertainment is brought right to where I am.

I have had a quiet peaceful winter. My daughter is here and we do things together now and then. But most of the time I have been working on my second book. When I return home I expect to contact the publisher with the intent to publish if they believe it is good enough. There is a time factor of course, because of my age, but I am still active and healthy and we’ll hope it stays that way through all the editing and work that goes into publishing.

I have a reservation to fly out of Honolulu on April 5 and return home on the 6th. I do hope the winter snows are gone and we’re ready for spring. Well, I’m ready, aren’t you? Our area is so beautiful in the spring. In fact, I thought it was unusually beautiful all of last year, everything so green and vibrant and full of color. We’ll hope for rain at just the right times and in the right amounts and plenty of sunshine.


Still young in Honolulu . . both of us . . . . .


After a pleasant dinner oceanside, on the ground level of the Aloha Tower, I went for a stroll and who should I run into but Elvis. He looked young, considering that he is, would be, 83. Still to me, 83 is young.

You may remember the Aloha Tower if you’ve been to Honolulu. It is a tall welcoming tower located where the cruise ships dock. It is part of a lovely building that used to have interesting shops. Now, oddly as it seems to me, this building was purchased and made into a college or university. Plenty of rooms for classes and for students, and it’s very nice. The tower still serves its purpose, however, to greet visitors to the island.

From small to capital letters . . . . .

Elks Club Table

Another report from Honolulu. You may find it amusing that local people  and also guests from other countries cannot have their dinner here at the Elks Club in Honolulu, if they are not Elks. Only Elks members can eat here and bring their guests to enjoy the one place closest to the water and in the perfect spot to watch the sunset and the then the lights coming on all along the Waikiki shore.

Honolulu has become a bit ritzy, with the old International Marketplace (where we used to buy shells and t-shirts and muumuus and jewelry) now a fancy smantsy center for places like Sacs Fifth Avenue, etc. In fact, the stores all along Waikiki are designer shops, places where I’ve never shopped and I don’t even know their names. I’m so small town from a fly-over state.

Yet, the hotsy totsy wealthy from every country and even from Honolulu itself, cannot enjoy the friendly atmosphere, the gorgeous views, the food and friendship of the Elks Club if they are not members. When I go there I find the place full of not only local members, but people from places like Norfolk, Nebraska, and Madison, Wisconsin, and Ames, Iowa, etc. We are among the “in crowd” and there it is easy to all be friends.

Not that there’s any real  importance in that observation. But it’s interesting.

Here is a poem I wrote this week for my new book, now almost finished:


Renewing my Alpha Bet

I may be stupid

but I never had this dream

of wanting to be somebody.

It seemed remote to me

because I realized I already

was somebody.

Then someone told me

no, you want to be


And then I had a glimpse

of what it means to

live a life of equal

to my betters

all because I switched

from small to

capital letters.









From any angle, would look and taste so sweet . . . .


pineapple 2

Did you know you could remove the top from the pineapple and plant it to grow another pineapple? Here is one plant that my daughter grew in her small garden space in Hawaii. In fact it is the third one she has grown . . the other two she ate and they were delicious. Isn’t it amazing how much one can do to brighten his life, with little cost, with little space, and a little ingenuity?

Garden plants





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