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Vacation Story

If you have one precious annual week in Hawaii, a lot of Northwesterners will choose January or February, and in Maui last week, we saw a lot of Seattle Seahawks shirts. Everyone was appreciating the fact that we had lucked out on missing some of the nastiest of this winter’s weather here at home.

Completely by whim of chance--which direction to take a walk?--my husband and I stumbled onto the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational, a "paint out" being held on the grounds of the resort next door to ours. Many of the artists were from the West Coast, all of them painting in a style we appreciate. It turned out they’d been capturing scenes all over the island, and the resulting art works would be exhibited and sold a few days hence in Lahaina, so we made plans to go.

At the exhibition, we circled the already beautifully framed paintings hung in the hotel ballroom, then I returned to the one that for some reason, I just kept wanting to look at. That’s MY super sophisticated way of judging art! When the artist walked up, it turned out she was Jennifer Diehl from Mt. Angel, Oregon. Delighted with this connection, we bought the painting.

Then into Old Lahaina to shop for aloha shirts for the little grandsons. Parking’s tough in this lovely place, and we ended up in an unfamiliar pay lot which meant we were taking a never-before-strolled side street up to the wharf front.

Just a block from Front Street, Herb said, “Hey, there it is!”—the little cottage depicted in the painting we’d just bought. We never would have seen it, parking in our usual place. I loved that it housed a shop called the Maui Vintage Clothing Company. I am a total sucker for the word vintage, so we had to go inside.

When I asked the shopkeeper if she’d noticed an artist painting the place, she got very excited because yes, she had, and insisted on posing us on the front bench, snapping our picture from the exact place across the street the artist had set up her easel.

Now, as a memento of the trip, we have the painting and the picture of us in that setting. The straw hat I bought inside Maui Vintage Clothing Company will always have attached to it this story.

The shopkeeper’s story was good, too—a tale of a young woman leaving Israel, working in the United States a few years, thinking to cool her heels in Hawaii while she waited for proper papers to go to Australia. She wanted no commitments. Ha! Promptly fell in love in Lahaina and here she is, a husband and two babies later, not at all sorry she had a change of plans. Paradise can have that effect on people!

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