My dad and various members of my extended family live on the Big Island of Hawai'i. The first member of my family to arrive in paradise was my great-grandfather, known as Tutu (an informal Hawaiian word for "elder"). Tutu was a civil engineer, an important trade at the time given the expanding agricultural industry. His wife joined them and they raised a family out there. One of their daughters, Elizabeth Tay, married my grandfather, William Moss, Jr., and they moved away from the Island for some years before returning as they neared retirement age.
They bought an old coffee farm near my great-grandfather's old place (which is still in the family). At the time the two structures on the place were little better than barns, but my grandparents converted both quite nicely. Every few years I would go out to visit. Playing with the cows and sailing with my grandfather on his boat are special memories for me.
After my grandparents passed away, my father retired to the farm with his wife. They continue raising coffee (my dad could be considered a third-generation Kona Coffee grower), as well as chickens and cows. They rent out the guest house for vacationers and indulge their hobbies. In my dad's case, that includes restoring old engines, brewing beer, and growing the coffee.
Kona Coffee is a special treat. Much of what gets passed off as "Kona Coffee" is really just a blend of 10% Kona and 90% cheaper stuff from Brazil, Columbia, or God-knows-where. But pure 100% Kona Coffee is a thing of beauty. My dad sells it for $22/lbs, if you're interested.
My dad has a weather station that uploads data to the web, so here's a chart of the daily temperature range for the last year:
Note how it rarely goes above 80 or below 60 (26 or 16 in Celsius). That's pretty sweet.
Hawai'i is on my mind today because my sister Meg is there with her family for some vacation time. I'm also planning to visit after Christmas this year, finances permitting. The place is in my blood and I do miss it...