The 2023 coffee season is a wrap. And, holidays continued

We had our final picking for the year; it didn’t take long. It wasn’t much (100-200 pounds), and we think of it as mostly a hygiene pick. Most of it will end up getting sorted into the off-grade category in the end. We pool ours with some other farms’ off-grade coffee, and there is some buyer for it. The main thing is that we get most of the fruit and raisins off the farm to keep the coffee berry borer beetles to a minimum. We had very little beetle damage this year. Yay.

We had a few hundred pounds more cherry than any other season since we started in 2018. It’s good, but nothing to particularly celebrate. It feels like we’re continuing in the direction we had been going before the outlier, bad year. Trees are healthy. Our beetle and rust are being successfully managed.

Rain has been good. Much of the state is in drought, but we’ve been slightly above normal. We had some flowers at the end of October, and we will probably soon have flowers from almost two inches of rain on December 11. That all goes towards the next season.

The holiday spirit continues. We have a couple of friends visiting, so that’s incentive to overcome inertia. We wanted to catch some of the hula at the Keauhou Christmas/Santa event on Saturday. I didn’t quite get the timing right, so we caught the last minute of the last hula. But as suggested by our neighbor we saw there, we took a nice, impromptu photo at the photo booth, the non-Santa one; Santa was for kids only and required reservations. They had hats and holiday doo-dads to make it festive.

We were all going to do the Jingle Bell Beach Run 5K the next morning. I still needed some accessorizing for my costume. We popped into Longs, but didn’t find the right thing. We headed to the Kainaliu Kalikimaka street festivities. Kainaliu used to be “town.” There’s still the Aloha Theatre, and there used to be a gas station, Oshima Store, a Ben Franklin five and dime store, and a bowling alley, among other little independent businesses. Oshima Store only closed in 2018, after 92 years, serving as a pharmacy, tackle shop and community center. If any of you have a West Hawaii Today subscription, this article covers the Oshima Store closure. It captures the societal shift.

Anyway, back to the present … we anticipated, based on previous years, that checking it out might only take five minutes. It seemed more interesting to me this year; I can’t say exactly why. My friend and I spent some time enjoying browsing Creative Costumes, with a mission. I like the time pressure that the event is hours away, so I can’t continue to search for the perfect item. With an impending deadline, I have to find the best solution in the time allowed. The relief makes the solution feel like the perfect one. I found my finishing touch and got a nice dopamine hit.

The fun run was heavy in the fun. There were almost 600 participants. Already when we arrived, it felt joyful. Most people wore at least some token festive attire, and some more than others. The temperature was comfortable. I planned to walk instead of run since my costume would have been even more uncomfortable if I ran. Our visitors were walking, so I figured I’d walk with them. I got separated from them fairly early on, though. But another friend identified me from the back, gently calling my name since she wasn’t sure it was me. She has raced the Ironman World Championship in Kona many times, but she was walking; she wasn’t injured or anything. Like my situation, it was easier to walk with her costume than run.

Here are two photos from before the run. It is fantastic to enjoy dawn and early morning in a comfortable temperature, be in festive attire, and be active with many happy others. The front of the race in the left photo are the more serious ones. You don’t see as many dressed up people, and they’re all going to run, not walk.

I stayed in costume from about 20 minutes before the race until the costume contest well after the race. It was not easy! My costume was sometimes mistakenly identified as Grinch or Gecko. It’s fun to see reactions when people you know learn it’s you. It makes it all worthwhile. The most common questions throughout the event: “Aren’t you hot?” “Can you breathe?” “Can you see?” Yes to all. I could even drink water. My friend was Arthur Christmas, and in jeans and a Christmas sweater, she was actually hotter than I was, but she could see better. I won third place in the costume contest! Yay!! I liked the third prize better than first and second, too. I won a $50 gift certificate to Magics Beach Grill.

Even though the alien suit is pretty striking, at least some personalizing touches were called for. It’s a strange experience when strangers want to take your photo and to be perfectly willing to be in their photos. It’s you, but you’re anonymized. These full body suits are called zentai in Japanese. I think it was a slightly aberrant thing in Japan a decade or so ago; people would go out in public and felt liberated by the anonymity. We’ve had ours almost ten years; we bought them for a special person’s milestone birthday party. Every once in a while I don it for a surprise effect.

Alien digits are slippery so it was dangerous to handle a phone to take photos. Thank you to Earthlings C.T. and R.S. for this post’s photos. Even though I was there, I didn’t have a clear visual experience, so the photos are appreciated. Mahalo!

6 thoughts on “The 2023 coffee season is a wrap. And, holidays continued

  1. Zentai means all . Literally writes “whole body’.
    We call it “Bodī sūtsu”=Body suits.
    Your costume was Da best!!
    Mahalo for making everyone laugh all the way

    1. Thank you for illuminating. Thank you for the kind comments. Thank you for playing ukulele and singing all the way with the lady from CA who extended her stay for the run to play and sing with you.

  2. That is such a creative costume! Love it! I can’t imagine trying to get into that costume. Looks like it could’ve been painted on.. Ha! I would love to wear something like that where no one would know it was me. But….oh well, you know. Happy Holidays. Hope to see you at Christmas and/or New Years!

  3. Sharlene, Your costume was great! You must have been so hot in that during the run.
    Enjoy your blog. Have a great New Years. See you in 2024.

    1. Thank you! It wasn’t too hot, because it’s winter and in the lower 70’s, and I didn’t run. I walked. The other two runs I’ve done in the past 9 years that I did as an alien, I ran.

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