Early on in our trip to Hawaii, both Brent and my mom collected lava rocks to bring home as souvenirs. The rocks were glorious shades of blue, green, red, and gun metal gray – they would serve as reminders of the different beaches and mountains that we visited on the trip.
Trouble is, soon after the rocks came into their possession, funny things started to happen…
First, the house my parents rented for the second half of our stay wasn’t exactly what my mom was anticipating. While hardwood floors and exposed beams were beautiful and the beach-side location was gorgeous, the house was far removed from our destination of Hilo and the separate entry for the two second-floor bedrooms took away from the sense of family togetherness my mom wanted so badly for this trip.
The view from the back of the house
My mom’s response? “Hmm… Maybe those lava rocks were a bad idea. I think I’ve upset Pele,” she said, referencing the Hawaiian goddess of fire.
A few days later, following a visit to the Kapoho Tide Pools, my mom was walking back to the car when she slipped on the glass-like lava rock shores and came out of the water with a 12-centimeter gash on the top of her foot.
The Kapoho Tide Pools
I had walked ahead of my family and was chatting with the volunteer at the tide pools’ information booth. When I looked up, I saw my mom’s water shoe, soaked red.
“Um,” I said to the woman, “can you point us to the nearest Urgent Care Center?”
After two failed Urgent Care attempts (because apparently no one on the Big Island needs urgent care on Sunday afternoons), we peeled into the parking lot of the Hilo Medical Center. Brent and I camped out in the waiting room as my parents and my nurse-of-a-sister headed for triage.
I'll spare you the gory wound pictures... Here's the doc cleaning things up.
Three hours and more than a dozen stitches later, we wheeled her out of the ER.
“I think it’s time to throw back the lava rocks,” she said.
But the fun didn’t end there…
Toward the end of that week, a wind gust knocked a palm branch into the electrical wires in our driveway. The neighbors’ appliances began smoking out of their wall sockets and we lost power for half a day.
“Brent,” my mom warned. “I think you need to throw back your rocks, too.”
The next morning, the hot water heater exploded in the garage.
“Seriously, Brent, the rocks.”
My parents left on Thursday afternoon and Brent and I began to settle into a few days of traveling ourselves. Later that day, as we were leaving the scenic-but-underwhelming Akaka falls, I received an email.
We have a friend staying at our house to watch the dogs. That night, he drove up to a nearby restaurant and parked around the corner. While he was eating, one of the storms that have apparently been ravaging the Mid-Atlantic passed through the area and left a not-so-friendly token on my car.
Thankfully, no one was hurt!
When we called my parents to let them know what had happened, my mom said, “See! It’s Brent’s lava rocks!”
Fast-forward three days…
We just awoke to our final day in Hawaii. Barring any weather complications, our flight takes off in 9 hours.
What do you think? Should Brent get on that plane with the lava rocks? Or should he throw them back to Pele?