Hello Friends and Family,

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Maui On My Mind, Again

Kapalua Plantation Course I cannot help myself. This time of year, my mind drifts off to Maui. The first trigger was the Mercedes-Benz Championship — the first PGA golf tournament each year — played at Kapalua, Maui. The television coverage teased me with images of the Plantation Golf Course, the Kapalua Resort, Humpback whales, Moloka`i. The Plantation Course — so difficult — uphill, downhill, strong tradewinds and the grain in the greens. And you have to take all that into account when playing. In fact, I once practiced on the greens at the Plantation Course for two hours — and had no more confidence that I could sink a putt when I finished than when I began. But I will take that punishment any day!

Napili Shores Then I got a call from my friend Tom. He loves Maui as much as I do. Years ago, I introduced him to Maui and specifically the Napili/Kapalua area. He was so hooked that he purchased a condo there — and subsequently bought several others as good opportunities presented themselves. And yep, he was calling me from Maui — to tell me that the weather was perfect and he, for once, was playing tourist. It seems that always in the past he has had condo business or repairs or upgrades to take care of. So we "talked story" about sailing to Lana`i or Molokini — something he has never taken the time to do. My favorite sailing cruises are from Trilogy Excursions — although they are a bit more expensive than the cheapies — but it is worth it (in my humble opinion). As we talked, I closed my eyes and I was there — looking past the pool and the Gazebo to Napili Bay. I love it!

The next day I received email from a friend commenting on last week's LAHP on the anniversary of Kona's death. Backtracking, Jennifer was the Recovery Room nurse after Kona had her major surgery to remove the cancerous tumor. Coincidentally, she and Kona were both Korean — and both married to Caucasians. They became instant best friends. Later that year we (Kona and I) went on our annual trip to Maui (the logistics were a bit more challenging because we had to arrange for her to have her chemotherapy on Maui). Well, Jennifer and her husband, Jack decided to visit Maui at the same time.

It was a delightful treat to have someone else we knew on Maui at the same time. One of the things we did was visit the driving range at the Plantation Course. Kona was giving Jennifer some pointers when she (Kona) accidentally hit Jennifer right between the eyes with her driver. And we all know how facial cuts bleed profusely — we soaked up quite a bit of blood with Kapalua golf towels before we could get Jennifer to medical care. Of course, it was an unfortunate accident — but Kona felt so bad about it. Looking back, I think we can have a little smile about it. Unfortunately, Jennifer lost Jack in 2006 — but we still have our shared memories of our departed spouses — and she will always have a special place in my heart because of the friendship and kindness she gave to Kona.

Phoenician Golf Course All these Maui thoughts forced me to do something about it. So I booked a tee time at the Phoencian golf course. This is one of the premier golf courses in the Phoenix area and reminds me of a Hawaiian golf course — especially during the spring when the flowers and trees are in bloom. Lots of water and palm trees. If I cannot be in Hawaii, this is not a bad second choice.

Maui Sailing Maui on my mind, again — and always.

 Life is good.

 B. David