Forces of Nature: Volcanoes, Hurricanes, and One-Year-Olds

Boys and fire.  We brought our neighbor, Phil, along and sure were thankful for the extra hands!

Boys and fire. We brought our neighbor, Phil, along and sure were thankful for the extra hands!

A few weeks ago we took a camping trip to Volcano National Park.  I know I’ve posted about our adventures there before (here and here) but the great thing about active volcanoes is that they’re never the same!  Also, this time we had a One-Year-Old along and that makes for an entirely different kind of adventure. Active volcanoes and active toddlers are really a lot alike.  They both require constant monitoring.  But even under the closest of supervision there is really very little one can do to prepare for their next outburst.  You are simply at their mercy. Here on the Big Island our thoughts are all with the residents of Pahoa where an active lava flow has arrived at their back door and already destroyed some structures.  The flow started back in June and they’ve been able to predict it’s course pretty well but like a stubborn, determined child there’s nothing you can do to stop it from destroying whatever lies in it’s path.  It WILL have it’s own way.


Trouble’s brewing.

Anyway, about the camping trip;  Phil, Tom, and the boys brought tents but Gideon and I opted for the luxury of an A-frame with a real roof and bed and that’s about it.  Sometime during the rather rainy night a few more boys fled their soggy tent and joined us but little Sam was a real trooper and stayed cuddled up next to Dad till morning.  Besides puddles in the tents there were plenty more outside for Gideon to splash around in!

photo 4-1

And just as an aside, if for some reason you’re heading out on a camping trip and not a single store in town has hot-dog roasting sticks or wire hangers to make them out of here’s a tip:  a two-pack of fly swatters is only a buck.  Just clip the plastic part off and voila!

photo 1-2

Anyway, a couple weeks later with Hurricane Ana bearing down on our island we thought, “What better place to ride out a storm than the edge of a volcano?”  This time, Tom’s folks were able to score us accommodations at the Kilauea Military Camp.  Since schools were all canceled Tom had an extra day off so we left early to get ahead of the wind and rain.

photo 4-2

We hit the first outer band of Ana around South Point but by the time we got up to the park it was clear again.  Which was kind of funny because the whole National Park was closed because of the storm.  They let us through the gate anyway because we were the only ones silly enough not to have cancelled our reservations and we ended up having the whole Volcano to ourselves that entire day.

The lobby was all boarded up for the storm but they left us to fend for ourselves in a cottage.

The lobby was all boarded up for the storm but they left us to fend for ourselves in a cottage.

The rain hit that evening just as we were eating our microwaved dinner outside at the picnic table.

Road food.

Road food.

It didn’t stop until 36 hours later.  Rumor has it we got the most rain of any other place in Hawaii.  A good 12 inches at least.  But we had chosen our shelter well and for the first time in over three years enjoyed family time around a real live fireplace with actual fire in it.  We played games while Gideon ran off with the pieces, drank hot chocolate and generally enjoyed all the things you Main-Landers will get to experience for the next  6 months.  My hopelessly generous sister even sent a big box of pumpkin goodies to enjoy.  It was Fall in a box.

Pumpkin treats from my sister, vintage table-cloth from my mom, red bamboo vase hand-crafted  by Titus, and wild orchids from God.  Must be my birthday.

Pumpkin treats from my sister, vintage table-cloth from my mom, red bamboo vase hand-crafted by Titus, and wild orchids from The Creator Himself. Must be my birthday.

Our last day there, I rose at dawn to catch the last little bit of lava glow.  The rain was petering out and by mid-morning all was loveliness again.

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Toddlers are like hurricanes.  Completely unpredictable.  You can’t ever know for certain exactly where they will hit.  Or with what fury.  THIS time we were spared. Next time, who knows?

7 thoughts on “Forces of Nature: Volcanoes, Hurricanes, and One-Year-Olds

  1. I perceive from what you say that your little one year old doesn’t always live up to his namesake. Gideon apparently tests you, but not for the same reasons the son of Joash tested the LORD. And from what I observe in the above photo, kneeling down and lapping the water like a dog wouldn’t qualify little McEntee for one of the chosen 300. But as an unpredictable hurricane he probably could have single-handedly routed the Midianites!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha ha ha! I love your dad’s comment! Laughing!!! 😄 I especially loooove all of the pics. I’m trying to prepare myself for my own little force of nature! I’m glad the Lord gives us a few “baby months” first! I’m excited to enjoy all of those seasons all over again!
    I can’t imagine seeing all of the spectacular things that comes with adventures in Hawaii! Wow!
    What is the food beside the salad? Just curious…
    And happy late bday! I *think* I have it written down correctly now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The food beside the salad is spaghetti with meat sauce which I cooked ahead so we could microwave it in our room. I did up several meals that way so I wouldn’t have to cook and we wouldn’t waste money eating out. Worrying about what we’ll eat or how much it’s costing means no relaxing weekend for Mom. About those baby months… they are a treasure indeed and I think I should also say that the description of my one-year-old does not necessarily describe yours or anyone else’s. It doesn’t even match the 4 one-year-olds previously under our charge. Gideon is a child unlike any I have had thus far. Your 5th, on the other hand, I’m sure will be a perfect little angel :).


  3. Gideon sounds hilarious.
    This looks like a really fun adventure. Puddles and little boys, oh man. Once, when we were living IN DC, we had a winter I thought would never end. We were so excited to have a warm spring rain, so I let my 2 little boys splash in the puddles to their hearts’ content. They looked so gross. I thought it was great…….then I saw the looks on my two different sets of neighbors’ faces. They let me know they did not at all approve. HAAaaaA!


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