Life, as I see it (10/18/2017)


As expected, I’m going to write a little about our trip to Hawaii.

The key thing I’d like to share is how friendly and helpful everyone was on the Island. Actually, it began on the Hawaiian Airlines flight. We were treated to multiple beverages¸ snacks, and even a hot meal, and we weren’t even in first class. Our hotel was beautiful and more accommodating than anywhere we’ve ever stayed. We even had a private beach.

The best part was that people that served us in any capacity did it with a smile and didn’t act like it was a chore. We hear it’s called the Aloha Spirit. We could all use a bit of that.

The tours we took came with wonderful guides/escorts. Georgie was our escort to Germaine’s Luau. She was elderly but full of spunk and called us her family. Our guide to Pearl Harbor was Keith. Keith was bronzed, had perfect surfer brunette hair. No need to say more except that he was a great guide and really nice guy.

Tropical beverages and food were plentiful. The stay was total relaxation except for the Honolulu Airport. It’s kind of a nightmare.

We weren’t ready to come home but knew that we had to do it.

We came home to surrounding fires and a lot of smoke in the air. So far, there is no danger at our home but many people in other nearby communities have been wiped out.

It’s been a sad few days. I have lost three good friends. While we were away, Joe Struckmeyer left us. I have many good memories of time spent with Joe and his wife Jules. They were always giving and kind to me. They were great hosts and served many delicious meals. I love them both.

On Friday the 13th, two of my dearest friends went home. Here in California, my classmate and forever friend Herb Myers passed. Herb was dear to my heart. We kept in touch all of these years, and it breaks my heart to lose him. I can still hear his great laugh, and I hope the memory of it never fades. I went to visit Herb last spring. We had a two-hour talk that day and I am so thankful I had that time with him.

In Beach, ND, my friend Bob Waldal also took his final journey. Bob was the best of the best at coaching basketball, helping his community, and loving his friends and family. I grew to love him like my brother and affectionately called him Bubba. We worked on a lot of projects together and he was always willing to do whatever would make it better.

Once I moved away from Beach and would go back to visit, he always had a big hug and that great smile waiting for me. He is a good memory.

Time goes on and we remember our loved ones that have gone on before us. Tomorrow (October 16) would have been my late husband David’s 71st birthday. I’m not sure he would have relished the idea of being 71, but I’m pretty sure he would have celebrated nonetheless.

This has been a sad week for sure, but still I am reminded we are blessed.

Even in sadness – life is good today.

And as Coach Waldal would say, “Peace, love, and basketball”.

— Kathy Craigo-Harteis is a publicist, speaker, and life coach living in Lake County. Contact Kathy Craigo-Harteis at