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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . c h a p t e r e l e v e n ........................................................... unexpected guests As we drove away from the wedding in our can-free car, we drove up Nuuanu Valley, over the Kamehameha Pali that had so many happy memories for both of us and down the windward side of the Waianae Mountains toward Kaneohe Bay. We were a couple of happy kids. The world was our oyster. We had 30 days to loaf on the beach and swim and surf and get to know each other. Lee was properly delighted with the little cottage, which she hadn’t seen before. I had stocked it with the basics, so we could eat for a day or two without having to go shopping. And of course, there were the makings of martinis and flowers all over the place. We sat on the beach for a while and listened to the lapping of the waves in the moonlight. Then we went inside and had a drink together and both agreed we were tired. Lee had first shot at the little bathroom. When she was showered and tucked into bed, she let me know, and I followed her in my brand-new pajamas, purchased for the occasion. It took only a minute or two for us to realize that we were not alone. The bedroom was full of mosquitoes; they were big, and they were hungry. They went after us like a pack of wolves. There was nothing we could do but go on a mosquito hunt. I found the screen that had been left unfastened. Without spray, it took a long time to swat all those mosquitoes. For some reason, it seemed like forever to me. For the rest of our married life, whenever we would hear the buzzing of hungry mosquitoes in the night—and that was fairly frequently when we first moved to Florida—we’d ask each other if that strange noise reminded us of anything. It was our own private joke. The wonder of the wedding bed is an American tradition, but to Lee and me, the memory was always laced with a touch of humor. The ability to find something to laugh about during disasters was a special trait of my wonderful Lee, and it was a gift that she never lost throughout her long and busy life. PAGE 38 ................. 17575$ CH11 10-14-09 12:23:55 PS Letter to Mom and Dad, November 27, 1940 Everything went off as per schedule, and the wedding was as nice as it could be. We received and appreciated your radiogram. We are now very comfortably and happily established in a beach house over in Kailua and are having the time of our lives. Today is kind of a rainy cold day, so after a breakfast of waffles on our new iron, we have settled down to a couple hours of concentrated letter writing. I wish you could see our place. We sure do like it, and as it is on the beach, we have gone swimming every day so far. It really seems like home already, and we will be sorry to leave it when our month is up. The wedding was awfully nice, and we were thinking of you and wishing you could have been here. It was a beautiful day, and so the ceremony was held out of doors in the Whites’ yard that was very pretty and green. Mrs. Hart and Ercell were there. Lee looked beautiful. You saw her dress, and I got her a big pikaki lei with an orchid. PAGE 39 Unexpected Guests : 39 ................. 17575$ CH11 10-14-09 12:23:56 PS ...


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