ABOUT ALOHA MAINE
Originally from South Portland Maine ('80) USM ('85), I had the opportunity to move to Honolulu in 1988 where I spent ten of the most magnificent years of my life. Since returning from Honolulu, I taught middle school children and most recently, third graders.
About five years ago, I learned to play the 'ukulele by watching 'Ukulele Mike and Cynthia Lin on YouTube. In 2015, I then stumbled across and joined the Sebago Lakes 'Ukulele Society, SL'UKES created and lead by Capt'n Dana Reed. The SL'UKES (precovid) gathered the first Thursday of every month at Pat's Pizza in Windham and they performed at a variety of functions as well.
Since I first began living in Hawai'i, I always dreamed of having a store in Maine in order to be close to family and somehow have the best of both worlds. Approaching my 20th year of teaching at middle school, I rented the space at 51A West Gray Road (Route 202) in Gray, back in July of 2017. Renovations ensued and a soft opening took place on December 31, 2017.
Three months after the shop opened, my 18 year-old son, Royce, died while at college. Words can't describe the debilitating grief of losing my first born child to suicide. It has been an excruciating journey to survive losing my beautiful child. I am truly blessed that so many people who knew my son, Royce, will carry him in their hearts forever. My youngest son Reid and I are relearning how to live.
The beautiful communities of Gray and New Gloucester (GNG), my family and friends near and far have surrounded me and my family with so much love and support. They have encouraged me to continue sharing my passion. The shop has been a safe haven for me and I am very grateful for the opportunity to have been able to stay open to pursue my 30 year dream of being a positive, loving force in the community where I live.
"Aloha, means so much more than hello and goodbye."
This beautiful word is a very important value of the Hawai'ian culture. "Alo" of Aloha means being present and the "ha" is the breath of life. Aloha is a reminder to be here, in the present while we are alive at this very moment in time.
The deeper meaning of aloha is spelled out in Hawaii's Aloha Spirit law. Hawaii's citizens, visitors, and government officials alike are expected to live and act in accordance to the principle. Inspired by Maui elder and linguist, Pilahi Paki. She spoke of aloha not only as a definition, but as the legacy of Hawaii and its ancestors.
Aloha embodies deeply held Hawaiian cultural beliefs about community, peace, spiritual truth, and expresses Hawaii's hopes for a harmonious future that extends to the whole world. Her impassioned speech to community leaders, the law (Hawaii Revised Statutes, section 5-7.5) was passed in 1986 and defines aloha as an acronym:
A "Akahai, meaning kindness, to be expressed with tenderness;
L Lokahi, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
O 'Olu'olu, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
H Ha'aha'a, meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
A Ahonui, meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance."