30 years and counting

Our friends Eugene & Jonnette have just crossed 30 years milestone of being married. Mario decided to mark their date with one of his creations using nothing but talent and what nature offers.
Victoria Esposito 7 min read
30 years and counting
Photo by Abiwin Krisna / Unsplash
The list of all other work/gifts handmade are here.
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During a casual conversion, our friend Gene drops that he has been married for 30 years... That is a huge milestone by all statistical accounts.

He has been a good reliable person and we bonded since the first week we met. We were building the carport for our Torpedo (FIAT 500) and as in our usual custom we keep it as Hawaiian as possible, so we leverage some beautiful Kiawe trees we had dug out when we reshaped the landscape last year.

almost done!

During one of the cuts for the nascent carport, Mario noticed that a very solid branch (the red kind, aka concrete in wood form) had the natural shape of a heart. That was when he looked at me and said "hon... I got an idea!" – Typically it's never a good sign, for me, because that means extra work on something that he does nonchalant and I have to play squirrel running from a bear to catch up.

conception moment aka "can we pull this off?"

However, I didn't have to take any part in this endeavor because although I heard all sorts of noises coming from the shed I was not called if not toward the end when my steady hand was needed for some last decoration touch. Therefore, I don't have many photos of the timeline but I have managed to get some from the camera he wears when working on his inventions.

He cut two pieces from the massive log and from the two picked the one that, and I quote "this one is talking to me!" - They looked the same to me but in the aftermath, I see his points. One does look better than the other.

At first, I commented that the center is broken and it could stand for "broken heart" but he promptly replied "that's because you don't see what I see" – fine!

He grabbed a piece of rebar, then a leftover of the barn door bar we used for another project and from there he made them look they were just out of a machine press. They have artisenal and at the same time, that Amazon just purchased look.

can't believe that it was just a rebar!

Then he reached for a tiny branch from a tree behind the shed and grabbed his carving tools. And from there he shaped two sticks, up to this moment, I had no clue what he was making, and me poking questions led to nowhere!

He needed more sandpaper so he headed to town and just when he was about to jump into Torpedo, our friends RJ and Jamila were prompting for pictures of our place. While I was searching in the photo library, my Einstein just took one of his tongues shot... weirdo!

Somehow and don't ask me how it happened. We end up having a pigña burger rather than actually stopping by the hardware store as we were meant to do.... when living on an island you just roll with the flow... I guess!

The next day I heard grinding, music coming from the shed with a few intervals of "WHY!?!" and "F-YEAH!" - taken by curiosity I headed to the shed to see what he was up to and he had indeed resumed the project. When I asked why the "rush" he said the 4th is coming and it will be nice if he can show the present to his wife for the holiday.

the 4th of Julyyyyyy

When I finally got there I found two surprises, one was definitely the fact that he had been using heavy-duty tools with no clothes on! I am not surprised that he runs amok clothless - when Margot was 10 days old she would not shut one second if she was not completely naked. She would turn purple and the moment we would strip her she would fall asleep! Years later I know which part of the DNA strain caused that... I can't show you how he got to carve the heart because I couldn't find a single shot where he was not looking down with the smart glass that hosts the camera. I enjoy the view 😅 ❤️🤌🏻 but I am confident you wouldn't be inspired by the Italian free course meal.

The other surprise was that the picture of this project was finally coming together and I got very excited by what I saw.

CNC'd the numbers, lasered the word, and grinded to pure smoothness the rest of the surface. It's sweet!

He created three cavities, one for the stand and two for a cupid arrow that strikes through the heart-shaped stock.

When all put together

As his colleagues can attest during his conference calls, we have lots of birds on the property and when we needed a feather for the back of the arrow we couldn't find any. Well... for the first rule of Molokai: When the wind blows, nothing stays put. The birds that we put together for the Bird's cove were of no practical use, so he went outside again and grabbed a flower of a particular vine that I particularly detest. Pretty flower but the vine is worst than ropes on steroids. This type of vine grows once a year for 30 days straight, then dies and becomes a fossil. For the rest of the year, I yell at them like an old lady at a clerk that rushes the woman to write the check faster...

I degrees... what he did with the flower brought a huge smile to my face. I know that he is talented in many things but when I see the birth of his creativity I am even more proud of this crazy anaconda stroller Italian! 🙊

okay fine... the flowers are pretty but I still hate the vine!!

He epoxied the flower so that it would not break over time and would always look shiny. Brilliant! – I made a quick clip to show you and of course, he made on the fly a stand where the flower would dry off without getting stuck on the surface. Although in helping out my fingers, three days later, still pretty sticky!

This is when I realized why when cleaned up the small branch he made an incision at the bottom.

it does look very pretty!

Eugene when you read this, you should know that he poured a lot of love into this creation. He honors friendship till deaf and never, ever, breaks a promise. The next stage of this creation was a mix of epoxy with copper powder that we poured into the cuts. YES, I helped although I was heavily distracted by the clothless part...

this was a gimmick: holding my phone and helping with the pouring
the finished work (front side)

The back has their names and of course our beautiful island's name. It just needs a pass of beeswax and the present is ready to bring some smile and strengthen some friendship furthermore.

As soon he wrapped it up he looked at me with sparkly eyes "hey hon...". I ran to the other room with my hands on my ears and screaming la-la-la!

"I have an idea!" he shouted.

I walked back when he said "you can set my dressing code" 😅

this photo he took at NEST inc should have been a cue that he would have invested time in woodworking!

While I am putting this article together he texted from the sea "Hey hon..."

I was about to send back my Bitmoji.

When he surprised me...

See why I put up with him??! ❤️️️🤙🏽❤️

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