Our weekend TV watching is generally limited to a steady stream of home improvement- and real estate-related shows on HGTV, punctuated by occasional cooking shows on The Food Network. Yesterday afternoon, another episode of HGTV's House Hunters got underway and neither of us were actually paying attention, so when Debbie sat up and said "I think they said she's from Midland!," it took a while to figure out that the woman looking for a vacation home on the island of Molokai, Hawaii, was indeed from our hometown.
The woman whose house-hunting efforts were being documented is Elisa Manning, and her story will be familiar to many Midlanders. Her husband Tom was well known in the community as the owner of Manning's Nursery, and he succumbed to cancer last year. His death focused attention on the plight of those who are victims of government and medical bureaucracy. Most of us probably fall into that category at some point in our lives, but it's rarely a life-and-death situation like it was for Tom. You can read more about his situation in this archived story on MyWestTexas.com.
Elisa was looking for a home on Molokai to honor the memory of her late husband, as they had enjoyed some special times together on that island. A Molokai website provided a local perspective on the TV program, and a careful reading between the lines of that article shows a certain amount of, well, sensitivity to "outsiders" moving into what I presume is a community striving to insulate itself against the encroachment of commercial development and the perceived negative effects on the island's native culture and social fabric.
I don't know her and didn't know her husband, but my guess is that the residents of Molokai have found that she's exactly the kind of neighbor they'd like to have.
Note: This episode originally aired earlier this year, and yesterday's episode was apparently one of several re-broadcasts. Nobody ever accused us of being on top of things!