Tuesday, September 02, 2008


The Last Day of Summer Vacation

How did we spend it? A dear friend came over in the morning bearing gifts from home. She just returned from her summer in California. We haven't seen each other in a long while and it was good to just talk and talk to a friend with whom I can be completely myself. Plus, she brought me See's candy! I know! I told you she is a dear friend! All the treats and the good company helped pull me out of the deep pit I had myself dug into last night. She also brought a huge bag of hand-me-down clothes (she has twins, so it is no exaggeration when I say that Mina has enough dresses for two girls). When Toshi came home for lunch, he brought in a package from the mailbox. It was a giant envelope filled with surprises from my wonderful Aunt! The day just kept getting better! After lunch, we headed out to a department store to meet Mina's grandfather. He wanted to treat her to new shoes for the start of school. We had fun playing games on the subway - like trying to keep track of how many people got on and off of our car at each stop, counting to see if there were more people wearing hats than glasses. After we picked up Mina's new Mary Jane's, Ojiichan treated us to cake. The kids ordered fluorescent green Melon Soda to go with their desserts - a combination that is only allowed in the presence of a doting grandparent. To add to the list of things going my way, my chocolate cake was not only topped with a thin layer of raspberry sauce, but it was actually sweet, dense and delicious! The kids decided to continue on to Ojiichan's house once we got home, which means I had an hour to myself to prepare everything for tomorrow. Mina's bags are packed, her uniform is pressed, and her new shoes have her name written in them. We had the last of the season's corn for dinner. Mina finished the three pages she had left to do in her summer vacation activity book. We went upstairs for story time, only to discover that the new book Nana sent is not a bedtime story - it had the kids giggling madly! Now the house is quiet, but I can hear the cicada and crickets chirping in the yard, a breeze causes the bell on the wind chime Mina made to ring softly. Though I am sitting in the same chair I was when I posted last night, I am in a different place entirely.

Monday, September 01, 2008


American TV Can Damage Your Psyche

This may not seem like news to you, however I was just hoping for a little mindless pleasure when I purchased some used DVDs from an Internet recycling group (kind of like an online garage sale for people living in Japan). I have watched exactly four episodes of Brothers and Sisters and I am wondering if the program is more trouble than it is worth. It makes me ache for my family, warts and all, heck especially the warts! I feel so far, so disconnected and yes, it is true that when I came to Japan I was looking to escape their closeness somewhat, to try to discover who I am outside of them, but I never imagined I'd stay here after I'd figured that out. I never imagined, when I promised to stay, that watching a simple TV drama would cut me like a knife. Why can't the damn thing be set in New York instead of California?

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