Spring, oh Spring… where are you?

The Spring Equinox has come and gone, my birthday has come and gone (though the celebrations continue… a happy thing!), the sakura trees (Japanese cherry trees) are finally blooming…

And just as the whole city was elated about warmer days and sunny weather, Mother Nature decided to throw us for a loop!!

For the past two days, we’ve had winds and rain like during typhoon season!  It has been simply crazy!  Let’s see, yesterday the bullet trains were stopped, airplanes weren’t flying, the ferry boats which run between here and Pusan, Korea, were stopped.  The newscasters even advised that people stay in their homes if at all possible.  (Meanwhile, I drove westward to a friend’s beach house as a group of pals were throwing a belated b-day party for me… you should’ve seen the waves!!)

I guess I’d gotten so used to the sound of the gusts outside, hitting the windows and the walls of the house, I woke up this morning and the sound of the silence was almost deafening.  And what a difference from the gray skies of yesterday!  It was ALL a deep blue with not one cloud in the sky… BEAUTIFUL!

Got a call from a good friend (the one who bought me a pair of Crocs for my b-day) and he invited me to a picnic under the sakura trees with him, his wife and her mother.  We went to a nearby shrine and ate lunch with all the fragrant pink blossoms above us.  Needless to say, it was so nice!  But the winds were still chilly.

The weatherman was saying today that the temps will be dropping a bit over the next few days… already April, yet temps like the middle of March.  (Brrr!!)

Spring, we’re ready for you!  Whenever you decide to arrive and stay, we’re here waiting!  Just PLEASE don’t take too long!  🙂

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One More Hour Until 42…

Okay, by the time I finish writing out this post, there won’t even be an hour left until my birthday!  🙂

The past couple of days have been different compared to those in other years (just prior to the b-day).  There have been cards in the mailbox (even one from one of my brothers!!), gifts in the mail and had a phone call yesterday from a friend, calling from the Crocs shop in town to ask what color I like.  (Guess I’ll be getting a pair of shoes from him!)  Even had a “sort-of” b-day present from WordPress… had a notice that I’ve received my 50th “like”!  Yay!!  🙂

So, what is it about age that some people have a problem with?  One female acquaintance smiled at me today and said, “You’ll be turning 20 tomorrow, right?”  I smiled right back and replied proudly, “No, I’ll be 42.”

You could not PAY me to go back to being 20 or any part of my 20’s.  I lived it and survived it… thought that turning 20 would make me an adult and that I would know all the secrets of life.  (Was also eager to be getting married at 21.)  But my 20’s taught me that I was FAR from being grown-up and by 30, I realized I knew very little about myself much less all the secrets of life.

My 30’s included a divorce and a newly single life (for a while), blind dates, a relationship with a guy which probably lasted longer than it should have, and lots of time for self-discovery.  Year by year, life became better.  Things became clearer.

And my 40’s?  So far, they have been wonderful!!  Growing older is awesome, you know?  Sure, I still have LOTS of questions about life and death and relationships and love… but I’m not desperate to find the answers any more.  If an answer is found, that’s great.  If it continues to elude me, it’s not the end of the world.  🙂

Guess there’s only been one downfall to getting older and that’s losing those I hold dear to my heart.  It’s part of living though, isn’t it?  And even if it’s heartbreaking, I feel grateful for living and having the opportunity to meet and know and love the special people in my life.

Well, 20 minutes and counting… am looking forward to what year #42 has in store for me!  🙂

Where Does The Time Go?

And why does this thing called “life” keep getting in the way of my post-writing time?!!

My schedule was supposed to be easy and relaxed and free after all the graduations and such… ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!  Guess not!!

It has been a constant stream of things to do… from early morning to LATE at night.  There were a couple of nights while I was driving home from classes when I thought, “Okay, I’m going to get home, walk the dog and WRITE!!”  Reality:  Got home, walked the dog, glanced at my desk-top on my way to the bedroom and fell in the bed!  (Oh, well…)

This whole blogging thing has truly become a big part of my life!  Maybe I’ve said this before, but when I don’t have the time to write a post, it’s as if a piece of my “daily puzzle” is missing.  (Not like I’ve been doing this for a long time… maybe that’s why I’m rather surprised.)

Looks like I’ll actually have some free time tomorrow (miracles do happen!), so I shall write a longer post then… good night to those who are getting ready to sleep and good day to those who are starting their Thursday!  May it be a wonderful night/day for everyone!  🙂

It’s A Small World (A VERY Small World…)

Haven’t been at home much today.  I went with a good friend to a big pottery/porcelain festival downtown… one which is held every year for a period of five days.

It was nice to see many familiar faces, shop owners that we’ve bought dishes from.  (A couple of my friends and I are trying to start up a side business, so we go to these festivals on a regular basis.)  The whole group of us wasn’t together today because of conflicting schedules and the vendors we know all seemed to ask about it.

There are times when I wish that I was Japanese… a thought which has passed through my mind my whole life!  But there have been advantages and positives to looking like I do and being a “gaijin” or a foreigner.  And when you’re meeting important people whom you want to make an impression on, it’s not a bad thing to be a gaijin!  🙂

Anyway, getting to the point of today’s title…

My friend and I visited every vendor today and I think there were about 250 vendors from all over the country.  (Most were from Fukuoka Prefecture and other parts of Kyushu.)  As we were getting to the last ones, we stopped in front of one place, admiring the pottery which was quite appealing to the eye, yet very simple.  The seller was from Kumamoto Prefecture, which is about a 2-hour drive south of here (Fukuoka).  He began to explain the area where he lives and that the poster of the pre-fab wall was a picture of his living room… it showed a wood-burning stove and comfortable looking furniture.

I got excited and told him the same exact stove was in the house where I grew up.  He asked where I grew up.

“I actually grew up in Kanagawa Prefecture.”

“Really?  I used to live there, too.  In Yamato City.”

“Which part of Yamato City?!”  (I was really excited at this point.)

“In an area called Minami Rinkan.”

“THAT’S WHERE I GREW UP!!”

You see, that’s like running into someone who grew up and lived not only in Seattle, but in the same apartment complex on the north side of UW near the local Safeway and Ivar’s!!

He and I knew the same stores and restaurants.  He explained where he lived (rented one of the houses usually rented out to military families) and I knew exactly where it was.  It was completely wild!!

The world is a small place!  It truly is!  Yes, all these social networks and the Internet have brought everyone even closer together, but even without these things, we find ourselves in various places and different situations, meeting people in airports, standing in line at the post office, walking from ride to ride at the amusement parks… and when we strike up a conversation with others, one might be very surprised.  It’s not impossible to run into someone who has a very close connection to our own pasts.

Isn’t that cool?  🙂

Here’s to all those who grew up in Minami Rinkan… may we all run into one another one of these days!  🙂

Oh, WP, how I’ve missed you…

Life, classes and other daily responsibilities have kept me away from blogging from the past two days.  Just two days, but it feels like I’ve been away for a lifetime!

Anyone who has known me since childhood knows that I’m kind of bad at continuing things.  Whether it was keeping a diary, exercising, keeping a budget, or having a set schedule of doing housework, it didn’t last for more than a couple of months.  And the person who was most judgmental and disappointed in me was… me.

I’ve heard that it’s tough for people to change and, after living for almost 42 years, I believe that to be true… but not impossible to do.  I have hope, mainly because I’ve proven to myself that it IS possible, even though there may be times when I slip a little.

As far as exercise, I’ve been trying my best to stick to it, walk the dog every day and have lost almost 84 pounds from my peak weight in my late 20’s.  (Half of that was lost in the past four years… not bad, right?)

In regards to writing a diary, blogging has sort of replaced that… and I’ve been writing a post ALMOST every day since the 31st of January of this year.  Now when I don’t have the time to write a post, it feels like something from the day is missing.  (Like skipping breakfast or not brushing your teeth before going to bed.)  Writing here has become such a part of the daily routine and I’m so thankful to those who have commented and “liked” and are “following”.

Here’s hoping I’ll continue to find interesting things to talk about and share with everyone.

Sending love and smiles from southern Japan!  🙂

Happy Spring! (^^)/

Well, as written yesterday, I actually had a FULL day off today!  Didn’t sit on the couch all day and watch TV though.  Instead, I did stuff around the house.

Washed some clothes…

Washed some dishes…

Washed all the litter boxes for the cats…

Cleaned all the bird cages (all five of them)…

Took six bags of garbage to the local trash place…

Went to the store to buy cat food…

Organized last month’s receipts…

And, believe it or not, I didn’t turn on the computer or the TV until after noon!!

(This is practically unheard of for me!)

Even though it was a day off, I don’t feel very rested… maybe I should have just sat on the couch and relaxed after all!!  🙂

Anyway… Happy Equinox Day to everyone!  May spring of 2012 bring warmer days, brighter moments and beautiful flowers to everyone!  🙂

A Day Off!

After a LONG day today, I found out I won’t have any classes to teach tomorrow.  YAY!!  😀

Tomorrow is Spring Equinox and here in Japan, it’s a holiday for most of the country.  The thing is just because it’s a holiday for everyone else, that doesn’t mean it is for me.

I’m the type that if my students want to have class, we’ll have class.  I figure if I don’t work, I’ll just be sitting at home doing nothing.  (Though there are TONS of things I could be or should be doing!  LOL)  If I teach a class, my students are happy and they don’t have to be alone on their day off.  (Yes, there are lonely people in the world.)

But last week, one of my Tuesday evening students told me her sister was going to be visiting tomorrow since it’s a national holiday.  (No 8pm class.)  Then I had a phone call about an hour ago from my friend who organizes the other two classes on Tuesday nights.  He said that since it’s a holiday, we’d have no classes.

So, do I have any plans for tomorrow?  No, not really.  It’ll probably be the usual stuff.  If the weather is nice, there’s laundry to do, dishes to wash… need to clean the cats’ litter boxes and organize my work expense receipts from last month.  There’s never a dull moment around here.

OR I could skip all that and actually take a full day off.  Wake up late, watch movies on cable, pop some popcorn and enjoy my holiday, right?

Guess I’ll decide what to do tomorrow!  **happy sigh**  🙂

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