Keeping Busy

Clean up after your dog! Several cherry trees had these handmade signs hanging from them.

Started this post a couple weeks ago, I’ll write a bit a more and try to post again in a couple days.

Jiro comes back tomorrow (he’s been back two weeks now) after a really quick trip to the US. He has to set foot in the States at least once a year to keep his green card alive, so when he found out last Wednesday that there is no forestry work for a week- he bought a ticket and left Friday morning. He has few errands to run and will pick up some kayak stuff for me, too.

I worried about being here with Ba-chan alone because she has seemed more confused in the past couple of months, but it hasn’t been too bad. I guess there isn’t anything too surprising anymore. Actually she’s had several good days in a row, but there is still one morning and evening before Jiro gets home (knock on wood.) All went well, although when we were eating dinner the night before Jiro came back, I told her that the next night Jiro would be home and we’d be having dinner all together. She then asked if I had prepared a place for  him to stay and then asked if he had married yet. I’ve learned to just go along with what she says to avoid her total confusion, but I think she must have thought I was talking about Kai. While Jiro was away, we arranged for her to go to daycare two extra days that week which was a huge help. When she is home all day, I have to mop at least two times to clean up messes. She really needs the stimulation that she gets there.

Since the weather has been warmer, she seems more engaged and is a bit more active than she was all winter. We have arranged for her to go to a short-stay facility a couple times a month to get her used to staying away from home. It’s the next step towards putting her in a care facility.

Kannon Statue in Ryougoji

On the Sunday morning that he was gone, I noticed a steady stream of neighbors heading to the temple at about 8:00. I asked what was going on and was told it was the annual temple cleanup. So I grabbed a couple garden tools and joined in. We swept the paths, raked leaves and pulled weeds. The next weekend was the celebration of the opening of the temple treasure- an old Kannon-sama that is open for viewing only 3 days a year. In the next post I’ll write about the story behind the statue.

The top story on the news continues to be the Fukushima nuclear power plant fiasco and the aftermath of the tsunami and earthquake. So many incredibly sad stories, and there are still many people living in gymnasiums. It will take a LONG time to recover. In addition to the forced evacuations in Fukushima, there is a lot of nuclear contamination. They have used road scrapers and bulldozers to remove the top level of dirt from school play yards, but there is nowhere to dump the waste.

Here are a couple links. I will write another short post soon. Been enjoying the warmer weather, started the garden and have taken the kayak out a couple times.

Organic farmers in Japan dealing with nuclear disaster

Operation Tomodachi Relief Effort– American troop assistance to be paid for by Japan

One thought on “Keeping Busy

  1. Kate,
    I try to keep up with your postings. I especially loved your earlier postings re redoing the kura, etc. I must admit, I think my response reflects a too-romantic bent toward my idea of your life style…sorry. Then I felt you had periods of great loss -work, self confidence, isolation and more. I worry. So glad no one else is reading this!
    In many ways our lives run parallel-Jim has Parkinson’s, and though he is greatly (!) aware of the changes in our lives, he is losing control day by day. Your Ba-chan is in a completely different stage of her life. There must be some moments when she is SO very aware of her loss…and then it is lost.
    Glad to think that you and Jiro (you know how much I respect him) are there and that your children can come back and forth to be with all of you.
    Hugs from afar,
    Nancy B

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