Monday, July 07, 2008 feels like ages since I last posted....

Here it is Monday night...I last posted on Thursday, is it my imagination or have I lost a few days?!?! I think that next year, around the 4th of July, I will make an effort to NOT read blogs....don't get me wrong...I enjoyed everyone's post of the fireworks, the BBQs, the fun and frivolity...even reading about the hangovers felt by many on the Saturday night, I found myself in a bit of a funk....I haven't been in the States for the 4th since the year I left to come here....1991. Oh, yeah, we have fireworks here...and we can have BBQs and I can even have a hangover the next's. just. not. the. same.

I tried to explain to my students how special a day this is a day for Americans. All Americans. It's just a great day to be in the United States. And...I had a bit of a pity-party, not a big one, mind you, but...I'm okay now. "Shake it off, Debbie." And I did!!

Let's see....Sunday (I guess it is official as all of my students told me this today) was the last day of "the rainy season". Usually, it doesn't end until about the 18th or 20th of July....I wondered that, since the rainy season was over early, would that also mean that fall would come sooner than usual?!?! hahahahahaha.....there I go again...working on the Positive Thinking!! (a sweaty girl with hair that does NOT like the summer humidity can dream!!)

Today...July 7, is the annual tanabata festival...or "star festival". If you want to read more on this festival that originates from China, go here....Wikipedia has a really good explanation...or, you can read on and I'll do my best. This festival celebrates the annual meeting of the two stars, Altair and Vega who were separated by the Milky Way...they can meet once a year...and so it is a festival of hopes and dreams. Here in Japan, people write their dreams on pieces of paper and hang them in bamboo branches along with other decorations. You can find branches, beautifully decorated all over the stores, small shops...along the sides of the people's houses.

At Koji's daycare...each group decorated their own bamboo branch....Koji's wish was to "be strong like the Masked Rider" (a super-hero here in Japan!!)....obviously, little boys can dream, too!!

Oh!! Speaking of Koji.....on Friday...his birthday...we did indeed go out for yakitori!!! He was a happy camper!!!

Today is also my mom's birthday. I'm not going to tell you how old she is, I know that she reads this blog and, honestly, I'd like a place to stay next year when we do come home!!! (smile)
Let's just say, that she was always the youngest mom of all my classmates' moms. Now...when people say we look like sisters....I always laugh and say "that probably makes her much happier than it does me"...but....not really...I think she's beautiful, so I take that as a compliment of the highest regard!!!
These next two pictures are probably two of my favorites of Mom and I....the first one, you've seen before (possibly) from the hair post......

.... and this one was taken a month after Koji was born when she came over for his blessing at the shrine. It was a hot and sweaty August (and I had just had a baby!!!) ,
but...damn, don't we look good!!!
There is a touristy place here called HuisTenBosch that we take people to when they come to visit, it's like a theme park, but, it really isn' really have to actually see it to believe it....personally, I go for the cheese and sausages we can buy!!!
This part of Japan was the only place where foreigners could come into port for a very long time and there is a lot of Dutch influence around here. This park was built to celebrate the long relationship with Holland and has become quite a popular place to visit. One of the shops was one that my Mom...yes, her name is Linda...really liked!!!

So...Mother's a little something for you....enjoy!!


Moxy Jane said...

What a great experience your family is having. Do you plan on bringing your boys over to the States to learn about that side of their heritage as well?

Did y'all do anything in your home to celebrate the 4th? We learned the pledge of allegiance and talked about its history, meaning and whether or not my girls felt it was still relevant (that part went a bit over their heads, but it still lead to some pretty interesting discussions!)

I would love to go out for some good yakitori, too!

Happy Birthday to Koji The Mighty Masked Dreamer and to your mom, who looks like a great lady!!

Moxy Jane, Austin, TX

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I love the tradition of hanging dreams from branches to tanabata. What a wonderful way to teach and reinforce the value of hopes and dreams in children! I love the family photos too. I look forward to your visit to the States next year. Hopefully a San Diego trip will be on your itinerary.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I'm glad you're pulling out of the funk.

It looks like a very happy birthday was had by Koji.

I love the idea of a Dutch ifluence in Japan--I'm learning so many interesting things from you; not surprising I guess since you are a teacher!

Claudia said...

Happy Birthday MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday had to truely love the personal message from the boys. deb and Boys you did a great job. I shed a tear thinking how special it was.

The Girl Next Door said...

I so LOVE that photo of you and mom and the brand new baby and damned girl, you look AWESOME! I know how hard it is to live abroad, but we only did it for 2 years and only 6 hours away. You have my undying love and affec.tion for the way you make things happen and endure. Peace sister

Karen MEG said...

Debbie, it's easy to understand why you were in a funk ... being away since 1991, and even though your life looks wonderful and so fulfilling in Japan, it's still not the US on July 4th!

But you are so positive, your funk is probably the equivalent to my joy LOL!

Great pictures of the birthday boy and birthday girl. And your mom, and you, look fantastic!