The hula festival that I was angsting about so terribly last week has come and gone and I survived. Oh, I knew I would be okay, it's just I have this tiny little fear of getting on stage and then forgetting everything that I've practiced. In Japanese, they call this ma shiro ni natta...."my mind went white".
The ladies in our group and I walk out on the stage and get into our starting pose....deep breath...focus..."crap those lights are bright"...music starts...smile...breathe...breathe...and kaholo here we go.
One of the best things about this event, other than the actual dancing and whatnot, is this....
...brought to me by these two...
These two friends come to these events and it's a bit of a tradition that we sit outside the auditorium, after my group's performance and drink a beer (or two) to celebrate. People no longer look at us strangely as we are sitting on the floor or on the stairs, talking...laughing...and having a beer while the hula goes on around us.
When people ask me who my foreign friends are, I tell them that while I know of many foreigners here in the city, there are especially two that I consider really good friends.
Jan and I have known each other for almost 18 years....Karen and I met about 15 years ago.
Our lives are similar in some ways...married to Japanese men, we all three have kids...and yet, our differences are what keep it interesting.
These two are my "oxygen masks".
When life gets tough or hard to handle, when I can't breathe.... Karen and Jan are the forces that help me keep it all together. I think I'd be making a correct statement by saying that the 'oxygen mask' idea is a mutual one. That's what friends do.
Life would be very different without them in it.
Mahalo, my friends....Mahalo.
Today is the 24th of August. This morning it dawned on me that today is the K-Man's and my anniversary.
We met a little more than 16 years ago.
We've been married for fourteen.
For someone who had not planned on staying in Japan for so long, let alone actually getting married (here or anywhere, for that matter) and having a family, this has been an interesting adventure with the K-Man, and now the boys.
Happy Anniversary, K.
who loves you? yeah yeah yeah....
*Aren't those little boys the cutest? Three of them are my nephews and 14 years later, they are still cute... handsome, even...and bordering on muscle-bound, mandomhood....but this picture? This is one of my favorites and how I will remember them for many years to come.