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April 2008 Archives

April 15, 2008

A visit from my parents, getting in the "new" old house, and Akihiro's ordination

Mom and Dad's visit came at the peak of cherry blossom time in our area! We saw them in various settings--formal parks, natural settings, and at night. We enjoyed fellowship with the believers and friends here in Tokyo and did a bit of traveling with the Bahrs who were here at that time.


This is at night at the park near our home.

See Mt. Fuji in the background?


Sunday was a big day for us with Akihiro's ordination into the ministry at our Shioda church. We had quite a crowd of people--about fifty people came at various times of the day. We were thankful to feel the love and support of so many dear people. A side note regarding our meal for that occasion...we had taco salad (hay-stacks). The Japanese people were very curious about this food--most having never eaten it before. I was glad they liked it! (Of course we had pink rice too! Pink rice is eaten at special occasions.)

Monday was exciting too as we were able to go into the house that we bought. I was a bit concerned when we met the neighbor (who was very nice, by the way) and she said that the house has been empty for three years and sometimes rats run out of it! We found that the back door was open, so we ventured in. I was exploring the main area with my flashlight (no electricity hooked up) when Akihiro hollers from upstairs, "Honey, there's a piano up here!" Sure enough, upstairs was a beautiful, almost new Yamaha piano! We found many other good pieces of furniture and lots of clothes and stuff to go through! It appears that the family did what they call in Japanese "yonige" which means they ran away at night. There were dishes in the dish rack, and lots of stuff just laying around. A grandmother lived in the home with one single daughter and one married daughter who had an electrician husband and three small children. Apparently they went bankrupt and ran away. Apparently if they "disappear" for 10 years, their debt will be dissolved. Sometimes a financial company hires a gang to harrass the people into paying, so that could also be why they ran away at night. Either way, it made me really sad to see that this family had left so many of their belongings behind. There is a storage shed that is full of electrician tools--Dad said it looks like an "L&F shop" (my brother's electrician shop). We will have to have some electrician companies go through it and give us quotes for the stuff. Our last challenge was how to get into the office (door locked). Dad saw a window partly open in the bathroom on the second floor, so we got a ladder and climbed up there. Good thing for Dad's long legs! He went through the small windowfeet first and unlocked the door! I crawled in another window of the basement storage! The office has a nice little couch and chairs and about 6 desks--anybody need a desk?! Mom and I worked on clearing out a place to park our car and the men worked on making some make-shift locks for all of these buildings. It was quite an adventure! We've got lots of work ahead of us to get all the stuff sorted and pitched, but I kinda like jobs like that! I wish they had the custom to have a yard sale or auction here, but they don't. We'll see how things go, I guess!

On Tuesday, we all went to the north island (Hokkaido) with Akihiro's parents. We enjoyed fishing on Akihiro's father's cruiser, even though we didn't have too much luck! We caught a few flat fish, some flying fish, and a star fish! We enjoyed the hotel onsen and dinner that night! The next day we did some touring around Hakodate. That night we enjoyed some king crab legs--Dad said that was one of his favorite parts! They flew home on Thursday.



We have a deadline to make with our book, "The Adventures of Dr. Do-Something and Nurse Know-It-All" so we are really working hard on the manuscripts. It is interesting to see what the editors cut of my story! Sorry, those of you who suggested it--they cut the romantic part! Lots of the more humorous parts got cut too, but it is probably ok. It is hard to get jokes to translate well!

Will put pictures on later--had typed this yesterday on the train! Got to get busy! Will report on Akihiro's first sermon and a visit to the Japanese dentist later.

April 22, 2008

Sermons, smiles, and stuff

Sorry to be so late reporting on Akihiro's first sermon, etc.! His first sermon went well. I think both he and I took a deep breath when he stepped up to the pulpit the first time, though! (Wow, this is really happening?!) Once he said good morning ( in Japanese) it all seemed to flow well and he commented on how inspired he felt. Because he was used to speaking in front of the congregation every other Sunday for a Bible Study, it didn't make him--or me-- too nervous!

I was going to comment a bit on my visit to the dentist. First of all, when you come in, you take your shoes off and don slippers. The first time I went, they only did the bottom teeth. I was kinda just sitting there with my mouth wide open waiting, when I got the point that the dental hygienist was done with me until the next appointment. This is standard for Japanese dentists I guess. Everything else is pretty much the same.

I am working full steam ahead on the stuff at the house--katezukimas ("putting in order" in Japanese). The neighbors all keep telling me to hang in there and keep commenting that it is teihen (troublesome). It is a bit troublesome, but it is kinda fun too. After probably about 16 hours of working on the kitchen/entry way/living room, I am just about done! When I uncover a box, I don't have any idea what might be in it--sometimes foreign money, sometimes neat stationary, sometimes interesting artwork, sometimes stinky old seaweed or overly dried squid, etc. There are lots of neat dishes to add to my "souvenier shop"! Because of the garbage situation here, it really takes a lot of sorting--burnable and non burnable (which I pay 75 yen for a 40 liter bag--which I stuff to overflowing!), save for me, save for others, save for souveniers, paper garbage, cardboard, glass (needs to be rinsed out at the nice neighbors outside spiget), old clothes/ fabric, PET bottles, styrofoam, batteries and light bulbs. I can only put 3 large bags out at a time, so I am now depositing trash at the Klaus's and at my current house, and the new house. My little car is turning into a garbage truck! I met the neighbor in front of our house and he is an older man who has had a stroke, so it is pretty difficult for me to communicate with him, not understanding Japanese that well in the first place. The new neighbors think I understand a lot more than I do, but I think I get the main jist--at least I hope so!

We have this revision of our book turned in, so will await a final copy to review! What a relief! The late cherry trees are still blooming and the pink and white dogwoods have really started to get pretty. The birds are singing and I am happy to report that my favorite Japanese bird, the Japanese nightingale can still be heard at the new house!

About April 2008

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