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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Erika’s Update

I’m sure you have been wondering what Erika has been doing. It doesn’t seem like me to be quiet for such a long time. I’m happily alive!!! I’ve been extremely busy, but I have still some capacity to accept you as a guest if you stay with us in Tsukahara. To prepare for a visit, you need to learn how to use a hammer and split wood. According to George, there are only two things that I’m better at than he is; cooking and stacking wood. Although we’ve been busy, we try to take a moment to sit outside, enjoy the view, and eat our meal. We feel like we are on vacation. We don’t have to get in a car, take a cruise, or go to the airport to have a vacation. The best thing about living here is the freedom to take a vacation at a moment’s notice. I guess George has trained me well enough so that I feel our best vacation is on our own property. The temperature, wind, and air quality are so different compared to where our school is located. Actually, Yufuin which is only 15 minutes away has weather that is dramatically different from ours. Even if it’s late, after teaching at Y.E.S., I try to go back to Tsukahara. All of us, including the doggies, can sleep better there.
George laughed at my garden, but I harvested some tomatoes. I was very successful using bamboo poles to keep the deer from my tomatoes. Unfortunately, the rabbits and crows ate some of my prized produce. I planted two packages of lettuce seeds hoping to capitalize on my success. The bugs ate all of them. What did I learn from that experience? We live with nature so I have to be a little bit more modest.
I split and stacked all the wood for next winter by myself. My hands are hurting, but I enjoy being cheap. George has cooperated, but it’s hard for him to be as cheap as me. I find that I have problems with him peeking and wandering through the fridge while keeping the fridge door open. He also likes to keep the window open while taking a shower, allowing the warm air to escape. We have rarely argued since we moved here. Rarely do we have time to spend quietly together. Most of the time, we are busy working or making lesson plans and activities. If we do have a moment together, we usually spend it discussing our business plans or the dogs. We’ll sit on the deck and enjoy the peace and quiet. When George was encouraging me to move to Japan, he told me that making lots of money was not as important as choosing where to live. Maybe I gradually understand……but, I miss having all the material comforts of life!!!  Sometimes…                 Erika

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