Good day off yesterday.
I wrote Christmas cards - got a bit emotional writing cards to people in Dad's village to say thankyou for their love and support this year. Just thinking about the village and those people made me cry.
After family lunch Yujiro and I slipped away and went to a hot spring place on the southern suburbs of Sapporo - Koganyu Onsen. Spent nice relaxing time in hot water and steam.
Yujiro has asked me if we were going to take Okaasan with us in the morning....but I firmly said "no, I need relaxing time on my day off.". He seemed ok with that, but I had vestiges of guilt. She'd enjoy a drive out and an onsen...but it would hardly be relaxing for me, I'd have to look after her and talk to her in the onsen - I'm a selfish Oyomesan.
In the onsen I watched an old lady and her daughter/Oyomesan as they drifted round the hot spring together chatting. Will I ever be like that with Okaasan? Will we ever be chatty friends like that? I can't see it ever happening.
Is it because my Japanese really isn't good enough? Is it because I am unconsciously fighting letting her get too close to me? Is it her dementia?
Who knows. But I don't see us ever being so relaxed together. I am sorry she has me as her Oyomesan, one of my friends in Saitama is a gentle, caring lady who even does hula dancing...SHE should be the Oyomesan here...not me. (Yes Naoko! I mean YOU dear!!!)
Anyway. Miss Selfish had a good time. Yujiro had a good time. And Okaasan watched TV at home and went out for a late afternoon walk as usual.
On our way back from the onsen we hunted round supermarkets for a whole chicken, so I could try out the oven.
Couldn't find a whole chicken at all! A whole bird is just not common in Japan.
Had to settle for chicken pieces and a pork roll. I roasted them up with garlic and potatoes.
SO SO GOOD! The whole house smelled of garlic and sage and meat.
It was delicious and Okaasan seemed to enjoy it - although she did need some rice cooked too....she isn't great at using a knife and fork, but she picked at the meat and veggies with chopsticks.
This week will be the One Year With Okaasan anniversary.
Hmmm... a year. It feels like an eternity.