Monday, 1 March 2010

Keeping the home fires burning.

Another day of Oyomesan duties on Sunday.
I did have thoughts about going downtown and treating myself to the woodchip sauna again, but what with exhibition skating from Vancouver, housework, kittens, Okaasan and tsunami watching - the day slipped away quietly at home.
Actually nice to be at home. Alone.
I've never had a problem with Yujiro being away because as an only child I like my own time and space. With him being unemployed most of the past year it's been rare for me to have the house to myself - so a day without him and the noisy Japanese TV programs he constantly watches is good.

I kept Okaasan ticking along ok - chatted to her about skating and tsunami etc - made sure her TV was on the right channel to see the incredible acrobatics on ice (how DID that Russian guy balance his tiny Japanese partner on his skate boot????!!!).

Lunchtime I thought about taking my lunch upstairs, but I couldn't be bothered. So I cooked for Okaasan (easy - last night's pork and veggies stew, rice, salad and pickles) and sat with her at the kitchen table for a few rounds of coversation.

This time it was the: "my parents had one of the few private house telephones in Kawagoe and people used to come and use the phone for business or emergency calls" story. Okaasan's father was a haulier I think, he had a driving license (which was rare pre-war) and drove stuff around for businesses. So they had a telephone. They lived right in the center of Kawagoe. Big family. I think Okaasan was the eldest daughter. Pretty well-off for those days I gather. She used to play with her brothers in the long grass by the river. All her junior high school years were wartime so no lessons, making military underwear, bullets and helping farmers instead. 
Listening to her memories is a  window into another Japan. I enjoy this kind of stuff in fact: old people talking about their memories. History coming to life. She lived in interesting times.

But in the present: she still hasn't been to check out the hair salon I found near Mitsukoshi. I wonder if she needs someone to go WITH her to find it? I feel she should be ok with this because afterall she is a Japanese person in a Japanese city - and her mental condition isn't that bad...yet.
She knows she wants to go to the har salon. She has the pamphlet and address of the salon. She can decide to go and find it.... I hope!
It is a point though: does she/will she need help with this kind of decision and activity?
I did toy with the idea of getting us both dressed up and taking her with me downtown - her to the salon and me to the woodchip sauna. But I decided selfishlyvgfsw to enjoy my Sunday at home instead.

It was a beautiful sunny day and I broke ice up in the carpark...bits of garden were even poking through the snow at me. Come ON spring!!!! As a non-skier this year I am ready for it.

Of course Okaasan let the whole sunny day go by - and at 6 pm finally went out.
Should I get a big clock for her living room wall so her time awareness is better? Yujiro says it won't make any difference, because she has a watch and the Tv has a time counter. But I think a big clock on the living room wall would prompt her more:"ahh, it's mid-afternoon, maybe I should go out...". Again it is sad that she misses a nice experience. It was a lovely day of sunshine and she sat inside until it was 6 pm and dark and cold - and then went out.
But I told her Yujiro was due home at 7 pm and that we were going out as a threesome for dinner...and amazingly she DID come home right on 7 pm so we went in the car to a local izakiya for some easy food. Okaasan gulped down the sake she loves and got instantly tipsy and Yujiro and I had some couple-frostiness over who-knows-what...

All couples do this I guess: tetchiness with eachother about something. Probably my feelings about being left with his mother since Friday night, his feelings after a weekend in the sunshine on the slopes at having to come back to domesticity (although he did say "Thankyou" several times for my Okaasan-care). Anyway we niggled at eachother in the car, in the restaurant, back home.....grrrrrr.....

And so another week starts.

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