NOTE: THIS WILL BE MY LAST POST IN JAPAN.
I HOPE TO BE WRITING AGAIN IN FLORIDA IN ABOUT A WEEK.
Not long back from Yamanashi, from a very good visit with my old friends there. It turned out to be a little more emotional than I had expected, but in hindsight that shouldn’t have come as a surprise, because I was saying goodbye to my oldest friends in Japan. Today was the time alloted for visiting Mama-san, who is 86 years old and living in a nearby nursing home. I was concerned that she might not recognize or remember me, as she is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
In the early afternoon we drove to the home where she is living and spent almost forty-five minutes with her. It appears to be a very good nursing home, extremely clean and not at all crowded, with staff enough to care for each person in the best way possible. As visitors, the four of us had to wear masks to assure that the elderly would not be exposed to any infection. I have to admit it was my first time in all my years here to put on one of those ‘surgeon’s masks,’ which are as common here as blue sky. But we had a good visit and little by little Mama-san remembered a little more. Seeing her one last time before my departure was very special.
After the five centimeters of snow that fell in the area on Saturday, Sunday turned out to be a complete reversal and the weather was spectacular. I enjoyed walking through the fields (all the snow had melted in the bright sun) and around the neighborhood of farmhouses, everywhere an explosion of flowering color. Our meals on both days were especially fresh and delicious, and each time Mieko-san cooked, half of the ingredients came from her garden in the back yard. Yamanashi has always been rather special in my opinion. Everything about it gives a feeling of joy and satisfaction.
Tomorrow morning I lose telephone, Internet and cable, and in the afternoon this iMac will take wing for Florida, packed securely in the original Apple box. On Tuesday morning all the boxes and the old Yamanashi kitchen table will be picked up for shipping. On Friday I board a plane for Florida, saying goodbye to the place I have happily lived for twenty-eight years.
Sayônara my longtime home, my good friends.
Photos: Two pictures taken within a hundred feet of the Yamanashi house.