Early morning finds me at Starbucks today. Although it was a work day for Tetsu he suggested going into the next town (separate cars) and having some coffee and a muffin as a token honor of the holiday that everyone else has started but that we have not. Tetsu took along his newspaper, I took along my Kindle and we had a quick "breakfast".
I felt sort of like a teenager taking pictures of each other in Starbucks but bear with us... It's the only way the kids can see that Tetsu and I are alive and well and I guess they like the everyday-nothing-special-going-on aspect of it. (By the way, Tetsu's wearing his Christmas vest.) Tetsu went on to work while I stayed at Starbucks and wrote New Year's cards. Yes! People may hear from me after all! Now to see if I can find the labels I once made so that I don't have to write my return address on all of them.
On my way home I stopped for groceries and ended up with a cute little New Year's flower arrangement. This is about as small an arrangement as one can get in Japan but I thought just for a little color in the entry (my CLEAN entry, by the way!) it would be nice for welcoming in the New Year and visitors.
Let's see. Traditionally there is supposed to be bamboo in there... Yes, there are a few bamboo leaves that have been curled under. Bamboo is symbolic of strength and flexibility... being able to bend without breaking. Then there are supposed to be pine branches... Yep, one or two sprigs. Pine grows into a large tree so it is supposed to be the symbol of longevity. And then there are supposed to be plum blossoms. No plum in my arrangement. Instead there are some red berries of some plant that withstands the cold. Plum blossoms also stay beautiful in the cold weather so they are used as a symbol of beauty and constancy. I guess the red berries have the same meaning... I don't know why the carnations are there! Oh well, it makes for a nice corner. I hope my cats don't eat my New Year's arrangement!