I have arrived safely in California and so far things are moving along as usual. But wait. Before I begin with my first day here, let me tell you about leaving Japan.
A quick stop at Tetsu's mother's to say goodbye to her and then Tetsu saw me off at the airport bus stop. I got my bi-annual public kiss from him... He does not approve of public displays of affection and ESPECIALLY not at our age. But he is in the delicate position of saying goodbye to his American wife whom he is afraid might not return to Japan if she doesn't get a kiss goodbye as she boards the bus. Check both directions and give a quick peck and back away as quickly as possible...
I get another peck at the bus stop when I arrive back after my summer in California.
Now... Do you recognize this person? It is Sasha! Sasha and her friend Katie came visiting at the end of May and yes, I did know that she was leaving Japan on the same day that I was. But I didn't know what time, what airlines, what terminal etc. "See you at Narita!" Ha-ha, big joke. With all the billions of people milling around the Tokyo airport there is no way we are going to find each other. After checking in and a quickie lunch I went through the security check and who should appear before my eyes but Sasha! I wanted proof that I'd run into her at the airport and so I snapped her picture on the run and was even able to see her flight off from a nearby boarding area. What a surprise!
In LA Takumi and his girlfriend Bianca picked me up and we toodled on towards my brother's house.
"Oops. I hear a police siren. Takumi is there a policeman behind us?"
YES! There was and yes, we were being pulled over for speeding! (My son is excited about seeing me? I don't believe it!) Takumi was so mortified! Bianca and I found this great fun and just another chapter of excitement. And the nice police officer gave Takumi a warning and NO speeding ticket!
My mother was very excited to see me too and greeted me at the doorway with her walker.
"Tani! You've gotten taller. We used to be the same size."
"No, Mother. I'm not taller. I think you shrunk."
Lots of laughter from all around. LOTS OF LAUGHTER! I mean LOTS! From everybody! Lots of joking and teasing and playing around! And remember Marcy just lost her mother a week or so ago! My thoughts about all that are another blog post. But Marcy is just as bright and ready to do fun things as she has ever been. Such a lesson on living for me!
Mom is hanging in there. Smaller, not moving very quickly, sometimes lost in her own thoughts. She still hungers for a dog to keep her company and the dogs still gather around her giving her love.
Warning. I think my blog for the next month is going to be full of LOTS of family pictures. Tetsu does not write e-mails nor does he know how to get the computer to "chat" so that means the extent of the information about my life in the States is going to come from this blog and since the English means NOTHING to him, he looks forward to the pictures. Sorry about that. It's fun for our family...