Lorraine and I had a lovely weekend. She is the perfect guest! I didn't have to worry about having the house clean, she coped with cats on her lap every time she sat down, she ate anything and everything, she showed interest in neighborhood walks, tourist trips, hot spas and convalescent homes. Her camera was out constantly, she bought things that interested her with abandon.
Thursday night, Lorraine sewed while I taught English children (and used her as a Guinea pig for the kids to ask her English questions they'd learned. "What's your favorite color? What's your favorite Japanese food?)
Friday, I was supposed to teach English but my student couldn't come so instead we made a visit to Tetsu's convalescent home.
"I don't know why he thinks you might be interested in seeing it but if you'd like to... "
And Lorraine did so we spent the morning taking a tour of the home and talking to residents. I suppose it was interesting in its way.
"Okay, what do you want to do for the rest of the day?"
"I'd really like to go back to Oya and see what that area was really like."
"OYA! You want to go back to OYA?!"
That's the rock quarry we were in when the earthquake struck.
"Well, not INSIDE of Oya, but I'd like to see the area again and get a feel of where we were. We left so fast last year."
Okay. Oya it is.
We stopped at the road to the quarry we had been visiting. It is blocked off now with chains and no trespassing signs.
"Due to March's earthquake the quarry is closed. Though there was little damage to the quarry itself, Japanese geologists predict stronger earthquakes in future years and so the quarry will be closed until further notice."
I wouldn't be surprised if Lorraine and I will be the last tourists ever to enter (and leave!) that quarry.
The rest of the day we wandered through gift shops and recycle shops. In the evening Tetsu invited us to go to a hot spa and then have revolving sushi. It is a good thing that Lorraine is comfortable with public bathing and raw fish!
The plan for Saturday morning was to go to the pottery town on the other side of the prefecture.. I pulled open the curtains to snow!
"AHHGH! It's snowing! Were we supposed to have snow? I can't drive in snow!!!"
I apologized to Lorraine and we settled in for a morning of sewing and chatting.
But after a couple hours the snow stopped and we made the trip to the pottery town after. I'm afraid I had to hurry Lorraine through the shops because we only had a few hours until she had to catch her train. I so enjoyed watching Lorraine browse and finger and appreciate all the different types of pottery.
I don't know if Lorraine is ever going to get back to Nikko or even Japan but she has been a wonderful guest and friend while she has been here.