It won't take too long before spring comes

Yesterday, it has been snowy for a few hours. A bit wet and heavy snow has covered the ground. It has melted away on the sunny side today. It still goes on being cold today.

You may see the small flakes of snow falling obliquely on the left side of this photo. Such snowfall is rarely seen in this area. The 2nd time this season so far as I remember. 

Even though it is not a pleasant news, I knew recently a friend of mine, a younger doctor, had suffered from severe autoimmune disease since last summer. His new year's greeting card has told me that.

I have given him a phone call. He told me, in a morning last summer, it was difficult for him even to get up due to severe arthralgia on limbs. It has assaulted him all of sudden. Actually, he had known of the illness, with an prior accidental lab exam, in subclinical condition a few months before it developed overt. Despite of being in such a condition, he was still working at the hospital. He has good knowledge of the illness, natural course, treatment choices and complications due to the illness as well as to the treatment. He let me know of that as if he explained to one of his patients with the same illness. Quite serene and objective attitude as for the issue. Sometimes even chuckling himself. Who knows what conflicts he has had in his mind? Thorough knowledge of the disease calms him down? No, I can't approve that idea. Being a doctor may make us more perplexed than the non medical people since we could know exactly what happened to us and should decide the ultimate decision for the choice of the treatments by ourselves. I only hope some new medicine will lead him to remission and to enjoy retirement in several years. A medicine of the biological genre he started to take several weeks ago seemed to have achieved some good effect on him as he reported to me. I wished it would benefit him further.

I should also get ready for such a thing in my life. May my mind maintain serenity and quietness in the future whatever may happen to me.

I found japanese apricots' flowers were budding now. It won't be too long before they come out fully.



Yearning for something lost

I have never paid attention to such as plants or trees in my young days. It was the mid forties in my life when I all of sudden found they were very close to me. Their lives have become so vivid and intimate to me at that time. Looking back that experience, it was coincident to the occurrence of male menopause. Actually, I have had the symptoms of autonomic nerve dysfunction at that time. It meat that I won't have the vigorous energy for life as in my young days any longer. Loss of that energy has made me head toward the other living things. being with the living things, which might live longer than myself, is a kind of relief to me. I was not aware of that. But at the subconsciousness level, I have become more mature at least with this respect.

I sure feel almost the same thing about liking of music. I used to like serious and complicated music in my young days. However, I am inclined to love more of the simpler and lively music nowadays. A few days ago, when going to sleep, I accidentally chose the Nr 5 string quartet by Beethoven, OP18-5, which was composed in his late twenties. Honestly speaking, I have looked down or thought little of those works composed at the same time with the opus number starting with 18.

What a lively, vivid and beautiful music it was! Of course, not like the later string quartets, it was taken the form of the precedent great composers like Haydn. It still sounds vivid and full of joy of music, I should say, or of life. Except for the dramatic OP18-4, I have paid too little attention to the other 5 string quartets of OP18. Emergence of such early string quartets of Beethoven as an absolute attractor to me may be because of the same psychological dynamics, that is, the attraction of young, lively and energetic things being lost by such an old man as me. Just listen to this lyrical and lively music. OP18-3 D major.



Salmon and sliced onion/potato wrapped with chinese cabbage in cream sauce

The title tells everything. The sauce was a bit too much.

Broccoli are still growing in this cold snap, or I should say, they are still surviving in the temperature below minus 7 or 8 degrees early in the morning.

The daylight hours are getting longer day by day even though it is still getting colder. In a month or two, I should get ready for the farm with leaf mold etc. 

I am still getting on the air in morning/evening. I should say it is always disappointing me. As i always say, there used to be proficient CW operators in the US at midnight or very early in the morning there, who would do with me or the other JAs. They were old timers at that age, around their 60 or 70s. Some of them were retired R/O. I am afraid they won' be active on the radio any longer. I have experienced the time when CW was a shining mode of communication. I have tried to resist the trend of decline in conversational CW. So far unsuccessful. It might be my duty to see it through to the end, maybe.

I know there are some CW operators still active in the US. They are, however, getting older. If I am allowed to say it, their aging makes communication like two way of soliloquies. Of course, I am not an exception. It is becoming hard to have an experience of heartfelt communications from heart to heart. I still, however, look forward some interesting and moving chats with friends.


Chinese cabbage and pork

Chinese cabbage and pork seasoned with oyster sauce.

It is the big chinese cabbage that the electrician friend has given to me. I should use the rest of that big chinese cabbage soon. I would try to cook salmon and cheese wrapped with chinese cabbage in cream sauce. It is a challenge this evening.

I am tidying the things my parents have left. There are piles of the reports by the helper and folks who have helped my mother living alone in the other house in our same property. In simple 2 or 3 lines of sentences, they have vividly expressed how my mother was doing before and after attending to the daytime care facility. For example, she told a helper person that sweet potato should be planted when the magnolia is fully out. In a morning, she was looking the garden in a sad countenance. However, as soon as she was called to get on the bus for the facility, she looked vivid again and rushed to the bus. When my sister or sister in law came to care for her, she looked really happy and vivid.

Fortunately, despite of having progressively lost recent memory, she has kept her personality and even positive and vivid mind for life until the end of her life. What a blessing it was for her and for us surrounding her! And, whenever reading the reports left on the table, I become full of gratitude to all the people who have cared for her with such love and caring mind. 

It has passed over 10 years since she lived there in that way. I should never forget how she has been treated by those good people.



A friend electrician has retired

We have had a trouble with an air conditioner at our daughter's room. She seldom visits us and stays there. But it is not comfortable for her to stay there in this severe weather in winter. I have called a guy with the initial of YK who owned an electrical appliance store and worked as an electrician. As written below, we and our parents have been close each other for long time. I have asked him for any repair of electrical appliances and for new items both at home and at my office. He has always been so quick to answer to my requests. He used to work with his friendly smile for us.

His parents knew my parents at the tuberculosis sanatorium my aunt used to manage here at this place back in '40s to '50s. His mother has been so kind to my mother whom she has visited for many times even since my mother suffered from dementia. I used to bring them to a hot spa near by years ago. A gentle and kind lady indeed.

On the phone, I was surprised to hear he had closed his shop last year owing to a health issue. All of sudden, he, 2 years older than me, has got AV block in heart which caused severe bradycardia. It urged him to be hospitalized and to have pace maker implanted. With that device, he could do anything but his job as an electrician. An electric shock may have the pace maker act up and result in an ominous condition, as his doctor said to him. That was the reason why he decided to retire last year.

His mother in law, over 90 years old, needed supports by him and his wife. That is why he has moved to the mother in law's home pretty close to his original home. He told me he had been growing many kinds of vegetables. I have visited him at his old home yesterday, where his daughter told me he had moved as written above. He has visited me this morning bringing some vegetables he has harvested.

Our parents have lived in this area as good friends decades ago. Except for his mother, all have gone away by now. And it is the time for both of us, YK and myself, to live in retirement now. Time is passing steadily and fast.

Telling me he would live for only another 10 years from now, he has left here. If we have the foods and the home here, we could get through our retirement even in economical recession as expected very soon. I have replied to him.

May he be blessed with good health and enjoy his retirement!


Happy New Year

A new year has already started for 3 days. It is fairly warm here for this season in a year. It has been fine. Nothing to be complained. We have had my brother, his wife and our daughter on the New Year's Day at our home.

What a feast it has been for us! If there could be a reunion in the heaven, it might be like this. We have talked a lot. About our parents, good old days, politics, music and medical service. Yes, my brother has been a psychiatrist. A lot of laugh and hot debate. I was surprised to know my brother had been fond of Dostoevsky and boasted that he had read through Karamazov for 3 times. When I told him, graduating from the college with the specialty in mechanical engineering, I first thought to major in Russian language or literature at another university, which did not come true. I have even tried to learn Russian by myself those days. Whether fortunate or not, it did not come true. Both of us have decided to go for med school. After he has lived in Sendai city for 4 decades, he won't feel it had become his home country, as he said. Soon, he will retire from his work. I wonder where he would spend his retirement. Sister in law, a capable as well as reliable person, has recently started practicing piano. We have talked on music a lot. As I told her Mahler's 9th symphony was the most impressive music for me last year, she took a memo on it and would listen to it later. I am wondering if it is suitable for an earnest Christian or not. Anyway, it is good to know she has been interested in classic music so much.

I really felt as if our parents had been with us there. When they were alive, they sure sat on the table with us and joined our conversation. I am not only missing them so much but also thinking of the time we leave the earth.

We have served them paella and chinese dimpling with fresh salad. Before having them, we toasted with very good champagne. It has lasted until midnight here.

Our sister, who lives in Tokyo and did not gather here this time, has turned 70 years of age last year. We might not be able to have such a meeting too often. I should set up such a feast from time to time. 

After taking glasses of champagne,

I just wanted to tell you how we had spent our New Year's Day here.

Wishing all of you good health and happiness through this new year.


Stir fried sour pork and green tea

When I find a good recipe for dinner in the internet, I won't print it out but would write it down on a paper. Writing lets me understand the content of that overall. It helps me to cook it. The hand written recipes have been cumulated to 4 or 5 files for now. Late in the afternoon, I always open one of them and decide what to cook. It is not what I expected to do several years ago. That is still my life.

It was this stir fried sour and sweet pork with vegetables today. I have made it twice and knew it was not an easy menu. I don't know why but wanted to try it out again. The result? ....So so. But it would take me some time to try this one again for sure.

We often have had coffee with meals almost every day. It is indispensable for breakfast. However, I was getting a bit bored with the monotonous bitterness of coffee for the daytime beverage. I tried green tea. It has more variable bitterness. Not straight like coffee. I still like this one. On a common pottery cup of Mashiko ware. Mashiko is a town next to ours here. I won't blame coffee but still love this profound taste of green tea. It is refreshing.