Thank you so much for all your kind thoughts this past week; they were all appreciated so much. Mom passed away peacefully last Monday evening, so it’s been a somewhat subdued and sad week here. It’s been especially difficult for the girls – Mom was the only grandparent they knew and her loss is felt deeply.
Meiling arrived home safely last Sunday evening, albeit by the skin of her teeth. Her flight from San Francisco to Honolulu was delayed over an hour because of weather delays back east, so it was very touch and go as to whether she would be able to make her connecting Hawaiian Airlines flight over to Kaua’i once she arrived in Honolulu. Her flight to Lihue was the last one of the day, so if she had missed it she would have had to spend the night at the Honolulu airport AND purchase a new ticket (and Hawaiian is currently charging bit more than usual for a one-way flight – we had used miles to purchase her ticket). But, a very kind shuttle driver at the Honolulu airport got her and two other passengers over to the Hawaiian terminal in time, a real feat because their United arrival gate and their Hawaiian departure gates were at complete opposite ends of the airport. Since she’s been here she and Brett have been taking care of all sorts of “business” issues, and she’s been practicing driving – she finally wants to get her driver’s license.
WenYu arrives home this Wednesday, so all of our fingers are crossed that everything goes smoothly with her flights.
This afternoon I am:
- Reading: I started Strawberry Days: How Internment Destroyed a Japanese American Community, by David A. Neiwert, this past week, about the evacuation of Japanese from the Seattle area into internment camps during WWII, one of the most shameful episodes in our nation’s history. The book is a combination of historical facts mixed with human stories about the effects of the evacuation both immediate and over time. I still haven’t been able to go back to It Can’t Happen Here.
- Listening to: It’s quite breezy again this morning, but the birds are singing and the chickens are a bit quieter than usual. Brett had the laundry started early this morning, so right now we’re listening to the sound of our beach towels tumbling in the dryer (YaYu uses them throughout the week after swim practice).
- Watching: Brett and I watched the series Hinterland for most of this past week, a crime procedural series set in Wales. We enjoyed it, but Wales sure seemed to be a very bleak place. We watched Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? again last Thursday evening, and started the second season of The Man In the High Castle on Friday evening and are working our way through that.
- Cooking/baking: Because Meiling asked for it, we’re having kalua pork, macaroni salad, rice and a cucumber salad for dinner tonight. Brett got the pork going in the slow cooker early this morning and it smells wonderful. No baking today.
- Happy I accomplished this past week: It’s kind of amazing how much adding just one person to the household changes things, so it’s been a bit more of an effort keeping up with things. I still was able to get all my water drinking (56 glasses!), bike riding (45+ miles with 1680+ calories burned) and Japanese language study done every day. Brett and I finished the last of our Christmas shopping (gift cards) on Friday so we are officially ready!
- Looking forward to next week: WenYu’s homecoming! Can’t wait to see that girl again, and have all three of our girls at home (YaYu’s winter break begins on Thursday). They are all so excited about being together again and have a slew of activities planned for the week that WenYu’s and Meiling’s stays overlap. We’re also all looking forward to our Christmas Eve dinner from Pono Market!
- Thinking of good things that happened: We had a wonderful lunch and get-together with friends Alan and Cheryl, who will be moving permanently to Kaua’i in 2017. We ate at Street Burger, one of our favorite Kaua’i restaurants. The burgers are amazing, and many of the ingredients are locally grown or produced. Brett’s sister sent the girls a big package to open on Christmas, and sent Brett and I a generous check to spend on them while they’re here. I discovered that Big Save market carries one of my all-time favorite snacks from Japan, Ginbis Asparagus Biscuits. The deliciously crispy, lightly sweet cookies are NOT asparagus flavored, but are named for their asparagus shape. We had no food waste this past week – Meiling being home insures there are no leftovers – and we put $6.12 in the change/$1 bill jar.
- Grateful for: I’ve been exceeding thankful this week that Meiling has been home, and for the support and love from Brett and all my children and grandchildren.
- Bonus question: Has 2016 been a bad year, or good year for you? I know many have spoken of 2016 being one of the worst years they can remember, for a variety of reasons, but it’s honestly been a bit of both for me. On the bad side, there’s been the election results, the death of my mom, and a lot of little things not happening the way we liked, but on the up side there were WenYu’s scholarship wins and her admission to Wellesley, and we added an adorable granddaughter to the family. We had a fabulous trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona last March, and a great getaway to Honolulu in June. Our children are all healthy and doing well. So, overall I’d say it’s been a good year for us, with a couple of negatives (although they were big ones).
Thank you all again for your thoughts and wishes this past week. I hope it’s been a good week for you, and that good things happened in your lives.