Sunday, August 30, 2009

Patience is a Virtue (I'm still working on it)

As the title implies I've needed more than my usual dose of patience lately ... this entry was from 2 weeks ago and between my technology struggles and receiving our household goods shipment my patience has been tried mightily at times. As Jeff says "my patience bucket is empty." Perhaps I need to look into the teachings of Buddha ...

Sunday, August 17th

It has been a bit of a quiet week here as we’ve continued to tread water while we await our household goods. So what do we do without our things … lots and lots of reading, we play Uno and we’re currently working on the hardest darn jigsaw puzzle we’ve ever had (I’m not sure we’re ever going to finish this one – it’s 1000 pieces and there are only 2 shapes, I’m not kidding). It has been nearly 10 weeks since we’ve seen our things and when you do without all that you take for granted on a daily basis it certainly makes you consider what’s the essence of your belongings. But it appears that our wait is nearly over, we finally received word that our things will arrive Monday. So we’re all happy – Jeff hasn’t seen our things since December 17th when he left the states and he says the thing he’s missed the most was our bed. For me it comes down to 3 items our Cuisinart Grind and Brew (I so can’t wait for a decent cup of coffee in the morning), our bed and finally my Dansko’s (because I have come to loathe my athletic shoes that I’ve worn everywhere for the last 3 weeks – and the one thing you really need here are some really fabulous walking shoes). For Walker it’s the computer – he’s already volunteered to set it up for me tomorrow – I’m guessing he has ulterior motives and wants first dibs on playing Civilization. For Wrenn it’s “Nana’s” wicker daybed (probably the most fought over reading spot in our house), some good lamps to read by and our comfortable sofa. And for Mitchell it was the sofa and the computer.

We did manage to go make another trip back to Kamakura on Saturday. This week is the week of O-bon – where families all over Japan travel back to their ancestors’ homes. The streets of Kamakura were packed. We fought our way up to nearly the end of the shopping district to finally find ourselves a chopstick shop so that we could all choose our individual chopsticks. After much deliberation over length, weight in the hand, pattern/color, we walked away with 5 pairs of chopsticks. We could all use a bit more practice at home before making any more chopstick gaffes in restaurants – there is an etiquette to follow re: chopstick use, but I’ll save that one for another entry.

After the chopsticks and a visit to another ice cream shop – no baked sweet potato at this one so I tried the green tea – we headed to see the Great Buddha or Daibutsu, outside of Kamakura. This cast-in-bronze statue is the second largest monumental Buddha in Japan and was started in 1252. For more information on this historic site visit:

Recommended Reading

Untangling My Chopsticks by Victoria Abbott Riccardi. A nice, easy read about one woman’s journey in Kyoto for a year to study kaiseki, the refined form of cooking that accompanies the formal Japanese tea ceremony. If you plan to come to Japan and participate in a traditional tea ceremony this is a must read – it not only gives the history of the ceremony but helps the reader understand all the nuances and symbolism behind this centuries old ceremony.

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