Friday, May 30, 2008


Yeah! I have made it to Ohio! The trip wasn't too bad... We went through the Dulles Airport in Washington DC which turned out to be a madhouse and our luggage was lost but it came back the next day. I've been borrowing Leiya's clothes because the first couple days I didn't have any of my own and also because I didn't bring too many to begin with. A little tight here and there, a little low cut (not my style jeans that's for sure!) but I'm managing.

(At the Narita Airport)

Tetsu was completely overwhelmed at the airports and I don't know how many times he's said that he would never have gotten here if he was alone. In the airports people were running in all directions and most people except for us seemed to know what they were doing. I can see how for a non-English speaker like Tetsu he might say "Never again!" but anyway, we made it to our destination.

Here is what we've done so far in brief.

Wednesday, May 28th. Drove up to Leiya's college and took a tour of the campus. Very impressive, very lovely, the few students we met (it is summer break already) seemed confident and did a good job of extolling the virtues of their school. The dorms are smaller than I remember dormitory rooms ever were, but it was interesting to see the Starbucks and Wendys in the student commons building. I think Leiya's will be very happy there come August.

Thursday, May 29th. Met Shelina! It turns out that Shelina lives a couple of cities over, and on extremely short notice (like the night before at 11:00 pm) I let her know that Tetsu and I would be having breakfast at a certain restaurant. Shelina took the time before she had to go to work to come and meet us and chat with us awhile! THANK YOU, THANK YOU SHELINA! It was really great to have a first meeting with a blog friend! (And she brought me a quilting book!)

In the afternoon Leiya took us out to her friend's farm to play with the cows! Yes, who knew that cows could be so much FUN! We had calves sucking our fingers (a new texture treat!) and we laughed so hard our stomachs hurt! Oh, and the friend's house? Such longing was I filled with to live in a farmhouse like that surrounded by antiques and animals and homemade jam set out on the counters cooling. Tetsu said he could picture me sitting in the corner with a quilting hoop on my lap in such a place as that.

Friday, May 30th. We spent all day preparing for Leiya's graduation party. This was a major event that brought a bit of stress and apprehension into our lives just because Tetsu and I have never done this before. Party? Party? How do you have a party? What do people do at parties? No parties in Japan, at least not American style. Tetsu and I were absolutely no help at all in preparing for this big event and we couldn't believe that preparations were being made to host 80 to 100 people. How would Leiya even know 80 to 100 people? It turned out this was a joint party for (by) Leiya and her friend and so Leiya's host mother and the other mother did all the cooking for the party and the girls planned the decorations.

Unlike Japanese parties which are always sit down events with a clear beginning and end and speeches abounding with maybe some organized game or program, this graduation party started and people began milling about, coming in and out freely, eating, chatting, mixing in generations, finding unknown connections (one lady turned out to be from Tetsu's home town! How amazing is that?) The party was held in the Japanese Language church in town where Leiya had been attending so Tetsu gratefully had people he could chat with and the whole thing was a great success. Where I had been floored at the amount of food that Bessie and the other mother had prepared, by the end of the party I was wondering if there was going to be enough (there was). A unique experience for Tetsu and me.

We all crashed into bed around 12:00 midnight after clean up only to be awakend at 4:00 this morning with tornado sirens blaring and we all, humans and the family dog, hurried down into the basement to spend the night wrapped in sleeping bags and blankets, cat napping in front of the emergency news broadcasts of the approaching tornados. No tornados actually appeared but it was an exciting way to end the night (or begin this morning since Tetsu and Leiya are still sleeping in the basement as I write this post.)

On to the docket for today is GRADUATION which is the main purpose of our visit this trip and hopefully the would be tornados have cleared the weather for a sunny day ahead.


anne bebbington said...

Glad you and your luggage (eventually) arrived safely. How great to meet a fellow blogger and it looks like you're going to have a great time with Leiya

QuiltingFitzy said...

Ohio is my home, will you share which University she will attend?

Glad you are safe, safe arrival, and safe thru the storms.

God Speed.

Julie said...

It sounds like you are feeling better about Leiya. I am so glad you are having a great time!

artfilstitch said...

Very happy that your trip was a safe one and your suitcases caught up with you. What a fun time you are having with Leiya and her many friends. I love the picture of you farm visit and would have to agree with Tetsu that you would look very much at home and will add also....Tetsu might fit the part of milking the cows..:>)
Hope your trip continues with many blessings!

Clare said...

Glad you got there safe and sound. It sounds as if you are having a whirwind (lol) trip!

Keeping having fun.

Chocolate Cat said...

Thank you for sharing your travels, sounds like you have done a lot already and had a lot of fun and new experiences. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

How exciting this time is for you! Meeting up with Shelina is the sweet cherry on top of the sundae. Enjoy every minute, congratulations to Leiya!

Nancy said...

Tanya, it was so good to hear your voice! Been missing you.

Sounds as though you are on an absolute whirlwind of activity, all of it joyous.

Congratulations to dear Leiya!

nancy, near philadelphia

andsewitis Holly said...

Wonderful post, Tanya. I wanted to comment about this and your last post that today/this month is your Ebenezer (1 Samuel 7:10) for "thus far the Lord has helped you" and Leiya. This is one of many great milestones and my heart is filled with joy for you.

andsewitis Holly said...

oops. I mean 7:12

Mary said...

It sounds like the graduation trip is going well aside from the luggage issues. I love to travel and can easily find my way around unfamiliar airports and cities but I forget sometimes how overwhelming it can be. We're on to Toronto in a couple days and it will be my first visit there - I'm excited!

Lynne in Hawaii said...

Tanya, I glad you both arrived safely and your luggage caught up too! Congratulation to Leiya! Tetsu seems to be enjoying it all. He seems happy in the barn with the cows (GRIN)! Have fun, relax and enjoy the time with your daughter!

CONNIE W said...

Congratulations to Leiya and best wishes to you & Tetsu for smooth days for the remainder of the visit. Sounds like you've had more than enough unscheduled excitement.

teodo said...

Congratulation to Leyla!!!
And happy holyday in America.
ciao ciao

meggie said...

My Goodness! What a full time for your both!
Shelina looks gorgeous! You are so lucky to meet her.
What a lovely Party for Leiya, but a shame about the tornado warnings. It all seems like such a rush. I hope Tetsu is ok!