Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Mother's rooms have such a nice airy feel about them now! We even went out and brought her some lovely white curtains. Things are looking good!
I keep reminding myself that I'm not throwing away history here, I'm organizing it so that someone can appreciate it. Pictures have been dusted and put out on shelves rather than in cardboard boxes with the spiders. Letters are bundled for someday editing. Some books have found their way to the local library but I found one that I absolutely have to keep and will take it back to Japan with me.
This is a book of Japanese fairy tales that my grandparents must have given me when I was 5 or 6. I can vaguely remembered being entranced by the exotic pictures when I was a child and as I got older I loved reading all the interesting folk tales of fishermen fighting demons and princesses being born from bamboo poles. I guess my first interest in Japan began with these stories. Some of the titles include "The Man Who Made the Trees Bloom" and "The Legend of Urashima".
And while going through some of Mother's old pictures I found this photo from my first trip to Japan when I was 12. Our family visited Japan for two weeks one summer and took in the sights (even coming to the city that I now live in!). I think we met some distant relatives of my mother's and she shocked us all, even herself, by speaking elementary Japanese! She hadn't heard Japanese since she was 5 years old yet it somehow came out of her head when forced to speak it with the elderly aunts who paid an honorable visit to our honorable hotel.
This picture says it was taken on June 23rd 1967, 42 years ago, in front of the Tokyo Tower which was modeled after the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Marcy looked at this picture and said we looked like something out of a history book. Remember black and white photography? Wow. Does that make me feel OLD!! My father is the man in the white jacket behind my mother and brother and myself. I remember the smells of Tokyo and the little trinkets that were sold at all the souvenir stands. Something must have caught my fancy on this first trip because I came back in 1974 as a college student and again in 1977 on a work visa.
And I'm still there! (Or will be in another 10 days!)