Sunday, March 27, 2011

Going back to normal

Yesterday, Tetsu and I spent the day out enjoying ourselves. He had part of the day off, I haven't been into the next city for over two weeks, we both wanted a hot bath. We called one place near us in the countryside but they said they were housing evacuees from Fukushima and would be closed to the public until further notice. That makes sense... There are lots of rooms for people to spread out in, there is a noodle shop that can be used for basic cooking for large numbers, and there are the hot baths that are relaxing and cheering. I'm glad someone has thought to use the facilities for a noble purpose.

Tetsu and I ended up at a gimmicky place and enjoyed ourselves immensely. It was as if there had never been an earthquake at all. Afterwards we did some shopping at the mall and again we were both struck by the normalness of things. Lots of people milling around, lots of food being sold. The only obvious difference was that there was a long line of young parents waiting to buy water for their babies. The city will sell water to people if they can show their "maternity passbook", a little book that mothers receive when they are expecting and where records are kept of the pregnancy and the first 3 years of a baby's life. Anyway, only certain people can buy drinking water. Everything else can be easily purchased. The shelves were filled.

I enjoyed the window shopping but did not find anything I needed to buy except for groceries. Vegetables are in abundance I'm happy to report. It is amazing how much we DO NOT need. No, I don't want to buy clothes nor accessories nor dishware (even though a lot broke I still have cupboards more). I don't need fancy coffees nor new shoes nor any magazines. So on my first trip out in two weeks what did I buy? A toilet seat cover (we've pulled the plug on our lovely warm toilet seat!) and sewing machine thread. Got to have that thread, you know!

And yes, I have been sewing. I've made quite a few string blocks that will go together as a donation quilt. I need to get some of the basic fabric again from Mrs. Furui before they turn into a quilt. Early in my cloistered two weeks I realized I didn't have too much white sewing machine thread left on the spool. Oh, this is terrible! And here I am with time on my hands and a sewing machine! But, I do have a lot of left over thread (you know like little packets from sewing kits and odd weights and colors from an old sewing box) so I've been using those up. Quite a variety of threads on the back of my string blocks! Good. Someday maybe some historian will take apart a quilt (I doubt very much) and realize that this quilter was doing "make-do" sewing during the Great Japanese Earthquake of 2011.

But I have white sewing machine thread again so I'll be working on my Alphabet Soup quilt next. I need to free that up so that I can use my safety pins before quilting the donation quilts.

It looks like gasoline is available again in rationed amounts. No long lines at the gasoline stations yesterday. I hope kerosene will be next.

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