The Vacation Cabin in the Woods

We’re on VACATION, so, let’s, U-N-P-L-U-G!!!  Translated…

This vacation to Keiya Peninsula, we’d stayed at the cabins as Kumano Club.  This sort of a vocational hotel usually locates in the valleys, the forests, or any place that’s without the fluency of transportation, and most of the hotels used their own small transit busses to pick up and drop off the guests, the environment was close to desolate, there’s no place to go in the evenings.  But, what’s harder to adapt to for me, was the rooms being disconnected from the internet, and, there’s no cell reception, we’d needed to go to the hotel lobby to get access to the internet.

The cabin we’d stayed at was close to the lobby, we could head to the lobby to use our cell phones easily, but, if you live in those more distant cabins, you’d needed to take a twenty, thirty minute walk.  This reminded me of the Karuizawa cabins we’d stayed in three years ago, totally inside a forest, the tour guide even reminded us, to NOT go out in the evenings, that we would be lost easily, let alone what sort of dangers we may encounter; and if we really wanted to go out at night, we can call up the reception to come and pick us up.  So, unless it’s out of necessity, we’d, chosen, to stay in.

someplace like this???  not my photo…

It sounded troubling, but this sort of a remote cabin got us away from the shopping, going back to our rooms, logging onto the internet cycles we’re used to traveling by.  And, the sign of this particular cabin hotel, I couldn’t find the meaning of the first three characters anywhere, but, the brochure stated, that the point of staying at this cabin hotel is for the tourists to rid themselves of the fast-pace way of life they’d kept in the cities, to slow down their steps, to let time passes by at its own tempo.

Thinking on it, surely, it’s right, we are only on vacation for a few short days, why not, disconnect from the outside world, and get in touch with what traveling abroad is truly about, getting away from our usual routines of life.

and this totally defeats the PURPOSE of being on VACATION!!!  Not my photograph…

So, these are the places, that most people probably won’t select as their places of stay when they go on vacation, because we’re, too addicted to using our cell phones, those hi-tech gadgets, electronic devices, but, vacationing in such a place like this gives you a brand new way of experiencing your surrounding environment, lets you take a few days off from being bugged by those alert sounds from LINE or e-mail alert messages…

The Sign on My Back, Ways to Tackle Becoming Forgetful

Scared of forgetting things, could it be, an early sign of dementia?  Or, could it be, that there’s, just too many things we’re, keeping in mind, that one or two had, “slipped”???  Translated…

“Honey, looks like I’m going to have to post something on your back as a reminder today.”  As I woke up in the morn, my wife hollered out at me.  I’d asked her what’s up, she’d smiled and told me, “While I was making breakfast, I’d suddenly, forgotten what I was about to do next, and no matter how hard I’d tried, I can’t remember it, could it be, that I’m already, demented?”

“Dementia?  Don’t exaggerate.”  I’d laughed, “Last night you were just telling me, that there’s a CD due today, that you’re going to, withdraw it from the banks………”, after she’d heard, she’d realized, that she’d told me this, and tapped her head with her fingers, “Yes, yes, that’s it!  Oh, I’d still needed to………”, she looked troubled in thought, like she can’t remember something else.

okay, mayne NOT that overboard!!!  Photo from online…

“Let’s do it this way,” I’d recommended to her, “Why don’t you do like I do, have a notebook handy, and write everything you need to do down, or, just use the Post-It notes and stick it on the fridge, that way, you will NEVER need to worry about forgetting anything!”

“We’re together every single day, or, I should, post that stick-it note on your back, like those cue boards for the actors and actresses, that way, I’d known what I’m going to do.”  My wife still wanted me to do as she said, posting the notes on my back, she’d’ continued, “You know what, there was a famous media personnel after her mother was diagnosed with dementia, she’d stated, ‘what made me the saddest was how my mother forgot our shared memories, it’s, the worst kind of punishment.’”

The worst kind of punishment?  This was, shocking to me, and I’d recalled my eldest cousin who’d worked as a school teacher for thirty-nine years.  Only a few short years after his retirement, one morning, after he walked out of the house, and in a few short steps, had forgotten how to get back home, clearly, that, was the signs of Alzheimer’s; not long thereafter, his condition worsened, it’s small matter that he’d forgotten things, what’s worse was he’d wanted to ram out of the house, rushed to school.  Although the families tried stopping him, he’d still found his way, to “sneak” out.  And yet, after he got out, he’d become, disoriented, the family worried he might be in an accident, and started the cycles of “finding the lost” daily.

like this???  Not my picture…

“Posting a note on my back is only temporary,” I’d smiled and told my wife, “Why don’t you give your brain exercises, like through reading, practicing calligraphy, or, get involved with line dancing, that, would be the best way to prevent yourself from forgetting!”

She’d nodded, and told me that she will, otherwise, it would be, regrettable for her in the future, if she’d, forgotten, this past we’d, once shared.

So, it is, normal that we start to forget things as we get older, and, because dementia IS the common cold of old age, everybody is scared, and, there’s no need to feel alarmed if you can’t remember things, after all, we’re still, processing a TON of information from a day-to-day basis, and, not being able to recall the slightest details, is only normal, we’re NOT computers or machines here!!!

An Unspoken Love

Love isn’t spoken here, but it surely is, shown!  Translated…

My close friend told me, she’d regretted not having told her father that she loved him, until her father got to the end of his life, on the verge of dying, did she, speak out this “confession” of hers, that’s gotten no replies back.

I do believe, that I’m, blessed.  Every night after work, my eight-year-son would run into me, professed his love to me loudly, “Mom, open your arms, stand steady!”, I’d quickly, dumped my bag, bend at my knees, and caught him, who’d, run into me from over ten meters away, in the speed of a sprint; then, he’d, stayed in my arms, and, told me of the interesting day he’d had at school that day.  Before bedtime, my husband would say goodnight to me the way he’d done, for ten years on end, “Honey, I love you so!”, in my house, love had, opened up this free-flowing two-lane freeway, but, how do I, and my mother, who don’t verbally speak of our love to one another show it?

a mother preparing the foods her loved ones enjoy to show love…NOT my photo.

Every time I’d gone back home to visit, mom would always cook my favorite triangle dumplings I’d loved so much.  Mom would place each and every one of those triangular dumplings into boiling water, waited until they floated back up, the skin became semi-transparent, then, put in the fried onions, chopped celery, and cilantro, and, soon enough, an ordinary but tasty pot of triangular dumpling was served.  Mom used foods, to show how much she loved me.

And, my love for mom was hidden, in the things I’d prepared for her, the sunscreen in the summers, the moisturizers in the winters, along with cosmetic things that makes her feel pretty.  Recently, I’d kept trying to find the cell phone bag that she can carry with her at all times to solve her problems of always searching for her cell phone.  Last week, I’d signed up for my leather course, I’d planned to make a cell phone case for mom, and, the end product made me forget how painful it was, for me, to thread the needles.  And, the instructor told me as a reminder, “You can customize the letters you wanted on your product yourself!”, I’d painted the leather with a layer of water with my paintbrush, then, pressed the metal letter blocks, then, used my hammer, to press them all on, with every letter, I’d read to myself, “L, O, V, E” and “U”, and, I’d, made my own special, one-of-a-kind appreciation for mom using my own unspoken ways.

I’d recalled the poem by June Hong, “Mom”: “Your love is like a full tub of bath water.  Warm, making me float.”  The love I can’t speak aloud, it’s life’s way of proving, that “love is everywhere”!

So, because your family is not so used to saying “I love you” especially in the older generations, they’re NOT used to verbalizing their love for their young, but, they’d, shown it, in making our favorite foods, preparing extra things for when we return home to visit, and, now you’d found your own way, to show your mother that you appreciated and loved her too.

Reason Why I Quit Smoking

For the sake of your own health, for the health of your loved ones???  What ELSE, huh???  Translated…

Why I’d begun smoking?  It was, too long ago, I can no longer recall.  But, in the current atmosphere of banning smoking, all the reasons went out the windows; I’d Googled the saying, “a cigarette after meal, happy as an angel”, I’d wanted to find some proofs that made my behaviors acceptable, only to find, that the phrases got altered to, “a cigarette after each meal, sends you to heaven sooner!”

I was born in the 1950s, with a son from the 1990s, can I not, cherish and treasure him so?  After I got married, I’d, stopped smoking inside the house, during the time of my wife’s pregnancy, I’d brushed my teeth, rinsed my throat more and more often, and, I’d made myself showered, before I get anywhere NEAR my angelic baby, and felt his right hook toward me, it was, such an amazing moment.  But, you’d ask, why don’t I sign up for a quit-smoking clinic trial, and just, be done with smoking altogether?  I know I should, but, I just, never did.

Saying NO!  Not my photo…

Before school age, foods, play, sleep, I am the skies, whatever I say, goes.  After my son started school, the school teacher became the authority, whatever SHE said, went.  The anti-smoking education in Taiwan is a success, the teacher played the shorts of how smoking can be damaging to the health, and, stopped the videos at the scary photos posted on the cartons, even shown the photos of pork liver that’s turned black-and-purple, as well as the smoked yellow tissue papers to show the downside to smoking, and, of these, what convinced me the most, was the worst effects of secondhand smoke, a thousand carcinogens attached themselves to any and everything indoors, and, they can’t be rid of through the years, and, as I thought about my son who would crawl and touch everything, how can I, still feel fitting, to continue smoking?

The family gathering before my son’s basic skills exam on his last year of middle school, my youngest brother-in-law asked him which high school he’d wanted to attend, “The high school set up by the Taiwan Teacher’s University”, he’d blurted it out.  I’d recalled how he’d, not gotten in to the better schools of the northern territories, I’d blurted it out, “If you get in, I shall, quit smoking!”  Everybody was a witness, it’s set then.  On the day the grades were posted, he’d kept a straight face, said, that he’d wanted to wait until the essay portions were, graded to tell us, but, there was, that light smile on his lips, I was, so thrilled, and, I’d felt, awful about it.

And he did, become, the son of the blue skies (a nickname for the high school students at the high school set up by the Teachers’ University), and, in order to keep my promise, I’d, quit smoking, a bad habit I’d kept, for forty years on end, and, I’d, not smoked a single puff in five whole years.

It’s the testing seasons again, the added perk of getting into the school they’d wanted to—asking the loved ones to quit smoking, allow us all, to become, ambassadors of the Bosses’ Foundation, stay away from smoking, and keep healthy and safe!

the first step, throw it out yourself!  Photo from online…

So, this man finally had a motivation to QUIT smoking, and, I’m pretty sure he’d had tried quitting before, but, the “rewards” weren’t big enough for him, but this time, his own son gave HIM an ultimatum, and, quitting smoking WAS for his own good, and, because he wanted to set a good example for his son that he had when he was older, that, was probably how he was, able to quit smoking successfully!

The Princess Syndrome that Has No Cure, on Filial Relations

Being loved, cherished, and well taken care of by her beloved husband, that, is what all of us, women want to have in our separate marriages, translated…

“My mom has a weird illness, I don’t know what to do.”, I’d heard my son talking to his classmates, I was, very, shocked.  “She is, seriously ill, to the point, of not having any cures.”, my son got more and more worked up.  In his classmates’ pressing him for more, he’d stated, “My mother is diagnosed with a serious case of princess syndrome”, I’d chuckled hard, and caused the coffee I was sipping all come out of my mouth.

At age thirty-five, I’d done what my husband asked of me, being pregnant, I’d, given up on my rising career, waved goodbye to the workforce.  Several months later, as an elderly pregnant woman, after three days and three nights of being in labor, because the pain was so unbearable, heaven only knows how many hospital staff members I’d, alerted; my husband was there, right beside me, helping me, there were, multiple scratch marks on his arms too, and, as I’d finally, “unloaded” this heavy “burden” inside of my belly, I’d already, become totally, wiped out, to unconscious.  And, what happened during my delivery, became the most-talked-about-news of that hospital!

man and wife 的圖片結果like this maybe???  Not my photo…

After a week’s worth of hospitalization, my husband filed the paperwork for my discharge, and, drove me back to our apartment.  Without any warnings, he’d, lifted me up in his arms, in one breath, climbed up five flights of stairs, lifted me to our bed.  As I was placed on the bed to rest, I saw how hard my husband was hyperventilating, how his face was turning all red, I’d felt sorry for him.  And, even now, that scene still, stayed in my mind, like it’d, happened, yesterday.

My husband wasn’t the least bit romantic, nor would he say the words so sweet.  But, being thoughtful, whenever I’d, sneezed, he’d immediately, taken me to the doctors.  Every time I’d had a scratch on me, he’d applied the healing ointments on my skin, it’d given me that warmth I’d lacked growing up, without my parents.

In our sixties, we have totally different personalities, one of us very active, the other, very quiet.  In the over twenty years we’d married, it’s like, we’d danced our tango, in the dancefloor called life, danced to our own tempos.

My husband’s carefully looking after me, had all be observed by my son.  He’d once told me playfully, “Mom, dad’s responsible for your princess syndrome”, my good friend once inquired, “Do you regret giving up on your studies and career, and just stayed at home as a full-time housewife and mom?”, I’d thought hard for a bit, just like that saying of “you can’t have it both ways”, in this ordinary family of mine, it surely, is a blessing, that I had, “contracted” the princess syndrome.

someone to grow old with…not my photo.

So, this woman was, truly, very cherished by her husband, he’d taken good care of her, and, gave her all that she’d needed from him, looked after her like she was a daughter to him, and, the woman felt spoiled, and blissful, that her husband had treated her so wonderfully, making up for her not having a father growing up.

And, for What?

From an online blog in Chinese I’m a subscriber to, translated by me…

Why are you, still, inside this confined space?  Or maybe, you’re still, afraid, feeling lost?  You feared, that if you leave the comfortable place you’re currently in, you will, get be completely, defeated, by reality, and that, if, you’d, moved along too fast, you may, forget, who you were when you’d started from before.

Feared, that if you’d left the you that everybody is familiar with

Nobody will have your back, people you know would, desert you.

And, as life goes on, more and more of these questions had, hounded down on you, they’d, masked up your hesitations, urged you onward.  So, you’d, moved, slowly onward, but, backed away, as a decision comes before you.

Who are you?

And why, are you, alive?

This is, an existentialism crisis, that this individual is experiencing, s/he is starting to, question everything that s/he comes into contact with, and, feels confused, about the purpose of life, and, there’s, NO other option (or so this person had been led to believe!), but to, keep moving onward, and, this person doesn’t realize, that it’s okay, to NOT have all the answers in one’s life, that somehow (don’t ask me how, but I just know it!!!), that things will all work out, the way it’s, supposed to………

 

 

Writing, for the Purpose, of NOBODY Else…

I have always been a writer; to myself. Hundreds of magazines, blogs, newspapers and publishing houses have turned down my writing. I was mad, even depressed. I’d go through stages of self hatred, thinking I would never be good enough and my writing was shit; I’d never get any better. You want to know why […]

via Why? — Paper Plane Pilots