When I’m Home Alone

Finally, she has time to herself, because her husband and her son are both, working late, this is, a hard-to-come-by mini “vacation” all right, and she really needed the recharge too! Translated…

My husband’s on shift tonight, my son working overtime, there’s only me at home at night, it’s, such a rare opportunity, that I get to be, alone on my own.

查看來源圖片what we’re, in need of…photo from online…

Ordinarily, everybody’s there, I couldn’t have a breath to myself, I’d need to, get my apron on, and entered, into, yet another battlefield—the kitchen, to take over my husband’s not yet finished up supper, and I’d needed to, get myself so dirty, before I’m able to, sit down to eat, and, I’d turned into, a worm, after I’d done, busying, too spent.

Tonight, I’m the only one home, very leisure, I’d changed into my relaxation outfit, I’ll get some snack, to keep the feelings of hunger away, I suppose! Then, sort through the newspapers, see what’s happened today. After reading the papers, I’d, opened up the fridge, to see what there is for me to eat, heated the plates up, an easy supper.

It’s really easy, just me, no need to, go out of my way, I can also, slow my own paces down, at this time, I have the opportunities, to finish everything slow, this was, such, an extravagance, for a working woman! After I’m full, I’ll, watch a few episodes of Korean soap, and after the soaps, my husband, my son should be, home, and, I shall, turn back to Cinderella, from a princess then.

here’s a woman, relaxing…photo from online…查看來源圖片pampering herself, because she EARNED it!!!  Image from online…

Even though life is like so, I’d already, gotten, recharged, and my fatigue, taken away by half, and I have, more energies, to embrace all the challenges that come towards me then. I love being at home alone, only during this period of time, would I feel, that I’m my own person. Turns out, spending time alone, slowing my own paces down, is the best sort of a gift for a career woman.

And so, this showed, how hard we women (yeah, I’m still one!!!) work, in, and OUT of our homes, unlike how you LOSERS (as that is what you all are!!!) can just, kick off your dress shoes, start turning into a POTATO on the couch after you come home from work, we women are still running, running, running NONSTOP, and when our husbands (yeah right, as if I got one??? GET REAL here!!!) and our young are away, we get the spare time to OURSELVES…


The Nostalgia Runs Long, Like a Flowing River

His father’s old clothes, as a reminder of the love of his parents, now that his parents are, gone, translated…

It was, a few months after my father-in-law passed away, while we were back home, my mother-in-law sorted through my father-in-law’s clothes, had her sons pick a few, as memorabilia. The rest of his siblings turned it down, said it wasn’t necessary, told my mother-in-law immediately, took back all the clothes for recycling, or donated the items to the needy. My mother-in-law wasn’t willing to, with her sorrowful eyes, looked toward my husband for console, my husband took the clothes from her, like holding something treasured, told her that they’re all very new, and that he shall, keep them to wear. My mother-in-law didn’t say another word, walked back into her bedroom, but, she seemed, to feel comforted by my husband’s actions.

查看來源圖片something this ordinary, with so much sentimental values attached, photo from online…

Actually, my husband was one size larger than my father-in-law, and, those clothes became, too short at the sleeves, the pant legs for him, he’d asked me, to pack all of it up, to bring them home with us, I’d guessed, it was, to help make my mother-in-law feel better!

In a blink of an eye, my mother-in-law had passed on for many years. And, my husband missed his parents more and more by the day, and, as he’d talked of my mother-in-law, he’d felt emotional, recalled all the fun things that happened between him and his mother when he was just a young child, a second ago, he was just, laughing out loud, then, the following, he was, turning his head, quietly, wiping his tears away; as he’d accompanied me to my parents, he’d always looked lost, told me, “I’m so envious of you, still have a mom.” Seeing how I was, helping my mom with something, he’d sighed, on how now he’d wanted to, fulfill his filial piety duties to his parents, he was, no longer able to.

At the start of the year, I’d taken my son to clean out the closets, my son asked where those old clothes came from, I’d mentioned it to him, he’d fallen, silent, I don’t know how much he’d understood about the loss that his dad experienced over losing his parents. On the especially colder days, I’d see my husband, take out my father-in-law’s jacket, and put it over his shirt, and I’d known, he was, missing his dad, putting his old clothes on, it was like, he was, in his father’s arms again; I’m sure, that my mother-in-law was more than thoughtful back then, knew my husband’s mind like a child’s, how he would, long for their love for him.

And so, this, is the kindness that’s, passed from one generation to the next, the husband took his father’s clothes from his mother, to ease her mind, and now, whenever he’d missed his parents, he’d, put on the clothes that was passed down to him from his own father, to reminisce how much love they loved him and he loved them too, and that, is the only thing he could, hold on to, because his parents are, both gone…

No Longer, the Tripping Queen

The changes in your habits, with age, because, as we get older, we can’t afford to trip and fall again, as everything is slowly lost by the year, translated…

Two months ago, I’d had my surgery, with my two hiking canes, I’d gone with the tour group to visit the Taichung Literature Museum, the Donghai University, the Zhongxing University, and the Wufeng Literary Library, and places, although I couldn’t walk swiftly enough, but I’d not slowed the whole group down. My companions worried I may have it too hard, I’d answered, “No problem, if you don’t believe me, I’ll run to show you!”

In recent years, I’d, tripped and fallen repeatedly, it’d made my families worry. I’d tripped by accident in front of the plaza before the deity temple, like I was, a worshipper, and thankfully, I’d not sustained any injuries, and was able to finish my trip; after watching my classmate performed in traditional Chinese opera, I’d wanted to go and congratulate her, on the way to backstage, the moment the door swung open, I’d, suddenly, fallen, flat on my face, it’d, thrilled my companions, thankfully, not a scratch.

查看來源圖片like, this???  Photo from online…

One more time, I’d agreed to meet by the Nanggang Exhibition Hall MRT stations, I was on a bicycle, then, transferring to the MRT, and, I’d, slammed on the brakes of the bicycle, and, the bicycle flipped over, I’d, fallen, but thankfully, I was agile enough, I got up immediately, continued heading to my meet with my classmate. After we’d met, I’d gone to the restrooms, I thought that it was more sanitary, the squatting toilets, but, as I’d extended my foot, I’d, kicked and tripped on the steps, and my eye bumped onto the toilet flush! Thankfully, I’d only sustained a bruise on my eye, and, was healed up after days of rest.

At the end of last year, I’d rushed out to take out the trash, on the way, I’d, tripped, and, in the excruciating pain, I’d, headed over to the nearby hospital; my right shoulder had a complete fracture, and needed the titanium to hook it up in place, and, I’d had herniated discs on my fourth and fifth spinal columns, and needed the titanium plates, and four nails to stabilize.

After these major surgeries, my son begged me, his seventy-seven year-old mom to not act tough anymore, he’d, given me a hiking cane made from carbon. Mmmmmmmmmmm, I’d gotten, two extra “legs”, and, it’d become, safer for me to get around. In order to save my loved ones the worries, and still be agile, getting around, I’d reminded myself, to watch where I’m going, to walk step by step, slowly, that way, I would be rid of the nickname of the “Queen of Tripping”, so I get to, enjoy every day that I will come to have.

And so, you were, careless when you walked from before, and now you’re, getting older, you would need to remind yourself, to walk slower, to walk carefully, so you won’t have so many accidents as you had when you were younger, that’s a good change with age, I suppose…

The Memories, Gone Forever

Forgetfulness that hits us all, as we get older, and it makes us fear: are we going to become, demented too, like our parents? Translated…

My neighbor who’s ten years my junior, Sis, took along her seventy-year-old mother to the hospital, to get her scanned for the symptoms of dementia. The doctor mentioned the names of three items at random to her mother, like apple, pencil, glasses, then, he engaged in conversation with her on whatever, then, as the conversation came to a halt, he’d asked her, “What three items did I have you remember from awhile back?”, my neighbor’s mother stuttered, and, my neighbor, Sis felt odd too, because…she couldn’t even recall the items, how was her mother supposed to?

Forgetfulness became a common illness, with the coming of age, more are, “diagnosed”.

That night, as I’d gone to the roof to pick up my dried clothes, and returned to my bedroom, I couldn’t find my cell phone anymore. Odd, I was just, talking on it, I’d had my husband call me, he’d called, repeatedly, but I couldn’t, hear my own cell phone ringing. I’d become, flustered, where is it? Odd, my stupid mind. It wasn’t until the following day as my husband went up to the roof to pick something up, he’d found my cell phone, all alone, lying there, on the washer, weathered through the cold of the night.

like this???  查看來源圖片image from online…

I’d often heard the stories of my friends and families on being forgetful too, like as they’d thrown the dishrag into the freezers, to keep it “fresh” while they were cooking; or how they were holding the keys on their left hand, and with their right hand, they’d, rummaged through the drawers to find their keys; and, there was the incident where after one of them made a withdrawal from an ATM, after they’d read the printed details, they’d, thrown that wad of cash into the recycle bins. Or, as I’d opened up the refrigerator door, and stumped: what am I doing? What do I want to get? And I couldn’t recall, and so, I’d, slammed the door of the fridge, returned back to the cutting board, banged my head, come on, think! So many incidents, other than smiling on them bitterly, I’d felt, that we’re, all the same, in our own forgetful ways.

I don’t want to forget, I feared dementia, I’d needed a way, to strengthen my memories.

Reading up on that plan in the section of the newspaper, “reading the classical poetry”, the analysis was so beautiful, why not begin training my memories with that! That was, it was a poem by Po Li, I’d recited it, over, over, over, and over again, only about no more three dozens of characters, why did it sound like a tongue twister! Sigh……… these poems when I was young, I’d only needed to read through them, three times tops, and I’d have them, committed to memory, but now, it’d taken me two whole days, and I’m still, remembering the words wrong.

查看來源圖片found it!  Not my illustration…

I’d heard the Chinese medicine doctor said that an acupressure point is helpful, that wasn’t hard, and so, I’d, pressed, pressed, pressed down on the point, three days later, this poem, reciting, and writing it out by rote memory, I’d finally, memorized it. Don’t laugh at me, there’s nothing I can do about that.

Before the New Years, my mother fell ill, became even more severely demented, she’d always mistaken her own sister as my older cousin, this is so worrisome. Thinking on if one day, I’d suddenly forgotten who I am, forgotten everybody around me, troubling myself, and others around me, wouldn’t that be awful? Up to here, I guess, I should, stop writing, go out, exercise, walking, is said to be a cure-all, how can I not walk at least 10,000 steps per day!

And, of ALL the ways you had, to prevent memory loss, none would be useful, because if dementia is meant to come find you in the elderly years, then, there’s, NO escaping it, but we can still, use our brains every day, to hopefully, delay the onset, or even, believing that if we use our mind more, we’ll, ward dementia off our elderly years, but if you’re meant to have a condition, there’s NO way you can, escape it, at least, that, is what I believe!

Public Telephone

Reading too much into it here! Translated…

There was a public phone by the outside of the bookstore, hung on the walls, like a punctuation mark, and nobody ever comes to use it. In this era where everybody has a cell phone in hand, who will be so nostalgic, and used the public phones to call someone up? Or maybe, it’s for the foreign nurses’ aides pushing the elderly out for a stroll? Or, the younger generation of men and women who call each other up in the middle of the nights?

Nope, none, perhaps? The migrant workers, the members of the younger generation, they ALL have cell phones now.

There were two recycle clothing boxes by the old phone, where everybody would drop their used items in. Because as I moved in, the afternoons were leisurely for me, and I’d often, stared at that public phone, which nobody ever uses, and felt sympathy toward it. There would be passersby outside, and would look at me with curiosity, and I’d wondered, if they feel the pities for me, like I feel the pities for the public phone? Was the secondhand book store too retro, and it’s, right next to the library.

Perhaps, I’d, over interpreted it, the bookstores aren’t as sorrowful as the public phone, and I’d liked to keep on believing optimistically, that this, was the life I’d wanted, and I’d still needed to, set things up in it.

Looking at the public phone, born, in the era of Internet and cell phone, it’s hard for you to imagine, how much emotion had, passed through them. Even Superman changed into his cape inside a phone booth, before he’d, flown up to the skies to save lives.

On the more ordinary occasions, during my years as a student, I’d pretended to go out to buy things, to take out the trash, to use the public telephones to call up my lover, because I’d not wanted my family to spy on me for it. And, the even more nostalgic scene, at the army bases, every time there’s break, the group of men, lined up by the phone, to talk to the ones their hearts belonged to. The phone started disconnecting after three short minutes, no more money left, and, even if there are so many things left unsaid, what’s left, was to say “goodbye”. And, heaven only knows, how difficult the goodbyes really are.

In the era of the public telephones, the nostalgia wasn’t only just elongated, it can also, be measured too.

And now, everything’s happening too fast, too instantly, nobody would write a song for a public telephone, like Joan Baez, because she’d received a call from Bob Dylan, and fallen into that older time, recalling the cufflinks she’d bought for him once, that prodigal son who’d, drifted into her arms once, the loves in the past became forever like the diamonds.

something that looked like this…photo from online…heading into EXTINCTION here…

Or like in the movies, where Andy Lau’s character in the movie, although he’d never imagined the female lead calling him up, but every time he’d passed by a phone booth, he’d stopped for a bit.

And now, probably nobody holds that imagination, expectancy, loss or ecstasy toward the public telephones anymore. Except for me, because there it stood, night AND day, outside of my shop.

One day, I’d finally stood by the public phones, and recalled how a friend I’d missed very much, but had lost in touch because of a misunderstanding, and I’d felt, just like this public phone that’s waiting for the call, but never gets it.

Suddenly, the woman from the homeowner association that lived on the second floor wanted to head up, she’d stared at me who’d become, dumbfounded by the public phone. And so I’d asked her, does anybody use this phone? She said, sure, a lot of people, in fact, Chungwha Telecommunications just came by to replace the machines. Look, it was originally green, and now, it’s blue, isn’t it?

But I’d thought for a long while, and still can’t come up with who uses the public telephones now.

And finally, it’d, dawned on me, in this huge housing complex, perhaps, those who are out forgot their keys and cell phone, and they’d called up their families or the locksmiths. The public telephones are for the sakes of emergencies only, there’s NOT that many emotions attached to them as I thought.

And so, you’re, probably right, there’s NOT that many sentiments attached to the public telephones, and you’d, read too much into it, but that is how we get our inspirations in our day to day living, sometimes, the smallest, barely noticeable things, are what rouses up that strong feeling inside…

With the Children Accompanying on the Trips, Better than the Gourmet Restaurant & the Gifts on Mother’s Day

What our elders really wanted, and yet, do we, give it to them??? From the Newspapers, translated…

From when my parents were still around, on Mother’s Day, we’d often gone to the restaurants to celebrate the occasions, eating and chatting away, very loud, especially when we’d gone to the all-you-can-eat buffets, we’d carried on in conversations, and eaten the foods, it’s so very fun. But, since we’d gotten the unlimited cheap online access, we’d become mutes as we ate, stared at the screens, ignoring each other’s existence, and as we’d gotten older, we don’t eat as much anymore, usually, a plate’s worth of protein, two plates worth of vegetables, that would do it, and so, we’d stopped, wasting the money, to stuff ourselves, and estrange ourselves from one another.

My family loved tiramisu, and so, we’d used the cakes, singing to celebrate the occasion, the cheesecakes, the mango puddings, chocolate mousses, with a wide variety of flavors, sliced to thin slices, and shared with each other. And yet, as my kids started caring more about their looks and gone on diets, the elders had the issues of hypertension, high glucose, high cholesterol, then after the “Happy Birthday” was sung, after we said our well-wishes everybody spread out, the cake became lonely, left, on the tables.

like this???  Photo from online…

And so, as I’d become the best actress, no restaurants, no cakes, I’d chosen to have a family outing, time and place, mine to decide, the kids accompanying by, as company and tour guides, more importantly, the BEST Mother’s Day present, “with children accompanying!”

That time, we’d gone to the Wu Gardens in Tainan, with the reputation of one of the four must-see gardens in Taiwan, and it lived up to the name, underneath that blue sky, the European style building looked even more majestic, the ancient site hadn’t lost its appeals at all, there’s that classic sense of aestheticism all around, the green grasses, the colorful flowers, made us all feel very joyous, there were a lot of people who did their wedding photos here too.

My kids had trekked alongside me, viewing these beautiful nature scenes, I was pleased, with that sense of comfort, and serenity. Nothing, including the gourmet dining experiences, the gifts, can give me satisfaction comparing to what I’d felt, that peace, that fulfillment on that day.

family outing here, photo from online…查看來源圖片

This year, I’d already planned to walk the old streets, or head to the beaches to see the sunset, this is how Mother’s Day should be spent, “with the kids ‘accompanying by’, enjoying the bliss.”

And so, with the coming of age, you’d realized, that the most important on these special occasions is to spend the time with your loved ones, to have your kids around you, and you’d refocused on what is truly important on these holidays and special occasions too.

Love in the Forgetfulness

How we’d, learned to grow old together, with as little friction as we possibly can, translated…

Back when I was younger, I had amazing memory, my memory is like a computer, I can immediately make the connections. From before I wed, my husband took me to Hsinchu to get my wedding dress, in the shopping strip, which alley takes me to which street, I’d known, after walking it once, I’d made fun of him, how he’d studied in the windy city, and needed ME to be his tourguide. And now, my originally sharp memories, started, slowly, disappearing.

My husband never had good memories, and had made fun of himself, how all the books he’d read, it’d become, brand new the next time, he can’t remember it; it’s a wonder, that the books he’d checked out of the libraries, he’d read a ton of them over three times. And now, the two of us, “I forget this, and you forget that”, too scatterbrains, living under the same roof, what sort of a spark can come flying? It’s something, that I wanted to wait and see.

Actually, the T.V. commercials already prerecorded down this segment—did you have your meds yet? I think I had, but then, so, I’d, taken another pack, and, I’d found, that discarded medicine pouch in the trash, funny, right? But I’m not laughing, because this happens a lot at my home. I’d forgotten the salt when I made the soups, so bland, so tasteless; added salt repeatedly, too salty, can’t even swallow; the steamed fish with the steam machines, kept to rancid, and I’d, recalled, hey, I’d made that a couple of days back…………we had an assortment of messy moments like these in our lives.

illustration from the papers online…圖/PPANhere they both are, pickign up each other’s slacks…

Although being forgetful is nothing so serious, but, the trials it’d caused, made us not know how to react, and we’d, felt, stressed out. And still, even AS we’d done these sorts of messed up things, we’d never gotten into an argument over it, nor would we, fight. All because we’d come to understand, and learned to tolerate one another, and the forgetfulness that stemmed from understanding, tolerate everything imperfect, and, accept that good memories are a gift, that the heavens loaned to us temporarily.

And because of it, from before when my husband forgot to lift up the toilet seat, I’d nagged him and now, I just, lift up the toilet seat covers up; I’d forgotten to wipe up the floors after my shower, he’d start mopping up the water that spilled out; I’d helped him find the glasses he’d “lost”, then, I’d found, hey, the glasses were, “resting” on his nose, and, we’d, looked at one another and smiled; when I went to the doctor’s office, I’d never remembered my health insurance card, without a word of complaint, he’d, immediately turned the car around to get it. And all of these, seemingly unimportant things in life, without the tolerance or the understandings, it can easily, be a cause of WAR!

I have more of a calculating nature, I’d kept scores, and nagged more, and my husband would often consoled with me, “We’re older now, and, being mobile is a blessing; we can do it, and we shall, and no complaints over it”, meant, that I should just, do more and complain less; and now, the two of us coped with our inevitable forgetfulness, using these words—he’d forgotten, I’d picked up the slacks for him; if I’d forgotten, and he’d, made up for it.

Love is that simple, but you’d, needed a lot of practice on it.

And so, this, is how the two of you finally, learned to appreciate one another in midlife, and, because you two are aging slowly, and becoming more and more forgetful, you two had decided to stop nagging one another, and just picked up one another’s slacks, and that made life easier for the both of you, and, it reduced a ton of tensions that you had had when you were younger too.