The Two of Us, Aging, Visiting Places Together

Going to places locally, to make more memories of us, something we can do, after we’re, retired, and living off easy!  Translated…

“Honey, let’s travel for the summer!”, he’d made fun of me.  “I just got my retirement pension slashed, how will we find the money to go?”, I’d smiled and told him, we can’t just, squat at home, we can walk over to the Bagua Mountain trails, or go visit the scenic areas close by.  He’d nodded, told me it was, a great idea.  And so, we’d started, these travels together.

like this???  Except they’d, gone into the city together…photo from online…查看來源圖片

“It’d been a long time since I was last here, there’s actually a trail for us to hike on, it’s, so amazing!”, my husband became like a wide-eyed child with wonder, strolled on the trails, it’d made me laugh, and, the other hikers started looking at us.  As we walked, we’d thought, hey, why not head into the city of Taichung too, and, we’d, alighted the bus, and, twenty minutes, we’re, in the metropolis of Taichung.  Hey, the train station that resembled the freeway systems was so new to us, we were, like first-time visitors, looked around here, and there; we’d, alighted the bus again, to the malls to stroll, the assortments of new products on display, caught our attentions, he’d found a red and white checkerboard shirt, and bought it, I’d made fun, “You are, fashionable, aren’t you?  You’d not talked until you were five, everybody called you the fool, but, being a fool as a young child doesn’t make you a fool as an adult, does it?” he’d laughed so hard he couldn’t, stand up straight.

We’d found a fast food shop and took care of supper, and passed through this, wonderful day.  In two more days, we’d, planned to go to Chiayi to have their famous turkey drizzled over rice, and buy a box of eggroll that Chiayi was known for too!

And so, this, is a great idea for retirement, after the two of you retired, you two can drive out to places you’d already gone to, to see if having a brand new outlook, that’s different from before when you’d visited can give you something new, it will, add the flavors, to your ordinary lives that’s for certain.

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Experiencing the World, Holding Hands, with the One I Love

Lessons, in getting along better with each other, NOT forcing one another, to go along with what each other enjoys doing, allowing time apart, that, is what makes the relationships, worked out, even better, translated…

I’d, always, envied those couple, traveling together, holding hands, experiencing, the world together.  The newlyweds and the freshly in love couples, originally interacted very intimately with one another but, as the two of you got to a certain age, and can still travel together, then, that means, that you two are, perfectly, matched in every way with each other.

From before when I’d gone to the Tower of Pizza, I saw an elderly couple from England, they were already, elderly, with hair all white, the wife stumbled, but her husband still held her hands tightly, smiling.  I’d walked over ot them, said I can help them take their photo, on one hand, I’d wanted to, help them make the memories, on the other, I’d, selfishly, wanted to, keep this beautiful sight longer for myself.  They were very happy, that I’d, asked, I’d, thanked them, for allowing me to bear witness, of their, beautiful love.  They’d told me, that they’d been, traveling together since they were, younger, now too, that, was a sort of bliss I’d, envied.

I’d also, encountered a couple in my travels, no matter where they go, they always, held hands, and, they’d, talked, and laughed together, and, just, stayed together with one another, the wife placed her hand on the husband’s laps, as the husband, looked out the window at the scenes that passed by, or, fell asleep, it was, oh, so natural.  And now the trip had been, long over, but, how close that couple was with each other, still, stayed in my mind, like I was there, just yesterday.

C called himself a geek, and I’d, enjoyed heading out.  And, we’d, argued on smaller matters like these a lot from before, it seemed, that we had, nothing in common, but, slowly, we’d, come up with ways to interact with one another.  The location, and the itinerary of the trips, I’ll plan, while he’s in charge, to taking me to the locations I’d wanted to go.  I know he’d hated walking too long, I’d, always, find a small café where we can, just sit and drink some coffees together, and, it’s best, that that café, gives him an unobstructed view to where I’m going.  Then, I’d, picked up my camera, and go crazy in taking the pictures, walked for as much as I enjoyed, and, as the time came, after I’d, had my trip, I’d, gone back to find him, and, chitter chattered with him about what I saw, we’d, used our comfortable modes of interactions, to give each other what we’d needed, from the relationship.

No matter how long you knew each other, love needs the work, especially, after being grinded down by the nitty-gritty of day-to-day.  There’s, NO need, to insist on a specific way of interaction, just do what fits you two the best!

So, the two of you had, figured out how to interact with each other, considering one another’s interests, not forcing what you love to do, onto each other, and that, is one of the most vital things in a good relationship: you two can do things apart, or together, just don’t FORCE each other to do something that only one of you enjoys doing…

Photos of the Family…

Having these photos, still paled, by comparisons from having each other’s company, translated…

Modern day people, with their cell phones in hand, photos are taken so easily, but, if these photos have the heat attached to them, there would be, more values to them.

which would you prefer, this???  Photo from online…查看來源圖片

The children of my uncle are both married, there’s, just the him and his wife living at home now.  His daughter works in the U.S., rarely had the time to visit Taiwan; their son is also, busy at work, and can only take his wife and children home once a month.  He’d gotten the photos of their family vacations developed, and saved them inside a letter sized photo album.

My aunt who’s now demented will flip through the album at least once a day, and sometimes, she’d pointed to herself in the picture, and asked people around her, who that is?  While my uncle wasn’t the least bit interested in the photos.  As his daughter-in-law told him from before, it took them a lot of money, to have all the photos developed, and my uncle told me privately, that compared to the photographs, he’d preferred that his son can visit him at home more often, or give him a call.  That would have, more heat than these, cold photos!

or this???查看來源圖片

With the advancements in technology, no matter how advance, it still, can’t replace the face-to-face interactions of people.  The photos can only keep the memories, but, they can’t, keep the time that we have with our loved ones.  If we can, take less pictures, spend more time together, the memories saved inside our minds, that, is what’s, most precious.

This, is too true, isn’t it, would you rather, have the photos of all your children, grandchildren, surrounding you, so you can flip through those albums every single day, to remember the times you’d spent together, or, would you rather, have your kids and grandkids around you, to physically interact with?

Family Trip to Tokyo

A great way, for a memorable journey to a foreign country, planning everything out on your own, allowing the children, to have some inputs on what they wanted to do there too! Translated…

Translated, what we learned, on the trips we took together…

Because of how young our children were, we’d, not traveled abroad for years on end, and now, as my son and daughter are, older, it’s time, to make our moves.

查看來源圖片the ideal vacaton to take your young children, photo from online…

In order to make everybody feel equal to each other, everybody was in charge of one day of travel, and, acted as the tour guide for the day, and, we would, follow the individual’s commands for the day. My three-year-old daughter is in love with Mickey Mouse, I’d discussed with her own touring to Disney; my seven-year-old son had the mind on the toy machines and the arcades, and so, Akihabara is a good choice; the mother of my children set up the transportations for the trip, in the mornings, we alighted the tour bus to the museum district. In the afternoon, we’d gone on the nostalgic electric trains, and, bought the grilled skillets for the children, we gained great reps for it. We’d, encouraged our son to buy the skewers on his own, I’d, intentionally stayed a few steps away from him, captured how he gestured to the Japanese vendors what he’d wanted to buy, this was, a precious experience for him.

As for me, I’d, set up the rare tours not found in the tour guides, we’d gone to visit the campus of Tokyo University, mingled into the cafeterias that the professors and students dined in; after we had our fills, we sat, in the shades of the Yasuda Lecture Hall to rest, my daughter was beat, fallen flat to take her nap, my son took out his sketch book and captured the faces of Tokyo University. In the afternoon, we’d, entered into the Design festa, the twice annually large scale event, with the thousands of booths, of artists, and we’d, bought the handmade art pieces, and, there wouldn’t be, the repeated items of the souvenirs here.

The final day’s theme was family, we’d, gone to the sumo wrestling matches. I’d gone out early, to buy the free seats, but, the seats were, all sold out, and so, I’d, proposed the backup plans, to experience the public bath houses in Japan. As we’d arrived the hundred-year-old Tsuba Meyu, it was, already 8:30 in the morn, there were, only a handful of elderly bathers, the rest, members of the younger generations; there were, handsome young lads who’d, smoothed out their hair to the camera screens, younger generations of women who came in groups, along with us, tourists, who were there, to experience the culture. My two young children couldn’t stand the heat, ten seconds in, they’d, pulled out, and we can only hand them bottles of ice cold milk, and, offered our salute, to the actor, Abe.

On the railroad ride back to the airport, my son used his art, to list out five pros of Japan and Taiwan, one that impressed me the most was my son felt the cohesiveness of the Japanese culture, and he’d, drawn out the nondiscriminatory ways of Taiwan as one of the good qualities, like if one out three men was bald, the other two wouldn’t, make fun. I’d looked at this drawing a lot, and, I’d believed, that that, was his way, of consoling his dad, a man who’d, become bald in midlife.

And so, children have a way, of documenting their own lives, and, all it took here, is a pen and a drawing pad for this young boy, and, a trip like this is, an excellent idea, for the parents to connect with their young, especially now, that summer’s here, there’s, NO better time, to plan a family trip such as this one with your children.

family vacation at Tokyo Disney…photo from online…查看來源圖片

Taking Mom to See the Seas

So little, what mothers really wanted, such simple wishes, and yet, it’d, taken this long, for the woman, to finally live it! Translated…

My mother is a traditional woman from an agricultural background, in her mind, there’s only her husband and her children, she’d, worked hard for the sake of her family, she’d often told, that her biggest wish was that all of her children and grandchildren are healthy, and there’s, nothing she’d, wanted.

a photo from the trip they took together…from UDN.com…圖/劉秀芳(高雄三民)

For long, I kept thinking, that my mother had no other hobbies or interests, other than going back home, she’d, never been anywhere else, plus she couldn’t ride a scooter, didn’t know how to take the public transportation systems, her social circle, is only riding her bicycle to the marketplaces to shop around. And we’d believed that it’s her ordinary day-to-day living, never thought about bringing her someplace special.

One day I was sitting by her watching T.V. at home, the T.V. showed the beautiful shorelines, she’d stared at the screen for a very long time, then, asked me, “there’s water by the oceans, right?”, I’d asked her if she wanted to go? She’d nodded her head, timidly, said she’d always wanted to go see the oceans, but we’re, too busy, she’d not felt right, troubling us, and said, that her spirits would be lifted as she sees the oceans.

Ahhhhhhhhhh! This was that story from our schooling years of how mom loved the head of the fish, turns out, our beliefs were, completely, wrong. I’d already, contacted my eldest sister, this Mother’s Day, we’re, taking her to see the oceans, to fulfill her long-time wish, and, whenever we have the time, we’d, all take her to see the oceans now.

And because the past generations of women aren’t like us, so outspoken, they usually, kept what they wish for locked up deep inside their minds, and, every once in a while, they would, toss out these “hints”, hoping that those around them can catch it, and this time, this woman caught it, and, made her mother happy!

The Mother’s Day Presents I’d Received Over the Years

The thoughts, are what counts most! Translated…

The very first time I’d ever received a Mother’s Day present was when my daughter was in kindergarten, the teachers taught them to make paper stars with strips of colored paper; my daughter made over hundreds, and put them into a small glass jar, and I’d cherished this first Mother’s Day present to this very day. All the blessings from these stars, had my daughter’s purest love, hope, and they were also, a symbol of her own, shiny dreams too.

handmade items from when they were younger like this…photo from online…查看來源圖片

On the Mother’s Days that came later, the two of them would make the beautiful, creative cards by hand to give to me, with the words they’d, written inside, I was surprised each and every year, moved to tears too. After they got into college, and started part-timing, the presents became, practical; sometimes, it’s a book, a box of chocolates, a couple carnations, one year, the two of them treated me out to a steakhouse supper.

Before Mother’s Day last year, I’d sighed, on how I’d, aged, that there were, crow’s feet by the corners of my eyes now, that if I have a bottle of that magical serum to reduce the years, how wonderful might that be? And, without knowing, that my daughters, took my words to heart. Early morning on Mother’s Day, there was, a set of cosmetic counter products, with the eye cream, lotion, toner, along with a pink card. I was surprised, and moved, I actually, felt very bad over it, they’d worked hard outside of class, and didn’t get to spend what they’d earned, instead, they’d, spent it all, on buying me the presents. And, as their birthdays came, I’d, given them back the money in red envelopes. Their hearts were, what moved me the most, actually, I didn’t care if there were, presents or not, so long as they’re, happy in life, I’d feel, blessed.

to when they made the money from their part-time jobs…查看來源圖片photo from online…

People say that daughters are closest to our hearts, I’m glad to have two. They’re, in the primes of their lives, and just like all the younger women, they’d, cared a lot about the way they looked, chased after the fashion trends, and knew which products are cheap and good to use, and, it’d, benefitted their mom too. Like from before I was going back to my old reunion, they say that I looked too old-school, and searched online for the more fashionable clothes and accessories, it’d made me, the center of the attention at my reunion.

Awhile ago, my eldest went to get her eyebrows done, I’d said it’d made her looked, even more beautiful, I watched her put on her makeup the other day, and, couldn’t help, but commend her own the Korean style eyebrows looked so fitting on her face. The very next day, I’d heard my daughters discussing quietly, they seemed to have decided on paying for my eyebrow treatments for Mother’s Day too, I’d immediately told them, I do NOT want to get my eyebrows done, I’d liked mine natural. My daughter’s heart, I’d taken in, I really don’t want them to spend any more money on giving me the presents for Mother’s Day.

Every year around Mother’s Day, the female coworkers would always compared the gifts their children gave them, and gloated about it, and they’d all said in synchrony, actually, mothers don’t need any gifts, so long as our young are very well-behaved, independent, with a bright future, that, is all that us, mothers can want!

to treating their mother out to dine…photo from online…

And so, the daughters giving their mother the gifts, were the ways they showed their appreciation to her, and, the mother was grateful, to have two daughters who showed her the love, but sometimes, you can show love, without the gifts, by being kind and gentle toward those closest to you on a regular basis, and that would be, enough!

“I Shall be the Eyes for My Parents”, the Young Man Led His Parents Up the Podium as the Family Was Awarded for Being Wonderful

A child, who realized how hard his parents had it, and genuinely wanted to help them out, a good example of how the offspring should behave, from the Newspapers, translated…

The elementary school student, Chen, whose parents are both visually impaired, starting in his preschool years, he’d watched over his own parents, very understanding, in following the unspoken rules of filial piety, his family received the model family nationally for the city of Keelung, he’d gently led his mother by the hand, with his father, led by his mother’s shoulders, he’d become his parents’ “eyes”, the three of them step by step, walked onto the stage to receive the awards. Chen said, “I will become my parents’ eyes forever,” and it’d moved everybody who was there.

Of the fifty-eight families who won the awards, both Chen’s parents were severely visually impaired, they own and massage shop, Chen had been independent since he was a young child, starting in his preschool years, he’d helped sweep the floors of the shop, done the laundry, made the beds, he’d also helped his parents made the meals too, was his parents’ left and right hand.

Chen said, “When we go out, I’d taken my parents’ hands, to help them cross the streets”, as the awards were being given out, he’d taken his mother’s hand, and his father placed his hand onto his mother’s shoulders, the three moved along slowly toward the podium, he’d also given the warnings of “be careful where you step”, and it’d moved everybody in attendance at the ceremonies.

獲獎的陳韋仁(左)挽著母親的手,父親再把手搭在母親肩上,他當起雙親的眼睛引導他們...photo from UDN.com…

“My mother would prepare the foods I loved, and dad would teach me the values of life,” Chen stated, that he’d not gotten any less love from his visually impaired parents at all, he said, he’d led his parents to their doctors’ appointments, to stroll the night markets, “I will be my parents’ eyes forever!”, being so young, and yet, he’d, behaved so much like an adult already.

His school principal told, that he was very mature for his age, understanding, in order to help their son grow up healthy, the parents overcome their visual impairment, and went outdoors, he was their eyes, very independent at a young age, taking his parents outside, so they can know, the wonders of the world they live in.

And so, this young man took on the task of taking care of his parents, without any word of complaints, because his parents couldn’t see, and, he took up the responsibilities to care for them, and that, is the actions of a child who fitted perfectly into the filial piety values of Asian societies.