The Most Beautiful Ocean in My Mind

Memories, of these, childhood moments which were, wonderful, translated…查看來源圖片memories like this one…photo from online…

That ocean, without the transparencies of the crystal clear blue, without the white sandy beach, nor the picturesque island filled with the trees, but it was, the most beautiful, the warmest, ocean in my memories.

Back when I was younger, because of my father’s work, my mother and I would go to Hualien to find him during the summers and winter breaks.  In my memories, I’d often, wandered around where we used to stay back then, and gone to play with the large breed dog that’s wandering by.  Back then, I’d, looked forward to the weekends the most, because my father would drive my mother and I, pass through that tunnel made from the trees, to arrive to the beach together as a family.

memory, like this???  Photo from online…

That sea had that deep indigo color to it, there were, the small fishing boats parked by the shorelines.  The sea breezes came at me, and I could, smell that light scent of fish, hearing the gentle sounds of the calming waves, hitting the shores.  There were, a ton of pebbles, with the various sizes and shapes, a ton of, colorful rocks too, I’d loved picking the ones I liked out with mom, and we’d feel, satisfied by it.

One day, dad wanted to take me, who couldn’t swim back then, into the waters, I’d gone toward the oceans, with him, leading me.  With the waters getting deeper and deeper, it’d, almost passed my neck, and, I can only, touch the ocean floors, with my big toe then, and I’d, felt, very unsettled.  But my father, held me tightly, with his, firm hands, taught me how to relax myself, “Don’t worry, daddy’s here.”

I’d forgotten, how many times I’d, gone to Hualien already, and forgot, how many of those, beautiful pebbles I’d, picked up along the way.  But, what etched into my mind, was how I’d, rolled up my pants with my mother by my side, along with my father’s, “don’t worry hon, I’m here!”

So, this, is what you remembered the most, how firm your father’s loving hands were, how he was there, to support you, when you’re, most scared, and how your mother was there, picking up, those beautiful, multi-colored, childhood memories, that you two had, taken home with you…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Growing Old Together

The couples growing older, holding hands together, ‘til the end of their lives, translated…

I’d gone to the community center to exercise, as we were halfway through the routines, it’d started, raining out.  At the end of the exercises, the rain got huge, and, the group of us, elderly women were now, trapped in.

At this time, there were, three elderly gentlemen, with hairs all white, stumbling in, to deliver their wives the umbrellas, they must’ve been married for over sixty years, and their children must’ve, left home too, and having their husbands to share their lives with, it must be, so amazing!

My neighbor, Uncle Chang had always stayed away from the kitchens, as he turned eighty, because Mrs. Chang’s healthy deteriorated, he’d started learning to cook from the beginning, the washing of the rice, of the vegetables, and making the sunny side ups, and now, the thing he’d done on schedule in the morn, was heading over to the marketplaces, to pick up some pork.  Mr. Chang would always gloat to us, “After my wife had my soup, she’d looked, better, more energetic.”  Mrs. Chang, of course, said good things about her husband to everybody she met too, that her life after age eighty, was given back to her by Mr. Chang.

I’d always seen this elderly man, pushing his wife out on a wheelchair, as they got to the alleyways without much traffic, he’d always encouraged her to get up to walk around, he’d first, whispered to her about the benefits of walking around, and as his wife was willing, he’d become a steady support for her, encouraging her as she walked, and this scene always, gets me.

The life partners are like a good wine, gets better with time; they’re also like the good teas, although no longer hot, but still aromatic and smooth to drink down.

This, is something we all want, to have someone we love, accompanying us as we age, and, these are the good examples of what married couples, as they marched into their elderly years should look like, they’d, become one another’s steady support, stuck to each other’s side, in sickness and in health, ‘til death!

My First Love, in a Freeze Frame

The memories of her first crush, she still recalls it like, it was yesterday!  Translated…

We were reassigned to separate classes in our second year in middle school, I was chosen by the class as the recordkeeper of class activities, I’d gone to the offices to collect the written accords of classroom activities, and, I saw him, standing like a noble, out of the rest of his class.  I’d, taken a mental note of his classroom and name stitched on his uniform, then I’d, casually, walked by his class, and started laughing aloud, to get his attention.

And I had, kept myself unseen on the roof of the school, and used my eyes, to take continual photos of how he’d, played balls on the courts.  And I had, adjusted my route to and from school, and “accidentally” passed by his house, and smiled up at the uniform hung outside with his name stitched on it.

Later he tested into an all-male high school, I’d, entered into an electronics company to work, and as I saw him, rushing to get on the busses with his backpack on his shoulders, I’d felt that my heart skipped a beat still.

My first love, he didn’t even know that I existed, and, I’d, kept the way I felt for him secret for three whole years, until at a reunion, I’d learned, from a former classmate, that he was, then dating my former classmate, and so, as Cinderella, I picked my broom back up, kept sweep, with that prince, riding off on a white horse, time had, blurred out the memories.

I saw him on the streets, with his backpack around his back, rushing for the bus again, I’d, instinctively wanted to chase after him, call his name aloud, asked him how everything was.

As I took that first step out, my daughter grabbed a hold of my shirt, and, it’d, wakened me up: I’m already a mother, a wife, how could he still be just fifteen?

First love, a time that belonged to solely me, sourness, mixed in with the sweetness, forever, in a freeze frame, of that youthful time in my life.

And so, a part of you, stayed in your teenage years, still remembering, how you’d, crushed onto that guy, and, because it was a crush, nothing became of it, and yet, this memory of a crush, it’d, given your life more colors, didn’t it???

The Springtime for a Mockingbird

How this tiny creature, reminded the writer/photographer of herself, translated…

I’d, bumped into a nesting mockingbird, she’d, searched all over for the materials, hopped around.  The small beak was her only tool, the leaves, the twigs, she’d carried them, one by one, made many trips to and fro, her eyes, very focused.  Don’t know how far her nesting had gotten?  I’d, imagined how she’d worked hard, building up her residence, like the construction sites, and I’d, imagined it to be a place, containing all the dreams.

the photo that the writer took, from UDN.com…

At this moment, I sat, at my desk, keying these words, I’d, imagined how this article would look when it’s, finished too, that is, also, what dreams looked like.

And so, we’re all, pursuing our dreams from a day to day basis, like the mockingbird, or this writer/photographer is doing, and, that, is how we make our lives matter!

My Son, the Delivery Driver

The different kinds of people you meet when working, translated…

As my son entered the house after he got off work, he’d had me guess, who he’d made the delivery to today?  Before I’d said anything, he couldn’t wait to tell me, “The Renowned writer, Hsien-Yong Bai!”, he’d elongated the pronunciation of the writer’s name, then he’d chimed on excitedly, that the security guard claimed that Mr. Bai had told him, to let him go upstairs to make the delivery himself, and, the master was already, in smiles, waiting for him as he arrived, with the pen he prepared, to sign for the package, and thanked him, and he saw him off downstairs, then, he’d gone into his residence.  “Finally, I’d come across a worldly scholar, who’s very courteous toward me, that’s, once-in-a-lifetime chance!”, my son exaggerated his gesturing, and it’d, made me chuckled.

illustration from the papers online…圖/想樂the assortment of clients that he’d, bumped into…

My son told me he’d met a ton of clients from all over the spectrum, which was, one of the most enjoyable things about his work.

There was an owner of a publishing house, who’d carried the printed books from the third-floor office downstairs and waited for him, the owner of the publishing house was already sixty, and my son felt bad, and told him that he didn’t need to haul the items he needed to deliver, that it’s okay that he goes up to get it, but the owner said he didn’t mind, that he’d needed the exercises anyway.  There was, a woman who had that elegant flair about her that lives in a mansion, who’d handed my son a glass of water as he’d rang the doorbell, and told him she’d appreciated him.  My son stated, “seeing her, it’d made me forgotten, the trips I’d driven, and the fatigues I’d felt on the way!”  My son sighed, “Mom, your generation is way kinder.”  “Now you know, huh!”, I’d felt very proud, of people of my generation.

Then, he’d, turned the tone, he’d mentioned, “however, there are those, who are, awful too.”  There was a client who’d demanded that the delivery arrive by seven, he’d swiveled in the traffic, and finally, rushed to the place by 6:55, and the recipient called his office to complain about how he was late.  There was also, another client who lived on the fifth floor, and the building didn’t have an elevator, and my son was delivering two cases of adult diapers, and the staircase was too narrowed, and, if he’d carried the delivery stacked up, it would hit the walls, he’d gone up and down a total of four times, and he’d, still managed, to carry the deliveries up.  And, as the client signed for the delivery, he’d advised that if they needed such huge loads to get delivered, they should find a larger home delivery company, because they have the tools to make the deliveries easier, that it would be safe, and convenient for all, but the client barked back, “Why would I want to spend that much money?  If you want to make a living, then, find a way to delivery my stuff to me!”

And, this belief of “I’m paying, I’m the boss!”, was enough, my son told me, he’d wanted to, blacklist the man, that he would end up losing more, if he got injured making the deliveries.  But he was glad, that he had the extra years of education, that’s helped him to reason with the clients, and, as he’d met those clients who wanted to, slash the delivery charges, he’d used his persuasion, to get them not to, and instilled his clients’ empathy.  And thankfully, the majority in the society are still, very understanding, and empathized that helping the delivery drivers is what’s best, it’d, made him feel, that all his hard work was, more than worth it.

You would have complaints in whatever area you work, but, you can also, be outstanding in your jobs, I hope, that my son can find the joys in his work, and, become more and more motivated to keep working in his job.

And so, this man’s job, required him to get into contact with a ton of different people, and, some of these people are just, too HEARTLESS, without the empathies, and that probably makes this young man want to quit his job, but at the same time, he’d, met some clients who are, very kind to him, which is probably what kept him going in his work as a delivery driver.

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?

The Sweetness, Hidden in the Homemade Meals

The way into a man’s (or in this case, a woman’s) heart, is through the stomach! Translated…

“Hey, did you ever use those two temperature control bowls I’d given you?” yesterday, mom inquired.

“I’d left them in Canada.”

“Did you ever use them?”, she’d, continued.

“Well, I had, actually.”, I’d, started, smiling, and everything else she’d said afterwards, went through my ears.

I’d gone to my senior year in high school in Canada last year, gained quite a lot of weight in the past twelve months, it wasn’t because of the fish and chips, or the burgers, but S. S was like a devil, disguised, as an angel, from the moment we’d met, I’d, become, destined, to fatten up.

The first time I met him was in my economics course, and, what made us recognize one another, was our Asian looks. Although the class was busy, left us no time to chit chat, but, we’d, stayed after class together. I’d, read the biography of John Lennon, with my graded exam under it, he’d, slowly, leaned in, asked, “Aren’t you taking the county exams tomorrow?”

The county exams are an English exam for the Ontario region, an exam that I must pass, in order, to graduate. I’d, nodded, and reminded him that he’d needed to bring his own lunch tomorrow, that he couldn’t go out to buy. “But,” he’d, frowned, “I don’t want sandwiches anymore!”

The next day, I’d brought two lunches, eight slices of toasts, a box of stewed chicken feet, stewed bean curd. And, the aromas had, everybody leaning in, a couple of my Chinese classmates became like puppy dogs and begged, “It’s been ages since we had the stewed chicken legs”, I can only shake my head to them, “All of these, are for S.” As we ate, we looked out the windows, at the white snows, and he kept saying, that he needed to, take me out for a meal, I’d shrugged, and smiled. And ever since, I’d been, eating what he’d, made for me.

S is a good able-bodied man, the foods he’d prepared, are extremely, delicious, and, his way of making the rice, was extraordinary too—but that was because, he’d, originated from Hunan, everything he’d added the chili to, the rice with chili, the meats, the fried pork chops. Originally, I’d had, difficulties, digesting anything spicy, but since he turned into my chef, my ability to withstand the spiciness, increased; the very first time, he’d made the meals for me, I’d, started crying, because of how spicy the foods were, to the end of the year, I’d, eaten down, that legendary spicy turkey noodle, without, changing any colors.

But what I’d loved most was, not those lunches that were, never the same, but the two temperature controlled bowls I’d, mentioned to my mother on. I’d not skipped, a single course last year, nor had I, taken any leave of absence, it’d, broken my own rituals from back in Taiwan, especially the once-a-month periods. I’d, carried my cramping stomach to school, and, as I’d returned home, my face looked, awful, I’d fallen, limp on the desks, didn’t even want to, raise my hand, to answer any questions. This was, too apparent, the teacher asked me, “Who’s been, picking on you?”, I’d said sorrowfully, “My uterus!”, S heard, and asked me why I didn’t, have any brown sugar with water? I’d told him, I only liked the red bean soups, but I didn’t know how to make it; which was, true, I’m, an idiot when it comes to cooking. S told me he could make it, but he didn’t have a temperature controlled cup to bring it to school to me in. I thought he was, only joking, so, I’d told him, “I got two temperature controlled bowls, you can have them then.” But after school that day, he actually, went and got the beans, and, made a whole pot, and, don’t know why, he’d, separated the portions for me. What’s odd was, the soup he’d made, tasted like mom’s.

Later, it’s, as if, S became, addicted to cooking, he’d, made the red bean soups, the green bean with barley too, even the heated grass jelly, and, as he’d, made the foods, he’d still, made fun of, how my face, looked, rounder now. In this process of me, fattening up, he’s the one responsible for it—and, as the rest of the classmates came, to ask him for the soups he’d made, he’d always replied, “I’m saving this for C.”

A long time later, we’d, thought back to the time, and found, that this line was, equivalent to, “I love you”. And back then, we had, yet to know, and wondered, why the soups tasted, a bit, too sweet.

And so, this, is the man, who showed you that he loves you, in his actions, he’d, made the soups for you, to help you feel better, and, you were, appreciative of him, and, that is what made the two of you closer, and now, you two are together, as a couple.

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