Tuesday, November 29, 2005

In Which It is Reported that the Kazamaura Elliots are Proactively Engaged In Creating

I have been neglecting my blog because I have had many other things to do, such as thinking about (as apposed to “studying for”) the Level Two Japanese Language Proficiency Test I will be taking this weekend and my CLAIR/JET sponsored Linguistics and Pedagogy Course and dashing off to America for a long weekend to attend my sister Leta’s wedding. However, my wife Yuko has petitioned me to cut short my self-imposed blogfast in order to post our first baby photo.

If you cannot find the baby in our baby photo, I will refrain from being offended. (If you click on the photo for an enlargement, you might be able to see the two white crosses that the doctor superimposed on the image as boundary markers to remind us where the baby is in case we forget). The baby’s name is either Josiah Hikari Elliot (for his Canadian passport) a.k.a. エリオット 光 (for his Japanese passport) or else its name is Emma Grace Elliot (for her Canadian passport) a.k.a. エリオット 恵真 (for her Japanese passport). Since the individual in question is merely eight weeks old in real life terms, it is as yet impossible to say which of the above two persons we are dealing with.

The photo comes to you courtesy of St. Cecilia Ladies’ Clinic which is a semi-naturopathic institution in Aomori City. Yuko and the Baby have both been pronounced to be in excellent health and we invite family and friends to join us in committing this new life into God’s hands in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ.

In Which I Make a Passing Reference to All the Things I didn't Write About

Originally I was going to write a nice photo illustrated article about our trip to the Yagen Valley to see the fall foliage. We followed the old small gage railroad tracks and took many pictures of outdoor baths and mossy picnic tables among the giant trees—but that was a long time ago now.

I was also going to write about the Saturday on which we invited all eleven of Ikokuma Elementary School’s grade six students, together with their teacher, to learn how to make cinnamon rolls and apple crisp with Yuko—but that is now a long time ago as well, so no more pictures.

And last week the entire clan of Japan Elliots made there way to Connecticut for my sister Leta’s wedding—you can see the rest of the photos here. CONGRATULATIONS ADAM AND LETA!! WELCOME TO THE FAMILY, ADAM!!

There were many other cool photos and articles I was going to post—but I didn’t.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

In Which the Kazamaura Elliots Acquire Rent Free Land and Become Most Happy Peasants

This is our house—at least the one on the left is. Well, not really. It is the Kazamaura Board of Education’s house. However, let us, for arguments sake, say that this is our house as it appeared this fine November afternoon. Nothing has happened to it since—I am sitting in it right now. Well, at least it may be said that I was sitting in it at the time of this writing. The fence along the left is a solar powered monkey fence, complete with electrified wire.

There are 2,816 people living in Kazamaura. Since less than two hundred of these people are in elementary or junior high school, I think it is safe to say that the vast majority are over the age of sixty-five. The ladies in that latter category are by far the hardest working people in the village. Many of them work from dawn until dusk in their perfectly groomed vegetable gardens. Incidentally, everyone in our village under the age of twenty or so may be said, for most practical purposes, to be useless in the generation of life sustaining labour. They do not help. Recently, Yuko and I received the first means for crossing over to the old ladies’ side. We have been loaned some land—a patch of earth to till and to toil and labour over. Lord willing, next year we shall eat (in part) from the fruit of our labour, food wrested from the earth by the sweat of our brow.

Behold our garden. The three furrows enclosed in red. The beautiful portions of this photo belong to the old ladies; except for the sea and Hokkaido beyond. The scrubby looking, unkempt square of earth is land leased to the junior highs school. It is in that square of earth that Yuko and I hope to transform our three furrows into a Garden of Eden Miniature.

Last year I began idle talk of wanting to borrow an unused section of arable land for gardening. Then, one evening, when Yuko and I were at the local bathhouse an elderly lady struck up a conversation with Yuko. In the course of that conversation Yuko communicated these vague aspirations of mine to her. This kindly old lady has a daughter in the municipal office. The next afternoon the janitor of my school reported to me, as if merely continuing a long ongoing conversation of which I was supposedly a part, that we were welcome to use an unused portion of the junior high school’s garden. This goes to show that one never knows what machinations may be set in motion by a naked elderly woman in a local bathhouse.

Now, to remember what our parents tried to teach us about gardening . . . .