This is home…

Hello everybody!

It’s been an eventful two weeks since I’ve last written, the past week in particular has been extra busy, hence no blog for a week. So let me just say that if I don’t post every week, please don’t let your collective imaginations get the best of you…such as North Korea is bombing us, or that I’ve gone missing in an earthquake. While North Korea has sent a few little love notes our way and there was an earthquake on Mainland, chances are that I am spending time with someone or learning my new job and training extra days with Sensei. I will let you all know if something alarming happens.

So, I know when I first moved in I  showed pictures of my house. It is grand and lovely and I am very happy here. But I don’t think I’ve ever shown photos of my neighborhood. I am the only Westerner on my street and I like it that way. Every once in a while I will see someone that looks American walking down the street and I get a little concerned, but they never stay.

Beauty in ordinary places…everywhere, every season, there are flowers blooming here.

Now as everyone knows, their house and or property is only as good as the neighbors they have. I have been extraordinarily fortunate in having terrific neighbors all around me. To the left, looking at my house, I have a nice family with four children. The husband and wife seem to be sharing the load of raising the family pretty well. It is a sweet morning ritual I overhear daily as he leaves the house first, they have a little conversation at their front door as he heads off to work. I am not eavesdropping I assure you all, the front door is literally two feet from my door where I am always getting ready for the day myself.  I am always touched at their tenderness with each other. Love knows no boundaries.

house on my street
Another lovely little garden on my street.

Down the street headed toward the seawall we have several vending machines in case you desperately need some Coffee Boss cold coffee (cohee) or the incredible green tea that I’ve fallen in love with.


street view
My quiet neighborhood

So there is a little canal that I usually stop and investigate on my walks and there are all sorts of small fish (sakana) in there. And also there are these very strange trees…they are all gnarly and I never know what to make of them. I have seen the fruit bats fly into them but never think too much about them. Except they are blooming now and look like something Dr. Seuss would have created.

flowering trees
Strange and stranger…
canal by house
The canal at low tide.

If I follow this street to the bridge it takes me to the waterfront of the East China Sea and down to Araha Beach.

Turning in another direction from my house is a little preschool that is very busy and across the street from that is this beautiful Okinawan home, complete with a male shisa guarding the entryway.

another house on my street
No evil or bad intent is allowed to pass. Shisa on duty.

So, back to my house, part of my lease says that I am responsible to keep the grass below three inches. So in the spirit of being a good tenant, I had purchased some garden shears to take care of my quite insubstantial backyard. I soon realised this was a waste of money when I observed a few of my neighbors simply pulling up the weeds or tearing up the grass by hand. I soon fell in line, it’s much faster that way. Well, I was talking with my friend Amanda last night and she mentioned that Habu had been seen in people’s garbage cans lately. So thank you Amanda for my new sense of paranoia when I am in my little shed and in tending to my yard. I came across this hole today and am suddenly very nervous about who might be living in my little backyard.

hole in the backyard
I’m wondering if I should be concerned about this.

So there is a little view of my neighborhood, I would tell you the name of my street, but alas, one of the charms of living here is that streets do not have names, just like that U2 song.

I include a little video of my few hours at the beach today. I almost got hit  a few times with the volleyball, but they were a fun crowd and had a great time… I also did and got a little sunburn in the process!

Young people actually playing sports instead of looking at their phones!!!


Inugami – last count, one missing!