Yes, I'm nearly packed and ready for my second trip to Japan. I cannot wait to get my greedy mother's hands on my son, his wife and my too-cute-for-words grandson.
Y'know those movies where - at the dramatic climax - the heroine's lifetime of memories come flashing rocket fast, one after another within a few seconds through her consciousness? That was sort of happening to me on Friday. I was listening to my students recite the Preamble to the Constitution. Normally it's one of my favorite days. You'd have to know my classes to understand. My school is what the United Nations wishes to be. Youngsters from all over the world - all cultures, all colors, all orientations - doing a good job of learning to embrace each other's special qualities. I always get a kick out of watching them - one at a time - stand and recite the preamble to our governing document.
But this time I was distracted, and it seemed to be when they reached, "do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Distracted by images from last year's trip.
This year I look forward to lots of conversation with my son and his wife (my friend) as well as active playtime with my grandson. Am hopeful that he will settle in for a snuggle or two, too, but from what I've seen on Skype that may be a pipedream.
It has also been suggested that there may be some different sights to be seen this year. Perhaps Asakusa...
I'm pretty open to whatever. My family is my focus. But they know I've had a lifelong love of things Japanese and it seemed to bother them that I didn't see more of the traditional "tourist" attractions (and I was a little disappointed not to buy traditional souvenirs for the folks back home, although I made up for it at the 100 yen shop.)
Anyway, I'm open to whatever they decide. Asakusa is home to a famous shrine and equally famous shopping street. And this could be fun:
Taikokan, a museum of Taiko drums (we're a family of Taiko fans). It's a drum museum, and apparently you can play some of them. My son has said he would take a day off from work to take me/us somewhere, but I don't really know what he has in mind. If it's to be a family outing, the baby might enjoy being introduced to the drums (I would say he's unbelieveably musical for his age, but I do believe it because his dad was the same way.)
I worked on pre-packing over the weekend, trying to fit in as much as possible to take to them. Things are so nuts around here that it's hard to focus.
Saturn in Scorpio. Or is it Uranus in Pluto? Or both? So far in the last few weeks a rivet broke in the garage door hinge, my car died (RIP), the water heater sprung a rather dramatic leak (and the water penetrated the plastic storage boxes of holiday decorations; that was last weekend's suprise chore). Yesterday my younger son was having problems with his computer and just before bed asked if I'd noticed the dryer was broken - for the third time this year - with a load of clothes I had washed for the trip.
I'm on emotional overload.
Three more days. Today I have to get prescriptions refilled and do more packing (if the last of the clothes are dry.) I need a pair of nice slacks just in case we go somewhere where jeans are not appropriate. I need to deliver the paperwork to the guy who is taking my car off my hands and pick up more cash for the trip. I need to water my plants well and make up sub plans. I want another good workout at the gym. Am saving Wednesday for last-minute final packing, and then we'll be on the road Thursday at 6:00 am. Plane takes off at 10:00 am.
Admit I'm looking forward to being forced - as I was last year - to sit still with paper, pen, book, movies and my own thoughts for 12 hours.