Monday, March 14, 2011

Thoughts of Japan

My first job out of college was working for a company that sold Japanese machinery.  My days were filled with typing letters to men with names like Mr. Yoshikawa, Mr. Miyake, Mr. Nishijima & Mr. Tanaka.

I made many travel arrangements for my bosses to travel to Japan.

During the time I worked for this company, we had numerous Japanese visitors including a young man who came for a month for training purposes.  He brought with him several different types of Japanese food and shared them with us.  I remember my boss wanted to send him home with a gift from America and his choice was a pair of cowboy boots :).

At this job I became friends with a co-worker. 
He travelled to Japan often.
Our friendship turned to dating.
Not long after we began to date he went to Japan for a month.
It seemed like a loong month back then, but he returned bearing beautiful gifts from Japan and lots of pictures to share.

Seven months later he popped the question and we were married the following year.
When we were married we received beautiful gifts from many of the Japanese people we were associated with through work.
The Japanese people have a "gift" for gift giving. 

Throughout the years of our marriage my husband has travelled to Japan several times.  He was able to experience many different aspects of the Japanese culture. 

Like the rest of the world we have been watching the devastating news from Japan with such heaviness in our hearts.  We are reminded of the people from that country who have crossed our paths and send up prayers for their safety.

One final thought:
My old boss is now my father-in-law.  Now in his early 80s he still keeps in touch with Mr. Nishijima.  I recently got an e-mail from my father-in-law who told me that he & Mr. Nishijima spoke to each other on Skype and that while he felt the earthquake, he and his family are safe. 
The vision of these two elderly business associates making contact this way somehow warms my heart.

The pictures on this post were taken in my yard and neighborhood.  I found gardening and walking to be a good diversion from the heaviness of the news this weekend.


  1. Oh I am glad that your father-in-law was able to contact his old friend. I, too, have learned that my friend's parents are well so that was a relief. It reminds me how very small the world is these days. Your garden pictures are so lovely. Oh, and I really enjoyed reading about the way you met your husband. Yes, all very interestingly told.

  2. It is so very sad. Your garden is gorgeous....and very full of life.

  3. How wonderful that your father in law and his friend have connected and you know at least of his good health. We and my SIL's parents have decided to get "Skipe" in case there are any little "Tikes" while they are in Japan. Your flowers are so beautiful; I can't wait to see a few here. Right now it's just dull, gray and cold, but the bulbs are breaking ground and the tree have leaf buds on them. Soon.

  4. Kim, What an amazing story, so touching. How wonderful that your father-in-law has stayed in touch, and that his friend is fine. My heart has been so heavy, and even tonight seeing more devastation, just made it so real.

    The flowers in your neighborhood are stunning, while out walking today I took a peek at my hydrangeas , and thought of you,I saw a little green peeking through the straw.
    Thank you for your sweet words about my mother, she is an amazing woman.
    Enjoy your week.

  5. Your story is very heart-warming. We have been praying for those so horribly affected by this massage earthquake.
    Your flowers and all your pictures are gorgeous.

  6. What a lovely story and I enjoyed reading about how you met your husband. How nice that your father in law has stayed in touch with his friend and so very glad that he and his family are okay.
    Your photos are beautiful and it really looks like spring has sprung by you.

  7. Amazing photos, and an amazing story about your connections with Japan.
    And that is great that those two "senior" gentlemen are in touch by Skype. I'm MUCH younger than they are, and have yet to use Skype!
    So many prayers being sent for those in Japan.

  8. Friendship reaches across the miles and bridges over the years.
    Thank you for sharing this story.

  9. Beautiful thoughts surrounding Japan. I am always amazed at how small the world is with connections that span the oceans. It was wonderful to hear your romantic story weaved through out the post.

  10. Beautiful post, Kim, in every way.

    I have been thinking of the many Japanese children I have taught - such delightful, charming children with very respectful parents. I shall never know how they have fared, those that have returned to Japan, but I think of those children, now young adults, and hope they are safe and well.

  11. Oh Kim... thank you for sharing this beautiful story. It's so sweet that these 2 elderly men so far apart are still friends.... and thanks to Skype they could connect.

    My heart is so heavy and aches for all the people of Japan. I wish I could stop watching the news....

    The flowers are gorgeous!!!! Spring has sprung....

  12. Hi Kim, what lovely flowers and a lovely story of the way you and your husband met. I'm so happy to hear your FIL's friend is well. The news of Japan is so sad and it breaks our hearts to think of all the devastation and loss there. We are praying, too.

  13. Kim, what a beautiful and heartwarming story. It is a very sad time right now. I'm praying....


  14. Kim I'm so happy your Japanese associates are safe. This was such a terrible tragedy but the Japanese people have responded with such admirable grace and dignity. They are an example for the whole world!

  15. Kim...what a touching post regarding Japan and their tragedy...and how it has touched all our lives in one way or another! The Japanese people have shown such a strong and quiet spirit through this all. So glad your FIL and his associate were able to be in touch...and find that reassurance.

    What beautiful blooms in your part of the world. Out here...we wait.

  16. I appreciate what you've written. It's been hard for me to know what to say...but I am praying, and will keep praying! Hugs! ♥

  17. Thank you for sharing such an amazing story! I love all the gorgeous pictures you have posted!
    Thank you for dropping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment!!!
    I am now following you! Looking forward to getting to know you!

  18. What a loving, heartwarming, interesting story about your connection to Japan, your job, your meeting of your husband, and the heaviness in your heart. I stand by the fact that you could have authored and illustrated books for a living. As I read every word of this post and loved every picture, I was more convinced of that than ever. My heart and prayers just pour out to these dear people as they face such devastation.

    What a treat it was to visit your blog in the early morning hour of my day today. Your flower pictures lifted my heart.

  19. This post just highlights how global this disaster really is. So many people have been touched or devastated by this crisis in some way or another. I just hope that something positive happens soon...

    Blessings and best wishes to you and your family and friends who have been affected.



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