Our son Ricky is on the verge of returning to Japan. We will become empty nesters again. It's best for all of us, particularly Ricky, but it's still hard to take.
We were invited to the home of friends from the JASV last weekend for a wonderful dinner of sauerbraten with all the fixings. Toshi had thought he remembered where they lived, but we ended up driving the streets with light snow falling for thirty minutes before we decided we'd have to find someone to ask directions. Toshi would ask me the name of a road we were passing and I'd say, "I can't see." By the time we were close enough for me to possibly make out the name, we zoomed by it too quickly for me to read. I don't see well at night and I don't think my long distance glasses are very effective even in broad daylight. Once we turned off the main road we ended up in a maze of roads with houses that looked alike in the dark. To make matters worse, the maze had one-way streets which prevented us from making our way out to the main road again.
We finally did escape with me saying I'd never trust Toshi's confidence again when it came to directions. We would henceforth carry at least a phone number and address, preferably a gps as well. On the main road once more I saw a gas station with a small shop. "We're asking if they have a phone book." I said. The very nice Asian woman at the cash register showed me a business directory. I explained that I needed a residential one. She handed me another business directory. I explained our problem. "Oh, our boss knows everything!" she said with firm faith in the man.
We went over to his office and found a very nice man eager to be of help to us. We finally established that he actually knew our friends. He thought he even knew the road they lived on. But to be safe, he called information. The operator asked for the address. Our savior said we weren't sure. More waiting. She wanted the number, "That's what we want." he replied. He was looking for the street number, but he was given the phone number. Unfortunately, the number was no longer in use. "Come, I'll drive you to Larry's house." And he did—right to their driveway. Turned out that John was a really nice politician who's up for reelection. We wish him well.
L. and S. had called our house to ask Ricky if we'd left late. Poor Ricky was afraid we'd been in an accident and said maybe he should go out looking for us. We all were relieved when we arrived safely. It turns out that they no longer own a land line so there's no way of looking them up. We are the opposite. We don't own a cell phone.
After the delicious meal, S. gave me a book she'd picked up second hand, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. It was published in 2009. I really enjoyed it as she had. It tells the story of the evacuation and internment of Japanese and Japanese Americans living in Seattle during World War II through the eyes of a young Chinese American whose father is rabidly anti-Japanese. A very unique perspective. I highly recommend it.
I'm off to eat brunch.