A Cycle of Sorts

Monday I'd been looking forward to a visit by a former student Ikue, a very pleasant young woman whom the children adore. I cleaned up the place a little bit (never seems to make much of a difference) and bought some snacks and green tea. The recent lack of my bicycle meant that snacks and tea were about all I could carry in a single shopping trip so I decided I'd order rice and a few other heavy things for delivery on Tuesday and stretch the cup or so left in the storage bin.

Ikue's brother, Ken, who helps out at our language school from time to time, called to let us know that she'd arrive around 3:00 p.m. and that he'd be with her. He was hit by a car last week and has a splint on his leg and tape on his wrist so they came by cab. We were glad to hear that there were no broken bones but it sounds like his bicycle was totalled.

The doorbell rang while I was changing so I had M answer it. I heard her thanking someone and she came to the kitchen with a bag full of freshly picked tomatoes from "some lady with a dog, a chihuahua maybe..." So now I have to ask our building manager who might have a small dog and a plot in the community garden to figure out exactly where the delicious fruit came from.

As I was relaxing just after lunch, my cancer survivor friend from the fourth floor decided to stop by with a six and a half pound sack of rice. She'd been getting behind in consuming all the rice her meal and grocery delivery service had delivered and "needed some help." She stayed for tea and chatted away until the doorbell rang and our anticipated guests arrived and made her way downstairs after asking to to keep her updated on this week's CT scan results.

Ikue and Ken brought ice cream and now own the souls of the two younger children who were home and the little boy from downstairs who'd been hanging out here all day. They also brought a gift box of Asahi beer which S is enjoying this week. Ken produced two birthday gifts, one each for L and N who will have birthdays while we're in the States. L was very happy with his Pokemon cards and N with her puzzles which she insisted on doing right away with help from us all. It was a pleasant afternoon with no bickering on the part of my children, probably because two of them were away.

A few minutes after or afternoon guests left, the little old lady from the third floor shuffled in with her usual greeting "Is your mom home?" I always answer with a hello and a yes I'm home to which she dejectedly replies "Oh, she's not home?" and I have to convince her that I am really here and guide her to a chair. She brought her shopping bag and wanted to know if I could top up her rice supply. She has a large Ziploc bag that holds about five pounds of rice (or so I thought). I transferred the new supply from the fourth floor to the bag and learned that it actually holds about six and a half pounds. She's helping the lady on the fourth floor now. I also had some cans of fish, curry roux, a cabbage, some pork and some Japanese bottled sauce that she likes to refill her refrigerator and pantry. She asks for these things a few times a month and pays me back when her pension is deposited to her bank account every two months.

While I was guiding the lady back to the third floor and carrying her food, the next door lady rang the bell and gave N five tickets for free admission to the Yomiuriland pool a few stations away from here. Of course N couldn't remember her name and described her as the cute old lady with glasses who likes music. I was able to thank her when I saw her in the hall the next morning, taking out the trash.

I love how stuff seems to go around like this. Last week a few frozen fish from Kyushu offered to our building manager (also from Kyushu) turned into a can of beer a few evenings later. Somebody had given it to him and he gave it to me to share with a visiting friend while we were up on the roof watching fireworks.

Round and round it all goes.