It was a fine, sunny Sunday. My mother and Aunt Kimiko came over for my mom's Birthday lunch. Getty and I were going to cook BBQ chicken and grilled vegetables but my mom and Kimiko had other plans. They made Shrimp Tempura, Gyoza, deep fried Won Ton, Crab Spring Rolls, Rice Rolls and Green Beans. My role in the kitchen was to sort out three dozen farm eggs for them to bring home. I also gave them belated “Tess” cups that I had designed and ordered for Christmas. The Company didn’t deliver the cups in time for Christmas even though I had ordered them three weeks prior! And they guaranteed the delivery. But all is well, as my mom and Kimiko picked the cups they liked and I kept the last one. They also saw the Tess Calendar that I had made so I had to order some for them. Of course, Tess was generously fed lots of treats as she was really hurting in her front leg. She was feeling so bad that she didn’t even come to the dining room table to beg. Normally, she hands out next to my mom and Kimiko, under that table but she just took a nap in the living room.
After we ate and had some tea to wash it all down, we wandered down to the barn. Tess still played sleeping beauty on the living room and did wake up when we came back in after feeding. Rain, Maid and Nan were the piranhas who circled my mom as she fed the sheep and chickens. Rain did the baby sparrow act and she was feed tons of bread and I made a note to reduce her meal! My mom would laugh as she feed the dogs as I told her not to and she did it, knowing it was a joke between us now. The girls took full advantage of my mom and Kimiko.
It has been a while (Christmas) since my mom and Kimiko fed the sheep. Sheep do have excellent memories and as soon as they saw them, they ran up and started crying. A couple of them know to stick their noses through the fence to be hand fed. They ran up and down the fence line, crying like they have never been feed, but it didn’t help as most of them waddled. One ewe with a broken ear, adores my mom and she gets extra bread. Then my mom and Kimiko found the cabbage so everyone got cabbage. Rain grabbed one then spit it out in disgust. It was funny! After we fed the sheep and chickens, I showed my new baby chicks to my mom. I had asked Janet to name the mama Silkie but my mom renamed her Yuki….which means snow in Japanese. It fits as she is a white Japanese Silkie. Yuki took great offense at me reaching into her brooder and pecked my hand. Yuki is doing great as a new mom and the eight chicks are loving her protective attitude.
After the animals were well fed, we walked up to the house and enjoyed the warmth of the sun. It was sunny and warm enough to take off my coat. The girls had figured out that the food source was dried up so trotted ahead of us to be let in for their dinner. We all hung out for a while and my mom told stories about me as a child. Apparently for a couple of months, around two, all I wanted to eat was cucumbers. Every freaking day, for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I refused other foods and when forced would maybe take a bite or two, and then beg for cucumbers. My mom took me to the Doctor who told her it was a phase and not to worry about it. Then they found the hole in my heart and he told her it would close up soon. Wrong! So, my mom let me eat cucumbers and no doubt was wondering when I would eat normal food. I guess after a few months, I began to eat normal foods. I still love cucumbers but don’t have the urge to eat them all the time. Recently though, I have been on an orange kick and eat 3 or so a day. I am waiting for the waffle cone urge to hit soon!
Soon they left and I was left with a feeling of sadness. Talking about my childhood made me realize how fast time has flown by. But I have the best mom in the world! She struggled coming to the States right after she got married and lived in Texas. She didn’t know English very well and raised two children while my father was away doing army activities. She wanted us to fit in so she spoke only English to us and when she didn’t know the English words, then used the Japanese words. She worked hard to provide for us and made sure we went to college and become successful. I looked at her in a new light, a young woman, full of courage, in a foreign country, with no friends and starting a new life. I admire my mom and can only hope that I can make her proud. She is a strong and loving mother and I am blessed to have her.