Monday, April 18, 2011

Quilt group meets at last.

Friday, April 15, our quilt group was finally able to meet. It had been quite a while since the group had last met (since before the quake). Since I am a "Senior Citizen" I carry a "Silver Pass". With that pass I can ride certain trains and city buses for free. One becomes a "senior" upon reaching seventy and from then on, there is a concerted effort to keep aged drivers off the streets. When the government brings up statistics of traffic accidents involving us old folks, they also include accidents where the old person was the victim. Since Japan's population is aging anyway and old people can't dodge cars as quickly (thus "involved") I feel we are getting a bad rap. The last three accidents I was involved with were all caused by drivers under the age of 30 ... two talking on a cell phone at the time ... and one I was sitting in my car that was parked! At any rate, the pass is a good way to save money. I never used to take buses because the base fee is 200 yen and that is rather high. Now I am always looking at maps and schedules trying to figure out the cheapest way to get somewhere. Brain, legs, and patience are being exercised and I am taking in the sights hitherto unknown.

Friday as I walked to the meeting from the bus by a new route, I was met by the remains of the very short cherry blossom season. I couldn't help remembering my kids sweeping these petals into big piles and tossing them into the air.

Along the street I found these flowers in full bloom. In Japanese they are called "Tokiwa mansaku". Mansaku is the name of witch hazel. There are a number of varieties of witch hazel in Japan, usually yellow, and all early bloomers. Most belong to the family, Hamamelis. These are of the Loropetalum family. We used to have a row of them at the last place we rented. They grow rapidly and need lots of trimming. I kept them well trimmed and enjoyed the blooms but when I walked by that house recently I noticed all those bushes have been removed. I guess the new renters do not like gardening.

It was fun to join the group after over a months time. We take our lunch but the hostess of the day provides us with a dessert. This time we also had some delicious soup. The member is working on a quilt for her new granddaughter and one of the members helped her with the basting.

My own big quilt is coming along and I hope to finish up and take a picture in a week or two. Since Friday my computer has been having connectivity issues and I have not been able to post or enjoy the work of others.(or even answer letters and comments). I have no idea how long this connection might last so I hasten to try the publish button before everything disappear into wherever those words go.


  1. Love to hear how life in continuing even through the difficult times. Have a lovely time with your friends. I can see you quilt making someone's room special.

  2. Busses used to be so difficult because I had so little idea where I was going, then it was in Japanese. Now I know the local lines which is helpful on rainy quilting days especially. Dogwood and fuji are starting to bloom now the cherries are done!

  3. Julie I love the pictures of the blooms you saw on your journey. Things are blooming here too and I am enjoying their beauty in my walks in the neighborhood. I wish we had bus service here for me to use. There are a few buses in town but since I live outside the city proper there is nothing. I've warned my children that the day is coming when I will no longer drive and they've promised to provide that service but they lead such busy lives I fear that won't happen. Driving represents independence and that's hard to relinquish! blessings, marlene

  4. I was just thinking of you this morning and if you were doing okay in tokyo. I'm glad to hear that some things are getting back to normal, if only some things. Such beautiful flowers! I always feel such a sense of optimism in spring. It must be interesting to feel that in an earthquake zone.

  5. I love your squares quilt - it's interesting how the using up or semi planned projects can often be the most successfuland the most loved. I noted your comment about groups on my blog. There is some overlap with the groups I belong to - me for one but there are definite walls and some people would not cross a line from one to another or might be repulsed but as long as the single group is happy I don't suppose it matters too much. It's a way of accommodating differences. . So glad there is life after or at least amid the quakes as well as loss. - Mary

  6. I saw loropetalums everywhere this spring for the first time. Apparently they grow well in GA and not well in VA. The ones here are several shades of rose I'd say -- and are on my "got-to-have" list. Just have to figure out where they should go in our yard. Neat to see that so far from here you are seeing some too!