Friday, November 17, 2017

Friends in high places


Along with a box of munchable goodies and Christmas tree lights and carving wood that came flying in from Boston, was this night shirt that my son and DIL picked up at a birder's store on the cape.

I love these long nightshirts but I can only enjoy the design until the warm weather returns next summer.
I have added some feathers to my bedding and thinking that soon the sleeping bag will have to come out of hiding.

Meanwhile this shirt hangs to remind me of so many special friends ... and one for whom I am preparing a small mug-rug to celebrate his 90th birthday in another week.

Wally was one of my husband's best friends, and since he was getting on in years, he had put all his money and property into his wife's name so she would have little trouble should he pass away.

Sadly, she died first, and in Japan, all the property is then divided up by the relatives. To make matters worse, his wife's relatives were not on good terms and not even speaking to each other. Paul, to rescue his friend, stepped in and worked for a year or more, negotiating with the far-flung relatives so that Wally could keep some of his property. Can you imagine having to sell your house so the money can be divided up between relatives, leaving only a portion for one's self?

When Paul died, it was Wally who came to my rescue with money to live off of while the year passed trying to dis-inherit all the debts. His claim was that Paul had refused payment and it was what Wally owed him. Now the time Paul and he spent together over lunch after church or meetings has become my time to share with Wally. I have certainly learned why the two were such good friends.

Wally has worked through the years with JR (Japan Railways) and is a great historian of the evolution of trains in Japan.

He is also the historian of our church and working on the archives as we near 2020.

He has sold his house in Shizuoka ... where my daughter's family and I acquired many plants from his wife's lovely garden ... and is now living in a senior residence in Tokyo.

He moved the things he wished to keep and does not have large quarters.
I have begun now quilting a small mug-rug for his birthday and Norie is thinking of getting him a mug and matching dessert plate. The train fabric I have used for the backing.

Today I finished quilting the crane using white thread and now have begun the background in light turquoise. It was suggested I make a napkin to match and whittle him a napkin ring.  We shall see what kind of time I have left by a week from tomorrow when the celebration is planned.

"Choir Sunday" is nearing and we are working hard on Benjamin Britten, "A Ceremony of Carols", to be sung at both services in place of the sermon. Over many years I have sung this piece and the only thing I need the music for is to know the order of the pieces. We are also beginning to prepare for a Valentines choral event where I will be part of a barbershop quartet and another small group. I was handed the first piece, "Let there be Music! Let there be Love" about a month ago, and we have practiced together a few times. The result of these preparations is all that music running through my brain. Luckily I can quilt and hum and it takes my mind off the coming driving test too.

Great way to spend a cold rainy day!