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.