It's her special day. I wish I could celebrate it with her, but since that's not possible, I've been observing her day in my own ways.
The celebration actually started last night when I ate the most delicious dessert I've had in Japan so far. This was better than a birthday cake -- maybe even at the same level as ice cream cake. (That's saying a lot because I enjoy ice cream cake immensely.) I'm referring to a crepe with a banana, custard and chocolate hidden inside. Oyshi! (That's "delicious" in Japanese, a handy word to know.) Liz introduced me to a little bakery within walking distance that's run by a sweet little lady who makes the most amazing crepes. So to celebrate Mom's birthday, I had a birthday crepe instead of a birthday cake. :)
When I woke up this morning, one of my first thoughts (besides "Yay, the sun is out!") was "Happy birthday, Mom!!"
It has indeed been a happy day. I always enjoy my 30-minute drive to and from Yamane Junior High School because of the scenery. With the car windows down and the music up, the perfect weather made the commute even more enjoyable. Here are some pictures from my drive:
This is the river I follow once I get close to Yamane.Yamane is at the end of this river. It's hard to see, but it's there.
On the way to and from the school, I pass by a dam that has a scenic overlook of Kuji.
This is one of many rice fields I pass once I'm done winding around the mountains. I feel like the side mirror of my car makes this an artistic photo.
Tonight for dinner I ate salmon, rice and vegetables -- one of my mom's favorite meals. And my water was even room-termperature, just as Mom likes it. Tomoki came over tonight for his English lesson, and I told him about my mom's birthday today, just as I told my students at Yamane. I've been teaching him a song to learn all 50 states, and I'm amazed at how well he has learned it!
As I've been enjoying Mom's day on this side of the world, she has been sleeping. And as she celebrates her birthday, it will be my turn to sleep. That's what happens when there's a 13-hour time difference.
September 17th was definitely a great day for me, and I hope that it's a wonderful day for my mom and a good day for you, too!