Tag Archives: japan life

Ichiro: card #16 “sitting comfortably” (for ramblers) / 7.12

Ichiro: card #16 “sitting comfortably” (for ramblers) / 7.12

Ichiro Card #16
“Are you sitting comfortably?“

While doing my #daveo50 “personal archaeology” project, I found a boarding pass from when I flew from my birth town of Saskatoon to Calgary to Vancouver before continuing on my car (i assume) to Eugene, Oregon – all when I was 15 days old. (Note: dad was doing his doctorate degree at University of Oregon)

Artifact: Air Canada “infant” boarding pass for now-papa Dave, Aug. 1970 (Saskatoon to Calgary)

Little Stanley and I haven’t left the house (except for a brief walk around the garden) / can’t imagine hopping on an Air Canada jet for multiple flights and a long drive at this age.

Artifact: Air Canada “infant” *boarding pass* for then-coming Baby (issued as announcement Dec. 2019)

Then, found evidence have a 1974 flight when we moved from Lansing, Michigan to Vancouver/Surrey. I assume we drove from Lansing to Toronto and flew on from there.

Memento: L-R Davey, Bobby, Danny (in Mom/Lauralee’s arms) boarding Air Canada in 1974 (maybe from Detroit or Toronto, whilst moving from Lansing, Michigan to Vancouver (Surrey) BC

Note: brother Daniel Olson was born there as a babe in arms at this journey + brother Bob Olson was born in Eugene, me in Saskatoon all within 3.5 years.

So many miles, so many planes, so many roads, so many homes.


Ichiro: card #15 “spacepod” (for mothers) / 7.9

Ichiro: card #15 “spacepod” (for mothers) / 7.9

Today was the first day when we were just in our “normal” routine… wash diapers, change diapers, start laundry, fold laundry, wash dishes, make a breakfast make a lunch make a dinner, free some extras, nursing nursing nursing, more nursing, change more diapers, efficientize the house, feed rabbit, wash things, sweep things… and so pleased to do it (Keep in mind, with my consortium of illnesses, this requires some strategic pacing).

The first two weeks of his little life involved being born amongst all the precautions/restrictions/oddities a pandemic life, followed by the passing of his great grandmother and four days of Buddhist funeral rites at the house, then a natural disaster in Japan (hit the southern island of Kyushu hard – 60+ dead – we were just deluged with rain and concern) / I think that is a bingo.

As he rests in his deluxe “boat” made by his remarkable mother in the last days of pregnancy, safe and calm and amused, I’m thinking about all the other mothers going through pregnant life during these recent odd months. (Of course) safety is paramount though I think about so many of the *ancillary rituals* and added stresses which impacted their experience.

I.e.: Not having support and kinship of sisters and mothers and friends, not doing the “out and about” shopping, not having parenting classes (ours were canceled after a few weeks), not having showers/parties/reunions, and hearing *so many* opinions about “what to do/how to be careful“ – all of this adds a little bit a little bit a little bit.

Also thinking of single mothers doing this alone or under challenging domestic situations with minimal/no support or family around. Mothers you are champions. #respect

(Usually I would tag various names of mamas I’ve watched go through this process this last months, or starting down this journey but with the “great social diaspora of 2020” this is a futile effort to wrangle all over the TwFaceSpaceGramTube …. so, please know that I am thinking of you, all you mothers of the recently born, the young ones and soon to come ones.


Ichiro: card #14 “i’ll be your mirror” / 7.7

Ichiro: card #14 “i’ll be your mirror” / 7.7

Ichiro Olson, card # 14
“I’ll be your mirror“

When I watch your face wrinkle, your lips curl, brow furrow, your eyes dart, your legs twitch, your fingers stretch, your big yawns burps and yes, farts… I see me, I see my dad, I see my brothers, I see vikings, I see farmers, I see artists, I see samurai, I see kindness, I see intention, I see curiosity, I see potential, I see uncertainty, I see the past/present/future all in a flash, I see myself concerned, often weak and weary and in pain, I see myself trying, I see your remarkable mother perform magic moment by moment, I see everything I want to support and encourage and learn & observe for all of the years / savouring each hour i can. I see you small mighty man, I see you.

Ichiro: card #13 “generations” #Tomiko / 5.7

Ichiro: card #13 “generations” #Tomiko / 5.7

Ichiro Olson, card # 13
“Generations” / 5.7

The past few days we’ve witnessed a powerful transition of life as Ichiro’s great-grandmother Tomiko Fujita left this realm at 94 years old.

She is the widow of grandfather Ichiro who died over 4 decades ago at 49 years old. She passed a few hours after we formally registered the new lil Ichiro’s name at the City Office.

Her body went through the traditional Buddhist rituals in the house with monks, attendants, preparers and so on coming and going over 4 days with relics, artifacts, momentos, flowers, altars and so on / conducting prayers & chants plus bells, incense… all in the same tatami room where Ryoko & Ichi had rested hours before.

There’s more to say about this whole experience and the incredible dignity and respect and intention with which she was treated – but for now, I will say: as in the Buddhist consideration, her spirit lingers here for 40 some odd days after the body diminishes and feeling the life force transmitting between generations was undeniable.

PS watching my dear in-laws’ graceful tenacity during the scant days between dropping their daughter at clinic to give birth to baby coming home & settling in, then FiL’s mother passing & ceremonies… was a revelation of love.

See also: Ichiro and Tomiko’s wedding photo

Ichiro: card #12 “beard kisses” #zissou / 3.7

Ichiro: card #12 “beard kisses” / 3.7

Ichiro Olson #io card #12 / collectible
*prepare for beard kisses*
(Team Zissou uniform not usually included or required)

Ichiro: card #11 “officialness & compliance” #canadaday / 1.7

Ichiro Stanley Thorvald Olson, card #11 / “Officialness & Compliance” / July 1, Reiwa 2 (2020)

Ichiro Stanley Thorvald Olson, card #11
July 1, Reiwa 2 (2020)
“Officialness & Compliance”

Ergo: Name (etc) registration is complete / paperwork in order / various writing schemes and dating systems applied.

Received from Okayama-shi, Naka-ku (city/ward) office:
* tree (sapling, choice from six varieties)
* trash bags (30 l, many)
* tissues (small packet)
* various cards and certificates (importantness abounding)
* charge ¥700 (processing)

Thanks to: Takeshi Fujita (FiL) #io

Continue reading Ichiro: card #11 “officialness & compliance” #canadaday / 1.7

Diary: Waiting (patiently) for Ichiro (18th)

Update: no update.

Waiting (patiently) for Ichiro (18th is/was the “due date” allllll good)

+ Annotations:

Little dude is taking his time.

Ryoko is sewing so many cute things.

I made lentil soup.

Received a wonderful package of handmade treats for him, and another wonderful card. Wow!

Maybe I didn’t mention his own custom tie-dye T-shirt already?

Suitcase (including tea set and special photos and talisman) on standby.

I’m adjusting my schedule to revolve around laundry and food + stroller at the ready, and my insomnia will come in handy / diaper system on point + Fresh groceries delivered weekly / Also, infant appropriate car seat installed

Maybe Summer Solstice or Father’s Day, maybe…

It’s all good, #Grateful

Fondly from Tsuchida Cottage

Diary: Ryoko in the Garden (with belly)

Ryoko with her bamboo grape trellis and loads of potted herbs, adding passion fruit next

Who is ready to give birth any hour/day but is outside tuning up a grape trellis with hand-cut bamboo? Yep, you guessed right and… she’s even more incredible in person.  

Note: i woke up and looked for my wife and found her outside diligently making awesome
her (newest) garden project in process… because the “naya” tool shed is all tidied up, makes these projects easier

Note: the tool belt strapped above her belly is peak-Ryoko / PS The jacket is from an arborist trip to Russia.

so intrepid and full of ideas!

Kitchen: Umeboshi Time with Crock & Rocks (+ pickles & jam)

Re: making umeboshi (salted “plums”) – These tart and salty gems come in all sorts of sizes and various styles and are a common part of so many *normal* Japanese dinners. I LOVE em and wanted to try making… thanks to the neighbour’s tree, the chance came, ready or not… 

Requires obviously the sorta plums (in this case from the neighbour’s tree), salt – lots of salt, liquor (a clear fruit liquor made for this sort of purpose)…

plus a big ceramic crock (found in the former chaos of the tool shed), a piece of wood, a couple of rocks, cloth and string. Continue reading Kitchen: Umeboshi Time with Crock & Rocks (+ pickles & jam)

Kitchen: pickle jars & exciting times

Another jar of pickles / fermented for 6 weeks and opened today #carrots (no, baby still waiting inside Hotel Ryoko)

not really peanut butter (obv) but a handy jar in our lil kitchen at Tsuchida Cottage