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I love you.

I love you. I love you. I love you.

How many times did we say it this morning? M whispered ”I love you”. And I responded ”I love you”. Over and over…

Covid regulation is finally over; warm season has arrived; our hectic life in Powell River has calmed down for the moment. We are here in Lions Bay. It’s peaceful. We are taking care of our daughter’s pets while the family is visiting Japan. We went to visit M this morning at her nursing home in West Vancouver. We had not seen her for several months.

I stepped into her room, and was startled. It is certainly M who is lying down in bed. But, OMG she is half the size from before…. She has lost so much weight. “Oh” M saw me and called out and stretched her arms. I ran up to her and embraced her ‘skin and bones’ body.

The care taker person says M does not want to eat and does not drink anything. She is super dehydrated. Oh no, I thought….she must be trying to die by starving herself. She has been invalid and bed bound for many years now. It’s not unimaginable if she wished to die. However, of course, it’s not that easy to die…sadly. She has been lying in bed for years now, her hearing is almost completely gone; because of the stroke her ability to speak, read, and write is seriously compromised. She used to love watching politics on TV, but can’t any more. It’s not unreasonable if she wondered why she is still breathing.

I want M to live, have little happiness here and there….but at the same time, I don’t want her to suffer. I want her to be in peace. What a contradiction. You have suffered so much, M…you can join your beloved husband in heaven….you don’t have to suffer any more…. But, how can I say that?

Agonizing for words….I’m just repeating “I love you”, “I love you”, “I love you”

I came out her room saying…”I’ll come again, soon”, dragging my heavy heart.

I love you, M. I don’t know what else to say….but….seriously, I love you…. I love you so much.

I love you. I love you. I love you.

この言葉を何度繰り返したことか。マレナがI love youとつぶやくと私もI love youと返す。何度も何度も…。






I love you, マレナ. I love you, I love you. I love you so much.

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For Sosuke 奏佑へのメッセージ

Sosuke, Luke, and Renada

I remember the first day of school when Sosuke arrived from Japan to take Grade 2 in Canada.

He was so nervous. He barely endured the few hours of school. And he refused to go to school the next day. I generally don’t believe in “not going”, but Tomoka, his mom, let him stay home. He sat around doing nothing the whole morning. Tomoka phoned the school and talked to the teacher. The teachers and the class pupils discussed together what they could do to cheer up Sosuke and make him feel happier.

“Sosuke has just arrived from Japan. He can’t speak English. Just imagine, if you had to go to school in Japan and you don’t understand a word of Japanese, how would you feel?”

“What can each one of you do to make Sosuke feel happy and comfortable and included as one of your friends?”

That same afternoon, some children in the neighborhood came to the house. “Sosuke, let’s play!”

Sosuke’s face lightened up. He went over to the neighbor’s house and had a great time.

Apparently, it worked! It was just what he needed!

After that day, he never said he didn’t want to go to school. He played with neighbor kids after school. Sosuke was glowing.

His age, 7 years old, and his personality, gentle and authentic, contributed to making friends easily and fast. He learned to communicate without much language and still had fun.

He’s got countless stimulations from them. Scootering, bicycling, creating a basecamp, tree climbing, camping, swimming, releasing salmon babies in a creek, basketball…..I was so happy watching him challenging new things, growing more confident, and enjoying being a child.

He learned English so naturally, having fun with friends and his little cousin, Raiden. I have immense gratitude for everybody around him, including his friends, their parents, neighbours, and the wonderful teachers at the Lions Bay Elementary School. What a wonderful community.

So, what’s going to happen now? What would this one year mean to him in his life? Would he remember all these people who loved him? Would he remember English? Would he come back to Canada? I don’t know….but I know that, life is a series of meetings and farewells.

I think of Michael and Luke, his closest friends, who were crying, “why is Sosuke going back to Japan?”

Thank you for being such good friends.

Rutsu, Dustin, and Raiden, thank you for being so nice and supportive of Sosuke.








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Messages to My Grandchildren….For Sumire すみれへのメッセージ

Surprising how time flew. A year zoomed by and my 12 year old granddaughter, Sumire, graduated from Grade 7.

A year ago, when she came from Japan and started her Grade 7 at the Gleneagles elementary school, in West Vancouver, it seemed rather impossible. She had such a big dream and so much hope, but imagine, with no English, coming from totally different culture at the age 12, it was incredibly challenging. She struggled. She felt lost, lonely, disappointed at herself. It was hard to watch that process knowing how she would be feeling, what thoughts would go through her head.

I had the same experience when I was 13. I know so well how hard it is.

I felt helpless and sad that I couldn’t really help her, no matter how much I wanted. She had to live through it herself and overcome. After all, I can’t live Sumire’s life.

‘However, my sincere congratulations to you, Sumire! You worked really hard. In only one year, you have made great friends with whom you had so much fun, in English! That is truly a great accomplishment, Sumire.’

‘I felt so proud watching you at your graduation.

After the ceremony we went to see your teacher to thank her personally. It was a deeply emotional moment for the teacher too, and tears moved to our eyes.’

‘Sumire, your hard work and your precious experience will definitely guide you through your future endeavors. You are one big step closer to your dream. Keep moving forward, and hold onto your dream.’

Sumire is returning to Japan at the end of July. She is now a different person, much stronger and more confident.

‘I’m sure there will be struggles and challenges waiting for you, remember what you have accomplished in the year. Work hard, keep smiling, and never give up.’

‘I will always support you, Sumi. Come to me when you need a big hug.’









応援してる。いつでも何でも相談してね。Big hugs to you!

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Why? どうして?


I had been bogged down with various events, visits, errands, and couldn’t write my blog for a long time. One day in early July we finally came to our cottage on Texada Island to slow down, calm our minds, relax… I was hoping I could write something. Instead, this shocking news appeared on my phone screen….

Japan’s former prime minister, Shinzo Abe was assassinated.

Such a shocking news…. My heart sank heavily. My mind was flying all over. I couldn’t focus on anything. I couldn’t write.

I was always proud of my motherland, a super peaceful country and gentle polite people. And in such a beautiful ancient capital of Nara….? Who and why?

How could you hate anybody to the point of killing that person? Apparently there was no personal connection between the shooter and Mr. Abe… Then, why ….?

When your life is not going well do you blame it on others? Is it because of the damn society? Cunning and devious politicians? Your uncaring parents? Your family’s poor money situations? The evil religious organization that sucked your family’s money?

Why is it not your own responsibility? If you had the brain to make your homemade gun, couldn’t you use your intelligence, creativity and talents for something that could have helped to improve your life?

My thoughts and emotions are boiling up. My heart is so heavy. What a waste! The life of an influential politician and the life someone who was young and smart but headed the wrong way, had been wasted and can’t be reversed……how sad.

I read a column in the online Asahi News, and was utterly moved. My best attempt of translating its last paragraph…

“One era is gone. Nevertheless, people and cars come and go as if nothing happened. This humongous city Tokyo is still pulsing as if nothing had happened. I thought of a poem written a thousand years ago. ‘The flow of the river is incessant, yet its water is never the same.’”











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There was a music festival called PRISMA (Pacific Region International Summer Music Association) in my little home town, Powell River, from June 13 to 26.

To tell you honestly, I had very little expectation for the quality of music. It is after all, such a small town. Nevertheless, I bought two passes for Neil and myself and looked forward to the concerts.

I was blown away. Oh, how wrong I was!

The morning of the first day, I saw young people carrying instruments and hanging a pass from their neck at many corners of our town. ‘Oh they must be the musicians participating the festival’ I thought. I remember attending music festivals when I was younger. ‘Did I look like that?…young…nervous…hopeful…’ I wondered, with a bit of nostalgia.

Concerts by guest professional musicians, concerto competition, master classes, symphony concerts, outdoor concerts…many variety of events were planned.

This festival was founded and conducted by a Dutch conductor named Arthur Arnold who now lives in Powell River and also conducting various orchestras around the world….so I heard. He is a down-to-earth, friendly, and super charismatic leader.

The two weeks went by so fast. We very much enjoyed the six concerts. The music performed by young energetic musicians was refreshing, powerful, and beautiful.

On the final day, at the final concert, the MC person thanked the musicians. “There are many music festivals in the world. Thank you so much for choosing this festival at this little Canadian town of Powell River. Thank you for coming all the way from 21 countries all over the world to this little town, two ferries away from Vancouver. Thank you for bringing your wonderful music and talent to the people in Powell River.” ….I was so moved. It brought tears to my eyes.

Many volunteers and many audiences, the whole town welcomed and supported this festival.

Listening to the beautiful violin of Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov at the final concert, I couldn’t stop my tears.

Music is amazing. It’s so wonderful to share the love and joy of music.

6月13日から26日まで私の住む町パウエルリバーでPRISMAという音楽祭があった。(Pacific Region International Summer Music Association)











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Don’t Look Up ドント・ルック・アップ 


Beautiful planet earth
My beloved family in Hawaii
My beloved family in Lions Bay
My beloved family in Japan
Raiden and Tora 🥰

Recently, I watched the movie that everybody is talking about, “Don’t Look Up” at our friend’s home here in Powell River.

A girl who is a PhD candidate discovered a comet which is rapidly approaching planet earth, and calculated that there is a high probability of colliding with earth in approximately 6 months time.

The story was utterly and depressingly realistic. In fact, I have heard that dinosaurs went extinct because of collision of a comet, which created the Ice Age by a huge volume of ash covering the earth blocking the Sun for a long time. How can you be sure it could never happen again? The PhD student and her professor reported this news to the world, and people’s reactions, when they heard this, were amazing. Most of them didn’t believe it. They didn’t take it seriously and laughed. Some business people used the story to make money. Some politicians used the story for their own political gains. Most people just did nothing….even when it became clear that this was truly going to happen. People are unbelievably short sighted and self centered….so depressing and sickening.

I have a tendency to take things on a personal level. My thinking somehow doesn’t easily engage in the direction of social justice or political reformation when I watch movies, dramas, or read novels. I’d rather take the story personally, and think in relation to myself and my life. This movie was not an exception. I started thinking seriously what I would do if I got to know that every being on the earth go extinct in 6 months. I will die, and everybody dies, and everything will be destroyed in 6 months.

Since I don’t have any social status anyway, I wouldn’t be caring what people would think of me. Since everybody dies in 6 months and there will be no life anyway, what would be the use of having money? If I die in 6 months, my health wouldn’t mean much, as long as I would keep myself reasonably healthy for 6 months….might as well eat everything I love as much as I want, do/get everything I want as much as I want….

Wait…. but there are 6 months. I’m not dying right now. Maybe I can spend my money on making my loved ones happy….? I would fly to Hawaii, Lions Bay, and Japan to hold my children, grandchildren, and my dad and my sister as tight as I can…? I would fly to Japan and invite all my family to stay just one last night in a heavenly beautiful hot spring inn…? I would write letters after letters like crazy, letting people know how much I appreciate them, how much I love them…? I would definitely treasure and mindfully live every moment I would be with Neil and our dogs.

As I’m writing this, I have noticed something so stunningly disturbing. I am just as self centered as everybody in the movie. I am thinking of my own beloved family and friends, treasuring my own beloved life and time…..what about all the people who are not directly connected to me and to my life?

It made me re-realize how wonderful my friend “A” is, tirelessly working and actually doing things to improve lives of people who are living in poverty, and “H” who is actually doing so much to bring awareness to people and lobbying to protect vulnerable lives of animals.

つい最近、ここパウエルリバーの友人宅で、今話題になっているドント・ルック・アップ Don’t Look Up という映画を観た。



どうせもともと何の地位もない私だから、今さら自分がどう思われようと関係ないし、6ヶ月後に全滅するんだったらお金なんてあったって仕方がない。6ヶ月後に何もかもなくなるなら健康的に生きても仕方がない? 好きなものをたらふく食べて、好きなものを買って、好きなことをして…

でも待てよ… 今すぐではなく6ヶ月あるんだから、私にとって一番大切な家族たちや友人たちが、最も幸せな6ヶ月を過ごせるようにお金を使うかな?日本に飛んで父や妹や甥姪を抱きしめる、ハワイとライオンズベイにとんで娘、息子、孫たちをかたくかたく抱きしめる… 家族みんなを日本に呼んで素晴らしい温泉宿で思い出に残る一晩を過ごす… 大事な人たちに手紙を書きまくる…感謝の気持ちを伝える…いかに愛しているかを伝える。ニールと犬たちと過ごす大切な大切な時間を噛み締める。

ここまで書いて、はたと思った。結局私も自分中心なことばかり考えているんじゃないか。映画の中の人たちと何も変わらないのではないか。自分にとって大切な人、大切なことばかりを考えて… 自分とつながりのない人や動物はどうするの?


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My first dream of 2022 初夢

Neil and Kafka
Chor Musica concert, Dec. 2021 Neil is the second from right
Lu in the snow

I had a dream. Some bitterness lingered after waking up for quite a while into the morning. What does this dream mean? Is it giving me some kind of message? I wasn’t sure if I should write about it. Neil encouraged me to write….so I’m trying.

I don’t remember many details of the dream, but I’m trying to recover as much as I can. It was something like this….

“ A room somewhere. A cloth couch in the room. I can see a thread of smoke. Why smoke? Where is it coming from? Looks like it’s coming from the couch. Why? What is burning? Oh…the smoke has now disappeared. I have to tell Neil about this when he comes home. He might have idea what was burning. There might be a cinder somewhere on the couch…

A telephone call…. What? Neil passed away? So suddenly? So Unexpectedly?

……But I haven’t yet told him about the smoke from the couch. I was going to, but I haven’t, and I can’t any more. It’s too late…”

What a weird dream. I opened my eyes. Neil was next to me, sleeping and snoring. What a relief.

A thought came to my mind. Yes, all that mundane everyday stuff, boring stuff, some unimportant thoughts, complaints of this and that….it’s kind of important to be able to talk about these things without worrying, without thinking through. It’s kind of precious because talking about these things helps me to be me, authentic me. If the person I talk to suddenly disappears…a chill ran through my spine. I never thought of it before….. I am lucky to have Neil, indeed, someone I can talk to and someone who would listen…

But, everyone will have a farewell sometime. There are many people who live alone. We will, for sure, have a day we have to say good bye. We must prepare for that day, enjoy each other’s presence to the fullest today, now, and forever in this moment. For, tomorrow might already be too late.

My thoughts on the second morning of 2022. What a dream….!



『どこかの部屋。布製のソファがある。細い煙が見える。なぜ煙が? どこから煙が出てるの?よく見ると煙はソファのどこかから出ている。どうして?何が燃えてるの?ニールが帰ってきたら聞いてみなきゃ。あっ 煙が消えた。何かが燃えて燃え尽きたみたい。ソファに焦げ跡があるかも…。


…だけどニールに煙のことをまだ話してない…。話そうと思っていたのに、まだ話してない。もはや話せなくなってしまった… どうすりゃいいの?』





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White Christmas ホワイトクリスマス

Morning walk with the dogs
Sun rise

Only 3 days left in 2021.

I am looking out the window from our house in Powell River. It is a pure white snowland…

Although our plan was to be in Lions Bay and spend the time with our grandchildren, we decided to cancel the trip, because of the Omicron variant of Covid and the exceptionally freezing weather predicted. It was too bad, I needed to go to special stores in Vancouver and purchase some ingredients for the New Years feast. We were looking forward to go dining at our favorite restaurants in Vancouver area.

Disappointing, indeed.

However, the white snow land in Powell River is so beautiful. We are enjoying the house we love, and having a quiet, intimate, and cozy time with my beloved husband and our adorable dogs. They are just such precious moments and I am so grateful.

I was planning to go swimming this morning, but it was snowing with the temperature of minus 14℃. I happily decided to chill out at home.

So nice to have a day like this.

I was looking forward to start a new life in Powell River, partly because I wanted to run away from my fully booked calendar in Vancouver. However, this November and December turned out just the same or worse… it was more than full.

I sang in four choir concerts, I am now a music volunteer person (organ, piano, and choir) at the Anglican Church here, I am exercising 3 days a week, fitness and swimming, I am walking 4+ kilometers a day with Neil and the dogs, and I am poking my head so hard twice a week studying French…… you know…. they are all my own choices….all my fault…..I know. Where is the simple life that I aspired and dreamed of? ….. somehow dissipated into somewhere far far away.

However, there were some positives in my life the last two months. I am not an extroverted person at all, but I was able to make some new friends. Friends who love music, who come to the church, who say hello at the swimming pool, who sweat at the rec center together….. It’s exciting to imagine and look forward to the possible friendship cultivating with the new friends.

And, I have to tell you about the heavenly moments that I cherish. I open the rec center door after exercising, and breathe into my lung to the fullest, the freshest and cleanest air emanated from the tall beautiful trees in the woods surrounding me. A truly heavenly moment….

Many many thanks to all of you for 2021, and have a happy and healthy new year.









憧れていたシンプルライフはどこに? 夢見たシンプルライフとは程遠い生活になってしまったと内心、反省している。




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Immigrant People in Canada カナダの移民たち

School has started for Sumi and Sosuke, our grandchildren from Japan. (at Sumi’s school, Glen Eagles Elementary School. She is in Grade 7.)

Sosuke’s first day of school, at Lions Bay Elementary School. He is in Grade 2.
3 year old Riden and 4 month old Tora in Lions Bay
Snow geese in Powell River
I made 9 pies from our apple trees and 6 of them still frozen
Good beer at a lakeside pub

The summer is gone, and like a door shut behind us, September has arrived, bringing us cold air and much rain. Various classes and activities have started. I, who cannot stay still, have started my busy life again. Not only starting fitness, swimming, and choirs, which I always had, Neil and I started a brand new French class. I have never learned French before. To tell you the truth, I always had this doubt about studying new languages. I know how difficult languages are. Since I’m not a child, it seems impossible to become really proficient at this age. Then why would I bother? Wouldn’t it be a waste of time and money? What am I going to use French for? I had some serious doubts.

I don’t know why, but I had a silly imagination. That was….a French class taught by a strict elderly woman with reading glasses on her nose…..a silly stereotype ….and…..it was totally wrong. The person who was waiting for us at the French cultural center was a young black man with inquisitive eyes and big smiles. He is an immigrant from Congo. Although he was a medical doctor in Congo, he does not have the right qualification to practice medicine in Canada. So he is teaching and assisting French classes in the local schools. He seemed to be a sincere, fun, and patient man, and I liked him!

Thinking back this year, I met several immigrant people from different countries. When I was still living in Lions Bay, I took some personal training sessions. At the time, Covid caused all the fitness classes to be cancelled, and yet, I needed exercising so badly. At the Recreation Centre, R was assigned to me as my personal trainer. R is a young beautiful woman in her 30s, an immigrant from Syria. She is a single mother raising a 12 year old girl all by herself. Often, we engaged in conversations and she would say… “my daughter is getting more and more difficult these days,” or “I’m afraid my daughter is feeling lonely because I’m always working,” or “I have been all alone for more than 10 years I feel so lonely at times.” She reminded me of myself when I was in my 30s. “I know…I do understand your feelings…… I’ve been there. I, too, raised my children in a foreign country by myself, all alone. I, too, wept many nights, feeling so lonely.” I felt some invisible thread connecting R and me. I think of her often, even now, after moving to Powell River. R, please stay well and find lots of happiness……I’m thinking of you.

In July we moved to Powell River. On the moving day, 5 guys showed up to move our furniture and boxes in 2 big trucks. 4 out of 5 guys were immigrants. They were hard working, strong, wonderful guys from Albania, Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Hong Kong. F, the guy from Albania was the leader. My first impression of him was “kind of scary,” because he had sharp eyes. When we traveled in Bulgaria some years ago, we had opportunities to drive beside Albanian borders. Albania was very different from west Europe or even Bulgaria. There were Islam mosques everywhere; villages were humble; and people were looking poor. During the 3 days of our move from Lions Bay to Powell River, my impression of F changed completely. He told me about his 2 children, about how he immigrated to Canada, and about how much he worries about his aging parents who are farming in Albania. He said funny jokes without moving a single muscle on his serious looking face, and I kept on laughing and laughing. He made our move so much fun when otherwise it could have turned stressful and exhausting. Thank you, F, for so much laughs, and thank you for taking good care of my sad looking potted plants.

After arriving Powell River, a young pleasant guy D came to install some blinds in the house. He was a refugee from Syria. He arrived here few years ago, sponsored by some group in Powell River. After finishing school somewhere, he came back to Powell River, and now he is settled down with a wife and job.

Canada is a country like mosaic. You look around and see many different faces, cultures, and languages. They have arrived here as immigrants or refugees, then working hard, although barely making their livings, and trying to co-exist with others in harmony. It is not easy to live here, especially when they don’t have the support or resources of their families. However, most of them put on a brave face, and try to find their place in this society. You need to work harder with lower wages, fight with hidden or occasionally obvious discriminations, be patient and open to new ways, and stay positive and hopeful. I feel like I am receiving energy and hope by getting to know these people. They are certainly contributing so much to making Canada a great place to live.



思えば今年に入ってから私はずいぶんいろんな国からの移民の人達に出会ったな。まずはまだライオンズベイに住んでいた今年の初め、コロナでフィットネスのクラスが閉鎖されたので、パーソナルトレーナーに個人レッスンを受けることにした。私のトレーナーはRという30代の美しい女性、シリアからの移民だそうな。一人で子供を育てながらパーソナルトレーニングの仕事をして一生懸命生きてる…。「子供が反抗期に入って大変なの。」「私がいつもいつも働いてるから子供に寂しい思いをさせてる、」「ずーっと10年以上も1人だったからすごーく寂しい時があるの、」と言いながらトレーニングをしてくれる姿を見ていると私の30代の頃の姿とダブってくる。『そうだよね。本当に。気持ち痛いほどわかるよ。私も異国の地で一人ぼっちで働きながら子供を育てたんだよ。私も寂しくて泣いたことが何度もあった。』なんとなくR というシリア出身の彼女と見えない糸で結ばれているかのような気がしてパウエルリバーに引っ越してからも気になっている。どうか元気で、幸せになってほしい…


7月に引っ越したとき5人の力強い男性が2台のトラックで運送してくれた。そのうち4人が移民。アルバニアとサウジアラビアとリビアと香港からの4人…力持ちでよーく働く素晴らしい若者たちだった。特に印象に残っているのはアルバニアから来たF 。最初に会った時は目が鋭くて怖いような気がしていた。数年前にブルガリアに行った時に、アルバニアのそばを何度もドライブする機会があった。いかにも貧しくて、イスラム教のモスクがあって、ヨーロッパとは全然雰囲気の違うアルバニアの村々は印象的だった。そのアルバニアから来た目の鋭いF。最初の怖い印象が、ライオンズベイからパウエルリバーまでの3日がかりの引っ越しの過程でガラリと変わってしまった。子供が2人いるというF 、奥さんがまずカナダに来てF をスポンサーしてくれたという。年老いた親御さんはアルバニアで農業をやっていて心配だという。真面目な顔をしておかしなことを言って私をケタケタ笑わせてくれる。ただでさえストレス満杯の引越しの日々を楽しくしてくれた。今にも死にそうな私の植木たちさえも嫌な顔一つせずユーモアたっぷり、丁寧に運んでくれて感謝。ありがとうF。

パウエルリバーに来てからも、D という若い、感じの良い男性がブラインドを取り付けに来てくれた。彼はシリアからの難民だという。数年前にパウエルリバーのグループがスポンサーになってくれてカナダに来たそうな。進学のために一度は町を出たけど、卒業してまたパウエルリバーに戻ってきたんだという。


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Why did we move? 引越しの理由

Many deer in our neighborhood 鹿がいっぱい
Texada Island with Raiden タクセーダ島 ライデンと

How many years ago was it?? Hmmmm…. Oh well…..it was several years ago anyway. My beloved nephew was getting married, and Neil and I were attending his wedding in Japan. Just when we were about to depart, Neil fell at a trail we walk the dogs every single day. He broke his ankle! It was too late to cancel the trip. I arranged the house so Neil could survive while I was away, and I flew to Japan by myself. I hurried back home to Canada right after the wedding.

Poor Neil, as soon as he saw my face, he declared. “We are moving.”

“What?” It hit me as a shock. We have just renovated our house! We moved to Lions Bay and it took two years to finish renovating. I loved our house and our neighborhood.

Give me a break, Neil …..!

But, he was right. Realistically thinking, if he could not walk by himself, he could not even go to the front door, or bedroom, or kitchen or bathroom. When you enter the front door, there is a staircase….if you cannot go up and down the stairs you are doomed. You are not going anywhere from the door. And, we did not think of it until it actually happened.

After that day, the word “moving” had occupied a little corner of my head flickering from time to time.

So Neil and I, not quite young chicks any more, definitely growing older, started to think seriously what would be important for us.

Important things would be….health, peace of mind, happiness of our children and grandchildren, friendships, communities, some intellectual and cultural stimulation, life purposes, helping others….etc.etc.

We started to see that Powell River might be a good fit for us. It is close to our cottage on Texada Island. The real estate is still cheaper than other places in the Sunshine Coast.

Long long time ago when I was working in the building product industry, I wrote an article introducing to the Japanese market Canada’s barrier-free houses. While interviewing people for the article, I remember thinking I would love to live in one of these barrier-free houses when I get old.

One day, we met a guy named Gary who sold us a truck camper. He told us that he built by himself a passive solar house. He kindly showed us his house, and we were impressed. We started researching about passive solar houses, and found an article about a “passive house” on Vancouver Island built by a company in Squamish. (Passive solar house is a predecessor of passive house). We contacted the company right away.

Things went very smoothly up to this point, but it was a struggle after struggle from there on. We couldn’t find a builder who would be willing to risk building such a house. Nobody knew how long and how much money was needed to build. We had no idea if we could even afford it.

We came so close to giving up the idea, but kept on talking to builders. In the end, we found a local Powell River builder who was open to give this challenging project a try. We liked the person very well, so we happily threw the dice. We sold 60% of our house in Lions Bay to our youngest daughter. She had just started a family, and wanted a house, but, of course, could not afford one in Vancouver. This arrangement seemed to create a win-win situation. She got a house to live, we got the construction money, and we retained 40% so we had a place to stay while visiting our grandchildren.

So, the construction started. We were so happy, looking forward to live there a year later……then, Covid came. Everything just stalled. People worked from home, shipments utterly delayed. The construction schedule was nullified. The prices of materials skyrocketed…. Our house grew grossly over budget. What can we do? …..Nothing…. we can’t stop now…..

My blood pressure kept on rising for the four years.

Finally this July, we were able to move into our new house in Powell River. After 4 years of waiting we are now living in this little city of 14000 people. Our house is a passive house, no furnace or air conditioning, as well as a barrier free house, accessible with wheelchair.

Look, we are now well prepared for the future!

Neil, you can now have a peace of mind!! (Neil is 68 years old, 6’9” tall and weighs 275lb!!)

It all started with Neil’s injury…but, to tell you the truth, I did enjoy every aspect and every process of the project…..especially designing and choosing materials…..except the money part, of course.

However, what really matters is what happens hereafter. We need to get involved in the new circle of people, make new friends, and start contributing to the new community…..with God’s help….. I feel dizzy when I think of starting all over again from scratch…..introducing myself, finding people I like, getting involved in activities….. Who would be my new friends? What kind of life is waiting for me? Looking forward to it, but at the same time, I am sighing…… How exhausting……😢

何年前だったかな? うーむ… ま、いいや…ともかく数年前にある出来事が起こった。日本にいる最愛の甥の結婚式にニールと私二人で出席することになっていた。出発の間際にニールがいつも歩いている散歩道で足を踏み外して足首の骨を折ってしまったのだ。あんまり急で、結婚式を今さら欠席するわけにもいかず、とりあえずニールが数日過ごせるように支度をして、私は一人で日本に飛んだ。