What a difference some heat makes. It has been getting colder and colder here in Osaka. Not really bad if one goes by Hokkaido, New York, Canada, places like that standards, thankfully I am not in those places, so for me, it is Cold! True, even in Alameda, Ca it was around the 50 F. Degrees at times . On rare occasions high 40. Anyway, this is what I miss about CA right now. Well that and a good pizza, Cheeses, Indian food, Mexican Food, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, being able to buy in bulk and not having a fixed income. Maybe a few misc things I will not go into, but mostly the food, and the warmth. Otherwise I am enjoying Japan. More so everytime I hear about some of the weirdness and Crap that is happening in the states, like this and this and this, this and of course this. However I digress. The subject is warmth ! For the last few weeks temps have been dropping and I walked around the house, like I was dressed for outdoors. Funny thing is many times it was warmer outside than in the house, and not funny like smiley face haha but funny like how weird is that/ this.
I picked up an electric space heater before the weather changed a couple of months ago, when I first started thinking about winter creeping in. A good move, It saved us, and was helpful for some degree of comfort. However, we knew it would not be enough for the full face of winter, come Dec, Jan, Feb!
I was for picking up another larger space heater. LZ did research. We were close to settling on one. I mention that a kerosene heater was a better choice for heat, however they smelled and left a film in the house, also one needed to buy oil and fill it every so often. That is not really a big thing but it is something to consider. LZ went to work researching and found a newer model, which is fan powered for the distributing the heat and it has an ECO setting. which means that it does not just run all the time. it can be set at a temp and it will cycle on and off around that. Totally cool (warm in this case) She compared what the operational cost are next to the Electric and it was only a few pennies different. For the comfort no contest! The unit we picked up had high reviews from her research. It is a unit that will heat a wooden house twice the size of ours. We made the sacrifice and made the purchase from a company she found on line. The cost was cheaper than a smaller unit of the same brand purchased local. Awww yeah!
We used it over the weekend and are totally pleased and comfortable warm. We keep the settling low and still wear sweaters but now the a whole room is comfortable, not just a spot in front of the heater. The rest of the house we keep curtained off unless using to save heat. What a difference some heat makes on ones perspectiveve of life and having a home. We can even invite our limited amount of friends over once we get more settled. It is Thanksgiving season in the States. I have been grateful a lot even just surviving to this spot over the last year, even with our losses. Just thinking a few months ago we sat out on the ocean, surrounded by nothing but water, and cold wondering, when we would see land again.
This living in a house again, with food, dry, warm, a comfortable bed, a small Christmas tree, and a nice view of the garden is a lot of everyday Gratitude, that does not need a special day named after it. Thanksgiving is daily _/|\_
It started as a somewhat early day. I needed to go pick up a bike given to us., now located at a nearby marina. I was up a o-dark thirty anyway because I needed to call to CA to speak with my ex-employer about a boat part for one of our new friends. Well after I did a few morning things and re-crashed for a short nap I headed out.The marina is only about three stops from our place so not a big deal. I wanted to check out the pawn shop that was at that station anyway. It was a small bummer it was closed. However I was able to memory mark it’s location for my bike rides home from the Kyudojo. The trek takes me just one block away. So made note to self to stop.
Once that was done, we got the bike ready for me to take home. While preparing to go I encountered another person I knew from Aoki Yacht school. I yelled a few words of greeting to him on his boat as I was leaving. The new bike, was not as I hoped for with shiftable gears, which would make my Kyudo Commute easier, but it would do for LZ to run her errands on and for us to ride together some places, or the hills in case of a Tsunami ( just saying). So I started the trip home. I took my time and went a few off the main track places to explore since the day was nice and I had time.
This will most likely be my least read post. Most of the readers follow the Kyudo stuff, then a few the everyday life in Japan parts. No matter.
I had my first full in Japan Zen experience last night. My friend the Sailing Zen master held his monthly session at the temple where he studies. It is the location of a National heritage. A couple of the places on the grounds are hundreds of year old Zen temples/rooms. This was my second time visiting. The first was a couple of years ago, when LZ and I were taken by on a mini tour. The pictures in this post are from them except for the flower arrangement. It was dark when I arrived last night so no pictures possible.
We went out again today for lunch with friends. We are in the mist of a flurry of social activity two outings within a few days of each other. Wheeew ! 🙂
Other than an up coming visit to my friend’s Zen center this Sat, I think this/that will be the end of our social calendar for this month. Even though very cheap it stresses our limited budget. However we will see what the tide brings in as the colors of Autumn start to filter into the trees of Sennan
Today I biked over to class again. My time is down from 2 hours to just under 1.75 hr. that should improve down to 1.5 hr each way. Faces at the Dojo are becoming familiar now as is mine I suppose. There was another Sensei there today in addition to the Kaicho and others. He was the man who spoke to me the first time I attended class, he was only there briefly then took off. I am fairly sure he is the Sensei from the Shrine dojo, Kashita, where I was rejected. He spoke again today, a friendly attitude, more so than just someone who has only seen me once or twice. So I am guessing it is him, I had a good look at him this time since I was not being distracted by the newness of the Dojo and people at Kishiwada. No other meaning than that pretty much solves that mystery of who was that guy? Next time I see him I will ask him for clarification
We did not go out or socialize much in the states. There was my regular Kung Fu family gatherings, and some Chan gatherings, and the occasional sailing activity gatherings. However as far as hanging out with people few and far in between.So of course being the new kids on the block we do so less here. We are however little by little making connections with folks here. Some who have been very helpful even though not met yet in person, like Karamatsu-san who if not for him I would not have been able to start Kyudo here when I did. Which is my main pleasure since coming here being boatless, broke and all. Recently there is “Sencho” we met him in Alameda and helped him with some issues he was having with his boat and all since he did not speak English. Recently he returned from his sea adventure and we have been in contact. He needs to return to Tahiti to pickup his boat and wants me to fly there in Feb to help prepare it for the trip back to Japan.
Training has started, the real deal, now that my stuff is here. The plan is Monday/Weds/Fri are Kung Fu at the local shrine. This Monday I started, not really started because I have been doing that before. However now I can add in a weapon per session. Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Shaolin/Mantis and a weapon. The getting up at 6:00 am is out, winter is creeping in and I hate it. More so in a house with no heat per se. So it is up at 7:00 am now, at least it is light, morning Meditation then out to the shrine. I am sure I will miss some days, like when it is raining, but that is ok. It is all for me anyway. One good thing about this season is I do not have to be feeding or repealing the mosquitoes much longer.
Tuesday I started my Kyudo routine. The plan for that is Tues/Thurs/Sat this will be a challenge. Not so much the training three times but the commute. In order to do this I need to ride the bike. I did so today, it is about a 2 hour ride one direction. Not too bad on my legs but my knees did hurt for a time. I am guessing it will get easier as I do it. Thurs was my second trip. One of the Sensei saw me, and asked about it, everyone was shocked I was bike riding that far. Yeah, I kind of am also, but since i can not afford the train fare and I want to train ( same spelling different meanings, this is why English is hard), one does what needs to be done…yosh.