Jan's Blog Flower



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"Other Colors"
by Orhan Pamuk

by Nathaniel Philbrick

"Odd Hours"
by Dean Koontz

June 25, 2009

I’ve become my mother

This morning as I went out to the garbage containers with the last little bits of trash before the garbage men came, I thought to myself, I am becoming my mother! My mother was always so happy to have the garbage come so that the house was cleaned up and there were no piles of trash anywhere. Our house had big trees that liberally scattered little twigs and branches everywhere and you could often find Mother in the yard, picking up the branches to put in the trash. I think my sisters and I are alike in that we too like to keep things picked up.

Collecting the garbage and trash in Japan is a big project and my youngest sister had it down pat. During one of the summers we spent at Takayama in Japan, we were instructed as to the disposition of all garbage. It had to be sorted very specifically. The glass, papers, plastic and wet garbage was all separated out and put into bags and put into bins and certain things were only picked up on certain days and so forth. Since Takayama was not yet open for the summer, we took the bag of garbage to the bin on a nearby little street. When we put it into the bin, a gentleman told us, in Japanese, that we shouldn’t put things into their bin, and if we did, we had the wrong kind of plastic bag – we had to buy them at the store and not reuse those we got at the grocery store. After much bowing and saying we were sorry, we reclaimed the offending bag and trudged back home wondering how we were going to manage until youngest sister came. I learned from her to freeze smelly garbage until pick-up and various tricks like that. She loves garbage day and we eventually learned to love it too, just like Mother.

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