The Day I Think of My Aunt

March 3rd is Girls Day in my country, Japan. This is the day to celebrate girls for their good health and happy life. We decorate Hina dolls in the house for this day. I have my own Hina dolls which was a gift from my aunt when I was little. The dolls are very small and I wanted bigger dolls which my friends had back then. However, I thought these tiny dolls are very special and I became to love them when I got older. I think of my aunt when I see Hina dolls.

My aunt was a career woman and never married. She built a big house and took care of her parents/my grandparents there. Since she had money and time, she often went to a trip to America or Europe and always brought me a gift from different countries. This was in 1970s and there weren’t many people to go on a trip abroad around me, so my aunt was really cool to me. I loved to hear the story of English guard soldiers in London or a sculpture in a French museum. Her souvenirs are a Holland doll wearing a traditional costume, a beautiful scarf, a beautiful peacock image on leather, and so on. One time, I remember that my mother and I went to Haneda airport with my aunt to see her off to another trip to abroad. It was really cool to ride a monorail and I was so fascinated with the city view to see from high up in the monorail.

The Hina dolls always made me think how she was generous and kind. Since she was single and had no her own child, she might love me as her own child. Maybe because I was her first niece out of 3 nieces and 7 nephews. It passed many years since then and I now live in America. Although my daughter left home and live independently, I decorate Hina dolls every year to celebrate and pray for my daughter’s good health and happiness and thank my aunt who gave me these beautiful Hina dolls.






Winter Hike

Surprisingly it was sunny when I got up last Saturday morning in February. My husband and I immediately started to think of a plan on that day. We don’t want to miss any outdoor activity on a sunny day especially in winter. After we thought about 15 minutes, we decided to go to Poo Poo Point where is 30 minutes drive from our house.

This was the 2nd time we hiked this mountain. The last time was in fall a few years ago, and we took our dogs to the hike. Although we had to carry our dogs through the entire hike, we were still glad to see the dogs were happily playing in the meadow on top of the mountain. However, my husband and I agreed to go hiking just two of us this time.

When we arrived a trailhead, we could see the snow on top of the mountain and we didn’t expect that. The trail was fine to walk easily in the beginning, but it got muddy a little because of the melting snow. It was cold and the air was clean and fresh. The fresh air was so good to our heated body from the hike. The more we went up to higher elevation, the more snow we could see on the trees. It was so beautiful with the white snow on the green moss on the trees. I’ve never hiked in the snow before and it was a completely new experience and I loved it. Well, there was not much snow in the trail so it was fine.

About one hour later, we made to top of the mountain and the view was beautiful. There were clouds and the sun peeked a little. The low clouds made the view mysterious and even more beautiful. My husband and I played with snow and took some pictures, then we headed to the other side of top of the mountain.

The other side offers another beautiful view with less clouds. This place is also popular for paragliding. People hike and fry from this spot. I was able to see the moment of the frying with other hikers and it was amazing the blue paraglide frying in the white snow. The cold fresh air, beautiful snow view, and colorful paraglider made me so happy and I am glad we came to this mountain to hike. It was a happy day to discover unexpected beautiful views.