Category Archives: Hobbies/Pasttimes

Affinity & Connections

The extra gains of values of wisdom from this, arts and crafts course you’d taken, translated…

For a time, I’d gotten into collecting the seeds, and started stringing them together, and so, I’d started up the idea of making the bracelets, at the time, my older schoolmate led me into the knotting class offered at the Taipei Arts Museum, I’d started learning the skills under Ms. Shih.  As I was only a beginner, I’d not known the difference between the various types of knots, let alone, known how to follow the steps on the diagrams.  And, as I’d gone to the classes during the daytime, it took me up into the wee hours of the nights, and still couldn’t finish the project of that day, I’d felt, really upset over it.  Thankfully, the instructor taught me step by step and didn’t lose patience with me, and, there was a group of fellow students who are just as interested in this form of art as I as my companions, and then, things started, falling into, their, rightful, places, and I can, now make the Chinese knot projects.

the projects, from the art form…photo from online

With the skills getting better, the classmates became more and more acquainted too, we’d shared the goings on in our lives with one another, the two-hour per week classes, we’d all, cherished the time we had, there were rarely any, absents.  Ms. Shih would become a personality dissector, took up our knots, and stated humorously, “this person must be anal, look how tight the knots are, with the need to scrub down the pots and pans, the floors, redo the dishes.”  She’d used that as a reminder to us: not all knots needed to get pulled too tight, sometimes, leaving some spare, there would be the room to move around, and the knots will become very fluid then.

Our instructor, Ms. Bao-Rong often told, “Relax, don’t hurry!  Trust yourselves, and everything will be fine.  Everything is beautiful, you look at someone else’s work, and think, how beautiful, but know, that your work is also, well done, that, is the values of life through the knots!”  And, the classes, became a best way I have, of, de-stressing.

And now, I’d, forgotten the purpose of why I took the courses, to make the project with the seeds, and in the process of learning to knot, I’d found, the aesthetic and the wisdoms of life.

And so, this is how the gains are, unexpected, how we’d, often had our goals in mind, going into something, and yet, when we come back out, we’d gained, more than what we’d hoped to achieve.

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Filed under Connections, Hobbies/Pasttimes, Lessons, Life, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Values

The Variations of My New Nesting Alone

Here comes, the empty nest, how to occupy oneself, by finding hobbies, and, learning to adapt to life on your own in the elderly years maintaining that connection to your friends, your acquaintances, translated…

With the compounded milestone of retirement and my wife’s death, it’d caused me to lose the focal point of my suddenly.  I’d started immersing myself into a ton of activities for the retired persons, hiking, traveling, writing, book clubs, birdwatching, calligraphy, Buddhist teachings, Tai-Chi, etc., etc., etc., what everybody else’s “continuing education” for me is just “rushing to make the deadlines of my assignments,” and “killing my time”, nothing more.

Later, my youngest daughter got married first, moved out of our home, and started a brand new perfect family with my son-in-law.  As she was pregnant, I’d immediately signed up for the nanny classes, and worked hard in learning, and to get myself, certified.  As my young granddaughter was born, I’d gone to stay with the family to take care of her for a while, but they’d felt, that my certification was from the books, and I didn’t have any real experiences.  And so, they would take the advices of those parents online, and research the means to care for their young, and bring it up in discussions with me, to learn with me.

what he was left with after his children grew up…photo from online

As my granddaughter got a bit older, they considered how hard it was for me to care for their young, they’d placed their daughter at the daycare center, and only when they are too busy at work, and couldn’t get away, then, they would call me up to look after my granddaughter.

My eldest daughter lives with me, originally, we’d gotten into arguments when we had the dogs in the house, after she was married, her husband moved in, and it’d added to the complexity of interaction, and inconvenience of life.  Although we shared the same residence, we’d interacted like strangers, and the home I’d lived in my whole life, seemed too strange to me now.

Both homes, although, there are the bedrooms for me, but, I’d felt like an extra on the set.

Once as I’d visited a friend who’d moved into a retirement village, I was attracted to the services provided by the retirement living community, and thought about moving in.  And yet, in my conversations with him, I’d caught that hint of how it wasn’t as wonderful as I may have imagined, because there’s no people our age who’d cared for one another, and I’d decided, to put that idea on the backburner then.

And, there was a resident I had for rent which was about to expire, and, I’d started wondering if I should continue renting the place out or not?  I’d thought about it, my two daughters are married, with their own families and homes; and I’m an elderly person, with the free bus pass now, from before my retirement, I’d worked overseas and could care for myself, living alone is second nature to me.  And so, I’d decided, to let go of what’s tying me back, take that very first step toward my own independence at old age, took that rental space off the markets, moved out of my old nest, and started, living, alone.

As I’d moved in to my “new place”, the most important thing was I’d felt, that the twenty-four hours in the day belonged to solely me, I have all the time to use at my own preferences.  I now had enough time to read, to preview my school work, to research, to write down the lines that touched me which I read from the books………then, suddenly, these things I used to do to kill the time, no longer served that purpose anymore.

And because of how convenient it was, living on my own, my former classmates, my new ones, my old friends, my new acquaintances, to my home for gathering, teas, meals, chats, and we’d all interacted freely with one another, come and go as they pleased.  And this was the never-before sense of openness I now experience regularly.

Letting go of the self more, treat my self kind, I’m currently working on growing older, alone.

And so, this is a lesson that we all must learn to master eventually, because we will all age, and we will all face up with the means of children leaving the nest, and suddenly, we got too much time on our hands, and like what this man did, he’d worked hard, developing his own interests, and, found a way to keep up with his contacts, and continue to socialize with his external environment as he age.

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Filed under Empty Nest, Hobbies/Pasttimes, Interpersonal Relations, Issues of the Society, Life, Old Age, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Social Awareness, Socialization, Values

The Triathlete Loves Saunas, Started a Band with Members of His Church

How besides his work in medicine, he also got involved in many hobbies that can help him de-stress from the job too, off of the Newspapers, translated…

Based off of the gentle and mild stature of the director of the Keelung Hospital of the Department of Health Welfare & Sanitations, Lin does NOT fit to the image of a triathlete, other than exercising to keep his physical health up, he’d loved the saunas, he’d gone into the heated pools and the colder, and rotated several times to relax his muscles, he was able to reduce the strains in his body, and relax his mind at the same time, and, all the problems he had in work, all manage to resolve themselves.

the man in his robe!

photo from UDN.com

Lin who lives in Wenshan District of Taipei, after supper, he’d gone out cycling with his wife to the riverside trails, then, he’d rode up on his own to Maokong.  As he arrived at the top of the mountains to see the night lights, there was a younger fellow who saw him riding up who’d called out to him, “hey young man, you can really ride!”, and as the man learned that he was approaching sixty, the man had that look of disbelief on his face.  A lot of people didn’t know, that after he takes his doctor’s robes off, he is a triathlete, he’d ridden his bicycle, circling the island, and gotten involved in the triathlons, swim across the Sun-Moon Lagoon.

Lin enjoys the sauna, he’d loved the sauna opposite of the Yangming Mountains, looking at the distant mountaintops, he felt relieved, and healed in the body and the mind.  He’d especially loved soaking in the general population pools, as he took turns in the hot springs and cold springs, he could think about the trials of life, and the hardships he’d faced at the hospital, or maybe it was how relaxed he was then, the manage to resolve these issues would often surface to his mind.

Music was his source of joy, he’d met his wife because of music too.  Back in middle school, he’d played the guitar, in university, he was the president of the guitar club, being a Christian, he’d even started up a band with members of his own church, and they’d gathered for two, three rehearsals per month and performed together.

Lin is also a member of the choir of his church too, which inspired him.  He’d told, that the melody singers are important, but the harmonies of the second, third, and fourth choirs are needed as well, same of the medical teams.  The four-party choirs relied on the ying and yang’s of Tai-Chi, like meditation, prayers, it can bring about that balance of the mind and the soul, giving him the strengths of recovery he needed.

And so, this man has his faith, his exercise, and a lot of other hobbies, aside from his already too stressful work of being a doctor, a director of a hospital, and all of these hobbies helped him de-stress, and after he retires, he will not have nothing to do, than to just sit, and grow that mold!

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Filed under Hobbies/Pasttimes, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization, Values

Her Love of Photography

Helping her mother find that hobby, to boost her self-confidence, and, she was able to, and now, the parent goes everywhere with her camera, translated…

“Let me tell you, my photos got sold!  Yeah, yeah, my daughter sold them for me online………”, that familiar conversation came from the living room, I’d counted it, my aunts, the next door neighbor, that’s, the FOURTH call today.

Since I’d told my mother this morning, that I’d sold her photograph, my mom didn’t react that much, but, within an hour’s time, she’d, called up FOUR of our relatives and friends, to share this, big news.

After she got off the phones, she couldn’t, hold back that grin, walked next to me told me, “I think the rest of the photos are pretty darn good, won’t you, load them up onto the internet for me too?”

“Oh, okay!”, I’d nodded, and, how she’d, looked like she was, slowly being, lifted up into the air, and she’d, started mumbling on, “I can go to the parks, to take more photos…”

Recalling a few years back, every time I’d gone traveling with mom, we’d always fought over the photos, either that she’d felt I’d spent too much time, to make sure the angle was right, using her as a human tripod, or that I’d, complained that she’d, severed my head, or my feet off, we were both, very heated.

After I’d thought hard, I’d, decided, to teach my mother some skills, the setting up of the photograph, then, I’d added in, a ton of encouragements, then, shortly thereafter, mom found the fun; as she’d become the best photographer amongst all her friends, it ran out of control, I was greeted each and every morn, by her photographed “good mornings”.

查看來源圖片
from an amateur to a professional…photo from online

Since then when we’d gone traveling, the two of us, no longer argued about shooting the photos, mom would find the sights to take the pictures and, as the photos came out pretty, everybody’s, happy.  Recently, she’d, started, selling the photos she’d shot online, and, a foreigner immediately bought from her, it’d, made her, even more, confident.

“Do you think we should develop this one, and hang it in a frame in the living room?”, she’d wandered back to me again.

“What if, it’s, a frameless picture?”, she’d nodded, and, strutted back to the living room, satisfactorily.

Not long thereafter, came her voice on the phones, “tell you what, my daughter’s making my shots into the frameless paintings!”

And so, this helps the parent gain more self-confidence, and, the elderly woman found something she loves doing, because her daughter gave her the encouragements, and, people found her photos pretty, and want to buy from her.

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Filed under Hobbies/Pasttimes, Life, Observations, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

Learning Music After Retirement, & Having Fun Doing it

The importance of how learning is an ongoing process, the need for a hobby to be established after retirement age, translated…

As children grow up, my mother in her sixties decided to pick up on her dreams when she was younger: taking up the music lessons.  She’d not just signed up for the electric piano classes at the community center, she’d, disregarded my father’s objections, signed HIM up for the sax lessons.  Seeing how the two bought their instruments, and as time for the classes came, they’d, rushed out, packed the big and small packs to take along, and naturally, as children, we are, most, supportive of them.

Then ever since as I’d come back home on the weekends or holidays, I’d, heard music, “floating in the air”—for the players of recorder in the music classes, I’m sure, that we can all agree, that the sound that came out as beginners played, isn’t musical.  As the cat heard the music started, sounding off, it’d, scattered away, quick, with that look of, “What did I do to deserve this” on its face.  But, my father has a serious nature, and on occasions, he’d complained about how my mother “made” him go to class, but he’d still, picked up the sax every day and, started from the basics of blowing air between the reeds, making the sounds, and, playing the simple notes, and each practice session runs for over two hours at a time.  To not bug the neighbors, my father would hide inside the bathrooms, shut the doors and the windows as he’d practiced inside the loo.

And my mother, who’d, started all of this, wouldn’t be beaten by my father, she’d taken the piano for several months, and, at her instructors recommendations, she’d started playing the flute.  The sax and the flutes are both woodwind instruments, but, the sax sounded fuller, while the flute sounded, like floating in the air, the two instruments go on and off inside the house, and it’d, made the listeners, uneasy, but the cat didn’t mind, as my mother sat herself down to play, it’d hopped onto my mother’s knees, and, lay down, sometimes, the cat would, stare, deep into my mother’s eyes, like he was enjoying this sound that’s, at the same frequency of his, meowing.

illustration from UDN.com

圖/想樂

As my mother got into playing, she’d, poured her heart and soul into it, and she’d, complained to us on how she’d, hit a fork in her practice sessions.  Until one day, she’d shared with me excitedly, that her high school instructor started playing the flute when she was seventy, and, she’d continued playing, and she’s having a decade recital soon, that she will, follow her teacher’s, lead too, she’d found herself a private lesson instructor, from the pop music, she’d, advanced to the classical.  The teacher was demanding of the aperture, and I’d seen my mother focusing on sticking her tongue out, with her mouth open.

And, after awhile, the cacophony became, less and less, I can already, sit quite, settled in, in the living room, as my mother played the flute, sometimes, I’d, closed my eyes, and imagined the poetic verses as I listened to her play.  While my father favorite tune, “Amazing Grace” started with amazing, and now, there’s, the grace “factor” that’s, included in too.  Being an avid learner, he’d not only satisfied in reading the simplified sheet music, he’d even started, picking up my old sheet music, and learned to read the notes off the staff.

As our family gathered for the New Year’s this year the two of them put on a show, and, gotten a full applause from all around the room.  I can’t help but feel in awe, no matter how old you are when you started pursuing your dreams, it’s never too late.  Your lives are, fulfilled, you can find friends who shared the same interests, and it helps activate your mind, to slow down the process of aging, and it gives you that sense of achievement too.  My mother also testified, that picking up the piano was a breakthrough for her, that was the very first time she’d ever, chosen to take the lessons seriously, and knew, that she could, do it!  As we were growing up, being forced to sit at the piano to play was torture for us, but, as my parents got older, started picking up on the instruments, they’d not only, entertained themselves, but us too!

And so, this, is the right attitude that we should all carry, when we pick up on something, like these two older adults, and, maybe it’s because of their mindsets being, more matured, nobody’s pushing them to learn the musical instruments, they’d picked it up on their own, that was why they’re, able to, play it with so much joy.

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Filed under Because of Love, Hobbies/Pasttimes, Life, Observations, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization, Translated Work, Values

A Lifelong Hobby

It’s NEVER good, to PUSH your children into something, instead, you should, allow them, to discover just how much they love that hobby you want them to take up, on their own, and, don’t force them to sit down at that piano, to practice for an hour each and every day, because that’s, torture, instead, allowing them, to discover their own hobby, by themselves, slowly, if they’re, mean to, translated…

After reading the writer, Tseng’s “Meeting Up Again with the Piano” on March 4th, it’d, made me recall my childhood memories, and extended into my current days.

My mother was an elementary school teacher, in the low wages of the fifties, she’d, squeezed out the tuitions, or us to go from the countryside of Chihshan to Kaohsiung to take piano lessons, and told us we all needed to sit at the piano and practice for an hour at least per day.

Being as young as we were, how would we know our parents’ hearts, in the three, four years of lessons, going to the piano teacher’s house was like going to the guillotine, I’d, hated it but not known, how to, rebel against it.

The pressures of keep going in my academic WAS, a great excuse for not taking the piano lessons anymore, seeing how my eldest and second eldest brother entering into the middle school years, getting away from the “guillotine”, and I, the only one who remained in the torture chambers.  This day had, finally, arrived, before the schools started in my middle school year, as the piano teacher played a new song for me, I’d told him, “I’ll be starting in middle school soon, I can’t take lessons with you anymore!”, seeing how shocked my piano instructor looked, I’d felt, that I’d, made my, revenge!

查看來源圖片
a child that looks, engaged…photo from online

During the summer of my second year in middle school, a group of us gone to a classmate’s home to hang, there was, a white grand piano in the room, and the group of us, started, tapping at the keys, I’d, followed the sheet music, and played the notes on it, and, I was shocked, that this easy to play piece had, brought out, that familiar, tune, and I’d, borrowed the sheet music, took it home to practice, the piece was, “Fur Elise”, as my second eldest brother who was in high school heard me played, he’d, sat down next to me and started playing too.

Because of the foundations of piano lessons lain earlier in my life, we’d found the sheet music we liked and started, playing again, from the classical to jazz, and, when we got into it, we would have a four-hand playing.  We’d played on, for decades, and it’d become, a hobby that we keep, for life now, from before, we’d not wanted to take the lessons, using our academic stresses as an excuse, and, later we’d realized, that in a lot of the times, piano playing, is a good method of, stress-relief.

And, naturally, I’d, wanted to, pass this, gift to my own young, a decade ago, when my daughter was in the elementary years, I’d, coaxed her onto the piano bench, with my own experience in childhood, I knew better, not to force it on her, that I’d had to, give her the rewards too.  My daughter wasn’t the talented sort, to help her continue learning the piano, I’d, carefully, guided her, sometimes, I’d, not forced her to play, to practice, and at others, I’d, told her she’d, needed to sit down and play for a while.

And finally, we’d, made it through, six whole years, and she had, all her fundamentals down pat, just about, and I’d, sat with her on the four-hand piano, and, before the pressures that is about to come toward her at the end of her last year of middle school, I’d decided, to end her lessons, and gave her a “graduation ceremony”, I’d told her, “this is the end of my demands for you to play the piano, from here on out, you get to decide, whether or not YOU want to, play.”

And, surely enough, I’d not, seen her, sit down on the piano bench since, and, three years flew by, at the start of this year, I’d heard her telling me that she’d wanted to, “practice my skills back again.”, I can’t, believe my ears.  Yet, it’d been, two whole months, past her high school entrance exams, and I’d not heard, a single note yet, I’d, told myself, don’t expect too much.

Several days ago, as I came home from outside, before I’d turned the keys, I’d already, heard the piano songs, coming out of the living room, and I’d felt, moved……………

So, this still just showed, how as parents, we should, NEVER force our own dreams onto our young, we may give them lessons, if they ask us to let them learn, but, we shouldn’t, FORCE them to play the musical instrument, I mean, they’re still young children, and children, have limited attention span, and forcing them to SIT down for hours to practice the songs, it’s just, too unrealistic, and, this may end up, slaughtering the love your children had originally, of music, and have the opposite effect of what you’d, hoped to give to them.  If they’re meant to pick it back up again, then they will.

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Filed under Child Development/Education of Children, Hobbies/Pasttimes, Life, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, The Education of Children

Karaoke Sing-Off of the Elderly

A common activity, a hobby of sorts, shared by this group of, elderly in the community, translated…

The afternoon sun felt, warmed, I took the white poodle that belonged to the elderly woman downstairs out for a walk at the park.  As I strolled, I’d heard the voices singing.  Taiwanese, Hakka, Japanese, Mandarin.

I’d followed the voices curiously, found that there was a blue pickup parked under the tree at the entrance of the park, with the karaoke machine on it.  And there were, many elderly accompanied by their nurses in wheelchairs there, extending their necks, longing to have a good karaoke session.  They’d started blurting aloud the titles of the songs, and the young owner of the truck made the selections for them, each song costs only, ten-dollars, with everybody taking turns.

like this…

查看來源圖片
photo from online

All the elders were smiling and grinning from ear to ear, with the mic to their lips, and one of them, half way through the song, stated, “oops, forgot the lyrics!”, and one sang for two lines, then, “the key is too high, I can’t get up there!”, an elderly gent ordered a classic Taiwanese tune, “Pillows of Two”, and after a few lines, he’d sighed, “the pillow fell to the floors!”

And, even though, there were, the multitudes of actions, everybody still laughed and got along joyously.  Thinking about how these elders were, immobile, they have only limited place to hang out, the karaoke set up on the truck allowed them to get their voices heard, to get what they feel out, and clearly, this was, worth, more than, any materials.  As for whether or not they were excellent as singers, it wouldn’t, matter.  After all, they are not, professional singers, at their age, willing to open up their mouths to sing, it’s, worth, a lot, isn’t it?

And so, this, is the hobby that’s, shared by this, group of, elderly, and it’s, a very important, socialization forum for them, because these elderly are in wheelchairs, or immobilized, and they’re mostly kept indoors, but, there’s this service provided for them, to hang out together, to sing along together, it’s something wonderful, that the older generations can share.

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Filed under Hobbies/Pasttimes, Interpersonal Relations, Life, Old Age, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

Regarding the Extracurricular & the Camps

Getting involved, in non-school related activities here, translated…

My youngest was headed out early in the morn, because the camp from her major was starting, as a freshman, she is very enthusiastic of all the activities hosted by her major.  I remembered, that, we’d, headed out before light for her last thing too, in the nearly zero degree icy cold floor of the CKS Memorial Hall, rolled around on the floorboards, it was her salsa club of her high school, she was responsible for coordinating a “recital of her younger schoolmates.”

My youngest started dancing from her kindergarten years to date, dance had become, her favorite.  It’s just, that her school teachers mentioned how if she’d worked too hard on her “hobby”, it may, cause her grades to slip, but she’d, asked us, not to worry, “the extracurriculars are important rites of passage, just let them give it all they got for this!”  but, I’d, found my daughter, with that lack, of enthusiasm, turned out, she had, dropped her activities, because she’s still, trying to figure out what she’s good at academically, she’d told us, “I’m more than certain about dance, and anything else, is not good enough for me.”  Until her final year in high school, she’d, transferred from the sciences, to the social sciences, and now, she’s, in the major she has great interests in, communications, and, she’d, danced every day, and now, she’d, gone out early in the morn, for her summer camp activities.

查看來源圖片the assortments of activities, not related to the academic…photo from online

My eldest and I, were both into the extracurriculars in our high school years, I’d, gotten involved in two groups, one was for vanity, the band, the other, school paper.  Being in band, I’d, played the trumpet, without much talent, just so I can, put on that marching uniform that made me shine on flag day, and, walking across the podium before the President’s Office.  As for the school paper, it was, where my heart lies, I’d, let my own, writing talents, poured out.  I’d recalled, how hard it’d been that I had, worked, on every topic, how I’d, gone to the shopping marts, to find the old photos, to do the interviews, and published my not-mature-enough writings, wanted to pour all of my doubts of the world, my feeling lost for my future, along with my dissatisfaction toward school, all out in the open.

I can no longer recall how the periodical had, turned out, but, my grades, slipped, and, that became, a F-A-C-T.

I’d found a university that I really don’t hate to study in, but the major I was in, it wasn’t anywhere near my interest profile.  And, by then, editing the periodicals, no longer, satisfied my mind, maybe back then, love was, taken up half of my mind.

And yet, because I’d, lost love, I’d, decided, to go for the president of the club, to let myself, embrace this major I’d, found myself to be in, tired, to learn to be a, leader.  And so, the memories of my college years, were revolved around the freshmen orientations, the camps, the seminars, the book fairs, the competitions.  I recalled all the guest lecturers I’d invited, remembered all the shows we’d put on for the freshmen orientations, recalling that freshman ball we hosted, remembered the singing and skit competition I’d, set up, remembering being in the trainees of the officers of the clubs of the school too, along with how I continued being the team counselor as I went into my senior year.

I’d once not wanted to graduate, because I loved being a student too much.  And, the best memories of being a student, are from, the extracurricular activities, as we’d, entered into the groups on our own, there’s, too many connections there.  Like how I watched my eldest get too excited as she’d, started, editing the footage, like how I imagined my youngest happily, leading the freshmen, because she’s, finally, a sophomore.

查看來源圖片volunteer counts too!  Photo from online

Some had found their significant others in the extracurricular groups, like my eldest brother and sister-in-law.  A lot of people found what they truly loved, like my youngest and I.  Recently, I’d, edited a periodical of a bookstore, and, I’d, found my passions there, and that, was when I’d, recalled, this, was what I loved, doing back then.

And so, these extracurricular activities in college, they’d not, only enriched our schooling careers, but it may also, point us, toward the directions of our, future jobs too, and so, don’t be too worried, when your own young got too involved in their extracurricular activities, besides, the university years aren’t about making the grades, it’s about, discovering, who we are!!!

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Filed under Choices, College Life, Connections, Friendships, Hobbies/Pasttimes, Lessons, Life, Memories Shared, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization, Story-Telling

My Wife, Intrigued by the Shadows

Her hobbies, translated…

In recent years, my wife started taking up photography, in about two years, she’d, ruined three cameras, even the one that I had, I’d, contributed to her, and, in no more than a year, it’d, “retired” too.

Whether if it’s out on a trip, or just, strolling in the Botanical Gardens, my wife would always carry a camera with her, she’d looked, then, taken the shots, some of the scenes, don’t look that vital to me, she’d be too focus, documenting it, like she’d, become a field researcher, or a photography news reporter or something.

like what this young child is doing???  Photo from online…

She’d mostly taken photos of the weeds, the flowers, a small flower, she could use various angles, distance, and shoot so many shots, it’s a wonder, that the longevity of her cameras is less than a year. But, what my wife loved photographing the most, are the shadows, and so, I’d, nicknamed her a “shadow” fanatic. Any shadow, to her, looked intriguing, the plants’ shadows at the Botanical Gardens, she’d wanted to take shots of, said there are spots, that you don’t normally see; the reflection of the large tree outside the Yun-Shuan Sun Memorial on the windows of the mansions close by, she’d felt they’d, swayed with the wind, that it was, beautiful, surely, a shot. As we’d walked across the bridge, and, our reflections were imprinted into the waters, she’d, taken shots of; the egrets, the birds waiting by the pond, looking for the fish at the Da-An Forest Park, a must.

There were, too many photos she’d taken shots of, I can’t recall them all. But, once we’d sat at a café inside the Wenzhou Street alleys, there was a Chinese parasol tree, with the leaves growing in fully, the afternoon sun shone through the leaves, landed outside the walls of the café, the wind blew, and the shadows, they’d swayed. I’d, compared the photos she’d taken, and suddenly, understood why the older eras of Chinese people called it “the Shades of Light”; the sun and the shadows they changed, with the times of day.

Thinking on it, my wife, the photographer, must’ve thought, that in the instants of the shadows that changed, capturing it with her camera, would turn it into eternity.

With this photography fanatic at my house, and so, as I saw the potted plants on the lanai, the shadows, reflected onto the doors, I’d immediately, called her to it.

And so, this woman loved the look of the shadows, and, she’d taken up this hobby that’s good for her, and, her preferences in photography is unique, only to her.

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Because of Love, Hobbies/Pasttimes, Life, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life

Changing a Thought, Your World Opens Right Up

Found something that kept her calm, through her husband’s temporary “fix”, translated…

As I accompanied my child to off the island to school, other than helping him settle in, I’d also taken the opportunity, to visit locally, and enjoy this little peaceful time I have. In the embrace of Mother Nature, having been stressed out too long in the nitty-gritties of the day-to-day, I’d, broken free, like a bird from a cage, I’d felt, so very free.

After a few days, although I’m now, recharged spiritually, but my body was having the fatigues from the travels. There’s a saying, “There’s NO place like home”, it’s, so very, true, as I’d reached out, and touched the doorknob of my own house, I’d finally felt, that I can, finally rest easy. But, as I’d, pushed open the doors, my steps, as well as my smiles, froze solid, and, the luggage I had in my other hand fell.

The lanai in front was a huge mess, and, the table and chair where I usually sat leisurely to read, was pushed to the side, the cardboard boxes, the plastic baskets, everywhere, the originally cleaned tile flooring, covered in muddy footprints. There’s, that awful feeling from the pit of my stomach, I’d trembled, as I’d, turned on the lights, I’d, stood there, with my jaws, dropped, in shock, couldn’t make a single sound.

Looking around me, there was, a huge pile of dirt the size of a small mount, and the bamboo had, grown taller than I am, blocking the screen doors; the other bamboos, grown too large out of proportions; and, the gardenia with the branches like the antlers of deer, lying to the side. The piles of fertilized soils, the granite pieces, all, scattered, across the ground…………it’d, looked like, a BOMB had been, dropped here.

About a week ago, my husband looked around on the lanai, and, he’d, measured the space, with his calculating gazes, I’d caught a glance, at his usual act, I’d called out, “oh no!” to myself, I’d, rushed up to him, to ask him what was up. Just as I’d suspected, he’d started, getting so enthusiastic, describing what his plans were, of having a small garden on our lanai, and, I’d, rained down on his parade, “Please, stop your delusions, you just wanted to be the frontiersman, and I’d needed to, clean up after you, like from before when we kept the birds, and the dogs too…………”

He knew he wasn’t going to win the arguments, he’d, fallen silent, and not mentioned it again, I mistakenly thought, that he’d, stopped pondering about it, without knowing, that this, was, only the calm before the storms.

That very night, one of us carried the sour face, the other, scrubbed up the mats, and there’s, this awful tropical depression visiting our home, followed by the days of silent treatments, the air, froze up.

like this???  Not my photograph…查看來源圖片

Every day I’d waken up, pulled back the drapes, and, I was, face-to-face, with this withered garden, it was, truly, depressing. And, I just couldn’t deal with it anymore, rolled up my sleeves, tidied it up out there.

I’d first, trimmed the branches off the bamboos, remove the stems of the dying bamboo, the yellowed leaves as well, them, made the space, for the gardenias. After half a day of sweating it all way, I’d, gotten rid of my displease. And, I’d, taken a look at the scene, and, it was, breathable, and finally, I’d, rid myself, of the dark clouds that loomed over me these past couple of days.

More importantly, I’d put the fruit trees I’d especially loved which I’d planted inside a pot from before into the ground. And, in this garden which I’d once fought not to have, I’d, placed in some of my most cherished plants. Because, knowing my husband, my husband, who only has very short attention span, will soon forget the existence of this garden, and, I will be, the faithful gardener, who will always be looking after this small patch of my own dreams.

So, this, is how this woman changed her mind, to pull herself out of that tropical depression that she’d been in because of her husband’s temporary fix of having a small garden on their lanai, and this still showed, just how powerful the thought is, change a thought, your world lights up!

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Filed under Expectations, Family Dynamics, Hobbies/Pasttimes, Lessons, Life, Marriages, Properties of Life, Story-Telling, Translated Work