Tag Archives: Memories of Childhood

My Mom’s Soup with Eggs

Childhood memories, yay!!!  Translated…

A memory of my childhood was, as the skies slowly became brighter, my mom’s voice, hurrying me to wake up rang in my ears.  In the icy, cold mornings of the winter, the more she’d ushered me, the more I’d gotten deeper, underneath my quilt, until my mother used her killer offer, “if you don’t get up soon, you won’t have any egg soup!”

In order to help out with the household finances, my mother kept over a dozen of fowls, chickens and ducks in our backyard.  As I was in the elementary years, I’d always had to clean up their droppings before school, and I’d pinched my nose, and mumbled, “it stinks”, as I went about this chore, unwillingly, and my mother would threaten, “keep on ranting, then, you won’t have any egg soup later on!”, other than cleaning up the coups, I’d also had to feed them, and pick up the mildly warm chicken and duck eggs, and, until the morning sun started shining up in the skies, would I be set free, from this work.

I’d washed up quickly, groomed myself, changed into my uniform, at which time, my mom had already prepared the porridge, seeing I’d stepped into the kitchen, she’d quickly pour the porridge (without a grain of rice) into my bowl, then, she’d mixed in a chicken egg, which was slightly larger than the egg of a pigeon, with a pinch of salt, stirred it a bit, then, a “chicken egg soup” is served.

A bit sweet, somewhat salty, the taste of freshness exploded into my mouth.  In those economic difficult times, this, was such an extravagance!  A simple kind of happiness, along with my mom’s busying about in front of the kitchen stove, it’s all, my hard-to-forget memories of childhood.

And so, this, is the taste of childhood that someone recalls, and, it’s still NOT just how the foods tasted, but how she’d felt, growing up, encountering the events she’d encountered in her life, and that, is how memories are.

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The Taste that Accompanied Me Growing Up, on Family

Feeling nostalgic here, are we now???  Translated…

Since when I was younger, my birthday cake, along with the snacks in the house, my mom had baked herself.  She has an cookbook in biding, with an assortment of cookies, cakes doughnut, curry dumplings, which I’d all had had a taste.

There was a White-Iron oven that was set up, on top of the gas stove, as a child, I’d always looked upward, first, I’d caught a peek at the blue and red flames from the stoves, then, the temperature settings on the oven.  And that square oven always had an aromatic sweet scent coming from it, that, was the aroma of my mom, baking, accompanying me as I aged.

When there is an oven in my own kitchen, I’d started trying to find all the scents in my memories.  As I’d gone to the States to study, no matter how small the kitchen of my dorm was, there would always be a huge oven.  The assortment of things that are used for the purpose of baking, I’d had it all, and, on the bags of flours, sugars, chocolate powders, there are recipes, printed, with the step-by-step baking processes.

In such a baking-friendly environment, I’d gladly stayed in the kitchens, constantly trying out making various cakes, cookies, breads.  And the scent from the oven would take over the entire room, seeping out from under the doors, into the hallways.  My husband, was a victim who fell prey to this scent of bliss, he’d become my “rat”, in the first year we were abroad to study, he’d gained a solid twenty-two pounds.

Later, I’d had my own kitchen, the most basic demand was having a baking oven installed.  The very first time I’d used it, it was to bake up a traditional cake, made of just eggs, I’d used eggs, flour, sugar, along with oils, to make it, simple enough, and still, in the process of baking, the scent that came out of the oven is totally irresistible to all, especially the kids, they couldn’t wait a moment longer, from the moment the scent entered into their noses, they’d asked, “How much longer?”

With my set “clientele”, I’d baked, even more willingly, cakes, breads, like how my mom did for me back then.

The White-Iron cookbook I’d asked my mom for, is already fragile like an old antique now, the covers were gone, the yellowed pages inside had flours smeared across them, with drops of oils on them too.

I’d carefully turned the pages to “young girl baking cookies,” this, was my favorite picture in the whole book: a young girl, with her apron on, wearing adult-sized baking mittens, with a plate of an assortment of cookies.  That, was when I’d discovered, how I longed to be able to bake, even at that young an age.

After my daughter went abroad to study, she’d told me she knew how to bake cookies, I was surprised, and felt that it was a matter-of-fact.  I knew, that the love for baking that my mom planted inside of me is now, passed down to my own daughter, and, in the future, she will surely have a baking oven installed, and she too, will bake for her family, cakes of love, breads of happiness, to allow this sweet aroma to keep getting passed down for generations to come.

And so, this, is how love, along with a legacy of sorts is passed down, because this woman grew up, watching and enjoying her mother’s baked goods, she’d taken great interests in baking too, and, her daughter grew up under the influences, and now, she is, a baker too, and this, is a great way, to pass the love of something down to the next generation.

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An Unchanging Love~~Toy Day

On holidays that don’t exist, like the Breakup Day I’d translated previously???  Translated…

In the movie theater, I saw that toy telephone on the silver screen, and all of a sudden, my heart became fulfilled.  I used have one just like it as a kid, it’d stayed in my house for a very long time, it’d accompanied me first, then, my siblings too.  In my memories, the very last time I’d played with it, the phone cord was already tangled up completely, and one of the wheels it had had fallen off too.  Then, it’d vanished, into thin air.

I’d walked out of the theatre, teary-eyed, I thought, “after the children see this movie, they ought to cherish their toys more?”, but, then again, the ones who’d cried in this movie must all be adults, the kids would only begged their parents to buy them Buzz Lightyear and Woody the Cowboy.  Even myself, I’d not thought about that toy telephone, before I went to see the film.

To children, receiving everything that’s handed down by the adults, they’re waiting to the things are no longer fitting for them to use, or that they’d lost interests, then, they’d get disregarded, thrown out, and finally, forgotten.  Until one day, when you’d learned to miss the things you’d lost, the things you’d lost are already gone, and never coming back to you.  That, is just the way things are, an inevitable thing in life I suppose?

Later, I’d found my own shallowness.  There was an issue of “The Major Magazine”, with a group of already established adults, taking out their most cherished toys from childhood, and each and every one of them looked worn out and broken down, with the cotton coming from the seams, and the eyes, gone away, looking kinda scary, but the owners still kept them just the same.  A photographer took great caution, in photographing every one of these toys, and added to the descriptions, the owners’ attachments to them.

Actually, the motives of “Toy Story 3” was from how the director of the movie, one day, threw out his wife’s longtime cherished toys, and, many years later, his wife still mentioned it to him (this, I suppose, is how the wife punished the husband), so, that, was what drove the director to make such a movie, to describe the emotional attachment of the toys to their owners.

So, there are those, who’d cherished their childhood toys as if they were priceless possessions.

Why would they be so persistent toward inanimate objects such as dolls?  Could it be, that the owners have a fetish of some sort?  I don’t believe so.  Those who’d loved their old toys must have colorful childhoods.  They’d spent some unforgettable times with their toys.  And so, are the toys just objects?  Not necessarily.

We watched Andy gave up his toys to the little girl, and we’d started to cry, because just like Andy, we grew up too, and our childhoods would never BE returned to us again.  Not only just those wonderful childhood years, the patches of land we used to run and roam wild and free on are all gone, and the store we used to get our toys had closed down, and become something else, we are all, different selves now.

The time kept marching forth, everything is changing every day, and, it’s normal, that humans would fear getting lost in all of this.  If there could be something, that we can hold tightly onto, telling us that some things will never change, then, it must be great comfort to us.

Those kids who loved one toy right after another, who’d thrown out the broken toys or even damaged the toys on purpose, I feel sorry for them all.  They’d lost the chance to learn to give their love, and to get the satisfaction from giving their love.  I hope that they can all soon understand, that the most cherished treasures in the world are not those shiny, ever-changing new toys, but those older ones that will NEVER get replaced, the ones that one can NEVER give up on keeping, because that, is the proof of love.

And so, you’re not actually attached to the toys themselves, you’re attached to the memories, associated with the toys, and, the writer is right in that kids nowadays have everything they can ever want, which is why they would NOT cherish what they have, because kids are still being spoiled by their parents, because parents are using materials, to substitute the time they couldn’t spend with their young.

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The Fox Bottle

Remembering your wonder years, I see…translated…

In my elementary class, there was a pair of twin sisters, who’d invited me to go play at their house, I’d recalled how their tile floors looked shiny, and the dining room table that smelled of the aromatic wood had a plate made from crystal glass, with fresh fruits in the bowl, everything in their house looked as if it’d come out of a still-life sketches. Their mother would often bring a TON of deco from Japan home, and placed them all on display in the display case in their living room, and, what’s always gotten my attention was that small wine bottle with the picture of a fox painted on it, and the small drinking glasses that accompanied the bottle, there was the print of from the Edo era, it looked very expensive, I’d always imagined that the bottle held gold plated drinks, that it tasted like the first rain after a drought, nourishing my poverty-stricken, dried up childhood career.  Before the twins graduated, their mother gave the bottle to me as a gift, she must’ve seen my desires, even though, when I’d discovered that there was NOTHING inside the bottle, I got a bit disappointed, but I’d still carried it home in glee, hid it under my pillow, fearing that someone might steal it from me.  And now, as I still see the bottle (the drinking glasses were long gone now) by my bookcase, I’d be reminded of the twin sisters I was once friends with, whom I’d failed to keep up contacting, along with my desires, my fantasies for Japanese things back as a child.

And so, this “small gift” from the twin’s mother became a symbol for your childhood, and because there are so many positive memories associated with the items, that, is why when you’d recalled your childhood days, there is NOTHING but the positives, a good memory to keep!

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Window, is the vital part, connecting two difference spaces, that people are more than accustomed to.  I must’ve come across countless windows as I grew up.  And, the windows I’d encountered at different ages, must have meant different things to me too.  It’s just that the feelings I took, to look through those windows are different, that sort of an expectation, it never got washed away by the rushing tides of time.

As a child, I lived in a small two-story building built by the Japanese, in the staircase leading to the outside, covered with moss, there is an empty lot.  Through the small window of our kitchen, I can get a very clear look at what’s going on outside.  That window was actually very large, it’s just that it’d only been opened to the size of a legal piece of paper.  And because it faced the stove, and so, there were oil stains on it constantly, the screens had gone from white, to caramel yellow, and I’d always loved pressing my hand on that sticky window, so my hand would have the patterns.

Of course, that, was not what’s most nostalgic about the windows from my childhood years.  As I was playing downstairs with my childhood playmates, I’d expectantly hoped that the window will be pulled open, because that means that dinner’s served, my grandma would tilt her head out, and call out to me.  When I’m too tired from playing, I’d lift my head, and, through the window, I would see what seemed to be my grandmother, busying about, and I’d smelled the aromatic food she’s preparing, hoping that the small window will get pulled back, and I’d hear my grandma holler.  Maybe, that, was the most satisfaction in a child’s life, I suppose.

As I grew older, I’d moved into a tall building from the small house we’d lived in.  And, even though, I didn’t have the fun of my childhood years anymore, but there’s still another kind of expectation.  Because my hometown is in north country, as the winters come, the windows will get frozen stiff.  And, there would be jack frost on the windows too.  After the winters set in, the jack frost would get extremely hard, and the window become opaque, and, the house is separated by that film of ice.

The snow could, in just one night, paint the entire city over.  Being curious, I’d always rushed to the windows, can’t wait to see the newly coated city, painted over by the snow and the frost.  The hardened frost didn’t stop me, I’d pressed my warm hands on the icy windows, and managed to melt away the ice, then, I’d used my sleeves, to wipe away the melted places, that, was the moment I looked forward to the most.  Every snow can refurnish the city into different styles.  Through that small, transparent window, I greedily enjoyed the beautiful world outside, and I couldn’t help myself.

Windows are a kind of hope, the changes are imminent, you never know, what the world would be like, after you’d opened a window.

And so, you’d carried your childhood state of mind, as you grew up, and, because the memories of windows has meanings for you, you’d looked for different windows, and see if you felt the same when you came across the various windows, like when you were a child.

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Filed under Cause & Effect, Childhood, Expectations, Life, Observations, Properties of Life, Translated Work

The Great Taste of a Traditional Chinese New Year Dish

Let’s see WHAT, is cooking in the kitchens here, shall we???  Translated…

Every year, it seemed, that after the village had a peace prayer and offerings, days seemed to fly right by.

And now, my kids are all away at school, and so, every year now, the cleaning, I’d had to handle all alone.  Sometimes, as the end of the year approached, the weather isn’t at all good, and it’d made cleaning especially hard, and so, I’d prayed that the skies would get sunny around the end of the year, so I can clean everything up, start the year brand new.

Every time, it took over twenty days’ time, washing the windows and the screen doors, the fans, the air conditioning systems, along with repainting the walls in and outside of the house, and, we must throw things out.  And, oftentimes, before we’re near done, it is New Year’s Eve already, and, we’d all stopped what we were doing.

Since we were growing up, our grandfather had not been around, and our grandmother is aged too, my father had five other siblings, but they all had their separate families, and even though, they’d helped each other out, they rarely intervened into one another’s life.  Every time before the New Year’s, my mother would bring rice to a family in the village, for them to help grind it up, took it home, and drain out the water.  During this time, she’d stayed in the kitchens, busying herself about, and my mother would make sweet buns, radish cakes, along with a few bowls of specialty New Year’s items.

In the olden times, we’d cooked with a brick oven, and needed straws to start the fire, then, we’d put some wood in.  As children, we’d often run in and out of the kitchens, to see what is going on, and even though, the smokes would get in our eyes and noses, we’d had that whiff of the sweet cakes, and felt the busyness of the adults, along with the excitement that children feels around the New Years.

Before and after the New Years, the ten of us would eat the cakes for lunch and dinner, and would share it with our guests too, and the two huge baskets of cakes would be gone, in no time at all, and, our hearts, filled with bliss and happiness.

After my mother got older, she’d no longer made those cakes, and now, my eldest sister would give us half of the radish cakes she’d made.  And, in the time of eating what my sister made, I couldn’t help, but miss what my mother used to make around this time of year.

So, this, is how you remembered your childhood, by the holidays, and, in this day and age, traditions are fazing out, as NOBODY has the time, to make anything from scratch anymore…

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