A memory of roasted sweet potato

There are a lot of fallen leaves on the ground from the magnolia and chestnut tree. Raking and collecting them at place in the yard, I have burnt them this afternoon. My mother used to ask me where sweet potato was whenever making fire with the fallen leaves. I always prepared them wrapped in aluminum foil and put them in the fire.

She was smiling at it and would wait for the cooked sweet potato in the fire. 

It surely tasted good. Like boiled chestnut. The roasted sweet potato reminds me of my old mother. I thought the days being with her would continue forever. Of course, it was not true. It has lasted only for a few years. 

Anyway, it is good for me to have such a memory. It is a real great memory since it has lasted only for limited length of time. 

To those who have beloving family members, please treasure every moment being with them. It won't last too long. It is a time of heaven to share time with them. The ultimate goal of our lives might be to learn this fact while we are alive.


An ancient tomb

I still often visit the city where I have worked at own practise for 17 years. I put an end to it already 6 years ago.

The barber whose granddaughter had been my patient since her infancy told me she would graduate a university next spring and would start working in Tokyo. That baby has grown up and would live on by herself in this way. The other patients might also grow to be students or workers.

At a supermarket, which I used to do shopping for foods on the way from the office back home, I sometimes meet those patients and their family members. A couple of days ago I went there last time, I could not see any of them. Of course, on plain week day, they might not hand around such a place like I did. It would be a hidden pleasure for me to have even a glance of them even if I won't talk to them.

After shopping some foods, I went back to home on the way I used to commute. Very little change has occurred along the route. There is an ancient tomb, Bentenduka, on the way in the midst of rice farm. Rice plants have already been harvested. The tomb stood quietly among the farm with stubbles in regular lines. I have repeated about what I felt when passing by this old tomb in this blog. I don't know why but feel pacified watching this simple tomb. It has been there since 7th or 8the century. The tomb must be for the powerful family in this area those days. Later, the ancestors around here have worshipped the people passed away and buried in it. Later, the object of worship must be mixed with or replaced to Benten Benten which was originally a goddess in Hindu and introduced into Buddhism. What a mixture of religions! Anyway, the tomb looks like showing the eternal phase. Whenever I pass by there, the quiet and everlasting existence of this tomb tells me that those ancestors have gone into the phase of eternity and so will I soon. It is a fascinating idea that I could be free from all the problems and worries around myself.

Of course, it will take me some time to have it happen. But I am sure it won't be too long. Until then, I would do whatever I could for family and the others around me.

When commuting to office, having fully opened the window and sunroof of my Honda, I used to drive at high speed on that road, straight ahead among rice farms, listening to such a music like this one. The Orchestral Suite 2 by JS Bach. The tune expresses two different aspects of life, pleasure and sorrow, at the same time. It was a real enjoyment of commute.


A hot pot dish

Japanese style hot pot cooking is a routine menue in our country in this season. This evening, I was intending to purchase materials for that dish at a super market. As I often do lately, I forgot getting chinese cabbage for that. I should have made a memorandum of the items I should buy. When I came home and got ready for that pot cooking, I remembered forgetting getting it. 

I rushed into the garden farm already dark and harvested potherb mustard and green onions. Together with home grown and harvested cabbage, I put them into the pot. It seems they might substitute chinese cabbage. I could not be more thankful for those veggies growing for this situation.

This pot is a gift for our wedding from Dr. Kamoshita, who was the professor of the Pediatric Dept at the med school I served residency. He kindly attended our wedding ceremony. I owe much to him. A real great doctor. I have learned a lot from him as for the profession as well as the way of living. He has passed away long time ago. This pot always reminds me of him and his kindness to both of us. In 15 days, we will have the 40th anniversary. 


Bob N6EA

I have accidentally read about a novel by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It must be a sister work of the famous novel, Little house in the Prairie. A TV program of that story has hit the air around 1980. We used to watch it with children at the dorm house of the med school hospital.

It has brought me back to a memory of Bob Schmidt, N6EA, who had gone silent key almost 20 years ago. I have known him on the air in late '80s. He was an avid contester as well as a ragchewer. He had worked as an engineer at Varian or something in the Bay area. An operator typical for the good old days. We used to talk a lot around when I joined FOC in 1988. His elegant keying is still vividly alive in my memory. Beautiful and smooth. While living in the Bay area, he had known Eric W6DU well possibly through his job and ham radio. Bob went up to Sonora when he retired. Both of them have kept schedule on 20m every morning. Of course, on CW.

In 1987, possibly, I had a chance to visit Bob in Sonora. It was the 2nd trip to the US for me. even though I was expecting to visit there with my wife, her pregnancy has prevented her from going for this trip with me. In stead, Hide, JH0FBH, went for this trip around the Bay area and Santa Barbara.

Inland near to the mountain area, there spreaded hills in Sonora. We have managed to reach Bob's home on a rental car. Bob and his wife Phyllis have welcomed us there. A quiet place for retired people. Phyllis has served nice lunch for us, which we took in the terrace. Sunray filtering through trees was shining on us. A peaceful and wonderful time.

Bob was a very kind gentleman. When talking to us, he has not stopped smiling. Phyllis looked charming and gentle. Both of them have treated us as close friends for them even though it was really the very first meeting for each other. I could not forget seeing them at their home that time. Bob used to come to see me at W6DU later on when I visited the Bay area a few years later.

Sadly enough, he has gone silent key around 2000. I have never kept in touch with Phyllis. I suspect she has also passed away by now. Such good people are going away from the earth so soon. I sure miss them. It is the way, however, things go on. There will be less and less people who rememer of Bob and Phyllis. The same thing will happen to me in some time. I don't feel sad for that. I have already lived a meaningful life. The only thing I should do is to try to do in my way whatever I could in order to leave a better world. That may be the same way Bob and Phyllis have done for us.


Dried Persimmons

We have harvested sweet persimmons from a couple of trees. They are good for a material of fresh salad.

There is a sour persimmon tree at a corner of the garden. My mother used to make dried persimmon from them. Even after she had suffered from Alzheimer, she did not stopped doing that in this season. It might be what her mother did in her young days. Mother might have learned from her or have learned it watching her mother. Anyway, it is my turn to make dried persimmons. I have reaped some 70 or 80 of them and peeled the skin. Two or three of them were hooked on a string in series and were dipped in boiled water to be sterilized for a few seconds. They have been hung under the overhang in this way. 

They say it takes a couple of weeks for them to be completely dried. I found, however, some of them were already ripened there today. Only 4 or 5 days. It may be thanks to the dry and cool weather for the days. Needless to say I have tried one of them. Sweet. Elegant. Tasty. I knew why my mother used to do the same thing years ago. 

I know it was a kind of wisedome in life she had learned from her mother. That knowledge, if it is only a trivial thing, is now being delivered to me. It sure is a link of life from ancestors to me. 

This blog seems like a food blog now. I still do the other things than cooking or making such as this dried fruit. What is going on in the world is enough to make me feel terrified. But living quietly in this way is also valuable to me. Believe me I am not only a chef/farmer yet. My inner world is so vivid and is concerned about things in the world.


Governmental manipulation in the stock market is being over

I am not an active investor to the stock at all. But I am still interested in it. The stock market reflects, or strictly speaking, used to reflect the economy in our country as well as the world.

Since the administration of Abe started 6 years ago, in addition to asset bubble due to astronomical scale of monetary easing, the government has manupilated the stock market through buying massive amount of ETF by BOJ. It is to make window dressing on the economy in our country. BOJ has become the major stock holder of 40% of the companies in the market. It could never be continued. With the world stock market getting into bear phase, our government/BOJ could never go on this window dressing. 

Since Oct. 2nd, the stock price is dropping rapidly. About 10% drop in total. During this short period, BOJ has bought ETF by 36 million USD, which has been absorbed by foreign vulture funds through short selling. Of course, the stock market could wax and wane. It is the characteristics of the stock market. But it could not be excused anyway to try to keep the governmental manipulation in the market with the fund with the fund from BOJ. We should bear the consequence in the near future.

It is a tragedy that most people are not aware of that in the vague euphoria in the society from the asset bubble. That is what the Abe administration aim at.


Rich fall here

Almost last batch of tomato harvest in the garden farm.

I love those tomatoes grown in the garden farm. Quite different from those sold in  supermarkets. Sweet and crisp. I often express that, when talking to my wife, the cell membrane is intact! I sure miss them now. It will get below 10 degrees C early in the morning here in a few days. They won't get ripe soon. Expecting another good harvest next summer, I will get ready for good farm for tomatoes.

Persimmons are ripened as well. They are sliced and added to fresh salad every day. Unfortunately,almost all of them ripe at the same time. Some of them will be gifts to crows in thie area. It's their share.

Broccoli are grwoing even though some leaves have been biten by bugs. Later this fall, they may provide us fresh fruits also served for salad after being boiled.

What a blessing we could have such a rich and peaceful fall. May it last long for us and for all my friends.