Leaves and flowers in fall

Some fall leaves and flowers at our home.

A stwartia tree. When the bathroom was rebuilt, the constructor planted it at the northern aspect of the house. I found the leaves were in various colors in delicate gradation. 

A close up view. I won't be bored looking at them.  

A sasanqua tree with full blossoms.

One of the flowers in close up. For what are they blooming in this way? Bees are not active any longer. Beautiful and gorgeous.

A hibiscus syriacus, that is, rose of Sharon. An elegant name since the Old Testament days. This is the national flower of Korea. Around 20 years of age, I have learned that from a person from Korea at a bible class I was attending to. He also told me of the cruel history of the March the 1st movement for independence from Japanese Imperialism before WWII. We Japanese owe much to Korean people. The colonization of Korea by our ancestors has brought the Korean people the tragedy of separation into south and north at present. Too bad our politicians are not aware of that. I could not forget that. This tree yields sick and elegant flowers in spring. This fall leaves are also very attractive. My father used to love this tree and has planted a few at my clinic by himself.  

A magnolia tree with colored leaves. While they are ready to fall on the ground, the new buds of flowers are alrady growing on the branches. Leaves die, flowers come out. A miraculous fact which repeats every year. Even though that repetition is not eternal. As I told before, my mother used to love the flowers coming out in spring.


Miso pork soup

It is getting colder here. Something hot is welcomed as a menu for dinner. This is a variation of miso soup. The point is using much pork as the material. Miso is given two divided dose in the meantime and at the end of cooking. Hand made miso given from a friend of my wife's was used. Flavor and taste of fresh miso was really good. The pork might work as the soup stock which makes it taste rich. Any vegetables will be OK as the material. Radish and other root vegetables are necessary.

This rich tasted soup may suffice to warm you in a cold evening.


Fall in full swing

Fall is in full swing here. It may get frosty in the morning very soon.

I have not harvested persimmon so often this year. Just for material of salad. Recalling how sweet the dried astringent persimmons were last year, I decided to make them again. Some of them will be sent to parents in law living in a facility away from their home if these get successfully ripe.

Magnolia and Zelkova trees have turned colorful. Their leaves have started falling on the ground. It is to prepare for the new leaves/flowers next spring. But the brilliantly colorful leaves are doing to die for the ressurection. It always amazes me. We are like each leaf of those trees. How couldn't we falling on the ground for the next generation like these trees?

Enkianthus perulatus at the entrance facing to the street has also become totally reddened.
One of the trees has died this year. They are older than 30 years for now. May they live a bit longer and please us and people passing by with its beautiful fall leaves as well as tiny lovely flowers in spring. 

Flu is in epidemic everywhere. Please keep away from crowds of people which you could be easily infected with it. 

Quiet fall evening here.


Remebrance of a colleague pediatrician

In this season, I remember of a colleague pediatrician who has died at young age around this time in a year 11 years ago.

I have worked with her at the same department of pediatrics of a medical college nearby. As soon as she and her husband graduated from another university far from here, they applied for residency at that medical school.

She was a brilliant girl always with a smile on her face. When we were on charge of a case with severe Guillan Barre syndrome, the patient developed arrhythmia, a rare complication of that disease. In the cardiac catheterization for that patient, she has correctly pointed out a bit of akinetic area in the patient's heart without any knowledge of reading the contrast radiography of the heart. I was impressed at her sharp sensitivity to those things. She was always eager for the patients and has accumulated much knowledge and experience in medicine. She was a kind and generous person as well and was loved by everyone around her. If she had wanted it, she could have been a staff of the medical school.

In a few years, I quit that department and started career at a local hospital. Eventually, I had own practice where I had worked almost 20 years until retirement. In that period, we have just exchanged season's greeting cards in the new near's days. In them, she always wrote to me to play some chamber music together. Yes, she was a proficient pianist and had loved classical music.

About 13 years ago, we finally had a chance to play a portion of the Mozart's 1st piano quartet together with a violinist and a violist. The violinist was the person whom I had asked to play various pieces since her music university days while the violist was a patient for me who was studying that instrument at a school. There was the violinist's sister, another violinist, at the rehersal hall.

From left to right; the pianist, the violist, me, the sister of the violinist;another fine violine player, the violionist, after the rehearsal

After over almost 20 years of absence, she still looked lovely with the same shy smile even though a bit tired in the outlook if I could recall that meeting at present. We have talked something trivial and had a great fun time playing that piece together. In an hour or two, promising another ensemble in the near future, we have parted there. It seems she has suffered from some kind of cancer by that time. In several months, I have heard she closed her own clinic. I did not know such an ominous thing had occurred to her until I heard of her passing in December of 2008. I was really shocked to hear that. Too young to die. She was only 49 years of age at death.

My diary says I have listened to the last piece of the Last Four Songs by Richard Strauss at the night of the day before receiving that sad news from two sources at the same time. She might have struggled with her illness to live longer. But, I believe, she has reconciled with her fortune and has accepted it as this song expresses. In serenity and peace, hopefully.

I have missed the chance to attend the service for her. It was too late for me to do that. I hear their children have gone for med school after their parents. I am sure she wanted to see them to become doctors. She might have other things which she would like to do or some goals which she wanted to accomplish in her life. Everything has been abandoned by her illness. I only wish her rest in peace. I will follow her in some time anyway. Much gratitude to her being a colleague and a chamber music co-player even though it was only for a short period.           


To the visitors

Thanks for visiting this blog. I don't know how worthy it is to do so.

It often takes me some time to read your comments. Sometimes I miss the chance to reply to you. But they are really appreciated whatever they may be.

Sorry but I should delete the comments which denounce or hate other people. Otherwise, any comment will encourage me to carry on this blog.

Thanks a lot.


A drive trip to a mountain/ocean area

Seaveral days ago, another crystalline fine day, I went for a drive to the northern part of Ibaraki prefecture, next to our prefecture, which lies east of us along the Pacific Ocean. I wanted to visit the book store I had been to this summer as already posted. The other object was to see the fall leaves in the mountain area.

The readers may suspect I too often go out for such a drive. Not so much. Once or twice a month in spring or fall. It helps me to get out of frustration caused by working as a full time house husband. It might be an inheritance from my mother who enjoyed outing with me for drive anywhere when she was with us. I could not forget how brilliantly her face was shining when I told her to go for driving.

On the way, there have been several gingko trees with full of burning yellow leaves. I love this kind of tree most. I won't be bored looking at them. In a town next to 

Another view of a hilly farming village next to our town. Very quiet and few people even though the truncal road was pretty busy with traffic. The forest looked colorful. A very quiet place. 

I have driven again the route 6 which ran north and south along the ocean in Ibaraki. One of the biggest city is Hitachi, the origin of Hitachi Co named after this town, I believe. As already written elsewhere, I used to drive this way purposelessly in week ends with my family when we both served residency at a med school hospital. The dorm was too small and messy to stay in the week end. Carrying milk and diapers, we drove there with our son in babyhood. It was a fun and let us get out of the frustration, maybe, the same kind I have had now. I remember this Zelkova trees along the main street of Hitachi. The scenary has not been changed so much. It may mean the economy has not developed so much since those days, I am afraid. 

In the northern part of Hitachi, the route 6 runs straight along the ocean. Fortunately for me but maybe unfortunately for people there, things have not changed at all. I have loved driving this area. At a place north of here, we used to turn and go back home since it was getting dark. Getting closer to the dusk, I remember, I felt a bit sad to have to finish that drive and get ready for the hectic week ahead.

Sun seemed to start setting in a couple of hours when I drove there. I had to give up visiting the book store in Fukushima again and headed to the west to come back home. I got through the low mountain area. That way was also familiar to me. It was the area we often drove when coming back home in my resident days.

It was still amazing there were houses in solitude or in cluster even deep in the mountain area. There were very few people seen, though. Some rice paddies were along the road running in valleys. Rice must has been harvested. No one was working there.

This seemed to be an abandoned house. Maybe, of a farmer. It was starting to decay but still maintained its admirable outlook. Standing there, I wondered what people have spent their lives there.

seemingly, a spontaneously grown Zelkovs tree beautifully colored in a forest.

A close up with a bit of revision.

Another shot of a forest with fall leaves. Quiet and serene.

I have sometimes run across with the other cars on the road. But very few. There were some villages along the road. I wondered what the people were doing for living. The farms seemed too small for them to live on. Going for work to city areas? It was too far. There must be only old people living in such villages. It may be given up in a decade or two. 

On the way back home, I have purchased pretty good apples and pears at a store along the road for souvenir. Getting out of stress, I would start the daily routine again.


The 41st anniversary

In a couple of days, we will have the 41st anniversary of wedding. Needless to say how fast time has passed.

Following the words of Robert Browning I have quoted here a few times in the past, let's go on living together hand in hand.

Grow Old 
Grow Old
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith 'A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all nor be afraid!

For the past 41 years, we have had things, happy or unhappy, wrong or good, pleasant or unpleasant. We don't know anything in the future that waits for us. In belief in supreme being as Browning depicted, we may go through everything together.

In real life, we face to questions either I or she should take out. Like house chores, cleaning, paper works and so forth. Maybe, sometimes frustrated and making quarrel each other. But it is firmly determined that we should go on together.

This is her photo I love most. As a objective viewer, there should be a moment when a gilr looks most beautiful in her life. I believe it was such a time for her. Taken in our honey moon trip. Sorry posting it repeatedly.

We started the honey moon, or exactly, the life of hectic struggle as residents, after playing Apres Un Reve. That was really "after a dream".

The present to her or ourselves for this anniversary is a big and powerful hair dryer. May this help us to preserve our hair more and more insecured!


A driving trip to a valley in the mountain area

Eight days ago, it was fine around the noon. No clouds so far as I could see here. Cool and crisp. I remembered I would like to see autumn leaves somewhere in the mountain area. It won't take me too long to decide to visit the Shiobara Valley north of here. Years ago, I have enjoyed literally burning colors of leaves over there in this season.

It took me a couple of hours to drive there. For a plain week day, it was a bit crowded on the road to the valley. I am sure they were coming there to do the same thing as I would.

Being late in the afternoon, it was not very crowded at the secluded area in the valley. The leaves are changing colors but only imperfectly.

A maple tree has turned red on a steep slope in a mountain.

There was a small creek dried at that time. I was going to turn to south at a place in the valley, which should bring me back home earlier. But a sign told the road was closed due to construction, possibly, for restoration from the damage dut to torrential rain a few weeks ago. I did not want to be involved in the traffic jam on the opposite side of the way and went ahead deeper in the valley. 

On the high land, there were a few hot spa inns on the way south to my home. I used to bring Jim VK9NS that way and took him to a public bath. He didn't hate bathing there even though I don't know if he was accoustomed with that habit. It was almost 30 years ago after a small DX convention was held at a city nearby. Most of those DXers attending to it have become inactive or even silent key for now. It has been years since Jim died and his net on 14222KHz was put an end. 

This is an artificial lake named Ikariko north of Kinugawa spa and Nikko. It was the road a friend of mine, Mamoru Nakajima, JH1HDX, who passed away just 10 years ago, used to drive to Tohoku area for business trips. As a young service engineer, what has he thought driving this way those days? A quiet place.

It was a bit lower in altitude there. The leaves have not turned colorful so much yet.

It was quickly getting dark. And I hastened myself back home. On the way back home, I went through a part of Nikko, where I used to visit to see friends and on business. In a year or two since I started residency, I was told to go to a medical center there to work for emergency in the week end, for 24 hours from Sunday morning. What could I do for emergent patients those days? I could not help feeling ashamed remembering what I did there. Early in Monday morning, after purchasing some breads at a store of the hotel there, I went back to the resident house where my wife and elder son were waiting for me. The road was frozen and it was like skating on a car without chain on the tires. How have I dared to work there at that time? I was sure young.  

Recalling those days, I headed back home. On the way, I made shopping at a store for dinner.


Another shrine visit

Visiting shrines and temples is not my hobby. I am interested only in the history especially of ancient common people who spent their lives in this area. Anything reminiscent of those people attracts me.

On the way to my former office, there is a shrine named the Gosho Shrine. There are a few apartment houses next to it and some offices close to them. Everyday when commuting to the office, I have driven aside the shrine. I have never seen anyone in the precincts even though it was neatly cleaned. I have had a faint desire to visit there someday.

A few patients living in this area were attending to my office almost 20 years ago. Whenever I drive there, those children and their mothers come up in my mind. I always wonder how they have grown up by now. That was another reason why I wanted to stop by there.

Several days ago, for a change, I went for shopping to a super market in the town of my former office. The shrine was on the way there.

The guardian forrest north of the shrine buildings was seen far on the road, that is, my commuting road. Very little traffic or people. 

The gateway to the entrance to the shrine, a torii made of stone, was recorded to be constructed in 17th century. The explanation said it had the background of foundation back in the 8th century. But it is more probable that it was actually founded at the same time when the stony torii was built. 

The main building of the shrine. I could not help smiling there was a light above the offertory box. People may gather this shrine in the new year days for worshipping and probably in the summer for the festival. I have never seen those events, though.

I am reading a book regarding the possibile sustainability in the population reducing society. The researchers have investigated it with numerous variations under different conditions put into an AI in order to find the possibility in our country. In a nutshell, the result was that we should seek not centralization to Tokyo but regional dispersion. The author proposed the new community formed in the guardian forrests/shirines. Of course, it is not to advertize Shinto religion but to utilize shrines as the center of community, which is nowadays lacked in the society. He says there are roughly 80,000 shrines all over our country. They used to be a local cultural center in the region. The guardian forrests could be a source for energy generation as well. The tradition of the shrines may attract people as well. This looked an interesting idea. A new policy or rather a paradigm shift for decentralization should be searched. The present centralization could not be sustained for sure. 

After taking those photos, with a slight anticipation I might see some former patients around there, I went for shopping and got some materials for dinner. Of course, no one I used to know was there or in the super market. It has been too long for me to recognize them even if I should ran across with them somewhere.