Wednesday, November 23, 2011

56 things I'm thankful for

Happy Thanksgiving! Here is a list of 56 random things I'm thankful for, in stream-of-consciousness order. Most of them are related to our daily life in Japan. Enjoy!

This is a kotatsu. It's a table with a blanket over the top and a heater underneath. Ahhh... Also, those are my friends. I'm thankful for them. And I'm thankful for tea and scones and mikan (oranges).
  1. Kotatsu.
  2. Sukiyaki with seasonal mushrooms, eaten while sitting in the kotatsu.
  3. Mushroom season.
  4. Seasonal foods in general. A few that come to mind: melons, kaki, winter fish…
  5. Sunsets over the mountains which we enjoy from our 4th floor apartment.
  6. The lady in the supermarket with the yellow mark-down stickers which she puts on the packages of meat.
  7. Eating soba after church. Also, drinking instant coffee while taking with church members about what we’ve learned in class over the course of the week.
  8. The smell of laundry after it has been hanging to dry outside on a crisp fall day.
  9. The Japanese squeak-birds. That’s my name for them. I think they’re actually called “brown eared bulbul” or something like that.
  10. Ginkgo trees changing color.
  11. The subway: downtown in 10 minutes!
  12. Those donut-like things we get at Jusco. I’m not sure what they’re called—something-yaki, I suppose. Anyway, they’re filled with sweet red beans and soy milk cream. Delicious.
  13. Buying a huge bag of onions at our favourite place.
  14. Buying tea at our favourite place, after sampling several varieties and learning something new about tea from the friendly shopkeeper.
  15. The man in the supermarket who tells me where to find things. I see him walking to work most days as I’m coming home from school. I think he lives near us.
  16. Sample day at the supermarket (Saturday evening).
  17. Floor chairs and floor couch. 
  18. Tatami.
  19. Eating Korean food (bi-bim-ba).
  20. Inviting my friend over, sitting in the kotatsu together while listening to music.
  21. Yakiniku in the park with friends.
  22. Watching all the Japanese families enjoying yakiniku in the park.
  23. Onsen. 
  24. Talking with old ladies at the onsen.
  25. Karaoke with friends. 
  26. Singing in Japanese. At church, karaoke, in class, wherever. Also, learning new songs.
  27. Sleeping on futon.
  28. Electric mattress pad.
  29. Drinking houjicha/sencha/mugicha/genmaicha, etc.
  30. The electric hot water pot that dispenses water at exactly the right temperature.
  31. The rice cooker that makes perfect rice, oatmeal, cheesecake, etc.
  32. Walking along the river at Jozankei, crunching leaves under my feet.
  33. The cool autumn air. Or the cool night air during the summer.
  34. The teapot I found at a second-hand store.
  35. Being in my own apartment with Keith.
  36. Sitting down in the shower.
  37. Talking to Keith while he washes the dishes and I dry them.
  38. Cooking with a gas stove.
  39. Cooking with cast iron on a gas stove.
  40. Prayer meetings.
  41. Potluck after prayer meetings.
  42. Talking to my Japanese teacher about gardening.
  43. Getting mail from home.
  44. Being creative with whatever food is on sale. 
  45. Making bento.
  46. Watching Keith eating his bento.
  47. Funny commercials on TV.
  48. Japanese style physical humour.
  49. Figuring out the meaning of a new word and its reading based on the kanji.
  50. The constant reminders of God’s provision.
  51. The fact that God brought Keith and me together… and then gave each of us the same love for Japan and the desire to be here!
  52. Feeling weak and helpless and totally dependent on God. I can’t do this alone. But that’s such a reassurance, since I’m not doing this alone. This is God’s work, not mine.
  53. Cute bento boxes.
  54. Wearing warm clothes when it’s cold.
  55. The reminder, as I gasp out feeble prayers in Japanese, that God is not dependent on my ability to be eloquent to understand what’s in my heart.
  56. Drinking Japanese tea whenever I want it.
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." --Colossians 3:15-17

No comments: