Just a Couple of Old Soldiers

It was 1981. My parents were visiting Japan, helping us to build a building. While Dad installed kitchen cabinets, the Japanese tile man, Mr. Narahashi, was installing the Japanese-style bath. (Everybody should have an American kitchen and a Japanese bath!) During a breather, the two men stood drinking coffee. Only the most casual of introductions had been made. (Of course,…

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Of Mice Rats and Men

mysterious mouse silhouette

To be a country where everything is small, Japan certainly has large mice. Over here, we’d call them rats; but the Japanese call them mice. (That is, the Japanese word nezumi encompasses the whole delightful species.) Now, the Japanese people are small. When I lived there, I was directed to the LARGE department for a size 7½ shoe. The coffee…

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The Wind Phone

In May of 2017 I learned about the wind phone. It’s a phone booth with an unconnected phone, located in Japan in the area of the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear disaster of 2011. This “wind phone” (kaze no denwa) was actually installed before the disaster, by a man who was trying to cope with the loss of a cousin. After the disaster, though,…

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“Until You Reached This Place”

handwritten scripture

The year was 2000. My husband, Mark, had quit his job (partly at my insistence) because he was literally pacing the floor in his desperation to get back to Japan (where we’d been missionaries years before). The Japan plan wasn’t clear. The financial plan even less clear. But the motive was pure. And…well, some things ya just gotta do. We…

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The Cat at the Baptism

cat sketch

I was so excited about a trip to my beloved Japan in the fall of 2017! I would say a few words at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Sannobara Church in Isehara, where my husband Mark’s parents worked for so long. I expected to recall many moving, spiritual memories from which I’d pull some appropriate words to say. Instead,…

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