The day after Thanksgiving is the official start of the Christmas season. At least that’s how it was in our house growing up. That’s when my brother and I would help my parents put up the Christmas lights on the house. There was an inside team and an outside team. The inside team were the light checkers, and the outside team were the light putter-uppers. While we did all of this we would graze on the Thanksgiving leftovers all-day long. And of course to set the mood, we would start jamming the Christmas tunes. Christmas music in November!? It’s so early, what’s wrong with you!?
The much awaited part three of a story that started eight years ago…
Eight years ago I met some people in a random bar in Kuki, Japan while I was out on an adventure-seeking-night by myself. I got the adventure I was seeking both while I was out, and when I got home. (You can read about that here).
I had exchanged e-mails with my new friends and a few years after later I met them again at the same bar and almost got lost and in big trouble… again. (You can read about that story here).
And now, after originally meeting them eight years ago in Japan, I welcomed them to Detroit with my family, and into my home!
It was a cloudy, gloomy, rainy day. Chloe was away at school, but Ellie had the day off. Chloe is used to Ellie being gone at school, but not the other way around. It had been a long time since Ellie and I were alone together for a length of time. Needless to say, she was a bit lonely and anxious for Chloe to come home and play.
Six years ago I wandered into a bar in Kuki, Japan. I was giving Aya some alone time with her parents so I decided to set out on my own. Feeling a little overconfident and wanting a sense of independence and adventure, I hit the streets loaded with about ten Japanese words in my vocabulary and a digital translator dictionary that I had no idea how to work.
One very popular winter fruit in Japan is a clementine, or they call them, mikan (mē-con). Are they the exact same fruit? Honestly, I have no idea, but I can tell you they are pretty darn close. Back home in Michigan, I love to get a box of Cuties and eat them three at time. Here, you can do the same thing, except you can do a lot more than just eat them plain. There is mikan juice, mikan flavored yogurt, jam, cookies, dressing, and cakes, just to name a few. They are even used as part of the traditional New Year’s decorations. They are so common this time of year you can see them growing on tress throughout the neighborhood. Mikans are definitely a sign of the winter just as apples are to fall in Michigan. And just how we can go apple picking in Michigan, we went mikan picking here in Japan!