Monday, November 29, 2004

Hirosaki's shinsetsu and my first ever thanksgiving

Yes, today, for the first time this winter, I woke up to snow on the ground outside my home. Not much snow I have to admit, but it was good to see at least some of the white stuff in town. (Shinsetsu means new snow in Japanese). It has continued to snow lightly throughout the morning, but it won't stick because the temperature is still a bit too high. And although the forecast shows yet another hike in temperature over the weekend, if you take a look at the seven day summary you'll see that the new week should bring new lows. That makes me very happy.

It's strange that I get happy thinking about the long, cold, dark winters of Aomori. When I was a teenager I used to have a bit of trouble with the English winters. I suffered from what I could only self-diagnose as Seasonally Associated Depression (SAD is not the kind of acronym a sixteen year old wants to relate to), and I'd often be down for periods of time around the winter solstice. Not these days though. No way. I'm as happy as Larry during the winters here. As happy as Larry.

Taishi drove us all out to Ajigasawa yesterday for a Thanksgiving celebration at the Elliots' chapel. All of us being Steph, myself and this other English teacher in Hirosaki who I'd never met before called Chris. Thanksgiving seemed a lot like Christmas to me. We all sat down to a big meal that had been prepared by the family and friends of the Chapel, and there was also a sermon given during the meal. The weather outside was dark and cold, which is how I usually think of Christmas as well.

Good times were had by all, and thanks undoubtedly go to those who put in the work preparing the food etc. I'd love to show you some photos of the event but none of the ones I took seem to have come out very well. The flash didn't work for some reason, so they all look really blue and tungsteny, if that's a word.

I did manage to get some shots from the coast on the way there though. Strong winds and light snow were the weather for yesterday.

The wind blew so hard I could hardly stand up straight.