Nothing but unabashed Ray-love in tonight’s (read: this morning as it’s past midnight) post.

We left Niigata amid heavy, fluffy snowflakes and pleas from Chieko’s mom to stay just ONE more day. In principle I had no objection to the idea. In reality, shit has been nuts in our lives recently and I (my wife seems to be faring better than me) need some time to build up a stock of stability on the home front before we go back to work.

I assured her that we have a slew of 3 day weekends coming up and we will be back soon.

The drive home was uneventful. The snow let up as soon as we tunneled our way out of the valley where Chieko’s parents live. Kanazawa met us with its trademark sleet as we rolled into town, the sun back over the ocean threatening to cast a rainbow on the cloud-strewn mountains near us, but never quite getting it done.

Ray has slipped into a frightening trend of staying up close to midnight every night, most probably because that’s what his parents are doing (and then some), and letting him sleep late so we don’t have to get up. Must get the pendulum swinging in the other direction before next week.

At Chieko’s parent’s house we spread a couple of futons on the floor of what was her bedroom when she lived there. In the past I have consistently woken up stiff as a board given the thinness of the futons and sack of beans that stands for a pillow. Given a bit of my back-channel gaijin complaining, coupled with bringing and leaving my own proper pillow, conditions have improved substantially.

In addition to my newly-thickened futons, the winter temperatures also bring an abundance of puffy blankets and comforters to keep us warm. Ray found all the fluffy, puffy goodness quite enjoyable, particularly when I picked him up and plunged him atop it all. If I were a year old child, I imagine this type of thing would forge a memory or two.





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