Officially Spring

Well, the calendar says that it is officially spring. Anyone that reads this blog knows that my garden is the first place I go as soon as the weather warms up. It hasn’t warmed up as much as I’d like-but we’ve had a few really nice days here and there so I’ve been outside getting my little plot ready.


I cleaned things up and got carrots, spinach and komatsuna seeds in the ground. The Snap Peas are coming along now-they have finally broken through the ground and are getting bigger by the day. You can see them over by the netting. The lettuce is growing nicely and I stuck a green pepper plant in the ground too.



The weeding got done and while I was at it I moved some of the ox-eye daises that had seeded themselves in a spot where I didn’t want them to. That spot is reserved for my new tomato beds that I’m going to put in. Soon. As soon as hubby gets me the wood.

I set up a birdbath. A little early I know but I’m excited about getting the garden going.


Gardening helps me a lot. I’ll be honest with you-it isn’t always easy to live in a foreign country. I miss my family. A lot. I have friends here but culturally, it is different. People don’t really open up and they aren’t as likely to want to develop deep relationships so everything stays rather superficial. That is hard for someone like me. Gardening, crochet, sewing and now embroidery have helped me to fill the void and at the same time I “produce” something that can be shared with others.

I think that’s why I really dislike (anti) social media…it is so superficial…

But, I digress….

Everyone else in the neighborhood is outside participating in the spring season in much the same way. Tractors can be heard humming throughout the fields and across the little valley. I really look forward to rice planting season. When the fields are planted and filled with water the frogs move in and the whole area comes alive at night with the sounds of what seems like a million croaking frogs. As I walked around the town I saw the farmers gearing up, getting the fields ready for the annual rice planting activities.

Just about everywhere I looked gardeners were out weeding and digging and just enjoying being outdoors.


My heart is a bit heavy this spring. Every year since we have moved to Japan I always took my annual trip up to see the kids near Tokyo around this time of the year…but…they left Japan last June and I can’t do that anymore.

I had noticed that I felt out of sorts and about two days ago I realized that last year at this time I was enjoying being with my daughter and her family. Actually, I’m crying writing this post. It is really, really hard not having any of the kids or grand-kids around. But that’s life. We can’t stay near them forever. That isn’t reality for most people.

While I do like living in Japan-there are always two sides to the coin. It is a beautiful country with many awesome reasons for wanting to live here. The reality is that living here comes with a price. At times that price can be a little heavy to bear.

But– the sun is shining at the moment. The rains have stopped a bit so I think I’ll go pick some lettuce for dinner and rejoice in all the Lord has so graciously provided for all those that I love near and far. Later I’ll think some more about my garden planning and perhaps work on an embroidery pattern design that I have in mind for a granddaughter. I was actually thinking of opening an ETSY shop but I’m too busy to make things to sell! Everything I make goes to family and friends!

This post was rather all over the place. That may be the new norm here. Writing like this helps me. The rest of you can come along for the ride.





11 thoughts on “Officially Spring

  1. I felt out of sorts these last two sundays. Both turned out sunny enough for me to tackle my yard pruning. My lab, Rusty, died last August, and I missed having him throw his ball at me -to throw back. I missed him grabbing pruned branches and running off with them to chew into smaller pieces.
    My son, came especially to help prune the grapes and spread mulch and this helped the melancholy.
    It’s still too cold at night to plant peppers but I can put in peas. On my next laundry day.


  2. You’re right about kids moving away – I did from my family, and mine did, too. I think human beings are still basically nomads!

    We have much less snow now, and many people are having to deal with flooding creeks and mud. But my snowdrops are blooming, and the robins have returned, so spring is here in more than name only.

    I wish you joy in the coming of the frogs and lightning bugs!


  3. I toohave been feeling the “blues” lately. Of course I have the exact opposite problem. My son, DIL and GS live in Japan. I should feel (and do) grateful they are happy and healthy, BUT I dearly miss them.
    But like you said, we can’t always have them close.
    It’s been a lovely spring day here in Ky. but cooler weather coming. After school I picked up sticks and leaves. Fresh air does me a world of good!!! Love your garden.


  4. Totally relate to that: sometimes it can be really hard to be away from family! My family lives in Poland. I talk to my Mom every day but the physical distance just sucks. Sometimes I wish I could just hop on a bus and visit but it is not as simple! On the other hand, I am very happy in the States, so yes, everything has a price I guess…
    Do you also have a “bee-keeper” outfit for working in the garden? Could not help but notice how people protect themselves from sunlight. 🙂


    1. Hi Marta!
      Yes- it is hard being away from all of my family. Getting to them isn’t easy or cheap! And then to decide which ones to visit- they are spread out across the globe.

      When we first moved here I used to scoff at wearing so much protection in the garden— but then— I had a few encounters with some of the nasty insects Japan is home to. And the sun! I lived for over 35 years on a small tropical island ( most of my life) but I have never ever felt a hotter sun than I do here. Five minutes and my skin is starting to hurt. Sunscreen just melts off- so now I understand why everyone covers up! I may not be extreme as some- but I do wear protection when I’m outside. I learned my lesson the hard way.


      1. Oh, the bugs! I live in Tennessee: proud home of fat mosquitoes, chiggers and some tiny bugs that go through window screens and bite rather painfully. Need to use long sleeve as well when working in the garden, especially in the afternoons or evening! (And I also learned this hard way ha ha!)


  5. Will you ever live in the U.S. again?
    I just read your most recent post before this one and I see that you’re feeling optimistic about spring and gardening. Our slowly emerging warm weather is great medicine for me, too, in addition to the project I’m working on. It’s been up and down, but I’m sticking with it!
    By the way, when I went up to your menu and clicked on Home, I lost connection with your blog. I think it was trying to go to your previous version – the one without wordpress imbedded.


    1. Hi Anita,

      First the blog issue–it may have something to do with the cache in your browser. Once I cleared my cache- I stopped having issues with my browser trying to connect with my old address. I had to google the remedy though🤔

      I haven’t lived in the USA since I was 18- this year I’ll be 56. Off and on I go to visit family in the states- I always feel like I’m in a foreign country and feel relieved when I get back to this side of the planet- lol.

      I don’t have any plans to move back to the US. I don’t know what the future holds and I do have family there but I’ve never considered moving back. If I had to for some reason ( like war) it would be a very difficult thing for me. Culturally, I’m not ” American” anymore. So moving back would not be something I’d want to do. If I had to leave Japan for some reason I’d go back to Saipan.


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