And Fuji Makes Three

He'll hold this against me someday.

The sailor has finally left for the sea, so it’s just me, Chip, and (thanks to an unbelievably clear day yesterday) Fuji-san. While I was taking out the day’s trash, the neighbors let me know that the mountain was out, so Chip and I rushed down in our pajamas for a photo session. I think Chip would have preferred breakfast, but he did get to see a couple of dogs and some pigeons which threw him into spasms of excitement.

I miss Rob. This is the first time since we’ve been married that he’s gone to sea on me. It’s like he’s in the Navy or something. There’s no one here to leave newspapers lying about, or to fill up the poor trash bin with Coke cans, or to answer my questions about Japanese military history. It is a sadder (though tidier) house without him.

Chip and I have stayed busy, however. Yesterday we explored around Hayama and hiked up a hill not too far from us. It had rained the night before, and the last of the cherry blossoms were wafting down onto the petal-strewn trail. It was also really steep. The view from the top was lovely; very conducive to deep thoughts. As you can see, Hayama is nestled snugly between the “leafy mountains” and Sagami Bay, with Fuji just beyond:

Our hamlet.

Chip endured another photo session, this time perched precariously on a picnic table. (He didn’t fall under this one, fortunately).

Today I had my first Japanese class. The classes are sponsored by the Yokosuka International Association and, bonus, includes child care for the bargain price of 500 yen. The classes are taught by lovely retired ladies, all of whom had trouble transcribing and pronouncing both “Chip” and “Alden,” which came out as “Sheep-oo” and “Al-oo-den-ah.” Together with Rob (“Doh-bat-o”), we might be the most difficult to pronounce family in Japan.  Today we learned classroom vocabulary, greetings, and one of the three alphabets, none of which I remember. I had flashbacks of being fourteen and in French I again with Madame Pluchinsky. I think Chip got the real immersion lesson though, with, his Japanese babysitters.

The movers are supposed to come tomorrow–Rob plans well, doesn’t he? I look forward to a long snuggle with our couch, but I will kind of miss the severe minimalism in which I’ve lived for the past couple of weeks. There’s so much wood floor to slide around on in my new Japanese house slippers.


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Huck
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 13:02:49

    Alden- your photos and stories are so beautiful. It sounds like you’re soaking in so much and that Chip and you are having some pretty grand adventures. I think about you every day!


    • wattsabi
      Apr 15, 2010 @ 10:53:00

      Em! Thank you so much for all of your replies! It is so nice to hear from you, and I have been checking up on your blog, too. Congrats on your new room–beautiful. And the tire flowers. You don’t just make lemonade from lemons, you make a homemade lemon mousse pie with lavender in the crust and freshly whipped cream on top, and you serve it on china you glazed yourself on top of a table that Evan probably made. So are you going to Kaneohe Bay?


      • wattsabi
        Apr 15, 2010 @ 10:54:05

        Oh, and I think happily (and a bit enviously) about what you might be doing at work every day.

      • Huck
        Apr 19, 2010 @ 13:19:16

        Haha. I love it. Because it’s true. ; ) Move over Martha Stewart, there’s a new girl in town!

        I was just able to jump down to Georgia for a spell– spent it all at my parent’s place helping them put in their garden. It was good for the soul. Now Evan is about to head out to Kansas to visit his Grammy. Between the two of us traveling around, house-progress has slowed a bit. But only a bit!

        Still don’t have a date for Kaneohe Bay… but it does look like it might be in the near future! If I can scrape enough green together, I will definitely continue on to your neck of the woods and you and I shall play with your stand mixer and fish grill. And maybe we can build beach chairs for your sandy-bum. ; )

  2. Rob Watts
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 13:08:54

    Konichiwa, Sheep-oo and Al-oo-den-ah! Please feel free to contact me with any Japanese military history questions.




  3. Betsy
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 16:49:33

    Yes, Rob plans very well! Good luck with the move tomorrow. Will be thinking about you two. Love the photo of Chip and Fuji.


  4. wattsabi
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 10:56:04

    Thanks, Bets. I’ve already assembled one Ikea dresser all by myself. Your mom is rubbing off on me–all I could think with those pictures was, “Christmas card!”


  5. Aunt Connie
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 17:30:22

    It is ironic that I have a picture of Mr. Fuji that your grandfather took while stationed in Japan during WWII- and now you are there. Now that I’ve said this Betty is going to want it.

    Keep posting-this is as close to Japan as I will probably ever get. Love, Aunt Connie


    • wattsabi
      Apr 16, 2010 @ 11:16:06

      Aunt Connie! Hello! I would love to see that picture! Is your dad in it? Are there any other photos? Could you scan it? I have been thinking about him, actually, while I’ve been over here. (Especially when I’ve seen Noritake china displays…) I’ve wondered if he ever was in Yokosuka, where the base is.

      I am so happy for you about your granddaughter. I can’t wait to see pictures. I really hope she and Chip can meet someday.

      If the pictures aren’t enough, you’re more than welcome to come visit!



  6. Aunt Connie
    Apr 15, 2010 @ 17:31:24

    Typo- sorry – Mt. Fuji


  7. Anastasia Waits
    Apr 16, 2010 @ 14:39:07

    Oh gosh I miss your sense of humor! Glad to see you are now up to your eyeballs in the craziness of Japan! I try to read these once a week and I always get a good chuckle as I see that all foreigners must have somewhat similar experiences… Although I could not imagine how fun it must be to have Chip there at this age! How long is Rob’s deployment supposed to be? I am dreading Dee’s 8 month deployment, but I have until November to get used to the idea (if all stays as is)…

    Miss you guys a ton! And Makena says “Hi” too!
    Love- Staise


    • wattsabi
      Apr 18, 2010 @ 00:34:44

      Staise! I am so glad you are reading. I wish you were here to ask you a million questions a day. It is fun to have Chip here–he is my little ambassador. The Japanese are much more responsive to Kawaii babies than random American women. Hopefully Rob will be back soon, but one thing I’ve learned here is that one never knows about the ship schedule here until it happens.

      How has Iowa been? Are you excited about San Diego? The weather here has absolutely sucked, to be blunt. I will be dreaming about your warm sunny days. Take lots of walks with Makena for us, and give her and Dee my best.
      love, Alden


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