Sunday, April 27, 2008

Marie's funeral

The photo above is young Marie.

The other day, I went Portland with my family to attend the funeral of my husband best friend’s mother. Her name is Marie. I didn’t know her well. I saw her when she and her husband came to Seattle to join the parties of her son, Peter, and when we attended two of her sons’ wedding ceremonies. I remember she invited my family to her house several times and she cooked nice healthful meals for us. She welcomed everyone who visited to her house. She always smiled and said to whomever she met that she was pleased to meet her/him. I remember her as a beautiful old lady and brighten the mood around her. I imagine her like pretty white flowers lighten up the room. On 19th of April, 2008 she died at the hospital surrounded with her seven children with their spouses and her nine great-grand children who loved her very much. She was 79 years old and 6 months to be 80 years old. She was married to her husband, Art, for 52 years. Marie and Art hardly fought. Peter only remember his mother was very angry at her husband when she suspected her husband flirted with some lady. Then Marie was so furious to throw things around her at Art. She was deeply in love with Art. I heard that Art loves her very much that when he dies, he will be buried holding Marie’s ashes in his arm.
Her public funeral was held at the Catholic Church in Portland. Her life was celebrated with many attendees whom her life touched. She completed her life with full of happiness and love.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Is Seattle dangerous city ?

I have lived in Seattle for 19 years and became a victim of crimes three times. I was brought up in Japan and lived there for 30 years and was never encountered crime. Does it mean Seattle is dangerous city or US is the dangerous country?
My first incident was two months after I came to Seattle. It happened in the morning on the way to the bus stop. A man came across the road and grabbed my bag. I tried to hold on my bag. He was stronger than me and took my bag and ran. I went back and my host father reported the incident. I was very afraid going anywhere by myself for a long time. The mugger was never caught.
The second incident happened when my first son was about three years old. We lived in rough neighborhood of Rainier valley. Our house had security alarm. In the day of the incident we forgot setting the alarm. When we got home in the evening, the front window of our house was broken. We found that someone stole our computer. Our house was no longer safe place. My son was afraid going home. The police recovered our computer by stopping gangs’ car and caught the thief several days later. The thief was the neighbor’s eleven years old son who lived three houses away. Our neighbor was from Cambodia and didn’t speak English and he showed my husband a stack of business cards from police officers.
The third happened the last month. Our house was broken into at about 2:00am in the morning. Being tired and sleepy my husband and I forgot locking the doors of our house and turned all the lights. I never expected that someone came from the back door after going through the fence. When my husband woke up by our cat jumping down from our bed, he saw the shadow of the man. He yelled at the person.”Who are you? What are you doing my house? Get out my house.” I thought he was a sleep talking. But I woke up and found our two laptop computers were gone. I wanted to run after the thief. But my husband stopped me going out. He was still half a sleep. I phoned police immediately. The police officers came to our house with their dog about 10 minutes later. They found my husband’s camera on our drive way. The dog sniffed the trace of the criminal to only couple blocks from our house. You may think we live in the bad neighborhood. We live in the nice neighborhood. We walk around our neighborhood safely at night. We have some view of Lake Washington and our neighbor’s house was sold close to million dollars. Our house is small old three bedrooms house while the houses across the streets have better view and are new and large. I don’t know why the thief decided to come to our house instead of other fancy houses.
Fortunately no one was hurt and nothing important was stolen. The both laptops were repaired by the computer technician and were not in good shape. One of my stolen laptop computers had been infected by virus and another have problem turning switch on. The thief may have hard time to sell these old imperfect laptops. I haven’t heard any news from the police. After this happened, my cat which used to sit by my laptop disappeared couple of days and she have never sat her old place again.These are my bad experiences since I came to Seattle. Although my carelessness somewhat contributed to the incidents, I feel unsafe even my doors locked. It seems somebody is watching us and s/he takes advantage of an unguarded moment.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Are jeans American uniform?

Recently I went to two big events around Seattle and recognized that many people worn jeans.
One event was North West women’s show. As the name indicates, the attendants were mostly women. It was held at QWEST field. As you see in the picture on the left, the more than a half of the women in the picture wore jeans. Another event was Hops & Props at the museum of flight. This was the beer tasting event. More men attended to this event than women. While I was waiting to entering door in the long line, I observed the people in the line and saw so many legs with jeans. I didn’t realize so many people wear jeans. Then I remembered when my father visited me from Japan, he mentioned that everyone wears jeans. He used to wear his trousers until he realized that he look different from others with his gray pants. He started wearing his only blue jeans which he hardly worn in his house in Japan. He wore his jeans every day until the day he left Seattle.
I used to wear Blue jeans often. Recently I seldom wear my jeans because I like to look better by wearing other pants when I go out.
By the way, my sons don't wear jeans. They wear sweat pants instead.