The Challenges of Life


More lillies from the Jindai Botanical Garden. Ah, the simplicity of this kind of beauty. If only life could always be so simple! I remember a comment my mom once made to me. "Bob, you are just like your father. You always have to make life so difficult!"

Just when I thought that maybe I was invincible, I threw out my back. So much for invincibility! I had been sitting in the car for an hour or so. I got out of the car and mistakenly lifted a box full of lemonade bottles in an awkward way. I immediately felt that twinge in my back; that is always a bad sign. Sure enough, within an hour or so, I was stiff as a board! 

It is now just over a week later. My back is much better, although it still gets stiff when I am sitting. I have set a new world record for the number of stretches performed in a week! Fortunately, with plenty of warm-up time, I have been able to continue running and cycling and swimming and strength training and tennis. 

I have started my job at the American School. Last Friday, I met the student I will be working with. We had a great time getting to know each other! It also did not take me long to find the tennis courts! I will be volunteering with the tennis teams, starting this coming Tuesday. Old habits do not die easily!

The first book the 10th grade English class will be reading is the classic play, "The Crucible," by Arthur Miller. I have had fun reviewing that play, researching Arthur Miller, the Salem Witch Trials, and McCarthyism. It is scary to realize how easily people can be swayed to judge and interpret situations inaccurately. Even scarier is to realize that this is still very possible today!

My birthday was yesterday! A young 67! My supervisor at the American School made my day when he said I do not look a day over 40! Setsuko took me to a wonderful restaurant last night. The Japanese sure know how to do it right when it comes to a tasty meal! 

I gave myself a nice birthday present when I took 5 seconds off of my best time for the stairs sprint that is in the middle of my run. Another victory in the "let's stay young" race!

I hope this finds you happy and healthy!

All the best,



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