9 Months in Japan!








I made this recording of the Cat Steven's song, Father and Son, on my Yamaha P-515. This has always been my favorite of his songs. I love the melody and I love the lyrics!

These photos were all taken with my new Canon RF 100-500 lens. I am particularly pleased with these photos as the conditions were pretty tough. When I started photographing early in the morning, it was in the high 30's, with winds ranging from 10-15 mph. Chilly! 

I thought it would be fun and interesting to do a review of my first nine months in Japan. This is going to double as my email message that I will send to folks in my data base.

GREETINGS!

A special greeting to the North Eugene tennis players and their coaches as they embark on the spring season. I wish I could be there to cheer you on!

Another special greeting to the staff at Willamalane. I hope your tennis programs are going well!

A third greeting to current and retired staff at North Eugene High School. I miss all of you!

Lastly, to everyone else, I hope you are doing well! Please email me at reedrobert77@gmail.com with updates!

SETSUKO:       I once again need to thank Setsuko for giving me this opportunity. It has been a great experience! Setsuko's recovery from knee surgery is going well. She is hoping to be back on the tennis court in May. Yeah! It has been really cool to see how happy Setsuko has been living so close to her two daughters and two grandchildren. They are all doing well!

SCHOOL WORK:       I have continued to enjoy my half-time special education teacher assistant position at the American School. Not only have I loved the work, I have also appreciated the welcoming I have received at that school. I have been cycling with some of the teachers and I played the piano at an open mike event. 

CYCLING:      I have missed the more tranquil cycling from Lane County, but have loved my cycling opportunities here. My regular ride of 13 miles takes about an hour. The 20-30 mile Sunday rides take 2-3 hours. Excellent workouts!

FITNESS:     I have had more time for strength training and stretching. My body has appreciated that commitment! 

HEALTH:     Setsuko is a wonderful cook! Primarily for environmental reasons, I have been cutting back on my consumption of beef and dairy products. I have turned into a real fan of smoothies and have been making some very nutritious minestrone soup. There is yet still hope for my cooking potential!

FRIENDS:     As I have mentioned before, I did not have much time to put into friendships when living in Lane County. Since moving to Japan, that has changed, for the better. 

PHOTOGRAPHY:     This has been one of the biggest changes I have made. Generally speaking, when I lived in Lane County, I did one major 7-10 day photo session during the summer. Since moving to Japan, I have been doing photography at least once or twice a month, if not more. In terms of bird photography, my new lens is making a huge difference! It has been very gratifying to be able to share my photos on my blog. To say the least, the photo opportunities here have been amazing!

TRANSPORTATION:     I have loved not driving! I have loved being able to get around by foot, bike, bus, and train. What a joy!

MUSIC:     My change in this area has been the same as the change for photography. Now that I have increased my standards for my piano playing, I am practicing 3-6 times per week. In addition, I have re-started to play the guitar and sing. I use an informal finger picking style that makes for a nice accompaniment to my voice. 

ENVIRONMENTAL WORK:        This is another area of big change for me. Although I have been committed to recycling and other individual steps, I had not previously invested any time in being part of an organization. Since joining the Citizen's Climate Lobby, I have become much more involved in taking collective action. Every little bit counts!

THE CHALLENGES:      I certainly miss the people from Lane County! I miss the ease with which I could find things I needed and the ease of shopping. I miss the easy access to beautiful natural settings and I miss the lack of traffic and the lower population density. I miss the school teaching opportunities. I miss being surrounded by people who speak English! Because I am not willing to fly, for environmental reasons, I will miss a family wedding this September. Darn! I miss the opportunity to attend in-person meetings and other events in Lane County.

In short, it seems there are almost always pros and cons to the major choices we make. Despite the challenges listed above, I am happy with this choice I have made. I feel very fortunate to be in a financial position that affords me the opportunity to spend time doing what I love to do. Given the incredible gift of Zoom and texting and emails, I am still able to stay in touch with folks from Oregon and with my siblings and with others who share some common interest. 

I think I have shared that one of my "big" goals is to live to be 100 years old. So far, so good! I feel like I am doing the right things and living in the right place to make that happen. One day at a time!

All the best to you and your families!

I hope you have a wonderful spring season,

Bob



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