For many years, my web site has been titled "Inspire The Kids." It looks like this blog will take the place of that web site. However, the inspiration just keeps right on coming. One recent example is the inspiration provided by the captains of the North Eugene girls tennis team. They have done a wonderful job of providing leadership for that program. To  cap it all off, they have invited my wife and me out for a good-bye dinner. How is that for grace and thoughtfulness and true inspiration for the next generation!


Sorting all my personal things from the last thirty years has given me the chance to think back about my past. In particular, I have been thinking about how lucky I am to have had such a wonderful upbringing. Our parents gave me the support and love and encouragement that all children should receive. Despite the fact that both parents had very strong academic backgrounds, our parents told us they had one simple goal for us, "to be happy." What a gift!

Another gift happened when my dad came to watch his fifteen year old son teach tennis. Despite the fact that I had no experience teaching, dad told me that I had a gift for teaching and that I would be doing that for years to come. I have now taught tennis for 51 years! Thanks dad!

These are some more of my favorite shots of the Rainbow Bridge and the pseudo "Statue of Liberty." Gotta love those light colors!

Speaking of love, I am loving the exercises I have been doing for my feet! The link to the exercises is below. I have been dealing with some soreness in my right heel. That area is oftentimes particularly sore first thing in the morning, which is a classic sign of Plantar Fasciitis. Generally speaking, as I move throughout the day, that right heel feels better. However, during my run yesterday, I could feel that right heel soreness. I did the exercises last night and then, lo and behold, no soreness while running today!

Although the foot rolls with the therapy ball can be pretty painful, I think that exercise helps alleviate the soreness. A small price to pay!

Where do you get your inspiration? Given that this blog is all about inspiration, you can guess that this topic is dear to my heart. I am inspired on a consistent basis by so many people and events and occurrences and natural happenings. Wednesday was no exception. A student was having a tough day because he was tired and was a little out of sync. Going into his last class of the day, it seemed like it would be a challenging class. Boy did he ever blow that concern out of the water! He had a great class! He was energetic and miraculously overcame his fear of the saws as he practiced with almost all of those tools. Yeah! 

The gift I witnessed with this student will provide inspiration for me for days and days!

All the best,

So sorry to be out of touch! My last post was on September 14th. How time flies when you are having fun! And boy oh boy, I have been having fun!

Let's start with the good fortune! A very nice friend recommended that I go to the Nogawa Park Nature Observation Garden. When I told her I would probably go next week, she said that the flowers may be out of bloom by then. I am very glad that I went today! Thanks so much to my friend!

All three pictures are from that Garden. Believe it or not, I took 2000+ pictures in 3.5 hours! I was a busy boy! The bird pictured is a Kingfisher. That is definitely my good luck bird! Here is the story. My previous trip to Japan was in 2007. I had the opportunity to do some bird photography close to the same spot as I went to today. Lo and behold, back 16 years ago, there was a Kingfisher that was the star of the photography party. The area was full of those big long lenses! Unfortunately, the shots I took were not that good. I guess I must be doing something right as I really nailed the photo this time around!

Now let's talk about another of my favorite topics, that of exercise! My three favorite machines include the back extension machine, the leg raise machine, and the leg press machine. We now have the first two machines, but the third is expensive and too big for our house. I recently discovered the "sissy squat" machines! These machines are definitely not for those with a fear of a good leg workout! I purchased an inexpensive version of this machine. The link is below. Make sure you check out the inspiring video. If only I could have muscles like those!

 And now let's talk about good service! For those who think that good manners and good deeds are a thing of the past, think again.  I have included below the link for this wonderful piece of inspiration! Some very thoughtful genius came up with the clever idea of starting a cafe that uses workers who are struggling with dementia. The cafe also employs support workers. My favorite line in the article? "At Japan's dementia cafes, forgotten orders are all part of the service." Just how cool is that? Now if I could just get going with learning the Japanese language, I could volunteer for them. Happiness personified!

All the best to you and your families,



These photos were taken at a Festival we attended last Saturday night. The top photo was taken during a very cool live performance. I was mesmerized by the beautiful clothing they wore!

The above link is to an amazing performance by Lucy Thomas when she was 13 years old. She has a voice that is out of this world! I dare you to not get goose bumps when you watch that video! 

Lucy is now 19 years old. She just came out with her fifth album and is due to be starring in the musical "Rosie" in 2024. Without a doubt, she has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard! 

She has also recorded some gorgeous duets with her sister. What a talented family! I love her song selection as she has recorded a number of songs from musicals. 

One of the things that is so amazing is the passion she puts into her singing. She sings with a maturity that is much more typical of someone twice her age. 

The good news is that you can access almost all of her music online. With that said, I just got the mp3 version of her first CD. I will almost assuredly be buying all of her music! 

All the best as we head into the holiday season!



Moon River has always been one of my favorite songs. I recorded this version on my Yamaha P-515. I so appreciate the gift Andy Williams gave us when he did the gorgeous recording of that song. In addition, as I put in the previous post, this was the springboard for the singing career of Lucy Thomas. 

These pictures were all taken during a trip I did with my friend Stuart. We rode our bikes about 6 miles to get to this beautiful park. I do not think I have seen colors like this in the fall since I attended Trinity College in 1975. While I was at Trinity, I bought one of the smaller Suzuki motorcycles and I rode it between Hartford and Boston to visit relatives. The sunset picture was taken from the bridge that is about two miles from our house. What a scene!

I am sorry that I am little late with this post. I am very thankful for the following. 

  1. All of you. I was recently asked if I miss Oregon. My response was that I miss the people. So very true! Thanks to all of you for being in my life!
  2. I am thankful for Setsuko and the rest of my extended family. I feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful wife. I also feel fortunate that I have such a good relationship with my siblings. 
  3. I am thankful for the relationships I have been developing since I moved to Japan. I have talked about Stuart, a true Renaissance man who is creative and resourceful. I have had some very engaging conversations with Dana, the father of several of our former tennis students. I joined the Japan chapter of Citizens Climate International. That has given me the opportunity to meet some new people and to use the Microsoft Translation app. It has been quite hysterical to read some of the translations!  
  4. I am thankful for meeting Rohan Gillett. Here is his web site, Wonderful pictures! This coming Monday, he and I are going to enjoy the rare treat of going into the Imperial Palace grounds. Should be exciting!
  5. I am thankful for my energy and my good health. A wise person once said that without our health, we are not good for much. May all of us stay healthy!
  6. I am thankful for being able to ride my bike, to run, to hike, do strength training,  play music, and to play tennis. I know that these are luxuries that many people in the world do not have. I had the good fortune of connecting with some teachers from my school who are avid cyclists. We ride together almost every Sunday. What a treat!
  7. I am thankful for the opportunity I have to work in special education. I will forever be grateful to Setsuko for pushing me to find another career so we would have more financial stability. That was the start of my 16 year special education career!
  8. I am thankful for having the ability to read. Without a doubt, that is one of the most enjoyable activities of my life!
  9. I am thankful for being able to enjoy this amazing world. I am convinced that unless we make some serious and significant environmental changes, the enjoyment I am experiencing may be short-lived. 
  10. I am thankful for music. Although I spent hours and hours listening to music as I was growing up, I did not start playing the piano until I was about 20 years old, 47 years ago. I also play the guitar and sing. Music has helped me through so many difficult times!
  11. I am thankful for having the opportunity to live in Japan. While I miss all of you, I am treasuring the opportunity to explore this aesthetically beautiful country! 
  12. I am also thankful for the fact that I rarely need to drive a car here in Japan. Between walking, cycling, and public transportation, I can get to just about anywhere I need to go.A small win for climate change!
  13. I am thankful for having the opportunity to become a better person. I have made so many mistakes over the course of my life. All I can do is to learn from those mistakes and keep working to improve. Definitely a work in progress!
  14. I am thankful for the opportunities I have to try and make this world a better place. Although I know I am only one small piece of the pie, I also know that every little bit counts!

Happy Holidays!

Bob Reed 



I recorded this version of Born Free on my Yamaha P-515. This song has always been special to me for a number of reasons. I love the message and loved reading the book and seeing the movie. I have always loved the lyrics and the melody. Lastly, it was the first song I learned on the piano. 

In 1976, I rode a motorcycle from Seattle to San Francisco. Each night, I camped on the coast. Before losing the light, I would practice this song on a melodica, a flute-like instrument with a short piano keyboard. My mom inspired me to try this instrument as she used to play one on our sailboat. 

After I returned to Alaska, I took piano lessons. I will never forget when I hit my first chord to match the first note of this song. I fell in love with that harmony!

The pictures are from a recent day I spent with my friend Rohan in the Shinjuku area.  Thank you to Rohan for your guiding! The Godzilla figure is perched up high on a building. The other two photos were taken at a very photogenic cemetery.

I am doing double-duty with this message. I am putting it on my blog and am sending it to my email data base. For those in the data base, feel free to let me know if you do not want to subscribe to these updates. 

Given that it is now 2024, it seems appropriate to reflect on this past year and think about 2024. Here are my thoughts.


  • I am so thankful for so many things and so many people!
  • First and foremost, I am thankful for all the people in my life, including all of you. Thanks for your messages! Please keep them coming! I will respond to all messages!
  • I am thankful for my good health. I know that many people are struggling with a variety of health-related issues. My heart goes out to them.
  • I am thankful for Rohan, Stuart, and Dana, three friends I have spent time with since moving to Japan. You have been wonderful!
  • I am thankful for Setsuko, my amazing wife. She has made the move to Japan one of the best things I have done with my life. While I miss all of you who live in the US, I am enjoying this new adventure.
  • I am thankful for the resources we have. While Setsuko and I have worked hard to get where we are, I also know that we have been very fortunate.
  • I am thankful for the technology that enables me to do so much, including staying in touch with all of you!
  • I am thankful for the organizational skills I have developed that help me stay on top of my many responsibilities. 
  • I am thankful for the discipline I have to make good choices and decisions. It is not always easy!
  • I am thankful for the ability to read and for the access I have to so many great books. What a treasure!
  • I am thankful for forgiveness. I have certainly made my share of mistakes. I fee fortunate that people have graced me with some slack!
  • I am thankful for the opportunity to live in Japan. I realize this is an opportunity that is not available for many people.
  • I am thankful to the opportunity to continue to work in the special education field. I am loving my job at the American School in Japan!


  • Sending two North Eugene High School singles players and a doubles team to the state tourney.
  • Another successful year as a special education teacher at North Eugene High School.  
  • Leaving the US knowing that I did my best for the community in the areas of tennis and special education.
  • The sale of our home in Springfield, Oregon. This enabled us to move to Japan.
  • The move to Japan. 
  • Putting time into friendships here in Japan.
  • Helping Setsuko realize her dream of returning to her homeland and living close to her daughters and grandchildren. 
  • The consistent cycling and strength training and photography in Japan. 
  • Sharing music and photos and updates on this blog. 
  • Joining the Japan Citizen's Climate Lobby group and putting more time into environmental studies. 
  • The satisfaction that comes from knowing that I am doing my best to live a productive and meaningful life and that I am living according to my values and principles.


  • I am concerned about the environment. While I understand this is a controversial topic, it seems to me there is some substantial evidence to suggest that we need to make some major changes, especially when it comes to the use of fossil fuels. I plan to continue to study this topic and learn as much as I can and then take steps to act on my conclusions. 
  • I am concerned about the divisiveness and lack of grace in the United States, especially as it relates to politics, social justice, race, guns, and other controversial and sensitive topics. I desperately hope we can improve our capacity to have difficult conversations in a respectful manner.  

I hope 2024 is a great year for all of you. May we work together to make this world the best it can be!

All the best to you, your families, and your friends,










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