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Mikans and Memories

November 15, 2017



On Monday, while picking mikans, I had one of those crazy olfactory flashbacks. You know those teleportation sessions that happen when a smell that transports you to a different time and place? 

Moments after entering the little orange grove, the intense citrus scent scooped me up and I was suddenly five years old again and clinging to the top of a Louisiana satsuma tree in the side yard of our old farm house. Climbing higher and higher on the hunt for the sweetest, ripest orange until a sticky river of fear and orange juice started coursing through my body. The tree was bending under my weight and I was scared. 

And in another flash, I was suddenly back in my forty-four year old body standing in the middle of a mikan grove with my kids and our dog, on an island surrounded by the Seto-Inland Sea of Japan. Isn't it strange when those moments happen? It almost seems as if time travel is possible via smell-induced triggers. 

Boxes

November 14, 2017



A tiny origami box with itty-bitty origami cranes, moving boxes, sardines, and cousins...I somehow managed to cram all of these things into an essay on Hello There, Friend.  Writing the piece made me miss my cousins, my grandparents, and sweat-drenched Louisiana summer days. It also made me think about what I choose to carry with me and what eventually gets discarded. Boxes of various sorts are a constant in my life. And I am not just referring to the military packing boxes that taunt me in the "office" space which will eventually get unpacked and organized. I am also talking about the boxes that keep stories, memories, and emotions tightly tucked into place.

Exploring: Suo-Oshima Island

November 13, 2017




Give a kid (or a dog) a stick and a sandy beach and all is good!  In addition to sticks and sand, Suo-Oshima also has mikans (super sweet Japanese oranges) and prior to our beach romping, we did some mikan-picking. After loading up on fresh citrus, we stopped for lunch at Aloha Orange and then crossed the street to check out the tiny beach and Shinto Shrine. We are definitely planning to return to the island for camping, onsen soaking, and further exploration.  

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