Winter Kindness

Every Tuesday night at the local grocery store in Gonohe, Mister Donut comes to set up shop for us poor inaka folks. Like clockwork, every Tuesday before kendo, I’m lined up for groceries and a doughnut (or three). By now my internal clock has a Misdo switch; also it’s the only time I seem to talk to adults outside of work hours. Chatting up the lovely people at Yokomachi is my favorite Monday through Friday activity, most of them are the parents of my lovely pupils… because, you know, inaka Japan. Everyone is related to everyone… or knows everyone. But I digress. In any case, I also chat up the lovely lady from Misdo, too. By slow degrees, we’ve come to expect each other at Yokomachi every Tuesday at a given time. Pleasantries exchanged, money handled, donut (or three) delivered.

Except, this Tuesday we deviated from the usual how-do-you-dos. She asked me, for the first time, about my hometown and if I was going back for the winter.

I am not.

She expressed her regret, especially since I was from such a warm place (SoCal, for the win!), and happened to glance over at the sole remainder of that day’s special sale: a single Misdo Christmas doughnut. She glances around, slips it into the bag, and in true Japanese fashion makes a single comment:

“You may not like it, but by all means please have this.”

The tears just about started to pool around my eyes. A Christmas doughnut. A Misdo Christmas doughnut. With sprinkles and a cute paper character. On the house.

I have never 感動ed as much as I did that day. I can’t even remember how many formal thank yous I said, just that I was really touched by her winter kindness.

Misdo lady, you are my hero *salute*.

And for the winter part of this Winter Kindness post… SNOW! In all it’s glory! That sad looking snow blob you see is a snow bear. And he’s not sad! He’s just… derpy 😛 Made him with my students and we had a three person snowball fight with no clear winner.


On Freedom: Voices of Oppressors and the Oppressed


*NOTE: Images are meant to spark a lively and healthy discussion/debate on rights, the meaning of freedom, and progress made in history. Commentary, if any were to occur, should be intellectual and thought-provoking. I reserve the right to delete messages that are clearly hateful in nature or that demean another person in a hateful way. Thank you.*


A CALL TO ARMS: If possible, it will only take at most four minutes of your time, please take the time to view the following video and then click here if you are able to donate what little you can! Dani, who I had the honor and privilege to meet in an intro to ceramics course, has an amazing and truly brave little sister. Nat Collison has been battling lupus for the past seven years now. But she was also quite recently diagnosed with gasteoparesis, a medical condition that occurs when muscles in the GI tract are paralyzed due to illness or injury, making it difficult if not nearly impossible for the body to break down food and so Nat receives her nutrients from a tube. However it is not so simple as just that; it is an expensive condition to treat, requiring medication and an army’s worth of medical paraphernalia to keep someone alive for even a day.

Any little bit that you can contribute will help this amazing family to help their daughter receive the proper medical treatment she needs. This family would not be asking for help if they truly did not need it. Even if you can’t donate financially please consider spreading the word: any little bit of help truly counts!

Thank you 🙂