Thank you so much, Dr. A, who gave Mei-Shun a “Yes” phone call during this o-bon vacation. That became the happiest お盆玉 for the latter. She celebrated it with a glass of tasty 月の桂=tsuki-no-katsura, a cloudy and sparkling sake made in Kyoto. Scotch whiskey, 芋焼酎=imo-shochu and 泡盛=awamori are normally preferred, it has never brought her a hangover.
Mei-Shun sees many colorful envelopes of おぼんだま=o-bon-dama at post offices, supermarkets and convenience stores these days. Written all in ひらがな=hiragana, it took a time for her to recognize that it means お盆玉, obviously derived from お年玉=o-toshi-dama, new-year allowance. Summer vacation is equivalent to family reunion: giraffe-necked grandparents are ready to use them.
Mr. Avocado, we are so happy to see you again. Since you moved onto our garden last year, conditions have been harder. However, you survived growing greener, stood tightly on the ground. Even in winter, you looked all right putting off browned leaves one by one. And it stopped there — nothing seen on your stalk until yesterday, when mom-in-law found your second baby.
… to you, mom, now on vacation at her cottage in Kusatsu. It rains hard with respites for a while all day long today unlike normal years. Mei-Shun would like to e-mail her, yet communication between Ibaraki and Gunma Prefectures really depends. Mom has been surprised by messages from her younger daughter delivered at midnight. Their voice on line never sound comfortable …
Mikan-chan always knows how Mei-Shun feels. When the latter takes rest on a futon mat with a fever, the former immediately joins while relaxes at her best place, looking indifferent when her mom is in better condition. All the same occurs between her parents — when Shin and Mei-Shun are in a bad mood after quarrel, their fluffy daughter rushes toward them with her tail upheld, turns on her back purring.
We are so happy to see you two in the garden. And it was lucky for Mei-Shun who found you standing straight up in green before Shin used the lawn mower. Ah, that might be why she often saw butterfly couples these days. They were messengers sent by you to let us know today’s festival, weren’t they? All right, let’s wish 織姫 and 彦星 would be able to meet tonight crossing a bridge made by magpies over the galaxy.
Mei-Shun made it: she finally found piano scores which she had been looking for at a musical instruments shop! “A Maiden’s Prayer” by T. Badarzewska reminds her of long-forgotten tune by her mother who sometimes played this and Beethoven’s “For Elise”. Others include “Le Cygne” by C. C. Saint-Saëns and a best album featuring Studio Ghibli‘s animation films by J. Hisaishi.