The Hawai` i- California 'Ohana, 2001
with our New Year hats and tiaras.
Good sports, every one of them!
Bottom Row, L-R:
Ethan, the Kiwi going to school in New York, Iain, Orin, Kent with
Kyle, Uncle Wally, Jonathan, Aunty Blanche with Freddy B, Uncle
Middle Row, L-R: Cassie from UC Berkeley, Kisa, Aunty Faith
(crouching, she not dat shoht), Grandma Y from Honolulu, Dawn, going
to school at UH, Manoa, Loreen, Aunty D with O, Aunty Bobbie
Back Row, L-R: Uncle Clif, Uncle T, Aunty Pat from Florida,
Sue, Samara, Tiffany, Uncle Kenneth, Aunty Connie, Brian
e Hawai`i - California 'Ohana,
Shinnen Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimasu!
Perhaps you'd like to
relive our New Year's Day with me?
sure to click on the highlighted text to check out the photos.
Uncle T and I started our first day
in 2002 with the traditional morning bath. Knowing that this would
be a day of hugs, we made sure we were as fresh as daisies not only for the new
year, but for you too. Alas, no relaxing, soaking furo
(Japanese bath) for us, but a splashy, hurried shower, so typically
American. Cleansed and "purified" with all of last year's
not-goods down the drain, we sprang into action, wrapping up our
party preparations and putting the finishing touches.
Our goal was to have
everything prepared and ready to go, so
we could undistractedly and fully enjoy your company. The Japanese New Year's Symbolic Decorations:
Kagami ( Stacked Mochi) were
in place; the senior citizenry's All-American
New Year's centerpiece in the dining room was arranged; and the light &
fluffy Hawaiian cakes from King's Bakery were placed over bowls
filled with ice to keep them chilled while we feasted our eyes on
them, reminding ourselves to save room for dessert.
I was cutting the
kanten -- Japanese red jello -- into its decorative pointy shapes,
while Uncle T was
on the road to pick up the sashimi and sushi platters. I was
scurrying about in my jammies when Aunty
Sue, Samara, Jonathan
and Aunty Pat
-- Aunty Sue's sister,
all the way from Florida and looking well -- arrived.
Samara presented us with fresh
flowers, and Sue brought her
wonderful potato salad, one of my all-time favorites.
Tradition, tradition! Tradition!
Tradition, tradition! Tradition!
We had our
traditional sake -- Japanese rice wine -- pouring and sipping. I was especially
of Samara. A teetotaler, she braved those
two sips and full swig for tradition's sake. Sake first thing in the morning is
not as bad as it sounds, as sake sinuously slides down the throat,
warming the soul.
Uncle T (DH)
then poured each of us a traditional bowl of steaming ozoni --
a New Year's soup made tasty with
clam and scallop broth -- with one mochi (rice cake)
at the bottom for good
Having consumed all of our soup bowls' contents, we are
then, and only then, assured
of lots of good luck, strength, longevity, and joy for the
year. Alana was in Las
Vegas, welcoming the New Year in with her buds, and I
wondered if we could freeze some of the good luck
soup for her. I also made certain everyone had at least one black bean for
I am becoming my
Aunty Sue, Samara,
Jonathan and Aunty Pat were a big help to
us with the last-minute
details. Jonathan ran last-minute errands with Uncle T; a well-hugged Aunty Pat helped
us by cutting out white prayer slips (more on this later);
and Aunty Sue and Samara busily prepared Samara's and
Jonathan's Chinese chicken
salad dressing while I whipped up the somen noodle salad dressing.
Aunty Sue and Samara taught me how to fry up long rice to top their salad. What a
metamorphosis: on contact with hot oil, wiry-stiff bean threads
instantly turn into a tangle of white, crispy noodles. It was a riot
Aunty Liz and their daughter, Dawn, home for the holidays
from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, arrived. We
congratulated Dawn, who was recently honored with a Na Koa Award --
and a wooden koa bowl - for being UH football team's manager. Liz, the
cooking phenom, brought a platter mounded
with pork hash stuffed won ton
and a bag of caramel-mochi crunch treats; Wally, his
humor; and Dawn, her huge Aloha spirit. Uncle Wally
and Uncle Wayne (Shigs) once worked together, and we met them in
1960 at Alana's 1st birthday party, when we met most of you for the
Y from Honolulu, Cassie with her Kiwi
beau, Ethan, fresh from their holiday trip to Colorado
arrived, toting huge platters of savory nishime, a Japanese
vegetable dish made out of shiitake mushrooms, carrots, daikon
(radish), gobo (burdock), imo (Japanese potato), kombu
(seaweed, tied in a knot), takenoko (bamboo shoots), renkon
(lotus root) and kamaboko (fish cakes), which is an important part of the osechi-ryoori, the traditional food prepared for the holiday.
I hope Blanche will teach me how to make this tasty dish. Its
preparation is time-consuming and labor-intensive, but oh, so worth
Aunty Connie and Tiffany, who has blossomed into a
willowy beauty, arrived with a
tasty bread and melted Brie cheese platter and a basket of crackers
with an appetizing shrimp dip. Connie and Sue have known
each other for most of their lives, since junior high and high
school in Lakeland, Florida. They linked up again over 20
years ago when they found themselves together in Southern
California, becoming bridge partners and the best of friends with
Wayne and Sue.
Kisa, with a vase of
fragrant and beautiful roses -- including the rare blue one --
and calla lillies, and Uncle
arrived with a pan heaped with teriyaki beef and a platter of
oranges and kamaboko (fishcakes). Right behind them were Loreen
and Kent with a platter of
crab-stuffed won ton and baby Kyle, who, for a baby, travels very
light. What? No, gigantic diaper bag? No play
The foyer was beginning
to take on its characteristic Hawai`i appearance when we all get
the giveaway that these are folks with Hawai`i roots?
Last but not least to
arrive were Uncle
Larry and Aunty
Bobbie with teriyaki beef-vegetable
remoulades and mild and spicy kinpira (shredded gobo -
burdock root that symbolizes energy) and Brian
with an ice chest filled with fresh oysters and Absolut vodka.
O & Freddy
B ran back and forth through
the doggie door, raspily greeting each of you before they finally
decided to be a part of the festivities, especially when they
discovered that some of you are food-droppers.
were so pleased to have all of you over, and that you embraced the
spirit of the day -- and the new year - with us by heartily
celebrating the New Year as a whole family with lots of fellowship,
lightheartedness and camaraderie, and tons of food: New
Year's Spread -
Serious Island Grinds.
Thanks to the
puzzlers for finishing up the
bear puzzle. Wow, that wasn't as easy as it looked. Like
us, those bears all look alike. <wink>
Congratulations to the
Cranium game winners: Samara, Jonathan, Aunty Faith, and Iain.
Please call us when you are in town to use your L&L gift
certificates. We'll walk over and meet you there for some
chicken katsu. 'Ono, you know.
We thank you for all the
food -- and the leftovers. I think none of us will be cooking
for the next few days.
Until next time, may the
mochi stick to the roof of your mouth, sit heavily at the bottom of
your stomach, and its symbolic round circle remain in your consciousness throughout the year.
May you keep returning
to where you, your family, and your ancestors come from, be it by
tradition, thought, or actually flying home to
May the moon and sun,
represented by the two stacked mochi, remind you to think of life
as a series of interrelated circles, especially the 'ohana
(family) circle that gathers in, supports, nurtures, and prays
May you vividly
remember our prayer
circle on this, the first
day of 2002, when together we sent up our prayers in support of
each other's most desired accomplishments.
May you keep sending
your prayers upward throughout the year.
Be sure to click
on tomorrow's journal entry to see the declared and desired
accomplishments that will be completed by 2003, with all of our
And last but not least,
here's another way to view the New Year's Day photos, all at once,
or individually. Enjoy!
Album I: New Year's Day, 2002
Hawai`i - California 'Ohana Greets In the New Year, Island-Style
Album II: More New Year's Day, 2002 Photos
Additions from Aunty
"Life is a Gift."
you a bright new day and year,
P.S. If you would
like to share a portion of yourself with words, in response to
this journal entry, you may do it here.
only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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