Tuesday, January 11, 2022

1月10日(月曜日)2022

    新年が明けて滑るように日が過ぎていきます。今日は成人式で祝日。お昼前に慌てて国旗を門口に掲揚しました。元旦も祝日でしたが大雪だったので旗日であることも忘れてしまっていました。

    私が子供の頃は祝祭日はどの家も国旗を玄関先に掲げたものですが、今は見ることがほとんどなくなりました。
昭和の名残りを引きずって時代錯誤なのかもしれませんが、祝日に国旗を出すと何かお祝いムードになります。

    長くいたボストンでは星条旗を掲げている家が何件もあったし、アイルランド系の人はSt.Patrick's Day(3/17 聖パトリックの日)にあらゆるものをアイルランドのシンボルカラーの緑一色にしていました。日本も米国も昨今様々な変化が起きていますが、独自性(identity)を尊重しながら社会を共に生きていく。悪いことではないと思います。

    お散歩途中にお立ち寄りくださるNさんから今年も多賀大社の干支の寅をいただきました。可愛いけどどこかキリッと締まった面持ちです。

    The days go by so quickly since the new year started. Today is a celebration of Coming-of-Age Day. I raised the national flag at the entrance. Although the first day of January was the first celebration day, I completely forgot because I was busy eliminating heavy snow.

    When I was a child, every house raised the national flag on these celebration days, but I seldom see it nowadays. I might be a person of anachronism, but I like the mood of celebration by raising the national flag.

    I saw many houses raise Stars and Stripes in Boston, and Irish people celebrate St.Patrick's Day on March 17th with green color which is a symbol color of Ireland. The way of thinking has been changing these days in both the US and Japan, but I believe that living together while still respecting one's identity is important.

    I received a small bell of a zodiac tiger from Taga Taisha from Mr. N, who often stops by on the day of his walk. It is so cute but he has a firm face if you look closely.


Sunday, January 2, 2022

1月1日(土曜日)2022

    雪の大晦日と新年元旦となりましたが、今日から新しい始まりです。昨日も今日も物理的には特に変わりはないのに、年が変わるというのは不思議なもので全てが一新する感じです。お正月の設えをしてお節も久しぶりに作ると気分はやはり引き締まります。床の間の生け花は友達のHさんが活けてくださいました。

    二年続けてコロナ禍での幕開けですが早く終息して平穏な日常が戻ることを祈るばかりです。

    Although it turned snowy on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, today is the first day of 2022. Physically yesterday and today are not very different but mentally everything turned out to be very fresh when we have a new calendar. I displayed things and cooked special food for the new year, then I felt energized. The flower arrangement was kindly done by my friend, H. 

    This is the second consecutive time the year has opened amid the corona pandemic. I really wish the corona pandemic will be over and we get back to a peaceful daily life.







Thursday, December 30, 2021

12月30日(木曜日)2021

    年も押し迫った本日、友人のHさんがご主人とお正月の花を生けに来てくださり帰りに運良く彦根のスーパーまで車に乗せていってくださいました。買い物を済ませ停留所でバスを待つも30分経っても来ない。次の時刻は2時間後。この雪で時間通りには運行していない可能性大。あてのないバスを待つより歩くのが賢明と出発することに。

    問題はしこたま買い込んで重くなったバックパックと手にはエコバッグと財布の入った手提げかばん。しかも、いつも自転車で走る歩道は除雪されておらず完全にアウト。つまり歩くのは車道。もう一つ、雪道用に履いてきた長靴の右つま先が痛くて仕方がない。幸いお天気は回復して遠くの山々を眺めながらひたすら左右の足を前へ出していれば家には帰れると前方を見ようとするも、背中の荷物が肩に食い込んで重く視線は下ばかり。

    江戸時代の人に思いを馳せながら途中のローソンでまずは一休み。座りたいけど椅子はなく立ったままコーヒーと肉まんを食べてまた出発。ごぼうとネギを突っ込んだ背中の荷物が妙にリズムを作っていました。

    多賀駅でベンチに腰掛け二度目の休息。若者が3人雪遊びをしているのが楽しそう。休んだ後のカバンは一層重く感じます。家に帰って重さを計ったら9キロ近くでした。

    Today is almost the end of the year, and my friend, H, came to arrange flowers for the new year with her husband. On her way back home, she kindly offered to give a ride to the grocery store in Minami-Hikone by car. After the grocery store, I was waiting for the bus to get home at the bus stop for about 30 mins but no bus came. The next bus was scheduled to come two hours later and it was uncertain to come due to the traffic condition caused by the previous snow. I decided to go home by foot.

    I had several problems, though. The first one was my backpack. It was very heavy with groceries. The second one was about the way I walk. Usually I take the sidewalk by bicycle but it was full of snow. The last problem was my right toe hurts because my right rain boots don't fit well. Fortunately it was a fine day and the mountains were so beautiful but I couldn't enjoy the view because my backpack was so heavy and it dug into my shoulder which made me look down on my way.

    I was thinking of the people who were walking in the same way two hundred years ago in Japan. Since there was a convenience store, I took a short break to have coffee and Pork bun. While I was walking, I could hear some noise but it made a certain rhythm inside my backpack which was full of groceries.

    I found benches at Taga Taisha station so I took a second break. I was watching three young male people playing with snow. It looked so pleasant. My backpack was very heavy, especially after taking a break. I scaled it at home and it weighed almost 9 kg (19.8 lb).










Monday, December 27, 2021

12月27日(月曜日)2021

    大したことにならないようにとの密やかな願いも叶わず一昨日から降り続いた雪はものすごい積雪量となってしまいました。絵馬通りは融雪装置で何分か毎に水が噴き出て道路に雪が積もらないようになっているのですが、大した効き目もなく、車の轍(わだち)のところだけ雪が溶けてあとは水を含んだ重い雪が真ん中と両側に残っています。朝から表の雪かきをしていると勤めに出る人たちが長靴で雪のないところをせっせと歩いていかれます。見ると多くの人の手には短いシャベル。なるほど、雪かきできていないところを進む場合は自分で雪かきをしなければならないので、それを考えてのことかと地元ならではの知恵に感心しました。
 
    さて我が家の心配は屋根の雪です。瓦の修理を今年中にと瓦屋さんにも相談していたのですが、諸事情で来年の2月に延期されたため、ズレている瓦や折れている桁がこの1メートル近い大雪でどんなことになるか心配でたまりません。

    お正月の多賀大社への参拝客にもこの雪の影響は大きいでしょう。

    Despite my wish not to get very much snow, an awful amount of snow accumulated this morning. There is a snow melting device on the road and the water spouts out on and off to melt the snow but it doesn't work very well with this amount of snow. Heavy snow remains at the center and both sides of the street and only the part where cars pass has no snow. While I was shoveling the snow on the street in the morning, many commuters were passing by with snow boots and I found that many of them were carrying short shovels with their hands. Probably because they felt they might need to eliminate snow by themselves as they passed through and I was impressed by their idea.

    Well, I am very much worried about the snow on the roof. The roof tiles are very old and they are slipping down year by year. I was consulting with a local roofer. At first, they expected to fix the roof in Dec. but later for some reason, it was postponed to February. I am hoping that this heavy snow will not damage the roof.

    I am also afraid that this snow will remain for new year and many people might give up on visiting the shrine.

 





Thursday, December 23, 2021

12月23日(木曜日)2021

    昼が短く夜が一番長い冬至の翌日。今朝はきれいに晴れ上がり久しぶりにロングコースの散歩にでました。午前7時過ぎは厳しい冷え込み。多賀大社では初詣のために大きく作られた参拝枠の外で打つ柏手の音も乾いた響きで身の引き締まる思いでした。

    遠く琵琶湖西岸に見える比良山系の山々は白く、多賀町と米原町それに岐阜県をまたがる鈴鹿山系の霊仙山の薄い雪化粧の美しい姿はしばし立ち止まって見惚れるほど。目的地「きまぐれ市」の野菜自動販売機でトマト(300円)菜花(100円)それにみかん(200円)を買って、帰り道ではあんなに寒かった体もホカホカになっていました。味噌作り用の大豆を持ってきてくださったNさんからの立派な「多賀にんじん」も一緒にカメラに入りました。

    Today is the next day of the winter solstice. It was a clear day, so I went for a long walk after a long time, but the temperature in the early morning was so low. At Taga Taisha (shrine), they have already set the place where many visitors will come at the beginning of the new year. I stood outside the board and greeted God as one does at the shrine.

    Mountains which were visible at the west side of Lake Biwa were covered with snow. Ryozen Mountain which crosses over Taga town, Maibara town and Gifu prefecture were also covered in snow lightly and it was so beautiful. I was amazed by this view. At the vegetable vending machine in Kimagure Market, I got tomatoes, rape blossoms and mandarin oranges. My body felt very cold in the beginning of walking, but it got warm on the way back home. I took a vegetable photo, and I added "Taga carrots" which were from Ms. Nishizawa who brought soybeans for Miso making in the end of January,







Wednesday, December 22, 2021

12月20日(月曜日)2021

    多賀中学校の評議員を仰せつかっているので、先日他の評議員の方達と一緒に生徒たちの給食をいただき、その後教室でいくつかの授業を参観しました。母校といえど校舎は移転しお昼も私の時はお弁当でしたから、高台の気持ち良い校舎のランチルームで整然と給食を食べる中学生の姿に年月の経過を感じましたが、間違いなく皆多賀の生徒たちであり親しみをもって様子を見せてもらいました。

    給食は小学校が学校で作っているのに対し、中学は業者に委託していると聞いていたのであまり期待していなかったのですが、ご飯が温かくて美味しく野菜スープも熱々なのに感激。ご飯の量は大盛り、中盛り、小盛りと選べます。メニューはこの日ハンバーグかミートボールのどちらかを選択。写真では少なそうに見えますが、私にとってはまあまあの量(成長期の男子生徒はどうかな)でした。コロナ禍で全員がランチルームに入ることを避け2、3年が先、1年生がその後、それぞれ20分という決して十分な時間ではありませんが、二つに分けた状況では仕方ないことだと思いました。

    さて、授業参観は英数社会音楽など各学年の教室を回ってそれぞれ7分程度見せていただいたのですが、板書をなさっていたのは社会の先生だけであとはみなスマートボード?で授業を進めていらっしゃいました。国語が見たいと思って昨日再度行って廊下から見た教室では逆にほとんどの先生が板書で授業。新しい機材を有効に使っての教え方に感心しましたが、それでも先生個人の持ち味や教え方でクラスの雰囲気や生徒の反応が違うのは興味深かったです。先生と生徒との交流も一方通行でなかったのはよかったのですが、生徒の教室内での先生への話しかけが殆どタメ口だったのに正直驚きました。気持ちはそれでいいのですが立場的にはどうなのかな…と。

    Since I was appointed to be a member of the board of trustees at Taga Junior High School, I went to the school to eat School Lunch and followed by class visits in several classrooms with other members. Although I graduated from the same school, it was relocated from the original place and School Lunch was not provided when I was a student, so there are many differences from then and now, but the students are all from the Taga area and I felt very close to them.

    The School Lunch at the Elementary School is made in the school but in contrast the lunch in Junior High is made by a lunch service provider and brought from outside the school, so I didn't expect much. However, the meal was not bad. Warm rice came with hot vegetable soup and they tasted good. Students can take the bowl of rice among three different amounts (large, medium and small portions). As for the main dish, on this day, there are two choices, meatballs or hamburg steak. Personally, I was ok with this meal and amount but I wondered if it might be not enough for the male students who are in the middle of growing up. Due to avoiding too many students in the lunchroom because of coronavirus, the first twenty minutes are reserved for senior students and the next twenty minutes is for junior students.

    Well, after lunch, we visited several classrooms to observe Math, English, Social studies and Music class. Most teachers were using smartboard (?) to teach their subject and only one teacher wrote on a blackboard with chalk. It was interesting that each class had a different atmosphere and students' reaction depending on the teacher's method and nature. I was glad to see that there were some interactions between teacher and students and the students in the classroom were acting. The students in the classroom were not acting in a passive way. However, they were mostly talking to their teacher in a very casual manner which surprised me. I cannot judge whether it is good or bad but it is very different from my school days.

      



Saturday, December 18, 2021

12月17日(金曜日)2021

    日帰りで埼玉まで行った帰りの新幹線は19時半過ぎの「ひかり661号」。自由席の二人掛けを占領できるほど楽でしたが、豊橋あたりでスピードダウン。車内アナウンスで強風のためブレーキをかけながら走行していることを知り、更に岐阜羽島を過ぎて雪で遅れが生じているとのこと。幸い近江鉄道の終電にも間に合い無事多賀大社前駅に到着。雪をめぐり憂鬱なことはたくさんありますが、今年の初雪に心は密かに踊り、人ひとりいない絵馬通りを歩いて帰宅。会場で買ったスープで本日の締めとしました。

    I left Taga for Urawa in Saitama prefecture to see my friend's stage performance in the morning and took Shinkansen (bullet train) Hikari 661 which departed 19:33 at Tokyo Station on the way back to Taga. It was easy and relaxed in the car but in the Toyohashi area the train ran slower because of the strong wind and after around Gifu-hashima it was delayed because of the snow. I was worried about not catching the last local train from Maibara station to Taga but fortunately I could get on the train and arrived at Taga safely. It was snowing and I could see a beautiful snowy night town although I can imagine lots of problems coming up due to the snow. I walked home from the station through the street where I didn't see any people or cars. I warmed up the retort soup which I bought at the hall which I visited.