Here is this week’s Colleen’s 2019 Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 121, “Slow & Work,” #SynonymsOnly
January 12 to 20, 2019, a group of family members from West Coast of the U.S.A. traveled to Hong Kong to celebrate my nephew’s wedding, a joyous begging of a new journey. It was a marathon ceremony of playing Chinese traditional games when the groom picked up the bride in the morning. The games were set by the bridesmaids and responded by the groom and best men. Only when all the games were responded, the door was open for the groom to pick up the bride. Then a modern church wedding and garden cake ceremony were held in the afternoon, and a nine-course Chinese banquet was served in the evening when the bride and mother-in-law (my sister) changed their gowns four times.
Amy’s theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week is Celebration.
December is a month of celebration for me and my family. We observe the advent which is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for Christmas–the birth of Christ. It begins four weeks and Sundays before Christmas and continues until Christmas. The preparation includes lighting an Advent wreath, setting up a Christmas tree and decorations.
Last week, December 8th and 9th, 2018 – the second weekend of December, Our Community Choir represents George Frideric Handel’s (1685 – 1759) Messiah. Messiah is a sacred oratorio. An oratorio is a musical composition for choir, orchestra and soloists. It differs from opera because it is a concert piece and not staged with sets, costumes and props. Handel composed the music Messiah in 24 days. The text was a selection from the King James version of the Bible compiled by Charles Jennens, a musician/poet. Messiah is a majestic musical edifice and a popular favorite around the world.
My favorite piece is “For unto Us a Child is Born.” 4.12 minutes.
The third weeks, we get together with different groups of friends for celebration.
The week of Christmas we go to church and spend time with our immediate and extended family.
I was away from home for three weeks helping my daughter to take care of my first granddaughter. While I was gone, my husband did several home improvement projects. I came back to a brighter and lighter color of the interior of the house. He also scrubbed the tiles and put shiny sealant on the front porch. There are still many projects that he will continue to do to make our home look nicer. He enjoys walking around the house and sees his nice touch everywhere.
As a mini celebration, we went to a restaurant for a special treat. He ordered his favorite dish of prime rib, the large cut. He had his regular drink of rum and diet coke. I’m not a drinker, so my he helped me order a glass of wine – Sangria. The wine that we once had when we were in Spain. Perhaps my husband ordered the wine for himself there because I didn’t have any recollection of it. The wine was very sweet at the restaurant, and it was served with ice and some citrus pieces. I had never had wine with ice in it. I took the ice pieces out and put them in another glass. The wine was so sweet that it tasted like fruit juice.
The restaurant was decorated in autumn theme with Raggedy Anne and Andy. There were pumpkins, autumn leaves, and roosters (I don’t know why roosters). I like the different shades of orange color of autumn. It was a pleasant night out for us.
“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Waiting is not a bad thing; it can bring its own joy – the thrill of achievement” – David Jeremiah
Mt. Adams, Yakima County/Skamania County, Washington USA
Mercy and Will went cross-country skiing on Mt. Adams, in Yakima County / Skamania County, Washington USA. It is 12,280 feet elevation. They drove up to a campsite to camp, then hiked up to the top of the mountain. They wanted to reach the top of the mountain to see the sunrise. They did the timing of hiking. It was worth the effort of hiking and waiting. The magical moment came as the sun arose. The thrill and the joy were indescribable. The emotion of such achievement could only expressed by the celebration of love.
Mercy hiking, trying to keep up with Will and Luke
The sun started to rise
The magical moment
Mercy, Will and Luke on top of Mt. Adams
They skied down to the campsite with confidence and pride.
We used to have barbecue often with my husband’s best friend Randy. He died of mountain bike accident eighteen months ago. After Randy passed away, my husband seemed to lose interest in having a barbecue. I’m not sure if he was not motivated to do it because Randy was not around anymore, or if we do, it would bring back the memory of him.
Anyway, we had an enjoyable barbecue on a quiet Sunday night. It was done as a celebration and a reward for doing our home improvement. We did house painting in the previous week but took last week off. It felt good going to the gym for four days and watched movies at night.
2014 Merlot – a glass of red wine to go with the Ribeye Steak
Lynton made homemade potato chips
Barbecue a 1.85 pounds Ribeye Steak
I could only eat 2 ounces. Lynton didn’t mind finish the rest of the steak
We will resume the house painting tomorrow (Monday) with enthusiasm and energy.
I am excited and thankful that Mercy and Will are having their first baby.
Back in January this year, I called my daughter Mercy and talked about visit them in the following month. They checked their calendar and gave us a couple dates. Then we picked the last week in March to visit them.
The time I called was when Mercy first found out that she was pregnant. She wanted to tell us in person, not just on the phone. Mercy and Will were excited that we were going to see them. They planned a surprise to convey the good news.
Between January and March, Mercy was doing some decluttering. Decluttering is something I do as an ongoing project. But somehow a little bird told me something else was going on. In one of the conversations, I couldn’t hold my curious feeling any longer.
“Mercy, are you pregnant?” I asked.
She tried to distract my attention by talking about something else. I went along with the conversation.
At the meantime, I had this urge to tell my husband something. I was holding this urge for a week, but couldn’t hold any longer.
“I think Mercy is pregnant!” I said to my husband.
One week before our trip to Portland, Mercy called. Then she suggested that we skyped each other. During the skype time, Mercy and Will revealed that Mercy was pregnant, and showed us the ultrasound films. We also learned that her due date is September 19. She said she was going to wait, but couldn’t wait even for one more week. She decided to skype and gave us the exciting news face to face. We talked for a long time, then gave each other virtual group hugs before saying good bye.
Time has gone by so quickly. It’s May already. My husband and I are going to Portland to spend Mother’s Day with Mercy and Will. It will be a wonderful time for all of us.
Saturday, January 28, 2017 is Chinese New Year. Since it is celebrated by many Southeast Asian Countries, it is also referred to as Lunar New Year.
According to the Lunar Calendar, there are 12 Chinese Zodiac signs. Each sign is represented by an animal. 2017 is the year of Rooster. Some Chinese, especially the older generation, believe in the Zodiac and look for what the year will bring to their lives.
Dragon Dances in Hong Kong visited businesses wishing them prosperous!
I visited my family in Hong Kong during one of the Chinese New Year.
The Current Gregorian calendar is the internationally accepted civil calendar that was first adopted in 1582. The Gregorian calendar adds one leap day on February 29 every four years.
The Chinese calendar uses the phases of the moon to determine its months and days of the month. The first day of the month is always the new moon; the 15th day of the month is always the full moon.
There are 29 days or 30 days in a lunar month. This would mean a 12-month year would have 354 days. As a result, to keep months and holidays in line with the seasons, the Chinese calendar requires a “leap month” to be inserted about every two or three years.
Between the 11th month of this Chinese calendar year to the 11th month of following year, if there is 13 moon phases, a leap month will be added. The leap month do not fall on the same month each appearance. It is added when there is a 13 moon phases. The name of the leap month is the same name as the prior month.