Halloween Epilogue

I had inadvertently been on Skype for seven hours the day before. Homesickness is just that, you are sick for home. It was Halloween day, and I should have been enjoying myself but instead felt sick inside. I was hoping going to an antique fair would be a big enough distraction. It wasn’t.

Calling home is not the antidote. While walking home I Facetime my son, Jack. You know you are an empty nester when you are calling your kids for help.

Vvvrrrooommmmm-“Hi mom, what’s up?!” immediately I know something is up because he should not sound so chipper. He is at a friend’s house watching scary movies. I quickly end the conversation.

As I walk into my building, I am joined by a mom (digging for her key) and two small children. It is sprinkling outside and they have on boots and colorful raincoats like you see on British t.v. The two year old looks at me and smiles and starts jumping and saying “twik u tweet!” Her English pronunciation is great. The mom bows. She begins speaking Japanese. I can tell she is asking if coming at 7:30 is ok. The preschooler is shy and hiding behind his mom’s leg, but as I crouch down to get on their level the little one comes up and waves. “Matta ne!” {see you later} I say as they get into the elevator. This is the antidote for homesickness.

I take a walk. When I come back again I walk in with a mom and one little boy. She begins to apologize that she cannot make trick or treating. “Ima daijyafu desuka?” {Is now ok?} I ask. A smile grows and bowing begins. I race upstairs as they take the elevator. Ping pong. {The Japanese say the doorbell says ping pong.} When I open the door a tiny voice says perfectly for a three year old “trick or treat”. I tell him he can shout it out. I know Japanese children can be very energetic and loud. But this is different. When I give him the snack sized Snickers it fills his hand. I encourage the mom to bring the big sister by after she comes back from kindergarten. I know it is relief as well as gratitude that her grin expresses.

My evening of Halloween visitors was the perfect remedy for homesickness. I got to meet my neighbors. I got to teach children. I got to laugh and get down on my knees and look little faces in the eye. Everyone was so appreciative. What I didn’t expect was that many brought a gift to give me! Many didn’t bring a container to put the treat in. Next year I will put that on the flyer. I know next year I will be greeted with more “trick or treat”s than konnichiwas. Who knows maybe I will get some apartment dwellers to join me and the kids will have more than one doorbell to ring

.IMG_1397 IMG_1395 IMG_1385 IMG_1386  IMG_1432 IMG_1384IMG_1433 This is how the evening ended. A half empty bowl of American snack size Snickers, Three Muskateers, Milkyways, M&M’s, various treats FROM the treaters, and a box from home.

IMG_1434Later I discovered this note in the bag of apples.  I had noticed that a mom had put name tags with their apartment number on them with this same picture.  I have great neighbors.


6 thoughts on “Halloween Epilogue

  1. Angie, I enjoy reading your posts. These Halloween pictures were particularly sweet. I’m sure you miss your boys but you’ll come away with such wonderful memories and friends. I envy you your adventure! Kathi

    Date: Sat, 1 Nov 2014 01:53:10 +0000 To: asako1_8@msn.com


    • Hi Mrs. Housley,
      This is the first time I’m checking out your blog. I’m doing it on my mom’s computer. And take a sketching class – it is worth it – it is super cool. I really like your writing!
      Ellie (via Michele)


  2. Ang, I’m so glad you had Halloween and sent the pictures. They made me smile and kinda teary, too. Seamus and I have always enjoyed Halloween when we were “at home”, but couldn’t have it at our apartment. Some of the staff dressed up to serve dinner, so that was fun, and one resident who is usually sort of reserved wore a T-shirt that said, “this isn’t a costume. I AM a witch!” Things change as time goes on….I’m glad you have the sense to make the best of it!


  3. These pics just made my day! They made me a little emotional also, as I can see the happiness in your face, handing out candy to the kids. You were getting to as you said “teach”, and get to see kids, which I know you miss. Also your own “kids”. (men) I just think it’s awesome you made that happen! You are an inspiration for anyone going through homesickness. Maybe they will reach out and make something good happen in their situation!!


  4. Like others….this made me teary (OK….so it will be my excuse for the tear-fest i have needed for the past 2 weeks!). You are amazing. Your stories are amazing. Not only do we get a glimpse of your “exotic” life, but we also get a look inside ourselves at our own change, discomfort, and gratitude process. Thank you for the mirror and today’s words of inspiration when i really needed them!


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