November’s a flash in the rear-view mirror, and summer already a distant memory. All too soon (not soon enough?) the new year will be here. It has gotten chillier: I am curled up with electric blanket and space heater as I watch ice skating. And, as Japan early embraced Christmas, I have been enjoying the lights, the displays and Christmas carols for weeks now. And I’m delighting in them, though I am still clinging to fall with determination.
And I’m still not good at staying put and relaxing. Oh, I can still be supremely lazy in the evenings. But evenings are pretty much all I allow myself. Making up for lost time, I tell myself. Even on the weekends I’m in town, I try to stay out and busy. This past weekend saw me revisit one of my favorite places in Fukuoka (all of Japan, really), Nanzoin Temple. I’ve been twice before but wanted to see fall foliage. Alas, it was a wet day, and the leaves weren’t as amazing as at Miyajima, but there were few people and the grounds were quite lovely in the rain. It makes me happy to know places as serene as this are less than half an hour away.
I have two weekends left in Fukuoka this year. This weekend will see me start the process for new glasses, and hopefully visit either a castle town (Karatsu) or a famous shrine (Miyajidake), each about 50 minutes away. Next weekend promises to be more laid back, but social, a good thing before I undertake the long trip back to the U.S. for Christmas. Then it’s back here for a day and a bit before I’m off to Tokyo for New Years (though NYE will actually be spent in Mie prefecture, ringing in 2017 with Granrodeo, of course).
2016 has been a tough year for so many I know, but aside from work stress, it’s been actually been a good year for me. I hope to carry that good with me into next year, and leave the stress behind. And with various trips and another madcap concert tour to look forward to, I’m sure it’ll be a good year. (And I’m sure I’ll write a bit more before 2016 disappears. Hopefully. I should get better about using this space).