Sunday, February 1, 2009


The Lindseys were my ‘family’ when I went on a 3-week home stay program with a group from my high school. We were randomly matched with a family who have signed up to take in a Japanese student. Now 20 years later, I still return to visit them, now a family, every chance we get, which is not as often as we would like to.

On my first visit, I was quickly introduced to Ruth and Brandy, Ruth’s dog. They lived in a charming little house next to the Lindseys. I would go over to Ruth’s house to play a tune on her magic piano–the kind with paper rolls. As you pedal, you can play anything from Joplin to a bit of Chopin and Morzart, even some Schumann. I loved spending my afternoons in her home. She gave me some vintage buttons while I borrowed her sewing machine to make some purses out of old ties.

On my wedding day, my dear friends drove almost 1000 miles to join us. When the wedding is your own, there is never enough time to visit and connect with all the friends who had come so far. After, they left, I opened up a small box with a note saying, “Dear Makiko & Scott, ………..Ruth died shortly before your wedding invitation arrived. We want to give you this dish to remember her and the wonderful time you had with us. You probably had desserts in her home on one of her ruby dishes. We thought this one with the hearts is appropriate for the happy occasion……”

I know very little about antiques. I know nothing about this ruby dish, like what era it was made or what it’s worth now. It doesn’t matter, really. I love it. In fact, it’s one of my favorite possessions. It means more to me than the price that an antique dealer can quote for me. Many people come and go throughout our lives. Some we don’t even remember their names. I’ve met many wonderful people and said many good-bye’s. When I see my beautiful ruby dish, the floodgate of memory opens up……the memory of happy times I’ve spent with my dear friends.

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