Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Umbrella Man

This morning, the forecast was for rain.  I watched my kids frantically looking for umbrellas.  What they were forgetting was to look outside-- beautiful blue sky.  I told them that if it started to rain or snow(ugh!), I will come and get them by car or bring them the umbrella.  I noticed that Mona's favorite umbrella was broken.  It has a wooden fireman on the handle and it is fire engine red.  I am going to try to fix it though--it is just too good to throw away.  

When I was about 6 years old in Japan, every now and then, we would see "the umbrella man".    He would set up his 'shop' of a little wooden stool and a tool box under the shade of some leafy oak trees.  There was no big fanfare for his arrival, but somehow, everyone knew that he was there.  We kids would go home to retrieve all our broken umbrellas.  By the end of the day, he had fixed them all for just pennies and he would disappear as mysteriously as he appeared.  

I like that.  Japan is known for its 'throw away' mentality.  A man making living by fixing umbrellas--not computers or appliances.  Umbrellas!  It feels like a story of a completely different world altogether.  


1 comment:

Di said...

Umbrella fixers would be good around here - there always seems to be wind with rain and it plays havoc with umbrellas!

I know what you mean about the throw-away society in Japan - I was amazed by the amount of packaging on everything!!