IMR: 1999: January: 01 — Friday, 11:29 a.m.
Our Apartment, Makiki, Hawaii

Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 11:29:12 -1000 (HST)
From: Ryan Kawailani Ozawa <>
To: Myra Ozawa <>
Bcc: Jennifer A Ozawa <>
Subject: Re: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year to you, mom!

Church was... exciting. We got there early (it was 11:30 p.m., not 11:00 p.m.), and got to go out with the church ladies and the substitute minister and watched them burn the old omamori. I contributed the one from my car and Jen's purse, of course.

Katie, though, was tired but didn't sleep, fussed and whined, and -- when things just started with the chanting and drumming -- she threw up on Jen. We ran to the car and cleaned up and nursed her a while, not sure if we were staying. Dad showed up late, and heading in he said he'd understand if we left.

But, we stuck it out, or rather, Jen decided to give the evening one last chance, and we went back. Katie was still grumpy, but they were chanting "Ha Ra Han Nya Mi Ta" _ten_ times, and even Katie was no match for that constant drone. She fell asleep, Jen got to sit down, and exhausted and rung out we both sat there looking at Katie stretched out upside down and marveled at the blessing of her presence in our lives this New Year's Eve.

The whole time the fireworks were going off like mad outside. During the chants, it was a battle between the congregation and the good citizens of Waipahu as to who could make the most noise. Even the drummer guy got lost at one point, ringing the gong several verses early and throwing everyone off.

The chanting finished, and we pretended to listen to the minister's New Year's sermon, which was entirely in Japanese. Then we all went up and got thumped by the accordion book, which woke Katie, but although she was whiny she wasn't inconsolable. We even went out and gave the church bell a whack each to literally ring in the new year.

After getting bean cakes, mochi and our new omamori (and I picked some up for you and grandma, of course), we headed home.

I have _never_ seen the smoke as bad as it was yesterday. You always get a haze or fog over New Year's, but last night, my headlines were converted immediately into ineffective bars of smoke only ten or so yards long. You couldn't see much further than that. Cars were driving 25MPH along Kamehameha Highway, many with their hazard lights flashing and high beams on. All I could do was watch and follow the lane marker bumps as they crept into view only a few feet from my hood.

The freeway wasn't much better, especially through Pearl City and (for some reason) the airport area. More hazard lights, more slow moving cars, but now there were a few daredevils zipping around and through as if the fog wasn't there.

Suffice it to say we were glad to get home in one piece. We were exhausted, it was nearly 2 a.m., and we went straight for the bed after coming through the door.

Except Katie wouldn't sleep. She tossed and turned, but never got completely out. And, though I didn't pay it much heed when I noticed yesterday afternoon during our visit, she was warm. Jen took her temperature, and she was running 102. She also kept swallowing and occasionally gagging.

Soon it was a familiar scene, Jen and I out of our minds arguing whether or not to go to the emergency room. Though Jen (unfortunately) had never been wrong before, I won out this time on the argument that an emergency room early New Year's Day is probably not the best place to be, especially since Katie was already worked up after being kept awake for nearly 18 hours.

Eventually she had a bowel movement, her fever dropped, and she sort-of slept. We sort-of slept too. Of course she woke up disgustingly early... For two hours this morning we struggled and grumbled trying to get her to sort-of sleep more, but eventually we gave up and got up. Katie was still warm, but now we discovered what has since become her primary symptom: coughing and a runny nose.

She's got a cold, a flu, or some kind of bug. Her coughing is even a little phlegmy. (Is that an adjective?) But, the little trooper that she is, she's pretty much oblivious to it. And after Jen and I adjusted our frustrated morning attitudes, we realized that Katie was actually happy and active, crawling and squealing like she always does.

We'll have to take her to see the doctor, but we don't think it's ER serious any more. In a way, I'm actually intrigued (if not excited), as this almost seems too long in coming -- her first cold. A rite of passage of sorts, commemorated with cute, little girl coughs and little girl snot.

We're about to leave to visit dad and grandma O. Maybe dad can take her for a walk on the beach again, and Jen and I can nap? Hope springs eternal...

So anyway, that's the news. Sorry I rambled. Provided I'm not doing slave labor tomorrow, you'll probably see us bright and early!



© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 01 January 1999 · Last Modified: 05 January 1999