When I was 7 years old, Aunt Hazel came back from a trip to Japan with an exquisite child-sized kimono of aqua silk woven with pink and silver Chrysanthemums. The moment I pulled that kimono from it’s box, and my heart skipped a beat or two, and immediately Japan became the first destination on my bucket list. Of course, no one called it a bucket list in 1968 but that is what is was.
The little kimono had a long history and was well loved. At first, I wore it with it’s obi as a costume and later I wore it as a bathrobe. For years. By the time I went to college, the floor length kimono was shin length but it hadn’t lost any of it’s glamorous appeal. Rom, The Consort, still laughs about that robe when he remembers it because he is such a good sport.
During my junior year, in the middle of a Saturday night, the fire alarm went off. Dorm residents filed out into the chilly night. In the crowd were a few men all wearing women’s terry cloth robes and looking at their feet. Then, out came Rom wearing The Aqua Kimono. A round of applause went up all around. I remember him laughing with everyone else. Now you know just one of the reasons I married him.
Tomorrow, finally after 45 years, I get to cross Japan off my bucket list. It’s been a long time coming. Just last week, we decided to make a trip to Japan to see the cherry blossoms and take a bath in an onsen. Check and check. It is all very improtmptu and some of our plans aren’t even finalized yet (like our return date) but we are going. We are making the leap. It’s not a business trip. There are no family obligations. I’m just going to the land of my dreams and will take Aunt Hazel with me in my heart
She started it all, after all.
Photo by Dave Maschka via FLicker