Art wanted me to post what mom loves, too. However, mom had quite a difficult time coming up with her 10. She says she's suffered so much in her young life that she now feels she loves everything and can't choose because she's so content and happy.
It's nice to hear, but with a little coaxing, here's her ten things that keep making her happy.
1. Studying history
It's really extraordinary that she can remember how many shoguns there were in Japan, when they lived, their entire life history and even those of their relatives, what wars were fought in each time period, etc., but she can't remember what she ate the day before.
I have a strong memory as a child of always finding my mother with an open book in her hand, sitting with an erect (Buddhist) posture immersed in her reading. This is after waking up at 4:00 AM to prepare everyone's lunches, going to work, doing laundry, and cooking dinner. She couldn't understand why I didn't want to read Les Miserables when I was in the 4th grade as she did. I suspect that worried her. I don't want to tell her that I still haven't read it. Saw the musical though. Maybe I'll upload the classic on my Kindle.
The whole family is very happy that she loves to cook.
4. Watching the NHK (Japanese TV Broadcasting Company) videos that my aunt tapes for her.
My aunts are all history buffs and support each other's hunger for knowledge. One of my aunts continuously video tapes educational programs for mom.
Her mother taught Ikebana and Ikenobo flower arrangement and passed on a love of flowers to her. She in turn has passed that love on to me.
6. Listening to music
Another strong childhood memory I have is of mom singing while she cooked and did laundry. She does have a beautiful voice. Perhaps her genes were passed on to her grandson, Shawn who is a professional singer and musician.
I'm not sure how good she is, but she is determined.
8. Spending time with family
She doesn't see them enough, but really loves to have everybody around.
9. Chocolate fountains
I have no idea what it is about chocolate fountains that captured her fancy so much. However, she happens to really LOVE the idea of dunking things into chocolate.
10. Plum wine
She keeps telling everybody she's not an alcoholic. She isn't. I can testify to that. However, her whole family has an uncanny ability to hold (and enjoy) their liquor...
This Christmas, my cousin and daughter both gave mom chocolate covered liquors. That nicely took care of #9 and #10.