Elisabeth’s grand aunt Berni saw all our boxes piled up in the genkan (玄関 or foyer) of the Fowler home the day before we transported them to our new apartment in Hamamatsu. A few days later, she called Elisabeth and remarked about the strips of cloth my parents had used to bind up our boxes. She had thought about it after seeing the boxes and realized that they were a symbol of my parent’s love. And it’s true.
Originally my mom had taken out five suitcases for us to use to transport all our stuff from Honolulu to Hamamatsu. But when we weighed the suitcases by themselves, they each weighed about 9 or 10 pounds. But Japan Airlines has a weight limit of 50 pounds for each piece of packed baggage. That meant the suitcase itself would take up about 20 percent of the allowed weight. Since a box only weighs about 1 pound, it made more sense to use boxes instead of suitcases.
So my mom hunted for boxes for us at supermarkets but couldn’t find any. Finally she went to Ben Franklin (a arts and crafts store) where she found workers putting product on shelves and asked them if she could have the boxes they hadn’t yet finished emptying. Thanks, Mom, for getting our boxes for us!
Then on the eve of our flight, while we were chatting with last minute visitors, my dear mom and dad were busy reinforcing our boxes. My mom had found some old fabric and cut them into rectangles. Then my dad would tie them together and strapped each one in three times (once lengthwise and then twice around the width). If you look carefully, only one box is still strapped up in the picture because I had already removed the strapping of the other boxes by the time I had snapped this photo. But one box was still strapped up. It’s hard to see it (but you can see it if you click on the photo and view the larger version), My dad even fashioned a carrying handle for the box at the top out of the cords.
Thank you so much to my dear parents. I love you so much. Thank you for taking such good care of me all my life. I miss you.