2013年10月1日星期二

Mid-autumn Festival is still wanted…


I am not a festival man and would try hard to get away from the celebrations, especially the traditional ones. I guess most of the younger generation only concern about the non-religious Christmas, Halloween and the Valentine’s Day. I approached this year’s Mid-autumn Festival as those before it – joining the family dinner at my parents’ place on the nearest Saturday before it. So, we celebrated the festival five days before the actual day. It was like a routine of the family, people came, ate, said “Happy Mid-autumn Festival!” and left. This year, the old man did something unusual as we were preparing to leave. He gave me two lie-sees and said, “They’re for your birthday; wish everything goes alright for you. This one’s from me and the other one your mum.” Then, he gave two to my sister and said, “These are for your birthday.”

“But mine is in November…”

“It’s OK, just a bit earlier and it’s close,” he replied.

“Take them,” I said. My sister took them with a bit of hesitation. “Thank Ah Ba; thank Ah Ma.”

The next afternoon, Sunday, I was travelling in the train, trying to recover the missed sleep hours and reassuring myself for declining to join a goodwill festival presents delivery to the poor and old organized by the church when I saw the big signboard of an elderly home through the train window. “That’s the one Uncle Nine told you on the phone two months ago!” - A thought gave me a sharp kick in my mind. I recalled Uncle Nine, a casual old friend I met years ago, called me through a social worker to tell me that he had moved to another elderly home because the last one went busted. I told him I would visit him soon.
 I got off the train in the next stop, feeling that I owed him an apology for forgetting the promise. Just when I hit the main road and was welcomed by the crowds in different directions, I wondered if I had made a right decision. The heat and the humidity further fueled my uneasiness. Nonetheless, I convinced myself that I should keep the promise I made. So, I did some shopping before looking for the elderly home. I got him a box of individually wrapped mini moon-cakes, some bananas, a box of instant 3-in-one Nescafé, two packs of savory biscuits, two vanilla rolls and a takeaway of steamed rice with minced pork and salted fish. 
 I was hopeless in looking for places but finally found the elderly home after searching the whole area for 30 minutes. It was in an old and quiet section of the town, just a 3-minute walk from the busiest area and was surrounded by several big and small elderly homes. Actually, I passed the elderly home a couple of times before I finally spotted it. I could see Uncle Nine sitting on a stool outside the elderly home by the road. I walked to him and waved my hand but he did not seem to recognize me or he might not see anything at all though his eyes were wide open.
I stopped beside him and said, “Uncle Nine, you don’t recognize me?”

He was startled and lost for a couple of seconds. A smile returned to his face and he replied, “No, Mr. X! How nice of you to come visit me!”

“Not at all! Do you live here now? It looks better than the one before. Do you like living here?”

“I’m just waiting here to die. Useless! Old is useless!” he said solemnly. My heart sank.

We started chatting at the entrance of the elderly home, me standing and him sitting on the stool as the other chairs were occupied by other old folks. I passed him the box of moon-cakes and saw gleams of light at the corners of his eyes when he pulled it out of the bag.  We went up to his bed room as it started drizzling. The elderly home had four floors and the inside was like a maze lined with small open cubicles of beds. As Uncle Nine led on, most old folks ignored me, but some stared at me from their beds where their hands were tied to and some seemed trying to speak to me but could not make a sound with a tube dangling from their noses. We talked about anything I could think of, sitting on his bed and in front of an old man who seemed to have frozen in his sitting position for ever. A thunderstorm suddenly came and the lightning filled the ceiling with eerie shadows.
The thunderstorm passed quickly as it came and the rain stopped. I made my excuse to leave and Uncle Nine replied, “I won’t walk you down.”

“No, don’t. Have the steamed rice this evening. It will go off tomorrow.”

“I’ll save it for later this evening. I like it. Has it got soy sauce in it?”

“Yes.”

“That’s great.”

“Bye. I’ll visit you later after you move to the new elderly home.” He told me he was going to move to another elderly home by the end of October.

“Good. Bye.”
 The streets were wet from the rain and the sky was grey. I looked back to the elderly home and saw that all the chairs and stools were not occupied anymore, leaving that one-way road cool and quiet. “Maybe, there’re people who still want and enjoy the Mid-autumn Festival and I may want it more when I walk further down that road,” I said to myself.

On the Mid-autumn Festival day, my supervisor suddenly turned up at work in the morning. She always works on another site on Thursdays so her presence surprised me. She came into my office and reassured me, “Oh, nothing to worry! It’s the Mid-autumn Festival today and I forgot to bring you and others something yesterday. Take two!” She opened a big box of moon-cakes and gestured me to take two out. “It’s a special moon-cake, Chinese custard filling and it’s nice.”
 
 “I’ll give one to my parents,” I answered spontaneously. She left to deliver the moon-cakes and other gifts to my colleagues.  “What a supervisor!” I thought. “She must like the spirit of this festival.”

Maybe because of this special festival mood, I called my father later in the afternoon, “I’m coming home to have dinner with you and mum this evening. Can I make a request to have fried luncheon meat and no BBQ pork, no duck, no others?”

“I’ll prepare two tins of the meat.” I could feel his surprise.

“No, one is enough!”

“OK!” he answered enthusiastically.

“I’ll see you.”
 I left office punctually at 5:45pm (actually 15 minutes late) but was caught up in the festival traffic. It was already 7:35pm when I arrived at my parents’. They were waiting for me and my mum had not had hers yet. She was pleased with my appearance and she seemed well. I did not want to waste any time and start the meal. These days, she only has very brief periods of time during the day when she can eat properly, meaning chewing chopped food with her dentures and swallowing food down without getting choked. Passing 7 o’clock in the evening often means she cannot eat anything until the next morning.
 
 The luncheon meat was exceptionally delicious that evening and I finished more than half of the plate. It was excellent to go with the sweet and sour sauce. They both had some too. They do not have luncheon meat very often now because all their children keep telling them it is bad for their health. I was expecting the extra chicken but I enjoyed it too. Still, we ended up leaving most of the chicken untouched. We had a great time over the dinner table and the old man talked about the Mid-autumn Festivals when I was much younger. I was grateful that my mum had a good appetite and managed to finish the dinner herself. She was in a good mood and spooned some of the food to her cheeks instead. My father yelled, “Take your time, you’re spilling everything on to the floor. Eat and don’t talk. Are you going to sweep it up yourself?” He laughed.
It was a great simple unplanned festival dinner. I believed we all enjoyed it. “How lovely to see her finishing the dinner herself and spilling some to the floor!” I kept ruminating the scene on the bus back home. I gather Mid-autumn Festival is still wanted by many people. We just have to learn their presence.

114 則留言:

  1. Happy belated birthday! I am not a festival-minded person neither. I do not like gift exchange and do not like to big gatherings. Yet I like mid-autumn festival as it is during a nicer weather in the year, not too hot not too cold; it feels just right. By the way, I like luncheon meat as a special treat!!

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    1. me too ! I completely forgot to celebrate it this time !!
      But I am glad to read your sharing Gravel ! You are such a fine young kind hearted man

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    2. Thanks Mia. Autumn is also my favorite season for the same reasons but it is so short in Hong Kong. I particularly like the NOT- humid weather.
      Yes, luncheon meat is a childhood memory icon for me. It's not "healthy" we health-conscious people think it is but it represents the rare luxury we could manage to have at times of scarcity.
      Have a great weekend and enjoy autumn.

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    3. Hi Autumn,
      Thanks that you like the writing but you surely overrated me.
      Hope you are enjoying the autumn in the UK. Leaving falling season?
      Have a great weekend.

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    4. Hi Gravel, Yes leaves are falling and I picked up a few red leaves yesterday....very romantic indeed !! I do love autumn a lot.....: )

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  2. 小猴與家人雖然是身處在以西方文化為主的社會,但我們都不忘記清明節,端午節,中秋節和重陽節等節日,可能因為自己是比較傳統吧!
    Gravel 真懂得敬老,小猴要多向你學習。以前我都有去老人院探“老”友的,但這幾年因事忙,而且有幾個“老”友都已仙遊去了,所以都沒有去的動力了。

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    1. Thanks 小猴 for your kind words which I do not deserved and sorry for the late reply.
      Traditional festival are losing their cultural and social purposes fast here and become merely commercial activities. Old and poor people are the losers in such changes. I'm not really a caring person but just don't want to miss promises.
      Wish a great and happy weekend.

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  3. See? You can do it!
    Just spare some of your time to have a simple lunch and dinner with them can make them very happy.
    I'm a person who can't care less for festivals and holidays, not even Chinese New Year. Maybe, when I'm really old, I'll be expecting and hoping that my child will come home for those festivals ....

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    1. Thanks Crystal and sorry for the late reply.
      As I get older myself I start to appreciate the loneliness of the older people especially my parents. Sadly that we are forever tied down by our own family and work business, the latter in particular!
      I can't imagine myself sitting in my flat waiting to be visited by the young ones in the not too long future ahead.
      Enjoy each and every day. Joyful weekend.

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  4. 身為中國人不該忽視傳統節日的存在,我極喜歡舊社會濃濃的節日氣氛,既有傳統美食又有活動,好不熱鬧!
    此外,老人家喜歡派利是,尤其派給自己的子孫子侄們,喻意樣樣利利是是 …
    每次出門,母親都給我一封利是,但每次回來就把利是裡面的「餡」送回給她,這是我和母親之間的一個遊戲,哈哈!

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    1. Thanks 小愚 and sorry for the late reply.
      The way you mother does is exactly what my parents do. I used to tell them not to do so but they keep doing it. Now I have learned to appreciate such action and feel so grateful that some would do this to me. It is a good game, isn't it.
      Have a great weekend.

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  5. Well done I like the way you take heart for elderly people now ! Thank my kind Heavenly Father for seeing a fine man like you :D

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    1. Autumn, thank you for your kind words. Somehow I feel it is my obligation to keep my promises and to attend to their basic needs once for a while. Don't call me a fine man la, I feel shameful to be called such!!!
      Hope you have a great weekend with plenty of joy.

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  6. 梅林牌luncheon meat is my favorite.
    I find humanity in your writings.

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    1. Oh 百了 we have a common interest!
      Yes, must be 梅林牌, the round tub ones and before 1980. They were much more meaty before that!
      Thanks very much for your kind words.
      I find wisdom in your writings though.

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  7. 可能小時候聽得爸爸教訓多,食不言寑不語,所以我亦總喜歡用這話教訓後輩,吃飯時要專心不要吵鬧。其實我最怕有人在進餐時喋喋不休,讓我耳根不能得到一刻清靜!>.<

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    1. Norton 叔叔! 很久不見啦! 秋山+_+Y(^_^)Y

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    2. Hi Norton,
      My father always taught me that but I never learned the lesson and got told off!
      Now he enjoys talking with us if we do so!
      Hope you have a great weekend.

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  8. 老人家喜歡你回去看她,聽聽她說話,問你近況, 節日更加不想冷清. 為免她勞勞碌碌為你準備, 我會在樓下買燒肉雞飯盒一個,陪老媽吃她的素食,大家同枱食飯,一樣開心.

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    1. 執兄,
      You are such caring and considerate! Old parents always want their children to come home just to sit with them and have a simple meal. You and your mother are so blessed.
      Are you going to have a takeaway BBQ meal box with your mother this weekend? Have a wonderful weekend.

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    2. 可惜呀! 子欲養而親不在,

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  9. Gravel, 對不起!我唔小心取消咗個原來的「網誌回應存檔」, 請再回應在.... http://greenpeaceful6.blogspot.hk/2013/09/blowing-in-wind_27.html... 謝謝你!

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  10. “I’m just waiting here to die. Useless! Old is useless!” 這句話聽起來雖然令人心酸、但對於一個老人來說、偏偏是實情....

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    1. Louis Rick 兄
      Yes, too real a fact for the lonely old people and I hate to hear that!
      So let's make each day useful even before we get really old.
      Have a great weekend.

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  11. 若是你心愛的家人,要多抽空探望,聽聽他們說一些重複又重複的故事,
    還要每一次聽都像第一次聽一樣,給予鼓勵,給予溫暖。
    這是我們可以做的,記著,可以做的次數不一定很多。

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    1. "多抽空探望,聽聽他們說一些重複又重複的故事,還要每一次聽都像第一次聽一樣..." 就是這樣他們便很滿足了,衹是很多時連這簡單的東西也不願意付出!真的,可以做的機會一天比昨天少,要珍惜!

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  12. 樹欲靜而風不息 ...... 子欲養而親不在.....道不盡心中的千言萬語,奉勸父母還健在的人, 要好好珍惜啊!

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    1. 對呀!
      不懂得珍惜,機會錯過便不再有。定努力盡本份。多謝提醒

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  13. Gravel, 謝謝您一直以來對一休的關注。一休已決心在隨意窩安家了, 目前搬遷到那邊的網友不多, 這裡是熱鬧多了。一休希望在隨意窩能一步一步的另闢新天地。希望您們能在這裡繼續雅虎的快樂園地, 有緣再見吧。祝福您們😃

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    1. 祝你在隨意窩很快又再闢新世界,閒時也過來坐一會。

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  14. Though I have almost forgotten to celebrate festival seasons, I have not forgotten Autumn haha !!

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    1. That's the spirit! How can we forget autumn! The colours of the sky and the leaves: the smells of the grass and the field. Enjoy it to the fullest as it is short! I went for a short hiking already 2 weeks ago and got an autumn tan! Have a wonderful weekend.

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  15. For more than three weeks, each time when I clicked into your blog it was still the old blog "Finally I made up my mind." I thought you were busy at work and had stopped writing. It was only when I checked the right margin that I realized that you have posted a new blog. Blame it on me, I have your name in my "my favorite" list so each time when I click on it, it brings me to your old blog, hence the misunderstanding. Sorry for the negligence.

    When I was a kid, festivals were much expected occasions but nowadays I seem to have lost that eagerness. In fact, I have chosen to quit the place on most festive days particularly the Chinese New Year.

    Family festive gatherings have never been the same now since the passing of my Mom nine years ago. They are still held but more as a "ceremony" than celebration. As the Chinese saying goes: "小時親兄弟, 長大各鄉里", a family, no matter how big it is, is bound to lose its cohesiveness as time goes when new families are established, each with its own peculiar cares or even problems. And parents are usually put to the second place, no longer looked up to as "patriarchs". There are always one or two members in the family who are less concerned about parents and they attend family gatherings not really out of love and respect but more as fulfilling a "duty", as if it is unbecoming not to turn up while the other siblings are attending.
    I don't initiate family gathering now but I often visit my senile and bedridden Dad (he is immobile because of chronic sickness) individually regardless of dates. I would sit by his bedside and listen to his endless recounting of the old days: how I got lost when I was four in TST and was found later; how I messed around in a theatre not viewing the movie; how I stayed close by him refusing to run away alone during a fire that gutted down our wooden house, etc., etc. It was always the same old story that he keeps repeating as if they are new tales. And I would always join in, adding more details to cheer him up. He would occasionally pat my face lightly as if I am still a kid, not realizing that I am already old enough to be a grandpa. Each time when I bade him goodbye, Dad would still make it a point to caution me to be careful when crossing the street (過馬路小心呀!). And if I have stayed too long, he would always ask me to go home early (夜喇, 早啲番去啦). Well, a son is always a son no matter how old you are.
    Dad still keeps the old tradition of handing out "li-see". And I am still keeping a whole pile of "li-sees" that my parents have given me over so many years (unfortunately not from Mom anymore), which I carefully mark with dates and the occasions. And I leave the cash inside the "li-sees" red packs untouched in order to keep the memory intake, for taken away even a small part of it is a diminution.

    Thanks for sharing a piece of warm and heartening article. The feeling is mutual.
    Maybe I should start writing something similar about my parents and the old days as a chronicle before my memory fades away.

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    1. Hey Peter, you surprised me with your sincere and personal sharing here because blogspot together with google+ seems more like facebook than Y!Blog, more interactive, spontaneous and brief.
      I also don't like all the "Good wishes" and the fulfillment of social / familial obligations during the traditional festives and like you I dislike Chinese New Year most. When I was younger and still living with my parents, I would spend the morning wandering around in the street or working in the office on the first day of the Chinese New Year, just to avoid meeting the visiting relatives whom I met once a year.
      However, in the past few years, I would make effort to have meals with my parents especially in the main Chinese festivals as I came to understand that the feeling of having the whole family together for a meal is the only wish my parents have. Like you my mother is the magnet that calls us siblings to return home. She is suffering from quite nasty Parkinson's disease and I hope I can make her "awakened" time happier with at least one of her children around her for a "proper" meal.
      By the way, you are very affectionate and compassionate to those close to your heart. Your narrative of your childhood memories and nursing-bedside small talks called back mine as well and they are still sweet and vivid - so they must be precious. Sometimes, it can be hard to write about personal experience, pleasant or bad ones, especially when deeply hidden emotions may be unearthened again unexpectedly, but I also want to preserve them before I lose them forever. I love to read your stories of human encounters as much as your witty views of the world around us. I bet you are good at it and I have read some at Y!Blog. But, make sure you don't make me weep too much!
      I finally made the arrangement to take 2 weeks off work in nearly 7 years and will go abroad next Friday!!! Hopefully a real break!
      Thanks again for your sharing as well. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  16. Thanks for your kind words. I wish you a good respite during your two-week vacation, a break that you really deserve.

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    1. I read both of your writing with tears that cause my memory. I'm sorry for my ma & dad when they were alive, they always took care of me more than I did. I can't forget that my dad was in hospital, he asked me to cook '麥皮'. that was my first time to cook, but failure, I was disappointment to them. I'm useless daughter until present. Both of you're gentle fellows & thanks for your sharing, please give my best wish to your family & lovers. To Gravel, please give my best wish to Uncle Nine. You don't live in a city of broken promise. Have a nice day. God bless

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    2. They must know how much you miss them above beyond the sky. Taste good or taste no good doesn't matter. To do it means everything to your parents already.

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  17. Hi, Gravel, just to say good morning, it's stupid of me to use google. I'm old & useless.

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    1. You said Good Morning and I say Good Evening! It's nothing stupid to use google. It's just a tool and nothing is forever. Yblog is dying, so we just have to change. It is likely that BlogSpot will not last for ever either. But before that day, we can just enjoy what we can find and live with it, especially it is free. There are always those younger or older than you and those more useful or less useful than you, so be grateful of who we are. Let's be kind to ourselves.

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  18. Hi, Gravel, I do. Thanks a lot. I try to connect with my blog. I didn't do that this morning, so said gd morning. Now I say gd evening to do once more

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    1. Sorry, Gravel, I can't connect your link to my blog, it's inconvenient to read your essay. Let me find out & do it again later. I'm sorry to trouble you. I owe you an apology.

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    2. No trouble and no apology please. I think I was updating my blog when you were trying to connect my blog and so you could not get in.
      If you open the tool "跟蹤者" in you blog like me, visitors can join in "加入這個網站" as members. You can easily go to their blog by clicking on their icon. But, if they are using google+, you will go to their google + first page. If so you should find the link of their blog in their "關於" sub-page. But, some people don't add the link of their blog to google+, then you just have to use google+ to leave message for them.
      Wish you a great week.

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    3. Oh 蒲公英,you can add to my 會員list as well.

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  19. ykk ~ sorry to visit your new home a bit late due to my sick clings in past 2 weeks. It is nothing bettter than have a big meal with family. Ha ha, i like luncheon meat(great wall) than the chicken! i like mid autumn festival because my childhood's lived place has a big traditional celebration there since a cnetury ago, fire dragon dancing and children lantern parade... i glad you had a happy time with uncle nine and your parents!!!!!

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    1. Thanks ykk for your visit. Just returned from yours and knew that you may be back! That's great!
      Fire dragon dancing? There are only 2 places in HK, 大坑? and 薄扶林村?
      I hope you are well now. Take care and treat yourself well. Have a great week.

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  20. ykk ~ this is my new blog address, i will not post too often on the new blog, just find a new place for contact with Yahoo blog friends.

    http://ykk1929.blogspot.hk

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    1. Thanks ykk, I will drop by from time to time. Have a great week ahead.

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  21. Hey Gravel! It's too late for me to greet you a happy Mid-Autumn festival but it seems like you had a warm one! This is my favorite festival. I find it the most meaningful and simple. When you said you father was bringing up your old childhood stories at dinner, I thought to myself my sisters and I would do that too and we would laugh how silly we were. I miss everybody! You are lucky to have your family around and know how to treasure them :) So many people own something but not knowing they are blessed. I can tell you do.

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    1. Hi Vicky, it's never too late to offer others blessings, so thank you.
      Someone says people will start to appreciate the love of their parents and families only when they are away from their hometown abroad or when they are old enough. Sometimes it can be a long time before one gets to do that and it may be already too late. So treasure it when we can. I believe it is a mutual blessing.

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  22. A belated Happy Mid Autumn Festival to you. I spent my Mid Autumn Festival in Stanley where I saw many young people appreciating the moon on the beach chatting and laughing. I wondered where and how those old lonely people celebrate their festivals, especially those who are without family. Your visiting Uncle Nine is a great gesture. I am sure he appreciated a lot, in fact, every small act means a lot to the people who are forgotten.

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    1. Thank you Cest la vie for your blessing. I think you are right, time has changed and festivals have different meanings to everyone now from my parents'days. Older ones are often left to look for a new meaning for themselves and that is usually hard on them. So, a simple visit may be the easiest way to make them know that they are not forgotten. Have a wonderful week ahead

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  23. 簡簡單單的一頓晚餐, 對雙親來說, 給帶來一份溫情暖意.....原來, 有時候, 老人家的要求可以是很簡單的....

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    1. 似乎當他們的年歲越增長,你的說法越似真實,至少我的雙親便是這樣。這也許是我們上一代承存的生活文化- 家庭每人每天辛勤工作,為的不是說我愛你、你愛我,為的祇是要大夥兒聚在一起,分享共同辛勞的成果。

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    2. 是的, 正是如此, 大夥兒聚在一起, 分享成果, 分擔辛酸.... 多麼溫暖的一個家...

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  24. Thank you for sharing your family festival dinner. It warms our hearts.

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    1. Thanks for visit and kind words Dorothy. Have a nice weekend.

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    1. 多謝問候,正在放假,星期一又再開始等待下次假期的來到。你也好!

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  26. Hi, good evening, Gravel. how are you ? Did you lose your way in the Palace ? Have a good weekend. God Bless !

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    1. Hi, Gravel, what happened to you ? Are you OK?

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    2. Hello, Gravel, are you busy at your work even now you won't say hi to respond ?

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    3. Oh! my God! How still the blog is ? Where are you Gravel ? I do think of you. Why? Why? Why?

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    4. A very happy and blessed Christmas to you and Happy 2014!

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    5. Hi Joyce / 蒲公英,
      Sorry that I had disappeared for so long and did not respond to you and other friends' asking. It's been very kind of you.
      I should be alright, hopefully soon. I'm still waiting for the return of my energy.
      I wish you a very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year ahead. Peace be with you.

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    6. Oh I'm so happy to get your belated Christmas present & learn that you're safe. Thanks God. Have a good holiday.

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    7. May I share the poem "Hope" is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson with you ?
      "Hope" is the thing with feathers-
      That perches in the soul-
      And sings the tune without the words-
      And never stops- at all
      And sweetest- in the Gale- is heard-
      And sore must be the storm-
      That could abash the littel Bird
      That kept so many warm-
      I've heard it in the chillest land-
      And on the strangest Sea-
      Yet- never- in Extremity
      It asked a crumb- of me

      Happy 2014 to you

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    8. Happy New Year to you Joyce / 蒲公英! Wish you a wonderful 2014!

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    9. Hi, Gd morning, Gravel, today is the first day of Lunar New Year, I wish you every success & may all your wishes come true !

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  27. hi long time no see ...hope u are fine ? :)

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    1. Hi Autumn,
      Thanks for missing me. I'm still around and doing fairly OK but still need some time to recover from some recent crises.
      Hope you are doing well and healthy.

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  28. Dear Gravel, how are u?.....我現在才完全地安定下來,把從前的博友尋找及逐一探訪.....。Look forward to seeing your new sharing....

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    1. Hi 翔流,
      Very sorry that I have disappeared for some time. I'm recovering from some personal crises at the moment.
      Hope you can have some rest after Christmas and New Year's rush of business.
      Keep well. Peace be with you and wish you a prosperous new year ahead.

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  29. Hope u share with us soon !ˊ_>ˋ

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    1. I do wish that day to come earlier too.
      You write on and keep sharing as well.
      Merry Christmas.

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    2. OK, will remember you and hope you stand up on your feet soon.....in due course.

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  30. Another big "festival" is around the corner, are you ready for spending this special festival with a special someone?

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    1. Hi Cest la vie,
      I decided to spend the Christmas Eve for myself only.
      Don't feel too ready to write anything yet though I have tried fairly hard.
      I have been following your writings still.
      Wish you a merry Christmas and a wonderful new year ahead.
      Peace be with you.

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  31. Dear Gravel, where are u now???

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    1. Here sir, spending quite some time with solitude I am.
      I have been visiting your blog regularly but don't feel like writing anything at all till today.
      I'm very grateful for your missing me.
      Wish you a Merry Christmas and peace be with you always.

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  32. Merry Christmas an a Happy New Year!

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    1. Hi Peter,
      Thanks for your festive greeting and I'm sure this is not a customary gesture.
      I'm in some difficult situations and I'm trying to come out of them. Hope that my writing energy will be back sooner.
      I have been following your blog and writings but don't feel up to write anything.
      I eventually borrowed a book of O Henry "The Unknown Quantity and other stories" from the library on Sunday. Thanks for introducing him to us.. Read several stories and found that it is a good experience reading his writings - they are very descriptive and full of details and I have to pull out my dictionary again !
      Wish you a merry Christmas and joyful new year ahead.
      Stay well and keep writing.
      Peace be with you.

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  33. Gravel~~ How are you???
    Merry Christmas & happy new Year!!! All the best~~^^

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    1. A belated Merry Christmas to you Kanis.
      Wish you a wonderful and exciting New Year ahead.

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  34. Wish you are well and a peaceful Christmas for you and your family !!:)

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  35. 無論今天風雨多狂,明日太陽一樣由東方升起,加油吧!

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement!
      You are right, there is always a blue sky above a storm; a sunrise after the darkest night.
      Wish you a great and wonderful 2014.

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  36. Happy New Year ! Nice to see u again :)

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    1. Wish you a wonderful new year full of blessings. Sorry that I am still entangled at work. Love to come back soon.

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  37. 雲上太陽 YouTube song for you

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    1. Thank you. Even everything becomes unsure, we can still believe the sun is still above the clouds.

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  38. 新年快樂!^_^ ﹏。﹒‧° * **☆

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    1. Happy New Year to you too Janejane! All the best.

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  39. Try not to be too demanding, just wondering if it is the time to have your posting updated.

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    1. Thanks Chan sir for your good wishes. I suppose it's over due some time ago. I'll definitely drop you a line in due course. Have a great weekend.

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  40. Gravel~
    New year is for a new resolution ~ for a new promise ~ for a new start....
    Wishing you a new year that gives you a new start to fulfill your promise and resolution !!!
    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! ^^

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    1. Thanks Kanis for your good wishes. Wish you too have a wonderful start of the new year that is full of happiness and blessings.

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  41. Awakening? Recovering?
    Hope all is well now.

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    1. Hi Crystal,
      I'm terribly sorry for being so late to reply. My apology.
      Awakening in progress but should be fine.
      Thanks for the good wishes.
      Will visit you soon.
      Have a great week.

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  42. 祝Gravel馬年進步,心想事成,萬事如意,得心應手!

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    1. 小猴,
      Very sorry not to have replied you sooner.
      Thank you so much for the New Year blessings. A very belated New Year blessing to you too.
      Will come to visit you soon.
      Have a great week ahead.

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  43. Gravel, long time no see! hope this finds you well!

    All the best in the year of Horse!

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    1. Hi ykk,
      Sorry that I have not replied you earlier. I'm OK and thank you very much for your blessing.
      Wish you have a great week.
      Will pay visit to you soon.

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  44. 光踪以為自己沒出網誌, 怎的原來 Gravel 兄也忙呀.... 鬥忙............*_*

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    1. 光踪, Really glad you are back. Thought you might have abandoned blogging.
      You too must be busy. For me, it's more like inadequacy, at work and in life.
      Hope to read your new writing soon.
      Take good care.

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  45. 這是去年看過的一篇網誌。今天再來拜訪,看到原來上次沒有留過言。
    特此祝君安康!復活節愉快寫意!

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  46. 除了聖誕節 , 中秋節是我喜愛的節日...一家人食飯感覺好溫馨 .....
    午餐肉也我的最愛 ^-^

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    1. 要珍惜眼前人呢!
      午餐肉呀?講起又想食了。

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Thanks for your sharing...