Dz Yun had a job as a teacher before they married. After his honeymoon he went back to work. One day Yu Wen was alone at home sitting in the wicker chair enjoying the embroidered phoenix and the peony on the window curtain. She was very much appreciated their harmonious colors and the exquisite needle work.
“That’s right! I’m going to buy some cloth with the same color as the curtain. I’ll make a table cloth and embroider the phoenix and peony on it.”
Suddenly there was someone knocking on the door. A stranger stood at the door way. And said: “Please, may I ask is Mrs. Ho home?”
Yu Wen heard that he was asking for “Mrs. Ho”. She said to herself: “My mother-in-law is at Ho-Nan, which is so far away. Why is he asking for her over here?” She was just about to say: “Mrs. Ho doesn’t live here.” Then she realized she is “the” Mrs. Ho!
That stranger told Yu Wen that he is coming to collect the window curtains . Today is the due day for the one month rent.
While Yu Wen was watching the stranger taking those beautiful curtains down from the windows, optimistic Yu Wen thought:”Good! It save all my trouble to look for the right kind of cloth for a tablecloth, and it saved the money too! When there were no curtains on the window, the room looks brighter.”
While she was thinking about what had just happened, Yu Wen laughed. She could never imagine that there were even curtains for rent. The world full of all kinds of business. All you need is hard working, you can always make a living. You would never be starved.
At the beginning of Yu Wen’s married life. She didn’t know how to cook. All she knew was to make dumplings. Back home, at each Chinese New Year Eve all the women in the house hood, old or young, all should go to the kitchen to help to make dumplings. From making the dough, preparing the stuffing for the dumplings, to roll out the dumpling rappers with small roller , rape the stuffing and boil them. At her new home, you would see dumplings on the table almost every day! When Dz Yun was teaching at school, Yu Wen usually buy some steamed buns(with no stuffing). She smashed the garlic and mixed them with salt and sesames oil. Dipped the steamed bun into the smashed garlic and eat. The smashed garlic became a delicious dish on their dining table. But Yu Wen never knew that garlic would played a very important role in saving her life. The garlic cured her Tuberculosis.
It was so many years later, Yu wen had a non-stopping coughing. After the X Ray the doctor told Yu Wen it was the bronchitis which caused the coughing. Also the doctor asked Yu Wen if she had Tuberculosis in th past? Because he found some calcified spots on her lung. But what kind of medication did she take? The doctor’s questions reminded her that was the garlic which saved her.
About one year later after they married, Yu Wen happened to be in favor of sour food. She became lazy and easy to get tired when doing her daily house work. The doctor announced that Yu Wen was pregnant! What a great and joyful news for the Ho family! Dz Yun’s parents was expecting the first born grandchild! Dz Yun’s father mailed two sets of books to his daughter-in-law: “Fetation” and ” How to nourishing and bringing up a baby”. These two sets of books not only brought Yu Wen love they also brought new knowledge that all she needed. Without these books Yu Wen would never know what should she do to bring up her very first baby.
Before Yu Wen married Dz Yun , her father was teasing her, and said:”You should have many children!”
“My foolish child! Don’t you see, I’m a Mongolian, your mother is a Manchurian and you husband is a Han. There are five big races in China: Han, Manchu, Mongolian, Hui, Tibtan. In your family there will be three races. It was said the second generations of this kind of families, should be very bright!”
Now it’s really going to be happened! Yu Wen was scared. No adults around. Nowhere to get Won Ma. Whom should she go for help? From the books that her father-in-law sent her ,Yu Wen found all the answers.
It could be because this was the first pregnancy for Yu Wen, no experience, no advice. She only carried the fetus less than seven months. The premature slight baby was so tiny! She had a head as the deity of longevity. And a very old one! On her baldhead and over her face there were so many wrinkles. Her fingers and toes were so skinny and they looked awfully long. Yu Wen couldn’t be sure whether there were five or more on each hand and foot. Many times she picked them up and counted over and over again.
–to be continued–