Ping-Pong Champion 

Thomas worked in the engineering department. Tall, smart, dark suntan skin, and had a beautiful voice. You can tell even when he was humming. Sometimes you can hear him humming in the shuttle bus; …

Source: Ping-Pong Champion 

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happy Father’s Day

父親節禮物

Our activity manager, Oliona gave us a chance to make our very own Father Day gift. She provided us mugs, brushes and colors.

We knew those brushes and colors were for us to paint on the mug. But what if we have to wash the mug, won’t the picture on it be washed off? What’s good for us after all the hard works we did?

Aliona told us those painted mugs will be baked in the oven . After one hour the paint on the mug will become porcelain . It will never be washed off!

I thought that will be fun!

But after I started working on the mug. I found it wasn’t as  fun and easy as I thought.

First of all, the hair of brush was very hard.  Not flexible at all.

Second, there were not many choices in colors. There were only green, red, blue and black.  If there is yellow, it could make a big difference.

Well! It is for Father’s  Day. I want to wish a father happiness. I should write “Happy Father’s day.”  It will be for my honey! So I should write in Chinese. “父親節快樂”  As you can see the strokes in those words are very complicated! With this flattop  rigid brush, they could take up all the space. That won’t show my true regards!

The writings turned out the ugliest ones I have ever had. I think even  a kindergartener could write better.

1

These two hearts are Peter and Myra!

B (4)

Two little hearts are our two sons.

B (5)

Those three flowers are our two daughter-in-laws and me.

4

The flower buds will be our dreaming great-granddaughters in the future!

6

5

After it came out of the oven, I think it wasn’t bad at all! Isn’t it?

Peter looked at the writing, he said:” The writing wasn’t bad at all! Actually, the brush and those very basic  colors are for kindergartens!”

I almost jumped out of my chair!

Then he said: “pictures are very meaningful!  Not bad! I like it very much. Thank you!”

Ping-Pong Champion 

Thomas worked in the engineering department. Tall, smart, dark suntan skin, and had a beautiful voice. You can tell even when he was humming. Sometimes you can hear him humming in the shuttle bus; making the boring shuttle time shorter. Everyone knew him as “the humming Thomas “. He was not only a hummingbird,  but he also was a ping-pong champion! People said he won the championship in college.

At the one-hour lunch break, most of the time, Jasmine would finish her lunch quickly and rush to the ping-pong room!

There was only one ping-pong table in the room, however, to let everyone have a chance to play while they waited by standing against the wall, they play doubles. Jasmine was lucky to have Thomas to be her partner the very first time she picked up the ping-pong paddle. From then on Thomas became her partner. Since James was a ping-pong champion at college, they were always the winner even if Jasmine was not a good player at all! She was so happy to have a great player as her partner! She meant to say something to James sometimes, to thank him for being her partner, but she was always too involved in watching how people catch the ball and how to hit it back.  She wanted to learn more and to become a better ping-pong player.

Well, actually at the ping-pong room, it seemed there was not much time for the players to chat. Everyone was concentrating on watching the other players play, and to watch for who will be next. When it was their turn, they would watch where the ball goes!  Finally, when the bell rang, everybody rushed to each one’s office.

The office was located in the countryside away from the city where the employees lived. The shuttle buses would pick up everyone in the mornings and take them back to the city in the evenings.

It happened one morning, Thomas sat next to Jasmine on the shuttle.
“Good morning, Jasmine! My name is James.”
“Good morning! Thomas!” Jasmine felt it was unnecessary for James to introduce himself. Everybody knew who he is. But she was surprised how did her ping-pong partner learn her name? She had never told him. She did not realize “the rose” incident had made her name well known.

The conversation did not carry on that day.  Maybe it’s because the bus was too quiet!  It seems that everybody was still not quite awake. James usually talked cheerfully and humorously. But when he was sitting next to Jasmine, he just could not find any suitable word to begin the conversation!  Even himself could not understand why he becomes a person of few words. He had heard the story about how those roses had offended Jasmine. He admired her straightforwardness, but to offend her would be the very last thing he wanted in the world.

If Thomas could only realize that opportunity knocks only once, he would grab it by all means! He was transferred to another city before long.

After Thomas left, Jasmines felt sorry that she had lost a wonderful ping-pong partner. None in the ping-pong room could compare with him.

Jasmine was about to leave her job to take a new position offered to her as a teacher.

A farewell Chinese dinner was arranged for her. There were almost 30 people signed up for the dinner. They were from different departments.

To Jasmine’s surprise. She found there was a seat reserved for her at the dining table. Thomas sat next to her! On the other side, sat another young man whom Jasmine occasionally met at the shuttle stop.

During dinner, that evening, Jasmine’s plate was never empty. It was always piled up with all kinds of food offered by those two gentlemen who sat next to her. No matter what kind of food or if she liked it or not!

When it was time to post a photo, Thomas pushed his way out to get a place next to Jasmine. After the photo was taken, He said to Jasmine seriously, ” When you get the picture, don’t forget to ask for everyone’s autograph. Here is my address, I hope you will mail me the photo. I should have my name on it too!” Then he continued in a rather sad voice: ” I miss those good days at the ping-pong room! Don’t forget to mail me the photo. I promise to mail it back to you right away.”  He looked at Jasmine with a very different look filled with hope and longing.
But to Jasmine, she felt farewell! Sad! After today, She will only see Thomas in the photo with those good memories of the ping-pong time!
Thomas paused a little. Hopelessly he said: “Wish you good luck in your new job! I have to leave now to take the night train back! Don’t forget to mail me the photo.”
Reluctantly he walked out of the restaurant. Kept on looking back at Jasmine. Even all he could see was Jasmine’s back!

Many years later, sometimes what had happened at the farewell dinner encircled Jasmine’s heart when she looked at that picture. The people in the picture came alive as if they were in Harry Potter’s movie!  She forgot most of their names if she did not look at the autographs on the back of the photo.  But Thomas.  She never mailed that photo to the address that Thomas gave her. His name was printed on his face!
Actually, Jasmine never did ask for any autograph of anyone.  When the photo was given to her, the autographs were already there!

Christmas party

The last day before Christmas and New Year holidays, there was a big surprise party for all the employees in Jasmine’s office. When people got off the shuttle bus, they heard Christmas carols coming from the office. They thought: “Well! Tis the season!” But when they stepped into the office they thought they had stepped into the wrong room! It was a ballroom!  Decorated with all kinds of Christmas ornaments and a big Christmas tree in the corner standing cheerfully. No one ever told them there will be a party today. All they knew was each one of them should bring a gift to work today. There will be a gifts exchange at lunch break. If they knew there will be a party, they would wear their party clothes. But…..
The office manager and  supervisor stood under the Christmas tree with a big smile. Supervisor told them to put their gifts under the tree while there were already two wrapped gifts laid on the floor with many envelopes around them.

Jasmine ,like the others, found an empty seat and sat down after she put her gift down.
The supervisor came to the middle of the room announced to them all:  There will be boxed Christmas lunch at noon. Around 3 o’clock the gifts they put under the Christmas tree will be handed out. Before they get on the shuttle bus,  the manager will call their names and pass out the envelopes which they had seen under the tree. Those were their bonuses!

” Hurrah!” Exclaimed everyone as soon as they heard his last word.

Music was on!  First, Manger and supervisor invited the ladies to dance. When the supervisor came to invite Jasmine, he had a ruler in his hand. He said: “Jasmine, may I have the honor to dance with you?” Jasmine stood up to accept the invitation. She stared at the ruler in her supervisor’s hand could not figure out  what was the role of the ruler?

After Jasmine put her hand on the  supervisor’s shoulder, quietly he used the ruler measured a ruler long distance between he and Jasmine and said: ” Now, we dance!” Jasmine could not help but laugh! She recalled the incident of the roses! She remembered after the supervisor said: ” if lieutenant Donald comes back again….” she jumped up on her feet and almost roar like an angry lion. She must be looked  awful at that moment!

— to be continued —

Jasmines’ story

A. Jasmine

Jasmine, a newly college graduate, began her employment as young freshmen. She was quiet, youthful, and had soft and shiny hair. Black like obsidian, yet it curls naturally hence no need for her to perm. She loved to comb her hair, keeping it neat and tied it up in a ponytail that hangs behind her head. Yet she would always find a few strand of hair hanging loosely down the sides of her face as if it was on purpose.

Her attire was simple, not being picky about how she dress. She wore whatever her mother made for her. Whether it was a tad small, loose or tight, it didn’t matter to her for, in the end, she always trusted in her mother’s skill. The college she graduated from was not of coed studies, it was an all girls college, which provided little to no chances for the girls to get acquainted with the boys. With her quiet personality, people at the office where she worked at took her approach as a serious and diligent girl in both speech and manners.

Jasmine worked under the inventory control management section at a big engineering construction corporation. Their recent project was  planning and constructing a newer modernized airport facility. Many smaller contractor companies came in and out of the office in order to submit their list of materials required pertaining their part of the project.

During a coffee break, Jasmine seldom joined other girls conversation, because the topics of fashion and dresses and/or Prince Charming was never of interest. Rather, she would enjoy a freshly brewed cup of jasmine tea while catching up on articles in the daily newspaper. One day on a typical coffee break, Jasmine was focused in; so concentrated on double checking the inventory control request form that she did not sense anyone approaching. Making sure she would go back to work on time, she raised her head and the next thing she knew was someone handing her a bouquet of beautiful roses. There she saw Lieutenant Donald, a mere translator for the company, smiling at her saying

“Here Jasmine, this bouquet of roses is for you!”

To Jasmine, it was such a serious insult.

“To think of doing such act in front of everyone in the office, how could he do this to me? How embarrassing!”

Her face tinted a subtle red, not because she was blushing, but in fact, she was very angry. At that point, she could not refrain from lashing out and expressing her anger. Her “quiet demeanor and formal manners” suddenly came off track. Enraged, she grabs the bouquet out from the young man’s hands; slamming the beautiful bouquet and destroying it into pieces. Buds from stems, petals from buds, all laid at rest dead on the floor.

She sat down burying her head into her arms and began to sob until the supervisor came to her and said: ” Don’t cry! Jasmine, you should be very proud of yourself! First of all, I wonder where did Lieutenant Donald get those nice roses at this time of the year? Secondly, he must be admiring you for a while. Today he mustered up all his courage to show you how much he adored you! It’s OK! If you don’t like him just forget about the incident today. If you think he is OK, then when he comes back to you again……”  When Jasmine heard this, she jumped up on her feet about to shout out; but to her supervisor……., she swallowed everything and tried to cool herself down with some deep breathing.
After the incident, Jasmine went to the movie with her father one day.  Sometimes they whispered  to each other when the movie was on. What  a  coincidence!  Lieutenant Donald happened to sit  in front of them. He peeked back and saw Jasmine sitting with a gentleman and saw they were whispering with each other! At the end of the movie, as soon as the lights were on, Lieutenant Donald turned around and facing Jasmine. Pointed at her as if he had caught a child who  was being naughty! And said: ” Ah! Jasmine!”
Jasmine said with a lovely smile rather mischievously: “Dad, This is Lieutenant Donald, the translator in our office!”
Lieutenant Donald’s face turned red all the way down to his neck!
Jasmine hold her father’s arm proudly and happily leave that poor young guy behind!

—to be continued—