58 years’ togetherness ended on 4-11-2019.
farewell my love
I did not know there was a prayer(Seven Sorrows of Mary Rosary) for sinners. Until two months ago. I found it in a prayer book that my niece sent me from Taiwan. When I was reading it, surprised to see it says “Pray with “Seven Sorrows of Mary Rosary”. I’ve never known that there was such a kind of Rosary in my life. The prayer book did not carry any pictures. How would it look like? I was more interested in the Rosary then the prayer!! I went to the gift store at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, Ca. Right away after lunch that day, There I found one. But very expensive. It costs $32! That was the only one they have.
That was the end of the month. Like others! There barely any money left in my bank!
The Rosary was so beautiful! Especially thse Sorrowful Mothe and Seven Sorrows of Mary medals. They looked awesome! How I wished to go home with it! But ……….. I handed back reluctantly to the kind lady and said: “I’ll be back for it!”
On my way home, I said to myself: “‘the difference between Rosary and the seven sorrows of Mary was the number of beads and seven sections instead of five decades. The Sorrowful Mary model instead of a Crucifix. I have some beads left over from the Rosary I made before. Only if I can find those models, I could save some money!
From the internet, I ordered three sets of Seven Sorrows of Mary Rosary. I found some cute beads. But only enough for two. I had spent enough money for models already. Instead of buying some beads. I picked up the same sides but different colored bead. I made a colorful one for myself. Who cares the color! As long as I don’t have to count my fingers while praying. God will listen the same!
Those nice ones, One for my 2nd son in Taiwan. One for a friend in Taxes. Because I know they really pray!
I asked them to pray with me for sinners include me every Friday!.
Yesterday, Peter and I went to a farmer market where we never visited before. There I saw something that I had never seen before!
Aren’t they look like the watermelon? Yes! They did to me!But they aren’t! And they are awfully small! Did you see it? They are just as big as your thumb! Have you ever seen them before?
Yu Wen’s father, Mr. Lyan was a descendant of a Mongolian prince. Inherited Mongolians’ special personality, bold and generous, easy and out-going. Her Mother, Jin Shr, was a lineal descendant related to Qing’s. If the Qing was in power she should be a princess, a very traditional Manchurian. She married Mr. Lyan, they had two sons and one girl, Jen Dung, Jen Sing and Yu Wen. Yu Wen was the only girl, the pearl of the family.
Mr. Lyan was educated in Japan, the University of Tokyo. Because of his education back ground, he operated an arsenal in Pei-king. That was during the beginning of The new republican government was newly established. Political affairs were very unstable. The current brought out warlords, those did not agree with the policy of the new government. In older someday they could take over the whole country and build a better one. First of all, They have to enlarge their own territories by taking lands from the other Warlords. Wars happened here and there in China. Munitions were needed between new government and the warlords. Mr. Lyan’s arsenal was mutually benefited.
Due to the business, Mr. Lyan was operating, the Lyan family was courteously treated by both government and the warlords. The Lyans were able to keep their splendid house with courtyards which were located at Bei-Wu Alley in Pei-king. It was not as big and beautiful as a prince’s house, but certainly, it was very unusual.
A pair of stone lions stood on each side of the main entrance. The two doors at the main entrance were tall and wide. Painted with red. A copper lion head with a copper ring in its mouth on each door for visitors to knock. When the loud knocking noise sound, the doorman would know someone is coming.
The Lyan’s residence was two-hall building. The rooms around the first courtyard were for menials and long-term workers.
The houses around the second courtyard were the masters and guests. The second court yard was a beautiful garden. A man-made pond with rockeries in it. The pond was surrounded by beautiful flowers. Eaves are long and wide. If you place a manh-jong table under the eaves with 4 people playing at the table, they would not get wet by the heavy rain. Pathways with red railings winding in the garden to connect each side of the house. Some of the Ancient Bricks inlaid on the pathway were carved with moral stories. You may see these special bricks in the gardens of the old residences or rich families in China. But after the downfallen of Qing, most of the decedents of the royal families could not adjust the new age and they had never worked in their whole life. All they do was; when food was ready, they open their mouths. When clothes handed over to them, they stick out their hands. And spending. Gradually they used up all the money. To hold out their lives, first, they sold the furniture, valuable Paintings, curious, Clothes. Until there was nothing else to sell. They dug out those Ancient Bricks to exchange for some food. They never know the true value of those Ancient Bricks. The Lyan residence was taken over by the Japanese one year after they took over Pei-King.
When Yu Wen was a little girl, she often asked Wong -Ma, her nursing mother to tell her those stories carved on those Ancient Bricks. The loyalty, filially, benevolence and righteousness were deeply planted in her thought.
In the second yard, there was a man-made little hill with a secret door, a cave behind it. In the cave, there was a stone table. The cave was built for storing ice for the hot summer. In winter, The river was frozen. People cut the ice into big chunks and sell them. The Lyans always store them in that cave. Used them in summer to bring the room temperature down, cold drinks and cooling fruits. and As a naughty child, Yu Wen loved to ask Wong Ma to be with her to explore the cave. She believed there must be some kind of secret path that could lead to somewhere. Such as to someone’s country side, or another mansion, or even could get out the city. She often knocked the rock on the wall to see if she could be lucky enough to open up a door to lead the way to somewhere. But the dimness, wet and coldness in the air for poor Wong Ma’s arthritis knees, they could never be able to accomplish the adventure.
There was various kind of flowers in front of the artificial hill. Yu Wen loved the nature since she was a little girl. She appreciated the beauty of nature. Often being attracted by a small flower or insects. She loved the beauty of butterflies or a bug. Whenever she found something special, she would ask Wong Ma to help her to bring it home to study it. SometimeSs even use it as a model pattern for her embroidery. That was why her needle works were so different from others.
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
My mission is completed.
Everlasting Blossoms had posted its last chapter, the method of “How to crochet the rose”.
I’m so anxious to see some Everlasting Blossoms post on your blogs, which will be worth of my mother’s goodwill and the expenditure of time and effort to compile the method of butterflies and direction of rose.
This heart shaped collage, I arranged four large pictures in the center purposely;
1.My mother’s in the middle. She was the author of those crocheted flowers, which my father named them “Everlasting Blossoms”
2.To her right was the very first “Rose of love” my mother
crocheted for my father.
3.Bellflowers was on her left. After my father died, my mother lost
her pillar of life and lost her interests in crochet completely. It
was these bellflowers that brought her back to crochet again. Thus, more new Everlasting blossoms and new butterflies were born.
4.This trophy was given by Taichung Main Library to appreciate
her for the Everlasting Blossoms classes she taught. The trophy
says: to Mrs. Ho Lyan Yu Wen,
Pass down our folk art
Presented by Ma Gang Heng,
Curator of Taiwan Tai-Chung Main Library
Year of Rep. of China 72(1783), March 20
All the other picture, each had a story in the book. If you are interested, please read from my “Everlasting Blossoms”.
Above all, my mother and I hope there will be more Everlasting Blossoms blooming to make this world more beautiful and more cheerful.
|Leaf for rose., Working Round|
|Rnd 1||Beginning with 18§, 1§, crochet with wire|
|Rnd 3||2§, 3*, 3**+1*** ,5***+1***, 2*, 3●|
|Rnd 4||2 §, 2●, 2*, 2**+***,5***+1***, 3**, 3*, 1●|
- Sepal for rose. There are five pieces of connected leaves. Crocheted with the size of wire which matches.
|The first leaf of the sepal. Beginning with 24§ Working Rnd|
|Row 1||23§,1§, crochet with wire|
|5*, 18**, do not cut the wire, connect with the next leaf, so is the 3rd,4th and 5th row.|
|The second leaf of the sepal|
|Row 3||23§,1§, crochet with wire|
|Row 4||5*, 18**|
|The third leaf of the sepal|
|Row 6||5*, 18**|
|The fourth leaf of the sepal|
|Row 7||23§,1§, crochet with wire|
|Row 8||5*, 18**|
|The fifth leaf of the sepal|
|Row 9||23§,1§, crochet with wire|
|Row 10||5*, 18**, 1 ● connect with the first row.|
- Do not cut the wire too short. The beginning and ending of this wire will be tied up together with the
- Assemble the rose:
2. With the green yarn entwine the petals to the bended wire. First with the #1 petals one by one to the bended wire tightly. Then the#2,#3, #4 petals layer by layer.
- Entwine the five leaves of the sepal evenly next, your rose is done.
After you entwine the leaves your whole work is accomplished.
This is the second rose my caregiver crocheted for me. The first one was a test piece, the second one is the experimental verification to the instructions my mother wrote.
Now, I’m proud to introduce the crochet stitch of my mother’s Everlasting Blossoms-How to crochet your own Rose?
Symbols and abbreviations of stitches for rose:
+ increasing stitch–inc.
○……skip a stitch–sk.
●……slip stitch, move to the next stitch without adding height. Also used for join work–sl.
→….turn over towards.
To crochet with wire for flower petal and leaf and also for hemming the butterfly wings.
There are 4 sizes of petals. with 26 gauge or any gauge that suitable for your yarn. wire.
Number 1 petals(3 pieces): Working Row
Row 1 beginning with 15 §,
Row 2 14 *, 1§ crochet the wire in. Fold the wire in two ,crochet one in row 2, the other piece crochet into row 3.
Row 3 2*, 11**, 1●,
Row 4 1§, ○1, 1●, 2*, 8**, 2*,
Row 5 2§, 8**, 1*, 1**,
Row 6 1§, ○1, 1 ●, 1*, 3**, 1*, 1●
Row 7 2§, 1+3, 5**, 2,1●
Row 8 1§, ○1, 1●, 2, 8**
Row 9 1§, ○1, 6*, 5**, 1*, 1●
No. 2 petal:(4 pieces) Working Row
Row 1 beginning with19§
Row 2 18*, 1§ crochet the wire in.
Row 3 1§, 2*, 14**, 1*, 1 ●
Row 4 1§, 15**, 3*
Row 5 2§, 10**, 1*, 1 ●
Row 6 1§, ○1, 2*, 4**, 1*, 1 ●
Row 7 2§, 1+2, 9**, 1 ●
Row 8 1§, ○1, 2*, 10**,
Row 9 1§, ○1, 15**, 3*, 1 ●
No.3 Petal: (5 pieces), Working Row
Row 1 Beginning with 23§,
Row 2 22*, 1§ crochet the wire in
Row 3 1§, , 3*, 17**, 1*, 1 ●
Row 4 1§, ○1, 1*, 21**
Row 5 2§, 1+1, 12**, 1*, 1 ●
Row 6 2§, ○2, 11**, 3*,
Row 7 2§, ○2, 3* 10**, 1 ●
Row 8 2§, ○2, 2*, 7**, 1 ●
Row 9 2§, 1+3, 13**, 2,1 ●
Row 10 2§, ○2, 3**, 15**
Row 11 2§, ○2, 17**, 4, 1 ●
No. 4 Petal, (5 pieces) Working Row
Row 1 Berginning with 27§
Row 2 26*. 1§, crochet the wire in
Row 3 2§, 24**, 1*, 1 ●
Row 4 1§, ○1, 1*, 24+2
Row 5 2§, 18**, 1*, 1 ●
Row 6 2§, ○2, 2*, 15+1
Row 7 1§, ○1, 1**, ○1, 17+2,5,1*, 2 ●
Row 8 2§, ○2, 1 ●, 11, 1*, 1●
Row 9 2§, 18,○1, , 3 ●
Row 10 1§, ○1,2*,16, 1*, 1●
Row 11 2§, ○1,2* 16**, 5*, 3 ●
Row 12 2§, ○2, 1*, ○2, 2*,○1, 1*, 12**, 1*, 1 ●
< My mother used to say to her students; "The crochet foundation of Everlasting Blossom is Roses. If you know all the stitches as they were said in the directions by heart, and people identified the flower you crocheted was a beautiful rose. From then on you can create your own Everlasting Blossom. You've gotten the method of crochet Everlasting Blossom and the spirit of Everlasting Blossom!"
Symbols and abbreviations of stitches for rose:
+ increasing stitch–inc.
○……skip a stitch–sk.
●……slip stitch, move to the next stitch without adding height. Also used for join work–sl.
→….turn over towards.
To crochet with wire for flower petal and leaf and also for hemming the butterfly wings.
Before you start to crochet the rose, there are some important cues for you of how to crochet the wire in the petals and what should you do about those ends of yarns?
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height=”184″ class=”alignnone size-medium wp-image-931″ />
If you are a butterflies lover may be you would like to have some flying in your own room. Their brilliant colors, flying slim and graceful are so delightful.
OK! I’m going to pass you my mother’s handout of how to make your own butterfly. All the diagrams and instruction were designed by her personally. She wished the beauty and the joy of the butterflies can be spread everywhere.
If you would like to show your appreciation to my mother’s hard work and her selfless good intention, you may post your own butterflies on your blog after you made your own butterfly.
It is really very easy to crochet butterfly. If you only know the basic ways of crochet.
1. First of all, you should read this annotation of the instruction and try to memorize them that will make your work more efficiently.
2. Most of the diagrams will indicate with suggested colors. After you experience couple of them, you may make your own design.
3. It is very important to add lines as those butterflies I posted in the previous chapter.
When I was working on collecting all the information for this book, I recalled about those unique little animal head wish to include them in the book. I did have one but it was too small and I lost it. With remorse I called my sister-in-law, wishing that if she would have some. But the answer was no! Nevertheless, she’ll look for them.
Every one of the family in Taiwan even my second son went from Taipei to Taichung join the treasure hunt. They looked for everywhere. Nothing they found. While I was very depressed with disappointment I received my nephew’s email. He said he found some small animal heads pins by accident! While he was dusting a bookcase which he had dusted so many times. There was the bamboo waved turtle box
which belonged to his grand-mother. With love and respect he never thought of to open it. Since they almost turn the house up-side-down to look for those precious animal heads, would it be possiblly that grandmother had put them in here the box she usually to love very much? With a little guilty in his heart, he opened it. There he found them laying in a small plastic bag. Totally there were 11 pieces; 3 in pairs, and 8 single heads. My nephew took a picture of what he found attached with his email. What a discovery!
I asked my second son, David to take some individual pictures of each pin, which would show more of the beauty of them. And can be seen a better view of them. My son said while he was taken those pictures, the eyes of those animal heads were sparkling under the flush light! David was thinking and wondering: if it was not because of the flush light his grand-mother’s wisdom and unique skills will be hard to understand. Those treasures were almost 30 years old while those picture were taken. And they are the only ones in the world by now.
it’s a pity there was no instruction to tell us how to crochet those animal head. Hopefully through these pictures that may give some ideas of how those animal heads look like. You may use them as patters to crochet some handbags to give to your friends. Those unique handbags would be the only one of the kind of gift!
With the instruction of butterfly and rose, we, the children of Ho Lyan Yu Wen, wish that there will be crochet flowers blossoming all year long, and butterflies flying everywhere. What a beautiful world that will be! Thus will fulfilled our mother’s wish!
F Unveil the Methods of Crochet Everlasting Blossom is on the way!
The most unique pieces among my mother’s crochet works are those small monkey animal heads pins. Each little head was as small as 1in. Some were even smaller than 3 centimeter. With their distinctive faces such as eyes, nose and mouth, even the decoration on their little hat were no slack.
Other than crochet art my mother also love to make her own shoes. She embroider the shoes with her own design. Later she found that the small shiny sequins and beads would be more beautiful than embroider with silk thread. She make the top of her shoes and have the cobblers to finish with the soles. She made pairs after pairs to give as a gift to whoever loved it.
Besides those embroidered shoes, my mother crocheted some small baby slippers for her grandchildren.
These corsages were made with reduce sized Everlasting Blossom.
There were two stages of the butterflies my mother crocheted. The first ones were crocheted with very fine yarn as the pictures showed above.
Unfortunately, the export business embroiled into his partner’s bankruptcy and lost almost all his fortune. He had to stop the butterflies business completely. But he was faithful and a man of honor, even those products means nothing to him now, but he paid off all the labors without any deficit.
My mother was very grateful to that businessman’s faithless. When those service family member found out what had happened, they felt so sorry for the businessman who had involved in such misfortune.
In addition to Everlasting Blossoms bonsais, my mother also crocheted butterflies in order to decorate her garden.
A similar bouquet was presented to Professor Sye.
Professor was very fond of arts You would see many art works in her home. In addition to those Chinese Paintings and calligraphy, there was a black ink painting of Mr. Feng-Dz-kai. Mrs. Li-Shu-Syan embroidered a colored picture of Professor Sye, dressed as a woman soldier in when she was young, looked dashing and spirited.
Professor said to me: ” Art represent the culture of a Nation.”
The show room was on the third floor. There was no elevator, which would make people very tired from climbing those stairs. Besides, Elderly Professor Sye had a leg surgery some years ago. But none of these would hinder her visits. Each time after she struggled up to the showroom, she was almost breathless. And each time she came would bring some friends of hers. Happily she showed them what she had found. Thus Everlasting Blossom had a chance to meet Poet Shu-Man-Sya, famous Novelist Fan-Lu, artist Chen-Syu-Ying and an Air force Writer Jang-Tau.
Since 1968, four years after the very first rose was born, Yu Wen’s children had arranged many exhibitions for her from Taiwan to California, USA.
1974, the first big exhibit at Tai Chung Main Library, Taiwan, Everlasting Blossom started meeting with new friends brought lots of good comments and praises.
Amount all the Everlasting Blossoms, Spider Chrysanthemums were the ones that Yu Wen had spent the most time to crochet those petals.
There were almost 200 petals in each flower. And they were in six to seven different lengths! Every petal must be supported with a very fine copper wire, so it will be stiffer, yet not as stiff as like sticks . You can shape those petals the way you wanted to. Therefore the whole flower will look like if they were growing in the garden. To organize the petals evenly on the stem is another ordeal .
Yu Wen crocheted different kinds of Chrysanthemums because she loved them specially for their unusual spirit. They are beautiful yet not brightly colored. Their unique faint fragrance. They blossom in cold winter. Snow and the freezing frost would not stricken them.
Chrysanthemums were favored by many Chinese poets.
C-39 Meeting friends with flowers–is on its way!
When we were preparing the second exhibition at Taichung Main Library in 1983, my mother was in a taxi cab with Barbados lilies in her hands. The taxi cab driver thought they were real flowers. He asked my mother : 「Ma’am, Are you going to the flower arrangement show?」 My mother laughed and said:「No! These are crocheted flowers , we are going to have an exhibition at the Main Library. 」When taxi stopped we were about to get out, the driver stared at the flowers in my mother’s hands exclaimed 「Wow! They are really fake flowers! How come they so realistic! 」
C-38. Chrysanthemim and Spider Chrysanthemum–is on the way
” I’ve never seen such strange but beautiful flowers before. ” she said, “The petals of those fully blossomed Bellflowers, were all turning upwards from the center of the flowers, and pistils hanging downwards. They really looked like bells! And those Christmas cactus looked liked a string of crab claws hanging down! There is a special looking red flower at the end of each string of the crab claws. I guess those Bellflowers flowers and Christmas cactus flowers were too heavy for their stems or the crab claws , that’s why they were all hanging downward!」
My sister-in-law’s description interested my mother! She said:「OK! Take me over to the flower store with my wheelchair, I want to take a look how special! 」
This visit made my mother got the yarns and the hook out of the drawers and crocheted the Bellflowers, The first bonsai since my father died. And then, the Christmas Cactus, the third, the fourth…….much. more new ones were born.
C-36.Christmas Cactus–is on the way
The motivation for my mother to crochet the flowers was based on my father. But 1988,my father passed away after the stroke. The pillar of her life suddenly collapsed. She completely lost the interests of crocheting. All the yarns and crochet kits were put away.
One day, my sister-in law came home in a very joyful mood. She told my mother that on her way home from the market, she passed by a flower store, the owner was a fan of Everlasting Blossom, invited her into his store and introduced her some new flowers which he had just purchased and asked if her mother-in-law would be interested.
My mother was not interested at all.
My sister-in-law didn’t pay any attention to her reaction, just kept on talking and talking. – To be continued –
I apologize that I posted the wrong name for Gladiolus as Bellflower.
The following chapter – C-35. The Bellflower- will be posted right now.
While the Everlasting Exhibition was held at the Tainan Folk Culture Center, in Taiwan, Mayor Su Nan Cheng cut the ribbon for the opening ceremony. He was the very first distinguished visitor of the exhibition.
My mother presented Mayor Su a vase with Gladiolus in it, similar to the ones as the picture shows in this page.
Gladiolus symbolize “blessing” and “Good luck”!
C-35. The Bellflower — is on the way
C-33. I am An Iris
Yu Wen went on, “As life would have it, both my mother and her sister-in-law gave birth to a girl. Sadly, my cousin, the peony, died before she was 3 years old. I, the iris, continued growing!”
Yu Wen recalled her worst childhood sickness was the measles, free from any serious illness. She told the artist, “I’m so very grateful and fortunate that my mother chose the Iris!”
World War II and the following political change in China each contributed to the total loss of contact with Yu Wen’s mother. There was no way to find her. She also lived with an added sorrow from never having a picture of her dear mother.
Yu Wen began thinking…, if I can crochet some irises as a loving memento to my mother…? She called upon her memories of the irises of her youth and began creating the crocheted Iris Bonsai Tribute.
In 1967, at the very first Everlasting Blossom Exhibition in Tai-Chung, Taiwan, I heard my mother, Yu Wen telling the following story to an artist in the showroom:
Yu Wen said, “I remember when I was a little girl, my mother always said that I was an iris.
In my hometown of Pei-king, there were lots of irises growing on both sides of the path in our garden. They were very easy to take care for and they blossomed every year. Nonetheless, they were not as beautiful as roses, peonies, or any other flowers!”
Yu Wen went on explaining to the artist, “The night before I was born, my mother dreamt that her mother came to see her with two flowers in her hands. A peony and an iris. She told my mother to choose one of them. My mother thought the peony was beautiful, but also knew it’s very difficult to care for. The iris, once planted it into the soil, will grow and blossom every year. No special care needed. My mother told her mother she decided to choose the iris. Her mother smiled and said, all right! I’ll give the peony to your sister-in-law.”
–To be continued —
C-32. –The first exhibition–seven–
This trophy was presented by Tai-Chung Main Library to Yu Wen to thank Yu Wen’s teaching at the library.
This trophy was presented by the students of the crochet class Yu Wen taught at theTai-chung Library.
Yu Wen met all kinds of visitors in those nine days. The first exhibition was a remarkable success. The news posted on all papers. Hwa Shr TV stations made three minutes interviewed in their noon news.
While the exhibition was on, Kwo Tai Life Insurance offered $3,000,000 NT. to buy all the Everlasting Blossom. It’s negotiable if Yu Wen was not pleased with the offering, but Yu Wen refused. Many of her friends and relatives felt deeply sorry for her refused such a good fortune.
But YU Wen said: “Money is good but could create problems as well! Crochet Everlasting Blossom is my hobby. I like to let people know that crochet hook or needle could be as good as painting brush. It could make life more beautiful, but my works are not merchandise.”
After the exhibition was over, the library asked Yu Wen to open a class to teach people how to crochet Everlasting Blossom. Yu Wen accepted. News spread out. So many people signed up for the class. There were too many signed up for one classroom, so it ended up with two classrooms full for a three month session. Many of them were domestic teachers and art and craft teachers. Yu Wen spent a lot of time in writing the instructions to hand out in classes. The instructions included: “Rose, Dendrobium, peony and poinsettia”. In class, she walked around the room, back and forth between the desks. Explained every question and demonstrated how to work out.
After the three months session was finished, the library hold an Achievements Exhibition for the students. Yu Wen encouraged the students and said to them: “Actually you don’t have to do what I did. Since you know all the stitches that I taught you, just keeping on practicing crochet roses until you can make a good looking one eith out looking at the instruction then you’ll be able to create your own Everlasting Blossoms.”
The library manager asked Yu Wen to have some more classes. However Dz Yun could tell that Yu Wen was very tired after the session was over. If she kept on having more classes she’ll be exhausted. Nothing would be more valuable than the good health of his wife. He declined the invitation with great courtesy.
Yu Wen’s third son-in-law arranged an exhibition in Tai-Nan Library. The mayor of Tai-Nan, Su Nan Cheng cut the ribbon on the Inauguration of exhibition. Mayor Su Nan Cheng came to Yu Wen’s Exhibition in his busy days, it was such an honor for Yu Wen that worth to remember for life. She presented one of her beloved bouquet with vase to Mayor Su to show her appreciation.
There were exhibitions held in other cities in Taiwan. Praises and appreciation heard in every one!
–The first exhibition–six
Once a middle aged lady supported an old gentleman with her hands slowly walked into the showroom. The lady said they were from Jang-Hwa. They walked slowly around the table looked at every showpiece. After he praised Yu Wen for her unique exquisite hand works, the elderly gentleman said he would like to paint something for Yu Wen to show his appreciation of what he have seen that day. But there was no painting paper nor painting brush and ink. Syau Wen said to him if he wouldn’t mind waiting a little while, she would go home to get some paint supplies. The old gentleman told Syau Wen he can wait. There was nothing important for him to do that day any way. Syau Wen rushed home on her bike, and brought back rice paper, ink and different sizes of painting brushes .
That elderly man painted some Chrysanthemums growing along the eastern hedge. He wrote five Chinese characters 采菊東籬下–*Tsai Ju Dung Li Sya– on the top right corner and handed it to Yu Wen. Yu Wen was overwhelmed! She understood that the painting and the writing were telling her how much this unknown elder gentleman was praising her works. Right away she hung it up on the wall in the showroom. The curator of the library saw that picture, he asked Yu Wen why didn’t she ask the artist to sign or seal his picture? It looked like the picture was done by a famous artist who lived in Jang-Hwa. If so his last name could be Hung. Who knows that this painting could worth a fortune if he had signed or sealed!
*Tzai Jyu Dung Li Sya, is the first sentence of one of a the famous poem which was written by an ancient classic poet, Tau-Yuan-Ming. The whole piece tells that the poet left up his head while he was picking some Chrysanthemums, surprisingly he saw the amazing beauty of the South Mountain along the eastern hedge. The elder gentleman wanted to use the Chrysanthemums as a expression to tell Yu Wen when he walked into the library that day unexpectedly saw these amazing hand crafts.
Once a well dressed lady walked into the show room, The jewelry she wore sparkled. Her body swung gracefully in her high heels. What a lady she looked! She came up to Yu Wen and said:”May I ask, Elderly lady, do you want to sell these flowers?” But the Tone of her voice astonished Yu Wen and the boys. It was a man’s voice! Childishness in Yu Wen couldn’t be controlled, she answered in a very low tone and said: “SORRY! THEY ARE NOT FOR SALE!”
C-32. –The first exhibition–five–
There was a young man, who looked as a student stood in front of the Nasturtiums. Holding his chin with his right hand and stare at the Nasturtiums. He veered his head walking backwards a few steps. He stood there in a little distant looking at the Nasturtiums. Again he walked back very close to the flowers, his face almost touched the Nasturtiums. Suddenly he laughed softly. Yu Wen was so wondering what was so funny with those flower? She walked over to that young man and asked: “Hope you don’t mind if I ask you what’s so funny?”
“No! I was fooled by myself!” The young man said . “I saw so many colorful flowers when I was at the door. Some of them that I’ve never seen before. Curiously I walked in and took a closer look, found out they were crotched with fine yarns. They were all hand crafted except those pots and gravels. You can hardly tell when you looked at them in a little distance. I was laughing because I was fooled by myself!”
— To be continued
C-32. –The first exhibition–four–
The schools were on their summer vacation. Some of Syau Wen’s elder son’s classmates Volunteered to be the ushers. Their main job was to make sure that no one should touch any of the showpieces though the signs of “Don’t touch, please!” were placed on the tables in case some viewers can’t refrain from touching them.
Yu Wen was around her sixties at the first exhibition. She was a little heavy and panted if she walked a little too long. But she walked back and forth in the showroom in that nine days. Explaining and answering questions for the visitors. She even walked down to the second floor to answer a phone interview of a local news. The great joy and happiness from her heart put smile on Yu Wen’s face, and she didn’t panted at all!
In the showroom, it was always crowded in that nine days.
One lunch break, Yu Wen and the boys were having lunch. A middle aged man walked into the showroom with bear feet. He was wiping his hands on his shorts! It looked like that he was just finished washing his hands. He looked as a famer who had came back from the farm land. Yu Wen stared at him in astonishment. She saw him slowly circled the show table from the first pot to the last one. Very carefully he looked at every one especially with those orchids. He came up to Yu Wen and said:” Granny! I counted the pistil and stamens, they virtually look as real as flowers.” The Curator of the library told Yu Wen that every one call that bear feet bizarre dressed man “Bear feet Celestial” who was an orchids expert. For some reason he had made a pledge to god that he would dressed up like a famer with bear feet in and out any public places.
–To be continued–
The first exhibition–three
That gentleman said to her: “Very good. could you also ask you mother how many days she prefers for the exhibition? I suggest it should be more than a week and open and close at the same time as office hours. We can schedule the dates after you told us what your mother thinks.”
Syau Wen went home joyfully and told her mother about this good news.
Yu Wen laughed and said: “I see, That was why your father took some pictures of the flowers! So, there is a Secret Agency in our home.” What Dz Yun and the children did brought Yu Wen sweet love which urged and encouraged her to crochet more. She told Syau Wen that she would like to have a nine days exhibition. When the dates are booked, she wish to visit the locus to pre-plan how will she place her pieces.
Syau Wen conveyed the massage to the library office the very next day. Just in a few days later, they received the notice from the library that the nine days of exhibition were set in that summer. A very large room was assigned for “Everlasting Blossom Exhibition”. For the visitors to have a good view of everything that placed on the show tables, Yu Wen arranged the tables in a “U” shape. People can walk around and see every side of the showpieces.
–To be contimued–
C-32.The first exhibition–two–
“We would like to hold an exhibition at your library if it is possible.” Syau Wen said uncertainly.
The lady responded in a welcoming voice: “Sure! What category do they go to?”
“I really do not know. But they are a kind of art, I’m sure” Syau Wen handed those pictures out to the lady as she was saying. ” My mother crocheted many these kind of flowers. They were all done with my mother’s hands. Except the vases, pots and pebbles, “Really?” With the pictures in the lady’s hands, she walked over under the light. She was amazed when she looked at them closely. ” Please wait here, I’m going to show them to our manager.
Syau Wen sat in the chair anxiously, she didn’t know what will be next.
Not too long a middle aged gentleman came out from his office with those pictures. Syau Wen assumed that he should be the manager and she stood up.
” These are rare folk art, How many pieces your mother has?” The gentleman asked Syau Wen. Syau Wen said quickly: ” About 40″
“I see. They need a larger show room. They should not be joint with other exhibition. There should be a Solo Exhibition. What do you think? ”
Syau Wen couldn’t believe what she have heard. She didn’t know what to do. She had to ask her mother to decide. She said: ” I think I have to ask my mother first see what she say.”–To be continued–
C-33. The first exhibition–one–
Yu Wen’s children, five of them, all thought keeping their mother’s beautiful art craft at home would be the lamp under the bed. It should be placed on the table to lighten up the whole room. And the light should be shared with others. They thought the library would be the most appropriate place. It’s the place for all kinds of flower arrangement show, sculptures, painting and calligraphy exhibits.
Dz Yun was an outstanding amateur photographer. He photographed his most favorite Nasturtium, Luxuriant Bonsai and Dendrobium for Syau Wen to show to the library. All these activities were working in secret. They wanted to surprise Yu Wen. If the request should be rejected, it wouldn’t hurt Yu Wen’s feelings. They were a little hesitated, because Yu Wen’s works were neither life flower arrangement nor painting, calligraphy or sculptures. They didn’t know which category Everlasting Blossom would be fitted in. Yet those pieces were truly a different kind of art.
One morning, tentatively Syau Wen walking into the office of Tai-Chung Main Library. It was a kind of early that morning, the big office still looked empty, and Syau Wen saw a kind looking lady standing up from her chair behind the desks and smiling at her. She said to Syau Wen: “Good Morning! What can I do for you?” –To be continued —
The white Chinese Narcissus have a very sweet fragrance. They possess a kind of natural grace and noble manner.
The Narcissus that Yu Wen crocheted shows all those special nature. Especially the roots which looked so vivid. Every time at the exhibition, Yu Wen always advise and urge her children when they were helping to set up the show room, She said: “Be sure those roots must be seen!”
It’s a pity! The roots and the stems were crochet with wire to support them, they would be rusty if you put water in the pot. Otherwise if there is water with those pebbles in the pot, it will look more like a life bonsai.
—C-33. The first exhibition–one– is on the way
Winter Jasmine is very common in the northern part of China. You can see them almost everywhere. Since Taiwan is at the subtropical zone you can only find the in the mountains. To comfort my mother’s homesick, She crochet the Winter Jasmine as the ones in her memory.
One day at the flower market I saw some small yellow flowers in bundles. Not much eaves. Those flowers looked like one of my mother Everlasting Blossoms – Winter Jasmine. When I bend down to look at the tag which tied on the spray. Yes! They are “Winter Jasmine”! The only different between the fresh ones and my mother’s everlasting ones were: the fresh leaves and the petals of the flower were much thinner! Some of them were not looking fresh anymore!
Morning Glories only looking beautiful in the mornings. After a few hours when the afternoon comes, morning glory will not glory any more. It’s brilliant color will be faded and it’s beautiful appearance will be withered. But the Morning Glories my mother crocheted will always be the same as if they were in the morning!
If the calyx of the Begonia flower or it’s flower bud do not have the right looking, it will not be a Begonia flower at all.
Each time when Yu Wen was creating a bonsai, she always tried her very best to have it made as perfect as possible. That was why each time at the exhibition, would always heard some people say: 「Everlasting Blossoms look like real flowers!」
To crochet and organize this kind of Orchid as the Phalaenopsis, is not hard, but the center piece is a little tricky. You must watch for the stitches, they cannot be either too tight or too loose. If the stitches are too tight, the center piece will be stiff and rigid. If they are too loose, it will hanging down lifelessly.
The appearance of Tulips are graceful and elegant, ingratiating themselves to whoever looks at them. To crochet the flower petals are easy, they were similar to rose. The leaves are not hard either. Easy to organize them. But you must have enough patient to crochet lots of leaves. That takes a lot of time and yarns.
Hint: “Don’t forget crochet with wire! “
Yu Wen have heard someone said that there was a newly opened Rung Sing Garden in Taipei. There were many special flowers among the other plants. She took a special trip to Taipei by train to visit the new Yung Sing Garden.
The graden looked brilliant! Among all those splendid rich multicolored flowers, Yu Wen fond some spectacular tiny pretty three colores flowers, violet, which she had never seen before.
With her memory and skilful hands, she crochet Violets.
-C-24 Tulip- is on the way
My niece went to China 2000, she found her great grand-father’s, (何鶴坪Ho Hok-Ping) writing was listed in “The Chinese Modern Calligraphers Dictionary” published by Zhejiang People’s Publishing House. She was so excited!
The story about this unique writing is in https://myrahochang.wordpress.com/2015/10/26/c-7-visiting-dz-yuns-parents-part-five/comment-page-1/#comment-185
In this picture we can see a bug crawling on the stalk, the dragonfly perched on the lotus bud. Two frogs underneath on the lotus leaves on watch for the bug like tigers. One of them opened it mouth ready to swallow! The little bug seams not care much because it has wings and can fly away at any time. And mock at the frogs’ benighted.
The dragonfly perched on top of the lotus flower bud leisurely and carefree. It didn’t pay any attention to whatsoever is going on. Enjoying the sweet fragrance of the air and the warmth of the sun.
The combination of this bonsai has it’s own refine style, it’s unsophisticated and natural. It also gives people lots of space of thinking. May be that is why at every Exhibition, this bonsai always drew most of the attention from the viewers.
Hooks and yarns are different from painting brush. You can draw with colors and brush easily. But with hook and yarns, you have to go stitch by stitch, to finish such big piece of lotus leaf, it took hundreds and hundreds of individual stitches, one stitch at a time. Yu Wen’s lotus leaves are as large as the real ones, And there were more than one leaf! Because of those big pieces of green leaves, shows the beauty and elegant of the lotus flower.
—C-23 Violet is on the way–
“This bonsai of flowers is a combination of love.” My mother told me.
Roses and carnation symbolizing the worldly love .
Lily, the Easter flower, symbolizing the love of God. Remind us that God send His Only Son, Jesus Christ who came to earth, suffered and died on the cross of us. And on the third day He rose again from the dead, in order to complete God’s love.
My mother was converted into Catholic around her early 50 s. Though she didn’t go to church regularly, but her devotion to God was deeply planted in her heart.
This whole combination of flowers shows her ideal of The Unity of God and His People on earth
C-22 Water lily is on the way!
C-20 Nasturtium (part 2)
The words were spread out! There was a newly opened department store in Taichung wished to borrow her nasturtiums, and would like to put it in one of their showcases. The manager came and ask her permission to let them to placed it in their store to show to the public.
After the nasturtiums were placed in the showcase, the crowded masses passed by, most of them thought the flower in the showcase was a decoration.
It caught attention of a young man, because there were not too many nasturtiums in Taiwan.
But he was surprised when he found out the whole plant was made with yarns! He could hardly believe his eyes! After he found out the whole bonsai was made by some lady, he asked the manager if he can buy it?
When my mother heard about it, right away she told the manager to bring the nasturtiums back, She said:”It’s not for sale!”
C-21 Lily, Rose and Carnation is on the way
Once my mother saw a picture of Nasturtiums. She was totally amazed by those slender vine twigs which could swinging in the wind. Those leaves shaped like lotus leaves. The brilliant color of the flowers. And there is a unique spectacular tail at the back of each flower!
She was totally enchanted. Every part of Nasturtium was like a poem to her.
She wanted to put the picture into three-dimensional!
She found some suitable wire for the swinging stalks. She bought some very fine yarn with the right color for the flowers. According to the structure in the picture, she started to work on it.
After she crotched the petals, she found out that they were too soft. They should be supported by some kind of very fine wire to make them stand up but not stiff. She found some very,very fine copper wire which was just the right softness for what she demanded. Only with that kind of wire which can show the beauty of the flower and its spectacular little tail!
My mother spent about almost two months to finish the whole bonsai of nasturtiums. It looked so real and vivid. Praises and appreciations were heard from whoever saw it !
To be contiued.
In the early days, my mother grand the honor to name this bonsai “Yu Jei Bing Ching”.
In Chinese, Yu Jie mains as pure as jade. Bing Ching means as clear as ice. The whole bonsai describes strict morality and behaviors, noble, eligant and integrity.
I named so because after my mother finished the arrangment of this bonsai, the lilies reminded me of Mary, mother of Jesus. The Rhodea Japonica looked like St. Joseph standing right next to her. Those little red flowers shows the motherly love to Mary and St. Joseph of my mother. I was deeply touch by it! What else could I name it!
c20. Nasturtium is on the way
One spring day, Yu Wen and Dz Yuen went to Yang-Ming-Shan National Park to enjoy the beauty of the famous Sakura. Dz Yuen holding Yu Wen’s arm carefully while they were walking slowly along the mountain trails. They talked to each other quietly and sweetly. It was such a beautiful and lovely picture.
They did not have a camera to capture the beauty of the scenery for their memories,Yu Wen crocheted the Sakura!
Every time when Yu Wen was crocheting Everlasting Blossoms, she always spent a lot of time in studying. Not only the look of the flower, but also how those petals and pistils were arranged, how the calyx should be. That is why at one of the exhibitions, there was a visitor who was talking to his friend with him:”Everlasting blossoms can be used as teaching aids, to teach the students the detail of flowers. That would impress them more”
Chinese take plum flower as their National Flower. Why? Because:
No matter how poor the land is for planting, the plum tree always make it.
The harder the land is, the deeper the roots will get.
The colder the weather gets, the more beautiful the flowers are blossomed.
Plum Flowers symbolize China and her prople.
As a Plum flower, Yu Wen, she was as honorable as a Princess, even dressing someone would waited on her. As a newly wedded house wife, watching a stranger came into her room. He took off her beautiful window curtain and told her the rant of the curtain was due that day. When she was desperately need food for her loved ones, she rather forgot her princess status to be a laundry lady instead of depression or give up her identity to pick up some easier and lowly work. When Japanese invaded China occupied most part of the land. The life for all Chinese were tough. But Yu Wen lived unrestrictedly. With flowers from the pagoda tree, edible wild herbs for food. Always keeping her upmost spirit, be contend with what she was. People around her affected by her spirit. She loved sharing. Her last wish was to have Everlasting Blossoms blossoming and butterflies flying ever where.
Yu Wen was a plum flower!
Since the incident of Azalea, Yu Wen began to collect picture photos to crochet new flowers. Neighbors and friends were supporting with all kinds of information.
One of her neighbor gave her a magazine “USA Today” Chinese version. There was an article about Vanda which won the blue Ribbon prize of orchids that year.
She had never seen Vanda before.
「 It’s so beautiful! No wonder it won the blue ribbon prize!」 Yu Wen said to herself:「I’m going to capture it with my hook and yarn, I’ll have my own Vanda! 」She was so happy as if she had found some very valuable treasure!
After she looked at the picture very carefully, Yu Wen realized that there are some difficulties. She found the petals of Wanda are a little different from the others, they were humped out. And the pistils are very different too.
「 I have to study it carefully.」 Yu Wen said to herself.
Yu Wen went through many failures. But when it was unveiled at the exhibitions in Taichung, it won a lot of praises.
Yu Wen took the shuttle bus to the market that weekend. She heard a lady was talking with someone at the back seats.
“Isn’t it strange? The Azaleas that I planted in my garden since last year were just blossomed couple days ago. They were gone. I wonder who did it?”
Suddenly Yu Wen remembered what had happened until now. Bashfully she turned around and said to that lady: ” I’m so sorry, It was I who picked them.” She confessed: ” It was because I wanted to try if I can crochet some Azaleas. I stood in your yard looked at them for a while. But I couldn’t get the detail. I meant to ask you but you were not home. I was going to let you know later, but I was too involved with crocheting and forgot all about it. Please forgive me!”
The neighbor knew how skillful Yu Wen was but she didn’t know that Yu Wen could crochet three-dimensional flower. She wanted to see them eagerly. Yu Wen invited her and some other ladies to her home to see the flowers. In addition to praise Yu Wen’s work, they suggested if Yu Wen would crochet some leaves along with flower stalk. Place then in a vase. They would look more beautiful. Yu Wen agreed that fantastic idea!
Therefore Yu Wen crocheted some pink and yellow Azaleas. With different sizes of wire she crocheted leaves and put them on the the stalks. There were three bouquets of Azaleas; red, yellow and pink, placed in vase.
To show her apology Yu Wen made a rose corsage for the lady who lost her fresh Azaleas.
From then Yu Wen crocheted many other different flowers.
— ” C-15 Vanda” is on it’s way
-Part Three The birth of Everlasting Blossoms
This noodle soup was the only thing that Dz Yun ever cooked. Nevertheless, it was really very helpful some times.
Once the couple got into an argument. After Yu Wen placed the dinner on the table, she went into the bed room without touch any food. Dz Yun felt sorry for what had happened. He tried his very best to apologize to Yu Wen. But Yu Wen was quite and just kept on stared at the book in her hands without turn any page. The dinner got cold! Cold food will upset Yu Wen’s stomach. This should never happen to his honey. Especially today! Dz Yun went into the kitchen. He fond some pork, spinach and dry noodle. He cut the pork into small piece and made some noodle shop for Yu Wen. When Yu Wen looked at the soup in Dz Yun’s hands, her sulkiness cool down and smiled! Her Honey never cooked before!
A complete Azalea was born a few days later. Dz Yun looked at the flower and said to Yu Wen: “Look, Buddy! Those Azaleas you picked from the garden are not as beautiful as they were before. But the one you crocheted will last till tomorrow, days later, even till winter. It will still look as fresh and beautiful as in spring. Pal! You’ve preserved the spring!”
Dz Yun thought all the flowers that Yu Wen crocheted should be named as “Everlasting Blossoms”. Because they always look as beautiful as they were blossoming in spring. Hence “Everlasting Blossom” was named solemnly .
–To be continued–
– Part two “Thou shall not steal”
Yu Wen went home with those flowers.
With strong spirits of interest, Yu Wen began to crochet while she study the flower.
The petals were very different from the roses. They were not as evenly flat as rose. They looked lively! That evening Yu Wen could not think of anything but how those pistils should be made?
The next day with her skillful fingers, she made a group of pistils with a black dot on the tip of each pistil and one long one with yellow dot. The next day…
After the pistils were finished, Yu Wen put them in the middle of the petals, she saw there was something missing. Some small dark dots at the center of the petals were missing. After she embroidered some dark red dots , the flower looked more like what it should be.
The time flew faster than usual specially at the last day when Yu Wen put the petals pistil together and embroider the dots. She just couldn’t stop one after another untill she was satisfied with her work. Before she could notice the evening was already there. Yu Wen was totally soaked in the happiness of crochet.
While Yu Wen was enjoying her work, she heard someone opened the front door. My goodness! It is six o’clock. Dz Yun was home from work. She hadn’t prepare any dinner yet! She ran over to Dz Yun said guiltily: “I’m sorry! Pal. I was crocheting the Azalea and forgot the time.”
Dz Yun smiled at Yu Wen and said: ” Did not cook. Right? That’s good! So I can show off my skill today! How about some noodle soup with shredded pork and spinach?”
– To be contained
Part one – Azaleas
One beautiful morning in March, Yu Wen was strolling around the neighborhood. In one of her neighbor’s yard she saw three newly blossomed Azaleas. They looked so beautiful! These flowers enlightened her desire of crotchet some Azaleas.
After she got home, right away Yu Wen took out her crochet kits. First she was trying to sketch a Azalea in her mind. She pictured the petals and the pistils. The combination of the petals are very different from roses. But the pistil? She could hardly remember how did they look like. She had to go back to look at it again. Quickly she went back to that garden to study.
She stood there looked at the Azalea over for a while, Yu Wen thought it’s better for her to take them home and study it thoroughly. So she can crochet while she was studying.
Yu Wen picked those three Azaleas with the branch from the bush. Suddenly she realized: “My Goodness! Am I a flower thief?” She ran over to her neighbor’s door and knocked. But there was no body home. “What am I going to do? I have to take them home and put them in a vase with water as soon as possible. Before they withered. I’ll come back tonight.”
To appreciate this bonsai, it should start with the red rose in the center.
This red rose was the very first one that Yu Wen crotched, “The flower of love”. It is the very first ancestor of all Everlasting blossom. She told her students, “After you have learned how to crochet a rose, You have to keep practice until the rose you crocheted really looked like a rose, then you are graduated. Since then you can start to create your own everlasting blossoms, which means you can crochet any kind of flower as you wanted to.”
In this bonsai, there is no other red rose which tells us the loyalty of love. It dropped a hint that Dz Yuen was Yu Wen’s first love, her only admirer.
There are two pink roses, symbolizing the harmonic love of husband and wife.
The yellow rose shows the dignity and honor, divine love of marriage, and single-minded of love in marriage.
The lilies symbolizing the faithfulness between each other.
The gladiolus are for wealth, those little flowers means offspring.
Among all the Everlasting Blossoms, Dz Yuen loved this bonsai the most. And he named it “Luxuriant Bonsai”!
“C14 Everlasting Blossom Blossomed” is on it’s way.
Gardening was Dz Yun’s, hobby. After he retired from the Chinese Air Force, he had more time to enjoy gardening.
Although Yu Wen never had any serious health problems, she was a kind of fragile. She thought, “What if I have to leave the world before my pal? What will I have to leave for him? What do I have to show him that my love will always be with him?
Dz Yun loves flowers, but flowers will wither. What if I can make some kind of flower that will not wither?” She thought of silk ribbon flowers, but the color of the silk ribbon will gradually faded. Embroidery will be too flat. She then found the curtains she crocheted many years ago. Although she had washed them several times, their color remained vibrant and even. She then realized she could use the same kind of yarn to crochet some flowers. There are so many colors to choose from. After she searched many ways to try to create some flower that will remain blossom always, she thought crochet with fine yarn would be the best.
First she tried to crochet a rose. When it was done, it looked like a flower alright, but it didn’t looked like a rose! It wasn’t nearly as beautiful as she hoped. She tried again and again and after many failures… the very first rose was born!
One spring evening in 1967, Dz Yun came home after work. As he was putting on his slippers he noticed a red rose in a vase. Smiling, he said to Yu Wen, “Buddy, what day is it today? Didn’t we just celebrate our anniversary last August?”
Yu Wen smiled and said, “Come and take a closer look.”
As Dz Yun approached the table, he wondered if the vase was an antique. When he picked up the vase, he suddenly realized the rose was not a real flower. It’s a crocheted rose! He had never seen a crocheted flower. It looked so real! His words seemed to jump out of him, “Oh my! Where did you get it, buddy? It’s so unique and so beautiful! What a remarkable piece of work!”
Smiling, Yu Wen said, “I crocheted it!”
“What?! My goodness! It’s really good!” Dz Yun was in great delight while he was holding the crocheted rose in his hand and turning it over and over again.
The encouragement from Dz Yun was all that Yu Wen needed to carry her to produce the second, the third and more roses. Each looked better than the last. Yu Wen then added the calyx, peduncle and leaves. The rose was alive!
The first bouquet of roses was successfully crocheted!
Yu Wen had never told Dz Yen her true intention behind crocheting the rose.
-C13. Everlasting Blossom Blossomed- is on it’s way
After they landed at Tainan air port on the southern part of Taiwan, the Ho family were headed to Yu-Gwang Village, a small town at the very southern part of Taiwan. Dz Yun and his family stay there until Dz Yun appointed to his new job.
On their way to their destination Yu-Gwang Village, they saw lots of green bushes with beautiful red flowers in them. The long pistils of those flowers hanging down from the center like tassels. All the petals turned upwards and curled like a ball . The whole flower looked like a cute little lantern with a tassel dangling in the air and swinging with the gentle breeze. Syau Wen thought they were lanterns waving by lots of invisible fairs. They were welcoming the new arrivals.
The fresh air smelled sweet. The sunlight feels so good. Birds tweeting along with the cheerful sound made by the flowing acequia water. What a beautiful and peaceful scenery.
Taiwan was totally an unfamiliar place even the language is so different. It’s like a foreign country to these new comers. The discrepancy caused some humorous happening to Yu Wen.
For these new comers’ convenience, there was a convenience store supplied almost all kinds of daily necessaries. The first day when Yu Wen visited the store, she found toothbrush, toothpaste, towels, soap, soya sauce, salt, cooking oil, rice, even rice-cooker, wok and cooking utensils. She was so happy that she can be a real house wife again!
While Yu Wen was walking around the store, she smelled something sweet in the air. Yu Wen loved sweets! She looked around to search for the source of that sweetness. Finally she found there was a big bamboo weaved basket. A big pile of small brown cookies, powdered with some creamy colored powders on the surface. She bended down to smell them. Yes! That’s it! She thought these cookies must made with lots of brown sugar. Those creamy colored power should be coconut’s powder. “My! I’ll have some real treat today.” She thought. The price tag said $1.00 for five pieces! What a deal! With 5 pieces of that cookie in one hand, a dollar bill in the other, she went over to the lady behind the counter. As soon as she got one hand free, she picked up one of the cookies and started to put it toward her mouth. The lady behind the counter screamed in her loudest: “NO! NO! That’s soap for heavy greasy stuff. They were made with alkali and gleditsia and rice bran.”
The cookie frozen half way in the air! Everybody stared at Yu Wen quietly. She put down that cookie together with the other four. Seriously she said:”My great gracious! It’s a good thing that I couldn’t wait till I get home to taste it. Otherwise not only bubbles will coming out from my mouth, my internal will be well washed.” Everybody burst out laughing
One day while Yu Wen was cooking, she found out she needed some green onion, A greengrocer come by. She went out to see if there was any green onion. It happened that Yu Wen didn’t have any small bill that day. She handed him a $10 dollar bill. The onion only worth for 14 cent. She was waiting for her change. Yu Wen was worried about the cooking on the stove. So she said ” Hurry up! Hurry up! I have something cooking on the stove.” The greengrocer said “Thank you very much!” Instead of give Yu Wen the change, he picked up his shoulder pole and ready to leave.
“Waite a minute! You’ve not give me the change yet? ” Yu Wen called out loud!
The greengrocer said: ” You said “It’s OK! It’s OK!”
— “C12. Rose, The Flower of Love” is on it’s way–
Last week with a senior tour group we visited two places; Jelly Belly Factory and Budweiser Factory. Those beautiful, happy and exciting memories will with me for years!
As we walked into building I saw….
A little dizzy I felt. I must be dreaming? I’ve never been here before……. But how come this scenery looked so familiar?
My goodness! That was more than 20 years ago, while my sister and sister-in -law were visiting me from Taiwan. That was a cursory visit with a tour group! We rushed in and rushed out! It did not leave any thing in my memory box. I guess nothing impressed me but this big fat flying Jelly Belly!
A little sad I felt. My sister is in heaven now. My sister-in-law lost her husband,my very dear brother almost 10 years ago,
But life goes on! Enjoy the present! That’s what my deceased loved ones would asked me to. I believe.
We visited the factory. Watching how those jelly beans were made and coated with different colors and flavors. How they were packed in boxes, I was bewildered!
At the mid of all those busy machinery and workers, a robot lifted a big sign said “Welcome!”. We weaved back happily!
After we come out of the factory, each of us received a small bag of mixed flavored jell belly beans !
I wandered: “how was horse related to beer?” I just couldn’t figure it out “Why” until I asked our tour guide. It was just as simple as 123!
In the early days, transportation were no as good as now-a days. Without horses’ hard working, Budweiser wouldn’t be delivered all around the country. And Budweiser would never be as popular as now . From bottling several thousands of beer per minute every day, it’s not hard to figure out it’s Market demand.
The best part of this visit was “beer tasting”!
The tour-guide took us into the conference room. After we watched a short movie about how Budweiser was named. How the beer was made, etc.
Then came the big moment! Beer Tasting”!
There werer 4 bottles of different beers. We can choose any one of them. I am not familiar with any one of them. But the one named “Wile Blue” attracted my attention. I had never had any beer in my life! A little Red wine sometimes for special occasions.
I have no idea What did the 8 percent meant. But I still asked only a little bit.
That’s how “lit bit” they gave me. The special savoury and mellow smell which I had never had made me floating in the air! I sipped a little. It tasted G-O-O-D! Couldn’t help I sipped a little again! WOW! The middle of my chest was on fire!!
My good heavens! That 2 sips totally would not even as much as 1/5cc! My mind said “Go! Get more!”
My heart said “No more! Otherwise your whole body will be on fire!”
Resolutely and determinedly, I put the cup down!
The aftertaste is with me right now as I am typing, I am floating in the air again!
When the plan was Circling Hai Nan Island in the air, Yu Wen felt very uncomfortable for unknown reason!
As the plan got closed to the ground, Yu Wen saw people were playing basketball with shorts and necked upper body!
“My goodness! It’s the heat.” Yu Wen said. She couldn’t imagine the winter in Hai Nan Island could be as hot as summer! Then she told all her kits to take off all the heavy clothing. After everybody got off the plan, they all opened their suitcases to dig out their summer clothing! Yu Wen said to her children: ” We have two summers this year!”
All the families settled in a temporary shelter. Their life become peaceful and romantic!
The shelter was just a big house. Big, simple and crude. It separated into several rooms. There were doorways but no doos. Windows without class! Good thing was there was no the winter bitter coldness! Even at night, they have to turn on the fans.
Fortunately they found a hut, there was a stove build by clay and rocks. A big rusty wok sat on it They also found some dirty pots, plates, bowls and some other kitchenware. At least they didn’t have to go to San Ya(a small city about 10 miles away)to eat.
First of all, Yu Wen asked the ladies of each household to clean-up the kitchen. Meanwhile Dz drove the truck with some men to San Ya to buy rice and other supplies for cooking meals for the whole group. They have three groups people: cooking, cleaning and shopping, Every one working voluntarily in each group. The members of this big family treasured those happy memories so much!
At the evenings. Dz Yun and Yu Wen loved to walked on the beach not only because it was cooler on the beach, the beauty of the sunsets were awesome that they had never enjoyed before! The sunset was glamorous.
Above the west sea level, while the brilliant colorful sunset was still floating. The Moon was already hanging on the east sky above the coconut trees. Small groups of homebound birds flew over head from time to time. Children were laughing and playing with the sand that they had never did. Dz Yun and Yu Wen hand in hand singing along the beach. To Yu Wen this was a paradise!
The days in Hai Nan Island like a vacation to everyone. Vacation never last very long! They had to move on to Taiwan.
-to be continued –
After the other families were sent to their stops when they arrived to Cheng-Du, it was late afternoon. The truck stopped at the gate of one of Dz Yun’s amateur radio Hams, Mr. Gung’ home. It was located on East Gwie Street.
It was a two doors gate. On each side of the gate, there was a stone drum. Dz Yun realized this family is not any Common folk. Someone in this family was a military diplomatic officer.
Dz Yun knocked on one of the door rings slightly. A fifty or sixty year old man opened the door, with strong local accent asked: “whom are you looking for?”
Dz Yun told him his name and whom he was looking for. Not long Mr. Gung came out to welcome them cordially. Usually after the doorman reported to the master or mistress whom the visitor was, he’ll get the permission to show the visitor the way in. But Mr. Gung himself come to the gate to welcome Dz Yun’s family which shows how much they were welcomed.
Mr. Gung looked a little younger and taller than Dz Yung. His kind and friendly looking made a very good impression on these tire and wear out travelers.
They stepped into the courtyard, it reminded Yu Wen her own motherhouse, she was thinking; “This should be the first courtyard with houses on three sides. These rooms are for the workers and the servants. The houses in the next courtyard are for masters and mistresses.” Yu Wen was right. Between the first and second courtyards there was a two stores building. They were for the guests. The second courtyard was wider. There were corridors instead of houses on each side of the yard. There were some rare flowers planted along the two sides of the paved path which leading to the main room. There were Chinese Cercis and Aglaia odorata in the yard.
As they walked closer to the open door of the main living room, Yu Wen saw a elder lady at her sixties holding a long pipe in her hand stood inside the door. Yu Wen thought as if she saw her mother. As if she was at home before she married. Completely forgot she was a visitor. Quickly she walked forward three small steps to the lady, saluted her with Princesses Etiquette spontaneously and gracefully.
The elder lady could never imagine that this dusty young lady in front her was an out of luck princesses.
Quickly she supported Yu Wen up with both hands and invited her into the main living room and offered her a seat. Yu Wen sat in one of those big arm chairs. Her mother’s teachings all come back to her; only sat on the edge of the chair with her both feet touching the floor.To be ready to stand up when elders asked her a question.
All these small motions tells that this person was a descendant of the royal family and well educated with all the elegant courtesy. Old Mrs. Gung had not seen it for years. None of her two daughter-in-laws would know this kind of court courtesy. She felt so sorry for this poor out of luck princess. From that moment on, old Mrs. Gung loved Yu Wen as much as her own daughter. She arranged have the Hos stay on the second floor of the building in between the 1st and 2nd courtyard. She gave one of her a house maid, Peng-Sou to take care of all the house chores, including bathing the children, bring lunch to school for Syau Wen and her younger sisters Syau Yun, younger brother Lung-Lung and Da Chwen. the youngest in the famiy. After school peng-Sou’ll take them home.
Under the mandate of old Mrs. Gung, Yu Wen had never been so relaxed!
One day, Mrs Gung said to Yu Wen: “Come on! my child, let’s stop the show! I’m exhausted of this kind of play! That I haven’t practiced for decades.”
Yu Wen can’t help but laughed and said: “All right! Then….forgive me if I’m presumptuous!”
It was a pity that Dz Yun’s family only stay in Cheng Du for about one year. Dz Yun was ordered to take the family to Taiwan via Hainan Island the smallest and southernmost island in China. Located in the South China Sea, separated from Guangdong‘s Leizhou Peninsula to the north by the shallow and narrow Qiongzhou Strait.
–To be continued–
On their journey, they stopped at Jyan Ge(劍閣). This stop had left a unforgettable memory to the Ho’s. Yu Wen was almost lost her first born son.
Jyan Ge was one of the famous scenic spots on Qinling Mountains. They found a very good hotel. The best one on their journey! There was a fountain and some trees in the courtyard and. Clear water flowed out from the fountain for drink, cooking and washing.
There were lots of hotel rooms. Enough for each family to have their own room . Hotel rooms were surrounded around the courtyard. Outside of each room there was a washstand with a moveable copper washbowl, A face cloth hang on the frame. They can wash their face with cool, clear fountain water. How luxurious was it for these truck riders. They hardly remember when was the last time they had washed their face! None of them would dumped the water out before they washed their feet.
That day was probably the longest day they rested before they get on to the truck. They will continue their journey after lunch! There was enough time for them to walk around the town near their truck. everybody got on to the truck by noon, they discovered one child was missing. That was the youngest one of the Ho’s. The only boy of that family, Lwung-Lwung, who was only three years old. Everyone got off the truck to help to look for him.
Yu Wen was so worried and panic. She had heard many terrible stories about what could be happened to those missing children same age as Lung-Lung. Some bad guys would follow a child who walked along on the street. They had some kind of drug in their hand. They would pat on the child’s head to perplex him/her. Then the child would follow no one else but the one who patted on his/her head. Anyone who saw them would think they were family members. The most horrible thing was, they might kill the child and empty the dead child’s internal organs and stuff it with drugs such as heroin or opium to transport to somewhere. The dead child would looked like a very sick child. Yu Wen was crying and calling on Lung-Lung’s name out loud while she was running from door to door on the streets.
Finally she found him! Lwung-Lwung was there standing in fount of some strange racks. Watching at the man who was clapping two pieces of wooden bats on each weights hanging down from #1 racks. #2 rack stood separately on the other end. Under the #2 rake there placed a row of baskets with a certain numbers of silkworm cocoons in it. They pulled out a piece of silk from each cocoon. Have each grouped silk went through one of the holes on the #2 rake and hauled each grouped silks through one of the holes on the #1 rack. Have them hang down and tie a weight on them. When bats were padding the weight spun and twirled the group of silks together. Then he coiled the twisted silk on the weight and clasp the bats again. Lung-Lung was drawn to it because of the noise: ” Pa!” “Pa!” “Pa!”s. After Yu Wen found Lwung-Lwung, she was in awe with the procedure of how the silk was made.
-to be continued –
The situation changes very fast. Not long Dz Yun was ordered to take the group headed to Cheng Du, Sz Chwan. Some of the staff and their families preferred to stay in Han Jung, not going any further. The rest of the team who wanted to go to Cheng Du followed Dz Yu to continue their journey to an unfamiliar place. They traveled with two trucks with no shed. They planned to get into Sz Chwan via Qinling Mountains.
Qinling Mountains was amajor east-west mountain range in southern Shanxi Province, China. The mountains provide a natural boundary between the North and South of the country, and support a huge variety of plant and wildlife. Some of which is found nowhere else. But the road from one side to the other was with difficulties and set-backs because of those terrifying precipices.
First they put all their lodges in the truck and then have the elders, little children and frail ladies sat in the middle. All the young and strong men and women sat skirt around, to protect the ones sat in the middle from fallout from the truck. Specially for when the truck had to make turns. When it was raining, they would hold the canvas as a canopy. Those circuitous road winding up and down the mountain side which frightened the passengers. It seemed there would a chance for any one of the passengers be flung out of their seat.
There were many place of historic interest and scenic beauty on Qinling Mountains. It’s a place that so many people were longing to visit. Never the less those refugees were not in a mood to enjoy. All they longing was to get to a save place and settle down. So they can live in peace.
It was cold and windy sitting in a open truck every daytime. They prayed hard for not rain! Because the road could be very slippery and the driver could lost control while he was driving on those slippery winding cliffs. The rain might cause some loosing rockslide rolling down from the mountain sides. Every night they jam-packed in some small inn rooms. It was even hardly for them to turn their body while sleeping. Sometime the driver had to stopped the truck to cool down the engine for a shout break. The passengers would take this opportunity to get out the truck and stretch themselves a bit. They could sat under the pine trees enjoy the nature and the peacefulness. Listen to the soughing of the wind in the pines and the beautiful music offered by many different species of birds. The moments they could put down all their worries and anxieties. With the renewed strength to continue their alarmingly dangerous journey and sustain them to their final destination, Cheng-Du..
-to be continued –
The official notice of withdraw to Sz-Chwan finally came to the Air force in Sy-An. Their first stop was Han-Jung. They will take plane to Hanzhong.
Yu Wen and the children had never had any chance to ride a plane. They were very excited! But it was an awful experience for them at all.
Due to the very early took off before down, they had to go the air port and spend the night there. Was there any hotel close to the air port? No! With all the other families who’ll take the same plane. They all slept on the hard and cold cement floor outside of the plane repair shop against the wall under the dome evaes.
It was extremely cold at night. They had to sleep with all their clothing on and covered with heavy blanket. It was warm all right while they were covered with the blanket, but after they got off it, the freezing air made them shivering even their teeth were dancing!
“It is a freighter.” Dz Yun told Yu Wen and the kits. In those days, freighter was a three propeller air plane. There were no passenger seats it side. The cabin was much narrower than now a day’s cargo. There were a lot of circular rings and belts on the wall for fastening the goods that piled in the middle. People were standing or sitting on the floor. The engine noise was awfully loud. People had to shout aloud at your ears when they wanted to talk to you.
The journey seemed last forever!
Finally they landed at Han-Jung. Dz Yun settled the team of families in the hospital rooms.
– To be continued –
Not too long after the war with the Japanese was over, it began the civil war with the Chinese communist party. The Chinese Air Force in Syi-An decided to withdraw to Sz-Chwan. This news influenced the situation. It went back to the time before the Victory. People started to try to get out of their homes and move to some cities that was not occupied by the Communists. Some people were take advantage of the national crisis to make fortune. Dz Yun’s working unite was a Electronic communication equipments station. As a director of the station, he should keep every single item in stock correctly stored, check every issued item that matched the requisition, make sure the number of incoming items be correctly received. But a few days before they withdrew to Sz-Chwan, Dz Yun found out some un-matched numbers on the records. He checked with his staff but they all declared their hands were clean. He knew those missing items were taken by some of his staff.
Some of those communication equipment were rather too big to be transferred to Sz Chwan. Those items will be left behind like presents for the communist. Dz Yun surely would not see anything happen like that. Yet he hated to see those speculators take advantage.
One day, Dz Yun told his staff to move all the big items which could not be transported to Sz Chwan out of the warehouse and put them in a big open area. The staff were wondering why did their director told them to do so. Some thought may be their director changed his mind now. May be he gathered all these items together for the buyers easier to choose the ones they like. They were very happy that Mr. Ho straighten out his thinking finally.
That evening after everybody went home, Dz Yun dumped some gas on those equipment, lit the match and burned them all.
Even Dz Yun had burned those equipments which could not be shipped, but after they settled down in Taiwan, it was rumored that Ho Dz Yun covered his richness with destitute. The actuality was he brought a bucket of gold with him from Syi An. When rumor came to Yu Wen, She just laughed at it. Because she knew it was preposterous. She grew in money but never attached to money. To her, if put money and conscience on the scale, conscience will be far more heavier than gold. Her husband who cherish the same ideals and takes the same course with her. How blessed she is.
– To be continued –
After she recovered her consciousness the very first thing that Yu Wen wanted to do was to try to get hold of her mother, her two sister-in-laws and her nephew. She wanted to ask them to come to Si-An to live with them. Dz Yun agreed with the good idea.
Dz Yuen started to contact with the Hams in Pei-Jing. But the only information he can provide was: “An elderly lady with two young ladies and a little boy about 10 years old. They lived somewhere around Tyan-An-Men Square and their names”. There was no address.
With great enthusiasm the Hams searched everywhere around Tyan-An-Men Square. With such an incomplete information provided by Dz Yun, it took the Hams almost a whole year to locate Yu Wen’s mother. When they found her they tried their best to convince old Mrs. Lyan to “try” to talk to Yu Wen on a radio station. Finally she agreed.
The day before she talked with her mother on the radio , Yu Wen was all keyed-up and couldn’t sleep at all. Her mind was busy with: “How am I going to convince Mom to live with us? Would Mom be upset with me because I’ve never go home since I left Pei-Jing?”
Early that morning, Yu Wen wiped off her tears before Dz Yun saw it. Quietly she walked over to the radio and turned it on, waiting the calling from Pei-Jing.
A little before the appointed time, Yu Wen was shaking. The minute when she heard mother’s voice, she was almost collapsed. Dz Yun was shocked and didn’t know what to do. Whether should he stop the conversation with Pei-Jing or kept it going.
Finally Yu Wen was calmed down. She told her mother that it was Dz Yun and her aspiration to invited her and her sister-in-laws to come to Syi-An and live with them.
The voice of old Mrs. Lyan came from the amplifier was calm and clear. There was no excitement, hard to tell whether the person who was talking was happy or upset!
“My child, I’m very well. I don’t think it is necessary for me to live with son-in-law yet. Thank you for your good well.”
No matter how hard Dz Yun or the hams in Pei-Jing trying to persuaded her, Old Mrs Lyan insisted to turn off the microphone.
It left Yu Wen at a complete loss. She sat in front of the radio. Cold and numbness. She burst out in tears. Dz Yun sat beside her speechlessly. He thought it’s better to let Yu Wen cry.
–C11. Settled Down un Taiwan–
Eventually Yu Wen got connected with some of her relatives in Pei-Jing. But the news she received was such a heart broken one: Her father died. Her younger brother was persecuted by the Japanese and died in a tragic death. Her older brother was missing. Now her mother with two daughter-in-laws: one was a widow while the other one didn’t know where her husband is, and one grandson, son of her elder son. The Japanese forced them out of their house. Now they lived at a unknown slum area.
Two years before the Victory, Yu Wen learned that the Japanese had obligated her father, Mr. Lyan to be the county magistrate of Tang Shan County. For Mr. Lyan himself, he rather die to take the position. But when he found out his two sons had joined the underground activities against the Japanese, Mr Lyan realized he could use this position to cover up his two sons and as well as those patriotic hot-blooded young people. He accepted
While Mr. Lyan was the county magistrate of Tang Shan, all his relatives and friends estranged him. They looked at him as a stranger on the street. No one would visit him but the Japanese.
Due to his mentally and physically exhaustion, Mr. Lyan died only stayed on job for one year.
One year before the Victory, the night before the secret mission was almost about to be accomplish, the secret tiding divulged. There was no time for Yu Wen’s older brother, Lyan Jen Dung to notify his family not even his only beloved younger brother, Lyan Fu Sing. He was rescued by his friends they took him away secretly before he was arrested. . No one ever knew where he went. Even after the war was over, still no one had ever seen him. Whither he is alive no one knew.
Right after the Japanese got the news about the secret mission, they arrested almost all the members of that secret organization and tortured them to death. Lyan Fu Sing’s, the younger brother of Yu Wen, was the most tragic one. The Japanese looked at him with bitterly hate because he was the chief officer of Japanese M.P. in Tang Shan Syan. But no matter how much they tortured him, trying to get some more names of the organization from him, he did not say a word until the Japanese put his thoroughly injured body into a big bucket of string acid. His whole body corroded until the last hair was gone and everything turned into smoke and vanished in the air. The news was provided by someone who was one of the members of the underground mission but trusted by the Japanese. He had seen the whole process.
When Yu Wen heard a series of heartbroken happenings, she passed out.
–to be continued–
In 1940s, The Amateur Radio Stations were very popular everywhere in the world. Anyone can set up a radio station at home. You don’t need to have a license to set up a station. Same as to set up an email, face book or a blog now-a-days. With your station you can talk to people anywhere in the world. After each new station being connected with, they will mail each other a postcard with their name and address. After you have received the postcard from all 7 continents, you can mail them to the Head quarter of the World Amateur Radio Stations Association. They’ll mail back those cards along with a certificate to prove your effort and skill. You are a qualified “Ham”. When next time you get another seven card, you may mail them and get another certificate. The more certificates you receiver the better qualifications for you. The other Amateurs will look-up on you because you are an Old Ham!
To set up a Amateur Radio Station, first you should have a name for your station. For the people in China, the name will start with “C” , stands for China. Next to the “C” there is a number. Which telles people which Province you were in. Such as “1” is for the stations located in Shang-Hai. The last two letters usually were the abbreviation of the person’s name who set up the station. The station’s calling sign would be C1XX. Dz Yun lived in Shan-Syi province, it’s number is 6. Dz Yun’s calling sign is C6TW. Yu Wen love to talk with those friends whom she had never met. So her calling sign as “C6OL”(OL stands for Old Lyan). Syau Wen didn’t wanted to be left behind as well. Her father named her “C6YL” – YL was for Lyan junior.
Syau Wen miss those good old times so much. When she was sitting with her parents in front of the radio, holding the speaker talking with those uncles and aunts, she was wondering how they looked like: Were they tall or shout? Fatty or skinny? Any time when she heard her father calling: ” CQ,CQ. This C6TW. Please response.” She would ran to her father and stood next to him.
Sometimes because of the changing of air current, a new station was just started responding, it faded away. Dz Yun would say” My! Distortion.” Hopelessly.
Dz Yun invented an automatic calling card. When he turned it on, it would sent out a telegraphic message into the air. Whoever received the signal can either telegraph back or call back vocally. Dz Yun could keep on talking with someone on the radio while that calling card was working until he saw a green light went on to notify him that someone received his telegraph was trying to response.
He made the calling card out from an old phonograph disk. He cut the phonograph small and cut the edge as saw teeth with different sides of teeth and gaps. A needle touched the saw tooth. When The disk turned it came out with different signals. Syau Wen was amazed at what her father had made. She could never figured out how could people understand what her father meant with those strange “Di,Di…….Da…” sounds.
When Hams met in the air, they talk to each as if they have been knowing each other for years. In addition to exchange views, they talked about history, culture, tradition. They talked about their families as well. They treated each other sincerely. They were honest and men of honor. If you need some help, they will do their best.
After the 2nd World War was over, The news of the surrender of Japan went out through whole China. People were filled with a wild ecstatic happiness. Firecrackers could be heard everywhere for days. Eight long years of tough lives were not in vain. The victory was here finally. Those family members who had been forced to leave their home and wandered away now was the time to come home. People began to contact with their families back home looking forward for family reunion.
The Hams of those Amateur Radio Stations played a very important role in helping family reunion.
–to be continued–
During the war against the Japanese invasion, the life in China was poverty-stricken. Clothing for example; usually they altered the adult clothe to fit the older child. The older child’s to the younger one. There for after several time’s recycle the cloth was almost totally worn out. But they were still usable!
Those cut out parts and cloth waste from each alternation, were carefully saved. After the collection came to a certain amount, people will wash them clean and store- them away. When the weather was good, people will dig them out to make their own cloth leather. They make their own glue with flour, alum and wax. The alum in the glue will keep the clothes moth away. The wax will make the needle go through the heavy cloth leather more smooth and easier. In Chinese we call the cloth made leather: “Bu Ge Bei” which means cloth made leather..
You may be interested to know how to make cloth leather. You may never need to make one, but it’s easy and fun!
- You have to have a big piece of wooden board, such as a retired wooden door.
- Put the wooden door on the ground. Brush a thin layer of glue evenly on it.
- Look for bigger pieces of cloths such as an old curtain, stretch it out and lay on the glue. If it is not big enough to cover the whole door, patch it up.
- Use a big brush to brush out the air from underneath the cloth. Until every single air bubble was gone. Sometimes you may have to use the brush to beat those air bubbles to get the air out to make sure every where is well glued.
- Then coated with another layer of glue and cloths. By now, you come to a very artistic job and fun. Because you may not always use those big piece of cloth layer after layer. Therefore you have to chose the right sides and the same thickness, as playing with puzzles, those ragged cloths’ size must be matched to each other. After you patched up the whole board, you can work on to the next layer.
- When it come to the right thickness, put the board in the sun. It may need several sunny days to dry it up. Wait until you see the corners of the cloth leather peeled off by itself, then you know it may need one or two more sunny day till the whole sheet of cloth leather ready to be peeled off the board. Thus a piece of beautiful cloth leather is ready for you to make shoes.
Most of the families make the cloth leather themselves. Some may hire people to do the work for them.
Each year when it was time to make cloth leather, is the best time for the kids at Ho’s. They thought their mother was a magician. She brought out bags of colorful cloths from nowhere. She dumped them out on a big straw mate. Yu Wen would let Syau Wen and Syau Yun to pick out some pieces of cloth for themselves to make clothing for their handmade dolls. They were also permitted to help their mother to cut off the ragged edges from those clouts. Then Yu Wen would start to play puzzle and musical work on the old wooden door which was borrowed from the neighborhood. The kids loved to help to beat those air bubbles out with the brush. Each time when the brush beat on the board it make different noise, soft or loud sounded like music. Sometime they may splash some glue up in the air while they beating. The glue may flew on to their clothes or even got into their face or hair. They would laugh loudly at each other.
–To be continued–
The kindergarten students were going to put up an one-act play. Syau Wen was going to be the flower girl.
Yu Wen was very proud of Syau Wen being chosen to be one of the players. But on the other hand, she was a little worried about the stage costume.
Back in 1940s, there was no department stories. No place you can buy clothes unless have the tailors to make one for you. Yu Wen remembered that Mr. Liu gave her the pink silk that left over from the pillows. With the white silk she had could be useful for making the costume. After Yu Wen drew a sketch in her mind she started cutting and sawing.
She used the pink silk to make the dress with two short fluffy sleeves. The white silk she used them for the collar and the edges of the sleeves. There was a piece of white strip in the middle of the dress from the collar all the way down the edge of the skirt. She made many white silk triangles to lace the collar, sleeves and white strip at the center of the dress.
Yu Wen worked the whole night until dawn. She was not tired at all. Her only concern was to dress Syau Wen like a real Flower girl. All she need to finish now was to put those buttons on and seam the edge of the skirt. Syau Wen came in to say good morning to her parents, she was surprised to see the beautiful pink dress hang on the wall. She thought she must be dreaming. The pink dress hanging on the wall must be a gift from Cinderella’s Godmother. When she found the dress was made by her mother, she thought her mother was even more power than Cinderella’s Godmother. Because there was not even one little white triangle on Cinderella’s dress. Her dress is more beautiful. It is fantastic! She wished the performance could be tonight, so she could wear it to let people know what a wonderful mother she has.
Finally the big date was here. Syau Wen wearing the dress her mother made, proudly walked out from the back stage. Holding a basket full of flower petals on her arm. with the other hand, she spread the petals onto the floor in front of the bride and bridegroom. With steady steps along with the music of Wedding March. Slowly she walked. She wanted her parents to see how good her perform is. She couldn’t help from looking at the audience. There she found them right in the first row. There was no stage fright because her mother was there with her. While show was on, the audience stood up and clapped loudly. Syau Wen thought her parents’ claps were the loudest.
There were a lots of mothers attracted by that pink dress, specially the style they’ve never seen before. They whispered to each other:”The dress that little girl wearing is so pretty. Where did they buy it?”
“Look at that flower girl! She spreading the petals seriously as if she is doing some scared work.”
” I wander whose girl is she?”
Yu Wen was so excited and so proud of her Syau Wen.. She was almost acted out an impulse to stand up to tell all the mothers “That’s my daughter!”
— “C-10 Heroes at the war of Japanese invasion” os on it way–
Finally Yu Wen sensed that there was someone standing next to her. It embarrassed her when she found that was Mr. Liu. She stood up quickly and apologize:”I’m sorry, Mr liu. I was preoccupied to notice your presence. Is there anything that I can do for you?” She asked.
“No. Nothing! Sit down, sit down. I just brought some candy for the girls. The butterfly you are embroidering was so beautiful! If it is not because you have to take care of two little girl, I wish to ask you to make a pair of pillow cases for my youngest daughter. She is going to be married the end of this year.”
Yu Wen had never seen Mr. Liu’s daughter before. Only knew her from the picture that Mr. Liu showed her. Mr. Liu’s daughter looked beautiful and virtuous. Mr. Liu was a very friendly and kind old gentleman. Yu Wen looked upon Mr. Liu as her father. When she heard what Mr. Liu had said, right away she said ::” No problem at all. Embroidery is my favorite pastime. I’d love to make a pair of pillow cases for your daughter. I wish I could paint butterflies as well.”
That was true, Yu Wen did not know how to paint at all. But Mr. Liu thought that didn’t matter at all. He said : ” No. I’m glad that you don’t paint, If you do, I’m afraid those butterflies might flew away. But the ones you embroidered with silk thread on the cloth, they cannot fly away. If you really main it, I’ll get some pink colored silk for you. What do you think?”
Yu Wen gladly answered “Yes! I’ll do it.”
Time went by fast, Syau Wen was a kindergartener now. The most joyful thing for Syau Wen was that every day she could skip and hop all the way to school with the little book bag in her hand. She was so happy that she became one of the students who playing in the schoolyard. Not the one who can only watching down from the windows. Now she could learn how to read, to sing songs and play games with the students.
When she came home, she loved to imitate her teacher and had Syau Yun to be her student. She wanted to teach Syau Yun how to read. But Syau Yun couldn’t sat still more than one minute and began to grab the book and wanted to tear the pages. Syau Wen snatched it back from her little sister’s hands and ran away.
One day Syau Wen came home with excitement. She told her mother that her teacher appointed her to be the flower girl. There will be a bride, a bridegroom, mouse, frog and cricket. Yu Wen couldn’t understand what was Syau Wen talking about until she visited Syau Wen’s teacher. –To be continued–
Dz Yun’s family settled down at Wu-Tung-Chyau. It was a Xanadu!
Jya-Ding and Wu-Tung-Chyau both were well salt product cities in Sz-Chwan.
They moved into the Salt Bureau Guest House. The building was built on the mountain side. From the French Windows you could view the beautiful mountain slope all way down to the mountain foot. You can enjoy a variety kind of flowers all year long. There were leafless trees in winders, but many evergreens as well. Never snowed in winter, yet no breathless hot summer too. May be it was not as in spring all the time, But you certainly would deeply fell in love with her!
On both sides of the mountain trails, there were big and tall Chinese Parasol trees. When the season the seeds falling down from the trees, Syau Wen would join the children’s treasure hunting group to look for parasol seeds. The seeds grew on both sides of a spoon shaped shell. They were delicious! At first, Syau Wen was dare not to eat it. But ends up she couldn’t resist the temptation looks on her companion’s face as they were eating those seeds. She joined them! They were not bad at all. The unique sweetness of taste and smell she can never forget her whole life.
The days were easier after they settled down at Wu-Tung-Chyau. Dz Yun haired a lady, Peng Da Nyan to help Yu Wen to do the house works and cooking. Other than going to the market, Yu Wen stayed at home and take care of the two girls. How different the life was than the days they had before! It was in a paradise to Yu Wen.
From Peng Da Nyan Yu Wen leard how to make fermented bean curd, dry pickled vegetables and Sz Chwan Kimchi. Sometimes she would share her product with her friends.
One day Yu Wen and the two girl were playing on the mountain side. There were many different kinds of butterflies flying around the flowers. Some were big with shinning blue colors. Their upper bigger wings were embellished with black spots trimmed with golden edges. When they fly those lower small wings flowing with the big wing. They were so impressive and attractive and Dazzling. They were just awesome!
Syau Yun in her stroller watching those butterflies flying around with excitement. Clapping her little hands shouting with laughter. She was trying to say something but her baby language no one could understand.
Syau Wen was chasing after the butterflies. Running after them everywhere. It seemed those butterflies were smarter than her. When she was almost catch one that was stopped on a flower, the butterfly flew away before she touch it. She tried to catch them over and over again, until she couldn’t catch up with her breath!
Those running and screaming made the two kits tired and sleepy. As soon as they got home, they felt into deep sleep in bed.
Yu Wen sat in front of the French Windows looking at the view outside . Her mind was completely occupied by the beautiful scenery she had just seen. Those butterflies are still flying in her mind. They were just awesome.
She couldn’t sat still any longer and took out her embroidery kit. After Yu Wen stretch and tighten a piece of white silk on the embroidery hoop, she began to make out lines with the silk threads, Then began to embroider.
There was an old gentleman, Mr. Liu who lived upstairs brought some candy for Syau Wen and Syau Yun. His family didn’t moved in yet. He came down to see Syau Wen and Syau Yun very often because he missed his own grand-daughter so much. He walked close to Yu Wen and stood next to her. He was spellbound by her needle work.
–To be continued–
Fortunately their landlady’s house survived form the bombings. There were only some roof tiles falling on to the ground due to the vibration of the bombings. No one was hurt.
After they got into the room, Yu Wen remembered that her two month old baby was still on her back!
“My good heavens! Syau Yun was on my back almost for a whole morning. She must be all wet and hungry to death.” But after Dz Yun helped her to put Syau Yun down in the bed, they found her eyes were tightly closed. Her body was soft and pale, as much as a dead body. Deeply regret and heartbroken Yu Wen burst out in crying and cried hysterically:”Don’t die! Syau Yun. Wake up! Mom is going to milk you. Come on, open up your eyes for me.” Syau Wen had never seen her mother acting like this. She was so scared and cried out.
Mrs. Lee was standing in the yard to check if there was any serious damage. She heard the cryings came out from the Ho’s room, and rushed in. She checked on the poor baby over and found out Syau Yun was warm and still breathing. So she said to the shocked couple:”She is still alive! She’ll be saved. Let me make some ginger sugar soup for her. She’ll be okey. Don’t cry, Mrs Ho, don’t cry.”
Kind landlady brought the soup in. The father harden his heart forced opened Syau Yun’s little mouth and poured warm soup in with a spoon. After about ten spoonful of the soup, Mrs Lee told Dz Yun to stop feeding Syau Yun. And said:”That will do, let’s wait and see.” But Syau Yun was not moving.
Later that afternoon, Mrs. Lee brought them some steamed rice and a dish of shredded pork stir-fried with salted vegetable.
Dz Yun and Yu Wen sat next to Syau Yun. They have no appetite at all. Syau Wen saw her parents sitting next with her little sister, it didn’t look like if they were going to eat at all. Even Syau Wen was too young to understand what was going on, but she can sensed the heaviness of the air. She sat there quietly but from time to time her eyes would peek at the delicious food on the table.
Yu Wen knew that Syau Wen must be very hungry. She said to her:”Sweety, go ahead and eat. Your dad will fix you a bowl of rice with some vegetable and meat. After you fished with it, go to bed. All right?”
Syau Wen climb up the chair, picked up the bowl of rice and chop sticks started eating like a hungry tiger. There was no one to wash her hands and feet. No bed side story. No lullaby tonight. She feel into sleep quickly.
Dz Yun handed Yu Wen a cup of water, she drank a little and put it on the table. She picked up Syau Yun. She knew for sure the Syau Yun was alive. But Syau Yun was unusually quiet. The dipper was dry. She stared at her poor baby with no blink. It seemed as her loving look could infuse some energy into Syau Yun’s little body, it could help her awaken faster.
Dz Yun’s heart was aching when he watched his daughter and his wife’s worried face. He couldn’t do anything to help but pray. Hope that the love of mother could touch the merciful heavens. They would not break a loving mother’s heart and bring the child’s life back to her mother..
Finally Syau Yun’s body started wiggling slightly. It looked like if she wanted to cry but no sounds can be heard. Quickly Yu Wen feeding Syau Yun with her breast. She wanted to cry out loud but quietly and slowly her tears running down her cheeks…
Dz Yun wiped out her tears with a towel and hold her in his strong arms and whispered in Yu Wen’s ear: “It’s all right now, pal! Our child is back! Don’t worry now.”
The night was so quite. Nothing can be heard but only the harmonious chorus preformed by the insects. It seemed that whatever had happened in the day time never influence their life. But was there any of their companion died or got hurt from the bombing? Was there any broken family in their community? But now they are singing leisurely and carefree.
Yu Wen was thinking :”Maybe the life of insects would be much better than the human’s!”
–” c9. Needlework” is on it’s way–
“Woo—Woo—Woo—Woo—Woo” Emergency siren! This was very unusual! This kind of siren the people in Wan-Syan had never experienced before. But they knew what could be happened next. They were shocked and started getting panic.
There was such a chaos at the market. People tearing down their booth, collecting their goods.Many items were dropped on the ground untended. Dogs barking, Chicken jumped out of their pens crowing and flying over everywhere, people were running towards the bomb shelter, shouting and crying.
When Dz Yun heard the energency air-raid alarm ran, quickle picked up Syau Wen and put her on his back, Yu wen was carrying their two month old second baby girl on her back ever since they left home this morning. She hold Dz Yun’s hand. Together they run to the cave close by which was located at the “bagger’s rocky “. They didn’t even get a chance to sit down after Dz Yun put Syau Wen down, people poured in. Bombs started dropping down from the sky while there were still so many people outside running toward the Bagger’s cave. The bombs dropped like rain drops. Some were dropped on the rock above the cave. They sounded terribly lound. Dz Yun told Yu Wen and Syau Wen to pock their fingers into their ears and open their mouth wide. Yu Wen near sighted eyes saw things dropped down from the air and brought objects up flying into the air. She couldn’t tell what were they. But she could see some house roofs jumped up and down, ashes flying everywhere. They didn’t know for how long they’ve being standing in the cave. Finally bombing stopped. The roaring of the air planes faded away. The whole world quiet down. There were only heavy breathings could be heard in the cave.
After a long period of quietness, people started to move, Slowly they walked out of the cave. Before they walked out, Dz Yun was going to put Syau Wen on his back, he found that Syau Wen’s fingers were still stocked in her ears. Gently he pull down Syau Wen’s hand and put her on his back. He said to his daughter:”Syau Wen, You must be very tired from that long standing. Now close your eyes and take a nap on my back.” Syau Wen lean one her father’s big wide soft shoulder, it feels much better than her bed. In no time, she felt into deep sleep.
Dz Yun said to Yu Wen:”Let’s go now, pal! Give me your hand and close your eyes. Don’t open until I said so. I’ll tell you what to do.” Yu Wen nodded her head and hold on tight to her pal’s warm hand. When Dz Yun said “Pick up your right foot. Step forward with a big step.” She did so. If Dz Yun told her to cross her foot to the left, she cross out to the left………Until Dz Yun said:「My sweet pal, now you can open your eyes. We are home.”
On their way home, Dz Yun saw such a sad and horrible sight. He knew what a battle field looked like. But that was soldiers to soldiers. Here what he saw, dz Yun said to himself: “Hell couldn’t be worse than this.” He saw countless people died with missing limbs. Many laying on the ground or crawling crying for help. Blood everywhere covered the ground. Some limbs hung on top of the fallen houses. Some were lounged on the tree branches. People with minor injuries running back and forth among those bodies and the ones who were still breathing. Wishing to locate their loved ones. A hungry baby was crawling on his mother’s breast crying for milk. Some people stretched out their hands to Dz Yun asking for help. Dz Yun was totally numbed by all what he had seen. He had only one thought: “To take my wife and the girls home safely.” But, he dare not to picture what their home would be look like.
–to be continued–
After Dz Yun and his wife left Ji Syan, they were thinking about to go back to Pei-King. But it was said the Japanese had occupied the northern part of China. To avoid the chaos caused by the war, they changed their plan. Instead of going back to Pei-King they were going to Sz-Chwan.
Dz-Yun was interested in wireless. He bought many reference books to study on his own, and learned a lot from them. Due to his knowledge in the field of wireless he got a job as a wireless maintenance personnel at the Salt Bureau in Wan-Syan, Sz-Chwan. Salt Bureau was one of the government organization. The government of China decided to move the Salt Bureau to Wu-Tung-Chwau(a well salt production city in Sz-Chwan).
There was one month vacation before the Appointed date for Dz Yun’s new job. All the workers of Salt Bureau received one month bonus salary along with extra allowance for their expenses to move to Wu-Tung-Chyau. The allowance Dz Yun got was more than enough for their expenses to travel to Wu-Tung-Chyau. They decided to go to a restaurant for a little celebration for the ending of job hunting and for their promising future.
Wan-Syan was a small county located on the northern bank of Young-Dz River. The inhabitants were honest, kind and simple. Every first day and the fifteenth day of the month, there would be a market hold on the county center plaza. People from near-by towns gathered at the plaza for either selling or shopping.
That was a beautiful find day. There were all kinds of business at the plaza: from articles of daily supplies to farm animals, such chicken, cows, pigs etc. The plaza was crowded with people, businesses and animals.
Young men talking to each other about those young ladies who were bargaining with the cloth store owner. They judge which was the most beautiful one. Some of the girls there kept an eye on those young men. From time to time, they may smile back at them! A little boy holding his father’s hand tightly, looking at a big fat pig. A mother sat on a piece of rock milking her baby. A middle aged man calling out loud telling people what a hard working and obedient cow he had for sale. One mother was chasing after her naughty boy who was wondering among those booths.
Suddenly the air raid siren ran off. “Woo————————– Woo——————————“.
Usually the people in Wan-Syan would just watching those air-plains with a red sun on their wings flew by. They would count and guess how many plains may flew by and how many would flew back. The Chinese government had put out all kinds notices and pictures on the bulletin board in every city and town, to tell people how terrible it had happened to some places which were bombed by the enemy’s plain, People should get into the shelters when they hear the siren. If the emergency siren run off, all the people should already in the bomb shelters. Otherwise they could be seriously wounded even may lost their lives. Those pictures showing how horrible those victims looked like. But the people in Wan-Syan would never worried about it. It seemed those Japanese plain would never be interested in Wan-Syan.
–to be continued–
Early when Yu Wen first met Dz Yun, she found out that Dz Yun could not pronounce “jr, chr, shr”but “dz,t’s,s”, even “r” sounded weard. She always teasing Dz Yun and said that Dz Yun was too lazy to curl up his tongue upward when he was saying those sounds. But when they came to Dz Yun’s hometown, Yu Wen realized that almost everybody in Ho Nan couldn’t say “jr, chr, shr, r”!
Another interesting discovery; In Mmandarian many nouns ending with “dz”s. Such as: kwai-dz(chopsticks), shau-dz(spoon), dzwo-dz(table),yi-dz(chair)etc. All these “dz”endings the folks of HoNan say “de”.
There was Ho Nan folk song that amused You Wen the most! , It’s about a young lady was asking her older sister-in-laws to take her to the famous lantern show in Young-Jou. All the “dz” words in the song were “de”s. Each time when she sing the songs, she would like to act like that young lady in the song. All the Han ladies started to bind their feet when they were five or six years old. Some were even younger. So their feet were very small shaped like small pyramids with a pointed toe. Those small pyramid feet couldn’t hold the lady’s body steady and hard to manage their balance. So they wobbled when they walk and sometimes walk few steps forward may went backwards a step or so. Yu Wen’s feet were natural grown with normal sides and walked stably. So she kept her toes upwards and walked on her heels. Her arms automatically swung from left and right and walking forwards and \da. Yu Wen looked so cute and funny when she was singing and acting that song. It always make people laugh.
–” c8. Air Raid” is on it’s way–
With his hand, Mr. Ho dipped the brush pen in the ink tray and make sure if the ink on the brush was evenly absorbed. He brushed a little on the tissue paper to see if the ink was well ground. After Mr. Ho was satisfied with everything, he then put the end of the brush pen into his mouth and holding it with his teeth begin to write. His head moved up and down or turned left and right with each stroke he wrote on the white damask. And his body swung with his head too. That looked so funny to Yu Wen. She had never had watched anything the same in her whole life! After each word was written, Dz Yun on the other end of the table would pulled the white damask evenly toward him to the edge of the table. Then along the edge, Dz Yuen pull the white damask downward slowly. Yu Wen opened her eyes wider and wider, because first she saw Dz Yun was standing, then bent down his knees, then slowly squat down, and then he sat on the floor. The whole sight looked so dramatically funny to Yu Wen! She wanted to laugh. But that would be very impolite to laugh out loud in front of her father-in-law. She swallowed her laughter and hold it hard. But when she saw her dear husband pulling the white damask down to his laps, and slowly Dz Yun with the white damask moved under the table and slide down on the floor. Finally he lied down on the floor under the table but still holding the white damask even and flat. The laughing gas made her ribs dancing in side her. she just couldn’t hold any longer. She had to escape from this room to somewhere to dump the laughing gas out. Otherwise her stomach will be exploded. Next thing Yu Wen knew was she bumped into Dz Yun’s younger brother, who married at the same day as Yu Wen, in the door way. Both of them exclaimed! “Oh!….” She didn’t even have time to make an apology, she ran into her room and lock the door and starting to laugh. She was laughing even when she was telling that story to her children in the later days.
Later Dz Yun told Yu Wen; when Yu Wen bumped into his brother, spontaneously together they cried: “Oh!”. That surprising “Oh!”was not too loud but loud enough to distract both Dz Yun and his father from their work. Mr. Ho’s brush pen accidentally brushed out a long tail on the last word that he was writing. Mr. Ho looked at the doorway, didn’t say anything but cleared his throat with some dry coughs. Then he told his son to get another piece of white damask and started the work all over again.
–to be continued–
Yu Wen was a little worried about her first impression to her mother-in-law. She had heard that Dz Yun mentioned many times that his mother was a traditional Chinese lady. Yu Wen’s hair style may not be passed. She had perm hair ever since she was married. Most of the country ladies, those unmarried ones were braided their hair. The married ones make their hair in a bun. But with these curvy hair?
“I should have my hair straightened, but it’s too late now! Wong Ma had never taught me how to comb my hair into a bun? ”
When they entered Ji Syan, Yu Wen’s heart pumped faster.
The Ho family was Hans. They are not as the Manchurians with so many unnecessary and over etiquette. The most formal etiquette for Hans is to kowtow. That Yu Wen knew how to do it. The Lyan family were buddhist, they kowtow when honor their ancestry around Chinese New Year. The first time when Yu Wen met both Mr. and Mrs. Ho, she kowtowed. Yu Wen’s graceful bearings gave her parents-in-law a good impressions.
The hair style that Yu Wen concerned so much, for Mrs. Ho she thought that was beautiful! She said:”My child’s hair was so soft and fine, especially those curves look like a lamb!” From the very first time they met, Mrs. Ho never called Yu Wen by her name or daughter-in-law, but always call her “my child”.
For most parents or grandparents wish that their first child or grandchild be a boy. Syau Wen was a girl. Mrs. Ho wasn’t care at all. She loved to carried Syau Wen wandering around the neighborhood. She always wrapped Syau Wen in her sleeveless jacket to keep Syau Wen warm. Also she told her only daughter to make an undergarment for protecting Syau Wen’s abdomen, The undergarment was embroidered with a fat baby sitting on a lotus flower picking lotus seeds. Which means to wish Syau Wen good health and hopefully Syau Wen will bring many children to this family.
The love that Yu Wen received from her mother-in-law was more than her own mother. It was a pity the Yu Wen only stayed with her mother-in-law for s short period of time. Yu Wen had never had a chance to see her again. Fortunately Yu Wen brought a picture of Mrs. Ho from home, which she treasured so much.
It was an 1 inch picture. Too small for Yu Wen to hang it on the wall. One of Dz Yun’s friend used that one inch picture as a specimen and painted a 16″ x 20″ large one. Yu Wen hung it on the wall next to her bed, so she could see her mother-in-law every day.
This painting was with Yu Wen all the way from mainland Chins to Taiwan. It was always hanging on the wall next to her bed. She told many of her storied to her children. Her beloved mother-in-law was in one of them.
While they were at Dz Yun’s hometown, Yu Wen had a chance to watch her father-in-law writing with his mouth. That was quite an experience!
One of the Ho’s neighbors asked Mr. Ho to write funeral scrolls for him. Yu Wen helped Dz Yun to get everything ready for Mr. Ho. They spread a piece of long white damask on the big table. One end was placed in the middle of the table. The other end hanging down from the edge on the opposite side of the table. They put brush pen and well ground ink at the right side close to the damask and a piece of tissue paper. When everything is ready, Dz Yun went into his father’s room to ask him to come out to write.
–To be continued–
Dz Yun tried to comfort Yu Wen while they were walking, he said to her: “My sweet pal, you are not strong enough to take care of two babies at same time. One Syau Wen is enough to keep you busy. If add another one your health will break down. Then what am I going to do? You’ve given them some money already, I know that was not too much, I wish I could give them some more, but the money we have are barely enough for us to get home. Otherwise I would give them some more.”
Yu Wen just couldn’t hold her tears. Without saying anything, quietly she followed Dz Yun stepped into the train.
There is a very popular “Flower Drum Song”. It tells what kind of life the people have at that period of bed time:
“Talking about Feng-Yang,
It was a very nice place.
But ever since there was Emperor Chu,
Nine years famines out of ten.
Dung dyi lung dung chyang, dung dyi lung dung chyang, dung chyang dung chyang dung chyang.—–(drum rhythm)
The rich ones sold their properties.
The poor ones sold their children,
I have nothing for sale,
Carrying my flower drum singing everywhere.
Dung dyi lung dung chyang, dung dyi lung dung chyang, dung chyang dung chyang dung dung chyang. .—–(drum rhythm)
The earth covered with snow,
A girl huddled her mother under the falling roof.
Tasted of all kinds of earthly bitterness and sweetness.
Cold and hungry with tearful eyes.
Dung dyi lung dung chyang, dung dyi lung dung chyang, dung chyang dung chyang dung dung chyang. .—–(drum rhythm)
Melons are ready for harvest,
my shabby skirt can hide some for me.
Mountains and rivers where is the end of the road?
When am I be able to make it home?
Dung dyi lung dung chyang, dung dyi lung dung chyang, dung chyang dung chyang dung dung chyang.—–(drum rhythm)”
Dz yun’s home town was in Ji Syan, Ho Nan province. During Ming and Ching Dynasties , it was named Wei Hwei Fu, Now it is Wei Hwei City. It is located at the northern part of Ho Nan Province, on the northern bank of Yellow River. It is on a terrain higher than the other cities along the Yellow River. Rarely flooded by the Yellow River. The fertile land can grow many different kind of crops.
Ji Syan can be linked by river and road to various parts of the country. It is an important collecting and distributing center of merchandise.
Most of the inhabitants of Ji Syan were farmers and many were scholarly families.
There were many clans in Ji Syan. There usually several surname in each clan. But the Ho’s clan there is only one Ho as surname with many individual Ho families.. Dz Yu’s family was one of the biggest. There were closely to one hundred people in the family. Possessed around three hundred Ares farmland. They plant wheat, corn, peanut and sesame. At harvest time, they have to ring the big hanging bell to call the people from the fields for meals.
Dz Yun’s father, Mr. Ho Jya Ang(Ho Ho Ping-his pen name), was a retired principle of Ho Nan Kai Feng Agricultural High School. His specialty was writing calligraphy by holding the Chinese brush with his mouth. He could write beautiful calligraphy in four different styles. The large ones could be about half a square feet. The smallest could be as small as half a square inch. His writings were highly praised and appreciated. Some of his writings are collected in today’s” Modern Chinese Calligraphy Dictionary” which was published 2009 by Je jyan People Publisher in China.
C-7 Visiting Dz Yun’s Parents–part two–
Not long after they waited, a young man pushing a three wheel barrow with a white fair old lady sitting on one side and some luggage on the other side. The old lady was blowing her nose and crying, and mumbling over and over: “Oh my good heavens! Where can we find it? It’s all my fault, I didn’t even notice that when and where I lost it.”
Dz Yun knew these must be the owners. He walked over to meet them and asked: “Did you lost something?”
“Yes! It was all my fault, I dropped a small bundle somewhere.”
“Ma-Ma! Don’t cry now! We found a small bundle. But first of all, could you tell me what was in the bundle? ”
The old lady said:”There are two shirts, one was patched with a piece of black cloth, there are 17 pieces of silver coins and two Yin Pyaus.”
Dz Yun wanted to relief the poor old lady’s worries, he quickly handed the bundle over to the young man and said:”OK! OK! Please check and see if there is any thing missing.” The young man got the bundle and opened it. Everything was there. He took those 17 pieces of silver coins out and handed to Dz Yun for thanking him for his kindness. But both Dz Yun and Yu Wen said together:”No! No! But thank you. We will not accept anything. You ‘d better hurry up and get on your way with your mom.”
Released from the burden Dz Yun and Yu Wen were delighted to pick up their tour again.
As they were walking, Yu Wen saw a young lady with a baby in her arms. There was circled straw stuck in the baby’s cloth. In the early days when days were difficult, if someone wanted to sale him/herself, would stuck a circled straw in their hair as a mark to tell people they need money urgently, wanted to sale themselves .
A white haired old man sitting against one of the pillars. With his head bowed down so low. His head was almost touching the ground between his knees. Sobbing but hardly be heard.
The young lady said :”Dad! Don’t cry, please Let’s think it this way, Dad. This child may be will have a good live. The one who take him may be a very nice person, rich and kind. It would be far better than stay with us to live in such in impoverished life. After we find Chyang(her hunband) everything will settled down, you’ll have another corpulent grandchild. Aren’t you so anxious to see you son? From here to Bou-Ding there is still quite a long way to go. How can I assist you while a baby in my arms. Besides if there is anything happened to you, what am I going to say to Chyang? He will definitely divorce me.”
Yu Wen understood by now that was a daughter-in-law rather gave up her own child because of taking care of her father-in-law. Tears running down from her cheeks. There were only two pieces of *silver coins* in her pocket. Without a second thought, she handed them out and gave to that lady. The lady thought that Yu Wen was going to buy her son. She accepted the money and handed her precious baby to Yu Wen with a heart-broken looking on her face.
“No! No! The money is for you! I have a child, can’t you see.”
But the lady said:”How could that be, that doesn’t sound right. I can’t accept your money for nothing. Besides I have to give this child to someone anyway in order to make me easier on the trip. I’m sure if he will be with you, he will enjoy a life in comfort and happiness.”
Dz Yun came to help Yu Wen to get out of the predicament and said:”We really can’t afford to raise two children. Please accept these money. This nice looking little boy will have good fortune. You just stay here and wait, I’m sure that there will be someone would love to have him. We have to be one our way now.”
*silver coin* In those days, one piece of pure silver coin could be enough to buy two weeks daily bread of two people.
–To be continued–
Syau Wen was about two years old, but Yu Wen hadn’t had any chance to meet her Mother-in-law yet. Usually at the wedding ceremony, both parents from the two parties should be presented. But Dz Yun ‘s second younger brother got married at the same time of when Dz Yun’s wedding was taking place. Since Dz Yun was the oldest son in the family, his father came to hold his marriage ceremony and his mother stayed home to hold his brother’s wedding ceremony. After that the war with Japan occurred. Most of the northern parts of China were taken by the Japanese. And disorderliness everywhere! Dz Yun received lesser and lesser messages from back home. He was worried and would like to visit his hometown to see his parents.
With Syau Wen they took some simple luggage started their journey to Ho-Nan. They decided to walk to the train station. Not only they could save the Rickshaws fee, they can walk across the Lu-Gou Bridge enjoy the beauty of the Architecture. The bridge was built in 1189, long 266.5 feet, width 7.5feet, 11 culverts. 140 stone carved pillars. There is a stone carved lion on top of the pillar. They all look different from each other. Some are sitting, while the others are resting on it four legs. Some lie prone. Some holding a cub, Some carrying a cub on it’s back. The structure itself is a piece of art. Especially those stone carved lions. They had never had a chance to see the whole view yet.
While Yu Wen and Dz Yun were walking on the bridge, Yu Wen saw a cloth bundle laid on the way. “Who left it here?” she wondered and picket it up. She found some old clothes in it. Some one dollar silver coins and two hand writhing money tickets, “Yin Pyau” with a big amount written on it. It tells people that someone had sold all his property and exchange the money into this written ticket which would be easier to carry for the journey. It must belong to a refugee. It’s all his possessions. Dz Yun and Yu Wen decided to hold on to it and stay where they found it and await for the owner to come back for it.
–to be continued–
I was thrilled when I received this notice!
Your kind supports sustain me to move on. I’ll do my best to meet your interests.
Since I’m a first time writer to edit a book, there are a whole lot to learn . I’ll appreciate any kind of comments. From your comments I can learn about how to edit the story more readable. The mine idea to write “Everlasting Blossoms” is to let people to know once there was a woman who was pure, full of love: she love nature, love the people around her. With the flowers she crocheted shows her philosophy of life. How was she led into the art of needle works. Why was the first rose crocheted. And her last wish was let people know how to crochet flowers and butterflies with easy steps. You can crochet your own unique flowers and butterflies. Thus you can keep the beautiful spring at your house as long as you want to.
After the herbs were cooked, Yu Wen was ready to give to Syau Wen, she realized why the old doctor told her to dump the soup into the mouth. Because Syau Wen couldn’t open her mouth and swallow anything at all. With Dz Yun’s help to open Syau Wen’s mouth, Yu Wen put a spoon between her teeth and dumped the soup in her mouth slowly.
Both Dz Yun and Yu Wen sat right next to Syau Wen after all the soup were dumped. They watching at Syau Wen’s pale face without even winking their eyes. That one burning joss stick time seemed as a century long. Finally they saw Syau Wen’s nose tip start getting wet, Gradually they could even see some tiny water globs! Yu Wen was almost cry and shout out for joy, but quietly her tears running down like stream on hers cheeks. Dz Yun hugged her tightly and gently patted on her back.
After several follow up packs of Chinese herbals Syau Wen was recovered from that terrible diarrhea. Yu Wen wanted to thank that Heavenly given doctor who saved Syau Wen’s life. But that white hair white beard friendly kind old doctor was not there anymore. The neighbors told Yu Wen his son took him back home, because his son thought it is inappropriate for his old aged father live along so far away from home. Where was his hometown? No one knew it.
Yu Wen told her children later one, she often regret that she did not ask the old doctor for the prescription. Otherwise She could have helped saved some other baby’s life in the same case.
Within these first two years in Syay Wen’s life, she had much more tough days than those same aged children. Likewise Yu Wen had worked much more harder than the other mothers, more painstaking care to this immature birth child, a baby given by God. Yu Wen from an unexperience mother, step by step she grow up with Syau Wen. Every step was a surprise, a new discovery and joy. Together She grow up with Syau Wen who learning to sit up, crawling, tooth growing…….
Yu Wen, a girl from a wealthy royal family, knowing nothing about child care and cooking. Gradually with the experience piled up day by day, she grew up together with her children.
— C7 Visiting Dz Yun’s Parents is on it’s way–
After that Yu Wen forgot all about what the doctor had told her “immunity against any kind of dermatosis for life” until they were in Si-An. The whole family caught scabies but Syau Wen.
When Syau Wen was about eight or nine month old. Dz Yun haired a house maid to help to take care of Syau Wen. So that Yu Wen could have some break.
Sometimes the maid would gave Syau Wen some toys to plat with, as well as coins. It was the time for Syau Wen put forth teeth. Whatever she grabbed she would like to put it into her mouth. Just anything! The maid didn’t know that copper was toxic.
Syau Wen began with diarrhea. Yu Wen though it was some poor digestion problem and treated her with some common baby medications over the counter. Instead of getting better, Syau Wen’s diarrhea got worse and worse. If the watery excrements wet some part of the skin, the skin would be blistered. There were blisters on the maid’s arms and Yu Wen’s too! One day Syau Wen got in a state of coma. By now Yu Wen realized how serious it was. She took the unconscious baby to several hospitals, but the doctors told her the same thing: “Sorry! It’s too late.” Yu Wen wouldn’t give up. But no matter how hard Yu Wen begged the doctors to safe her daughter’s life, there was nothing the doctors can do.
Yu wen got in the rickshaw with her dying baby in her arms. Not too long she will lost her beloved daughter.
The rickshaw was a small vehicle with two wheels used for carrying one or two passengers, and is pulled by someone walking or riding a bicycle.
The driver of the rickshaw suggested to Yu Wen: “How about trying to see a Chinese herbal doctor. Maybe they can help since there is no other choice. I know there is an old herbal doctor lives right at the end of the alley where you live. May be he has some secret recipe that handed down in their family for generations.”
Like a drowning person grabbed a piece of wood, this could be the only hope for Syau Wen. She took Syau Wen to visit that herbal doctor right away.
The white hair white beard old herbal doctor looked so kind and friendly. After he touched Syau Wen’s pulse, he took some different kinds of herbs out of the little drawers and handed to Yu Wen and said:”Take these home and cook them right away and dump the soup into her mouth. Wait after finish one burning joss stick time, see if you can see the tip of her nose start getting wet. If so, your child will be saved. Otherwise, prepare for the a funeral.” ……………….
–To be continued–
Ever since that moment she heard what her mother had said, Yu Wen would never let the baby out of her sight. She was afraid that her mother may stealthily exchanged her baby.
Dz Yun named their first born girl You Wen. “You” mines Young. Because it was a girl, she was the young Yu Wen.
You Wen, this premature baby was unusually small! At home everyone call her Syau Wen as a nickname, which means “Tiny little Wen”.
Syau Wen was born in a summer day in 1963. The weather was awfully hot. But Syau Wen’s body temperature was always low. There was no incubator at those days. From ” How to nourishing and bringing up a baby” Yu Wen learned how to keep her tiny baby warm and safe.
She put lots of unused new cotton on a piece of wood board rapped up with clean cloth. Before Yu Wen bundled Syau Wen up, she placed Syau Wen in between of two layers of unused cotton, then put the bundled baby on the rapped board.
Actually to put Syau Wen on a piece of board was not only could keep her warm, it kept her safe in one piece. Syau Wen was born before she was ready to come into the world, she was too fragile. It was very difficult to hold her in the arms. When you put this soft infant on the wooden board, You don’t have to worry about to twist, break or shake her poor skeletons! Syau Wen didn’t even know how to suck! Each time when Yu Wen was milking Syau Wen, she had to use a eye drop suction tube to suck some milk. Then open her baby’s mouth and drop one drop of milk at a time. Waited until that one drop was completed swallowed. If accidentally dropped two drops into Syau Wen’s mouth, it could chock Syau Wen and throw up all the milk. All the hard work was in vain.
From no experience at all only based on those two sets of books, Yu Wen made it. She and Syau Wen went through the most hot days in summer and bad hygienic condition. Even the doctors would not sure that a baby like Syau Wen could be survived. Syau Wen kept on growing safely. it was a miracle to Yu Wen. Her heart was fulled with thanksgivings to heaven and the people around her. On top of everything that Yu Wen’s worry was her baby could be exchanged by her mother. Many timed she woke up at mid night check to make sure if her “tiny old deity of longevity” was OK!
In those days smallpox was still passing around the world. All babies must get vaccine to avoid being affected by smallpox. Syau Wen did not get the vaccine until she was four months old due to her health condition.
Yu Wen kept her eyes on Syau Wen’s vaccine area ever since the cowpox planted on the little X cut on Syau Wen’s left arm. She watch the skin around the X turn red and swollen. Then it became a pustule. Until the pustule dried out. She saw the dry pustule starting to lift! What a relieve to Yu Wen. Because if the pustule popped before it dried out, where ever the pustule go, the area it touched will becoming a new vaccine. That means there will be more scars left on the skin,. It would look bad specially for a girl if she wears sleeveless. Now Syau Wen will have only one lovely round shaped scar on her arm.
But there was not much time for Yu Wen to be happy, because Syau Wen got measels! Yu Wen was shocked. Could her poor emaciated baby make it? Could Syau Wen be survived after she been abused by measles!?
With tears Yu Wen brought Syau Wen to the pediatrist.
Yu Wen almost fall unconscious when she heard what the doctor had said:「My good heavens! How could it be happened to this child?」 Yu Wen thought Syau Wen was going to die. She burst into cry.
“No! No! I’m sorry that I’ve scared you.” Quickly the Doctor said.”I’m just too excited! Being a doctor all these years, This was my second case. There may be one out of 10,000 babies will get it. It’s very rare. Which means the measles attacked the child when the dry pustule starting to lift. After the child recovered from measles, this child will be immunity against any kind of dermatosis all her life.”
“But during the measles period, we have to be extremely careful, this child is too fragile!”
Under the care of the doctor and the love of a mother, Syau Wen survived.
–To be continued–
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–
Then they will go to the second step – Exchange the “Big Dragon and Phoenix Cards” along with engage rings. These Cards were really big! They were about one foot long and three feet wide solid red silk cloth. The card from the boy’s side give to the girl’s parents, printed with two phoenixes, one on the right and one on the left. The card from the girl’s side for the boy’s parents was printed with two dragons. The cards carried with both boy and girl’s names, date of birth and eight characters of a horoscopes.
Until both cards were accepted, marriage ceremony is awaiting! If any of the two partied refused accept the big red card, the engagement is cancelled.
Now the whole Lyan’s residence was decorated and full with joy. Everyone was excited about this coming up wedding for the only daughter of the Lyan’s.
But Yu Wen was suffering with cognitive dissonance, she was very sick. Her head was stuffed with cotton, and dreaming day and night. In her vision everything was a shadow. Indistinctly her father touched her forehead, she saw Dz Yun’s face was flashed with excitement. Wong Ma’s worried face……..
Seemingly Yu Wen was watching a show. The actors were running on and off the stage. In a instant she was on the stage. The tailor came to measure her for her wedding gown. She wasn’t sure whether everything was truly happened or not.
When the time for Yu Wen to say farewell to her parents, she kneeled down on her kneels. She saw her father’s red eyes. Her mother’s long face still looked the same.
Dimly Yu Wen was embraced and sent into the wedding car. Everything she was familiar with began to withdraw. The gate of her home closed behind her car and disappeared. Tears running down her cheeks.
“Wong Ma!”she called out half dreamingly.”Where is Wong Ma?” Yu Wen was looking for the one who loved her so dearly.
Someone said in her ears: “My lady, Madam Lyan sent Wong Ma to work in the kitchen from now on. Actually Madam Lyan was going to dismiss Wong Ma. She said since you are married, Wong Ma is no longer needed in this household. But Master Lyan remember all the good care that Wong Ma have had with you. He kept her working in the kitchen.” Speechlessly with a broken heart, Yu Wen fell back into the set. Her vision got more blurred.
The time was frozen and went backwards in the car.
Dimly Yu Wen saw herself was playing in the court yard with Wong Ma, but the every thing she saw seemed so far away. Then the vision changed, she saw people in and out of her room, all of a suddenly she heard some uproar laughter and people fell down on the floor. These people were trying to pick up a big trunk from the floor. They all knew that Yu Wen was the only daughter of the Lyan’s. Her dowries must be rich and valuable. This trunk should be very heave and filled-up with jewelers, antiques and thousands pieces of silver coins. They picked up the trunk with all their strength. Up the trunk flew into the air! They couldn’t keep their balance and fell down to the floor. First was shocked with surprise. Then they laughed. They would never believe that there were only some clothes that Yu Wen’s wears every day and a cloth brush.
Then the time flew back to the night before the wedding:
The night was so quiet. Yu Wen was sitting next to the table absent-mindedly. She could hear her own heavy breathings and her coughs. This was the last night at home for Yu Wen. When will she be back? ………………….
Wong Ma stood next to her, patting on her back. Trying to ease off her lady’s coughs. Wong Ma’s tears were flowing in her eyes. This lady is with her ever since she was a baby. She breastfeeding her until she was almost two years old. She taught her to say “Ma” , “pa” . She watched Yu Wen from crawling to stepped out her first baby step. She comforted Yu Wen when she had some hard times. She even dressed Yu Wen every morning until now. But after tomorrow, the girl she took as her very own daughter will be departed from her forever………………
Suddenly the door opened. In came Mrs. Lyan assisting with her maid. Yu Wen stood up right away. Walking wabblingly towards her mother. Yu Wen poured some tea into a cup and handed it to her mother with both hands. She was so touched that her mother could come in to see her the night before she leave home. Her mother forgave her!
Mrs. Lyan accepted the tea from Yu Wen’s hands and sipped a little, She said in a clam voice:”En! The tea is cold!’ Then she said:”Last night I was playing mahjong with some friends. Unfortunately I lost all my money. I don’t want to upset your father. Could I borrow some of your dowries to pay off the debts? I know that your father gave you lots of expensive jewelers and thousands pieces of silver coins. May be from your dowries I can get some good lucks from the happiness of your wedding, so that I may win back what I’ve lost. I’ll pay you back later.”
Mrs. Lyan didn’t wait for any answer, she told her maid to open that big trunk and took all the jewelers, antiques and the money.
Wong Ma couldn’t keep quite any longer. She kneeled down on her knees and knocked on the ground. Cried out:”Please! madam, please! Leave some for your daughter, please. You took everything away from my poor lady, what would it be for her future.” Yu Wen stood there without saying any word, not any tears.
Thus how Yu Wen stepped into her married life with some used cloths and the brush. A brand new life awaits for her.
Mrs. Lyan had never ever mentioned about anything that she had said that night. Yu Wen never mentioned to her father about what had happened the night before her wedding. There was never had anything special happened that night.
That brush was a very good one. It had traveled with Yu Wen so many years from places to places. Even till forty years later. Only the wood handle that holds the hair looking old and lost it’s brilliance. But it didn’t lose any of it’s hair
— “C-6 First Time Being A Mother” is on it’s way–
–Everlasting Blossoms —
Mrs. Lyan lost a lot of weight even under the good care of the doctor. Her health condition made Mr. Lyan’s heart ache. But a promise is a promise! It can’t be changed! Mrs. Lyan had just let it be.
Upon this Marriage Revolution, the relationship between Yu Wen and her mother dropped down under to 0 degree. Right after Yu Wen heard that her mother regained consciousness, she ran to her mother’s bed side. But as soon as her mother saw Yu Wen, she closed her eyes and turned her head away from her. Ever since that each morning and evening when Yu Wen went to her parent’s bedroom with her best regards as she usually do, Mrs. Lyan would not say a word and even not looking at her unless her father was around. Yu Wen always stood in front of her mother until Wong Ma pulling her sleeve to imply her it’s time to leave. Her mother treated her as a stranger. At Yu Wen’s childhood, only when she was learning the Princesses Etiquette, her mother was very strict on correcting her postures, but their relationship was never being as bed as strangers.
Yu Wen understood that her mother loved her, Her mother wish to see her only daughter marry to a matched marriage to have a good life. But she herself knew that she would never wanted to become a daughter-in-law of Mrs. Dzo, and ended up the same way as her high school classmate. Yu Wen aspired to a blissful marriage. Nevertheless, she couldn’t drop her mother’s love as well.
Her mother could only see that Dz Yun was a impoverished student. But she never learn the Dz Yun was born in a scholarly family for generations. Some of Dz Yun’s ancestry were officers at the imperial court. The Ho’s family was one of the most famous celebrities in HeNan. But to Mrs. Lyan scholarly family for generation would never be compared to a blue blood family.
Struggling between the love of her mother and a blissful marriage, tolerated with her mother’s coldness every day, Yu Wen couldn’t take any more. She was devastated and her heath collapsed. Every day after 12 noon, Yu Wen began to have some fever not too high but coughed a lot. Traditional Chinese Doctor diagnosed Yu Wen of Non-communicable TB.
Dz Yun did as Mr. Lyan told him. He asked uncle Bu to go to Lyan’s residence to proposed the engagement for him. Uncle Bu was a close friend to Mr. Lyan. He visited Mr. Lyan residence frequently. Uncle Bu have met with Dz Yun quite often, was of the opinion that Dz Yun was a honest and gentle boy. He understood Dz Yun and Yu Wen loved each other. He was willing to be the matchmaker. Matchmaker was a very important character in those days. Without a matchmaker there would no marriage.
At that time, the engagement was very different from nowadays. There were two steps:
Step one: For the boy’s side — You should have a matchmaker who should knows both persons who involved with this engagement. The matchmaker should bring a piece of red paper with the boy’s date of birth and eight characters of a horoscope to the girl’s parents. The girl’s parent will check with a fortuneteller to see if this boy matches with their daughter’s date of birth and eight characters of a horoscope. If there is no problem and they think this boy may be an ideal son-in-law to be, they would accept the red paper and give their daughter’s birth date and eight characters of a horoscope to the matchmaker to bring to the boy’s parents. After everything was OKed, the matchmaker would exchange the *”Small Dragon and Phoenix Card* for the two parties. One addressed to the girl’s father, one to the boy’s father. If both side accepted which means the engagement is half way to success. If any of the two parties refused to take the Card, There will be no more engagement.
*”Small Dragon and Phoenix * – Two pieces of red paper(as the picture showed) carried both boy and girl’s date of birth and eight characters of a horoscope. One addressed to the girl’s father, the other addressed to the boy’s father. These cards should be written by the matchmaker with his name and seal on them.
The picture above was from my grandfather to my maternal-grandfather , asking for permission the engagement.
—To be continued —
Mr. Lyan mounted on the bike and started the engine, the bike roared and dashed forward to it’s destination.
That was one of the hottest day in summer. Even the motorbike was much faster than a horse, but running under the burning sunlight, you could get a sun stroke. Yu Wen was very worried that how much heat her father could endure? This is the first time her father ever ride on a motorbike, could he manage it? The long hours of riding would it cause her father fatigue? could her father make it on time before the party started?
Next day at noon, about 24 hours latter from yesterday, Mr. Lyan came home. The very first words he said was: “My daughter, I saw Ho Dz Yun, he is OK! I had a long conversation with him and understood that he loves you. I was thinking since you cared about Ho Dz Yun’s safty that much, Ho Dz Yun loves you. Why don’t have him to be my son-in-law? That will safe all the trouble in the future. And Ho Dz Yun promised that he’ll take good care of you all his life with all his heart. That was all I waited for him to tell me. So I told him to select a good date and then come to our house to propose for the engagement.” Mr. Lyan said all these without any break. Then he took his pocket watch out from the pocket and handed to Yu Wen and said:”Touch it, my child!”
Yu Wen didn’t sleep the whole night last night, she was still half sleeping. Now her father came home safely with this sudden good news. It was just too much for her to take them at the same time. She was not in her senses yet. She didn’t understood why her father asked her to touch his pocket watch. Senselessly she stretched out her hand to hold the watch.
“Oh! How come it’s so hot?” The pocket watch dropped down from Yu ‘s hand. It was too hot for her to hold. As hot as a piece of burning rock! Fortunately the watch was chinned to her father’s pocket otherwise it would dropped on the floor and could be broken.
“It’s so hot outside, not as cool as in the room with big chunk of ice and fan. Wong Ma, give me a big cup of water with some crushed ice.”
Now Yu Wen was totally wide awaken! Her father loves her so he loves Dz Yun as well. To ward off regret of being late , her father rode on the motorbike without any stop, even at night in order to have enough time to stop the incident. And to relieve the anxiety off his beloved daughter, again with a nonstop riding on the motorbike he came home under the burning sun. If the pocket watch could be that hot, as hot as a burning rock, what would be for a human being? She burst out in tears. Speechless she grabbed a piece of towel wipe off the sweat from her father’s face and neck. With a fan she fanned all over on her father. In her heart she prayed:”Thank God, everyone is safe and well.”
But to Mrs. Lyan, after she heard what her husband had told her, her whole being was blowout and fainted kept unconscious for a whole day……..
— To br continued —
Mrs. Lyan took her husband’s advise and broke off the engagement, but she was enraged. No one knows her daughter more than a mother. She knew that this girl is interested in that Young Idiot. She knew how much her husband loved their daughter. If she insist the marriage, it would lacerate the harmony of the relationship between she and her husband. And also give other people a chance to make up stories. Therefore she was calm on the surface but really was planning something, a plan was simmer in the dark.
For his job necessity, Mr lyan often traveled back and forth from Pei-king and Tian-Jing. Once he decided to take the whole family with him. Even with the servants and the cook to go to TyanJing to stay there for a while.
Dz Yun was a poor student in Pei-King. He couldn’t afford to travel too often. One of Lyan’s long term young worker voluntarily to be the messenger to pass their love letters from each other. Actually nothing could be hide from Mrs. Lyan. She concerned about a good life of her daughter’s, she should not allow Yu Wen to marry to that impoverished student.
The best way Mrs Lyan could think of was to hire some thugs to give that Young Idiot a good lesson. So that he will leave her daughter alone,. Mrs. Lyan made up her mind, without let anybody know in the family, she hired some thugs to deceive Dz Yun to one of the old deserted coal mine in Tang-Shan, Tian-Jing where no one would be around. But nothing could be hide unless it was never happened! The terrible news came to that young messenger. He was a very loyal long term worker at Lyan family. He came to Lyan’s home as an orphan when he was six years old. Yu Wen was very nice to him. She always helped him specially with money in his time of need. He told Yu Wen what he’ve heard at the very first day.
Quickly Yu Wen ran to her father for help. She told her father that someone will used her name to cajole Ho Dz Yun to one of the deserted coal mine at Tang-Shan. Over there, they will teach Dz Yun a good lesson to let him know that he should never see Yu Wen again.
Mr. Lyan understood what is going on. Nothing he need to ask. He contemplate how could he get to Tang-Shan as soon as possible? There are around 100 kilometer from Tyan-Jing to Tang-Shan, the fastest horse will take at least a day and half to get there. That would too late!
Suddenly Mr. Lyan remembered that he bought a motorbike from one of the * Bei-Yang warlords*. He had never had a chance to try it yet. Now it the right time! He told his adjutant to fill it up with gas and bring it over to him. He was worried about how to ride on it. But when he saw it all the worries were released. It look a bicycle! The only thing that a bike doesn’t have was the engine, a one wheel box-car attached to it’s side, you can put something in it or have one person sitting in it.
* Bei-Yang warlords* – There were many warlords in China at the first years after the Republic of China was established. It looked like those warlords obey the orders that was given by the new government, but in fact the government was controlled by the warlords. Each warlord occupied a piece of land with their own armed forces.
— To be continued —
Wong Ma was sitting in Yu Wen’s bed while she was thinking of these, her tears ran down her checks and cried with a broken heart. Yu Wen came in at that moment. She was taught that a lady should always walk quietly. Therefore when Yu Wen came in, Wang Ma didn’t notice it at all until Yu Wen taped on her shoulder gently.
“Wong Ma, what had happen to you?” Even Yu Wen’s voice was very soft Wong Ma was startled. She wiped off her tears and said: “No! Nothing, nothing.”
“Tell me, Wong Ma, who bullied at you? Was it my mother?”Yu Wen asked her.
Wong Ma was a very honest person she could never lie but tell the truth.
Yu Wen heard that the Dzo’s will sent someone to come to propose for marriage, she was very worried. What was she going to do? If she really going to marry to Mr. Dzo, what kind of life will be for her? But she was not panic.
“What am I going to do?”Yu Wen calmly asked herself. 「I must let my parents know that I don’t want to marry Mr. Dzo.” She dared not to go to her mother, she knew her mother would not support her at all. She could only go to her father.
After she made up her mind, Yu Wen walked into her father’s workshop.
Mr. Lyan wore a single lens magnifying glass on one of his eye, concentrated in carving a stone seal. Yu Wen didn’t want to surprise her father with a sudden drop in. It might cause a slip of his carving blade which may cut her father’s fingers. So she softly said: “Pa!’
Mr. Lyan raised up his head looked at Yu Wen. The magnifying glass dropped off his eye and landed to the floor. Quickly Yu Wen picked it up and handed it back to her father. Then Yu Wen acted like a spoiled little child, rocking her father’s shoulders with both hands, and said: “Pa! pa! I don’t want to marry to the Dzo’s. Each time when Mrs. Dzo came to visit us she always looked at me from the top of my head down to my feet which makes my spine tickled and numb. It will drive me nuts if I have to live with her for the rest of my life.” Tears began to pouring down from her eyes.
“Wait a minute my silly child!” Mr. Lyan laughed.”Who said you are going to marry to the Dzo’s? How come I’ve never heard of it?”
Yu Wen grabbed the chance and said:”Wong Ma told me that one of Dzo’s servants, Chwen-Mei said that her mistress will sent someone to come to proposed for the marriage.”
“Is that right? I’ll find out what’s going.” Mr. Lyan became serious. “But…..after all, this Dzo Yau Dzung is a nice young man.”
“No! No! Pa! I would rather die to marry to the Dzo’s.”Yu Wen cried harder and harder.
“My good child! Don’t cry, don’t cry. We’ll see until I find out what’s going on fist. All right?”
After Mr.Lyan talked with his wife, he got the whole picture. He opposed it firmly, because their daughter is still too young to be married. It should be wait for a couple more years latter.
It seemed that Mrs. Lyan in charge of everything at Lyan’s house. But the most important matters, Mr. Lyan’s decision was always be honored and respected. Thus it came as a heavy storm but ended up with a few small little rain drops.
— To br continued —
C-5 Marriage-Important event in Yu Wen’s life: –Part two–
Among the young men who proposed for marriage, Mrs. Lyan celected one, Mr. Dzo Yau Dzung. His father died when he was a little boy. He was the only child of his widowed mother. Dzo Yau Dzung was a nice young man, smart and gentle. But his widowed mother was something else. Everytime when Mrs. Dzo visiting, Yu Wen ‘s mother would purposely arranged some chances for Yu Wen to be with the guests.
It was not that Yu Wen wanted to disobedient her mother, it’s because of this Mrs. Dzo. Yu Wen could never forget the very first time when Yu Wen met Mrs Dzo. She looked at Yu Wen , but Yu Wen wasn’t sure if Mrs Dzo had looked at her face at all. She felt that Mrs. Dzou’s eye sight quickly dropped down to her feet then slowly moved upwards to her dress. Then skipped her face and landed on her hair. It seemed that Mrs. Dzo first was exam the size of her feet. Then to check if her dress was properly wore. Then to see what kind of jewelry Yu Wen wore in her hair. Yu Wen got goose bumps all over her while Mrs. Dzo’s sights moving up and down on her. But that was not all!
Every time when Mrs Dzo came to visit them, she brought her royal power and prestige with her, gave orders to every worker at Lyan’s residence. Told this one to do this and that one to do that with a rather Her Highness manner. Mrs. Dzo always wore a black long gown. Her gray hair combed up high to the back of her head and ended up with a bun and a piece of jade stick in the bun. Yu Wen was thinking if she wanted to embroider a Chinese style stepmother for Snow White, Mrs. Dzo could be the best model. Yu Wen thought: “Whoever being a daught-in-law to Mrs.Dzo, will ends up to hang herself to death.”
Wong Ma worried and thinking to herself:”Mrs. Dzo was a widow ever since she was young. Mr Dzo is her only child. Mr. Dzo is a good young man all right, but as a window mother who has only one son, would she be a good mother-in-law? Nice to her daughter-in-law? Would she think that her daughter-in-law will get all the attentions from her son. take her only son away from her?”
Yu Wen said to Wong Ma: “You know what epoch is it now, Mrs. Dzo still acted as a royal madam. Even when she is visiting us she acts like as if she were at home.” She continued:”I had a high school classmate. Married to a nice young man under the commitments of both sides’ parents. Her husband loved her dearly, behind him, his mother abused her with all her best. My schoolmate didn’t want her husband to know what was going on. One day when her endurance was over the limitation, she hung herself and died.”
But Yu Wen hadn’t ever even dreamed of that one day her own mother was planning to have her to married to Dzo Yau Dzung.
One day Wong Ma heard that the Dzo’s family will sent someone to come to Propose the marriage!
Wang Ma knew that her lady was not very fond of Mrs. Dzo. She knew also that Yu Wen had some good impressions with ” Young Idiot”. If she really going to have Mrs Dzo to be her mother-in-law, what kind of life her poor lady is going to have.
C-5 Marriage-Important event in Yu Wen’s life: –Part one–
Mrs. Lyan started to seek for a matched marriage for her only daughter. But each time Mrs. Lyan thought she found a matched one was declined by Yu Wen’s father. He thought that it was still too young for Yu Wen to get married. Besides Yu Wen was their only daughter it’s too early to let her go. And he thought they should be very careful to pick and choose a good son-in-law for it matters Yu Wen’s whole life.
Mr. Lyan was proficient at mathematics, physics and chemistry. As a director of an arsenal, many young scholars, professors, celebrities came to visit him. One day a young man, he introduce himself as Ho Dz Yun, a student from Peiking University, wish to see Mr. Lyan. He said that he had been admiring Mr. Lyan’s great attainments in physics and chemistry for quite a while. He would like to ask him for some advice. Mr. Lyan was out going and informal with everyone The conversation he had with this young fellow was pretty delightful. The Math problem that this young man brought up, Mr. Lyan gave him the answer right away. In return Mr. Lyan’s gave him some math problem. Young Mr. Ho couldn’t answer it. He was very embraced and blushed. And finally he gave up!
Mr. Lyan found himself was very fond of this young visitor, specially for his talent. He said kindly to him:”It’s OK! It is a little difficult. How about this way, you take this problem home today and think it over again. Come back with the answer some other time.” Thus Ho Dz Yun became a frequent visitor of the Lyan residence. He addressed himself as ” Mr. Lyan’s student”.
Mr. Lyan loved to make new friends, especially with this young man. But Mrs. Lyan didn’t like him at all. She called Mr. Ho “Young Idiot “. Because it seemed that he knew nothing other than mathematics, physics and chemistry. Once while Her husband were talking with this” Young Idiot “, she saw him was clapping and jumping like a happy child! He had no aristocratic bearing at all. But the fate often surprising people.
Since “Young Idiot” Ho Dz Yun visiting Mr Lyan frequently, he notice that Mr. Lyun had a lovely daughter. Mrs. Lyan’s comments of this “Young Idiot” brought up Yu Wen’s attention. This visitor of her father. Actually Yu Wen found that Ho Dz Yun was not a Idiot at all. He is very knowledgeable in many fields. Other than those what-so-ever he was discussing with her father Yu Wen didn’t understand, Ho Dz Yu was quite erudite as well as in Chinese ancient culture. Sometimes Yu Wen even heard Dz Yun hummed some Chinese opera.
Yu Wen speculated that it could be because this young man is a student, his attitude and dressing was so different from those profligate sons of blue blood whom her mother introduced to her. Dz Yun never greased his hair. his shoes were not shinny polished but always in a good condition. He always wearing a blue long Chinese robe, neatly clean. The whole being Looked elegant and gentle.
Yu Wen thought Dz Yun was special!
Yu Wen was not only Westernized in knowledge and thoughts as well as. Advocate the freedom to choose one’s own marriage. She was not in favor of those her mother introduced to her. For if they were not overcautious on behalf of maintain their nobility or they would be swollen with arrogance. Dz Yu was different!
C4. The Ladle Head —part two
“Oh! My goodness! Oh! My good heavens! You’ll fall off from up there. What am I going to do? You may be killed if you fall down to the ground. Please come down. Please, I beg you, My sweet, sweet sister! My queen! My chief commander…..” Shu Syun cried out frighteningly.
“OK! OK! I’m trying. Don’t you see I’m trying. But…. where did the chair go?”Yu Wen shouted back with her loudest.. It seemed that the alter growing higher after YU Wen leaned on it. And the chair ran away… It wasn’t very easy for Yu Wen to lean on to the alter, and now it seemed there were ten feet farther from the chair than before. The chaotic noise disturbed Mrs. Byan from her needle work. She stepped out of her room and saw this funny sight!
“Well, well, my little monkey niece! What’s all this big commotion?”
Her son tried to protect himself and said: “My sister wanted to see the Ladle head Black Bean Eye, I told her not to. But she insisted.”
“En! I can see that!” She walked to Yu Wen and picked her up. She held Yu Wen up high as close as she could to the Ladle head Black Bean Eye. And said: “How is that? Is this close enough for you to have a good look at it?”
“Wow! It is true! It is a ladle. Hey! there are really two black beans on it too!”Yu Wen exclaimed with excitement! “But………….. how come that uncle’s ancestor is a ladle?”
“No! That was not quite right.”Mrs. Byan laughed. She continued: “It was told among us that our ancestor Nurhaci was killed on the battle field. People could not find his body but they found his head only. Therefore his coming generations use a ladle instead of enshrine and honor him.”
What so ever her aunt said sounded reasonable to her. But at school Yu Wen learned in the history that Nurhaci’s death was because of the illness. Which one is truth? It’s hard to tell. Any way her uncle was a descendant of Nurhaci Ai-xin-jue-luo. Nurhaci was the first emperor of Ching. Ai-xin-jue-luo was the emperor’s surname. But why did they use black beans for eyes? Yu Wen had never did any further research.
—C-5 Marriage-Important event in Yu Wen’s life is on it’s way—
C-4 The Ladle Head – -part 1- –
One of Mr. Lyan’s sister lived close by. Her husband’s surname was Byan who was a Manchurian lord. Their only son, Byan Shu Syun, was a little younger than Yu Wen. Mrs. Byan loved Yu Wen so dearly. Very often invited Yu Wen to visit them. This younger cousin of Yu Wen loved Yu Wen as much as his beloved older sister.
The alter in Byan’s main room was decorated a little differently. At the center of the alter instead of a tablet with the name of the deceased ancestors, there was a ladle. Yu Wen always wondering why don’t they do the same way as the Hans? Why uncle Byan’s ancestor was a ladle that could be used as for picking up water? Wong Ma told her that was called “Ladle Head Black bean Eyes”! Why? Yu Wen was very curious about it. Wong Ma also told her that Mrs. Lyan was a Manchurian princesses all right, but she married to westernized husband who doesn’t think it is necessary to do so.
Therefore every time when Yu Wen visited her aunt, she always looked at the alter curiously. Wished that if she could somehow to get on to the alter to have a good close look at the “Ladle Head Black bean Eyes”.
There was a chance for her one day! Her uncle was not home. Her aunt was in her room working on her needle work. Yu Wen and her cousin were lingering in the main room. Because Yu Wen was a little bit older then Shu Syun, she always acted as a commander to her cousin. Shu Syun had no other siblings, he loved this commander and cousin as well as his elder sister. Whatever Yu Wen told him to do, he always do so. Now Yu Wen grabed this good opportunity. She told Shu Syun that she wanted to climb up to the alter. Asking him to help her to move the chair closer to the alter.
“What? Climb up to the alter? If my dad knows it I’ll get in big trouble.”Shu Syun whispered to his commander.
“OK! I’ll do it myself.”Yu Wen began to push the chair as she was saying.
All the furniture in this main room were made of sandalwood. They were very heavy. That chair was too heavy for a little child like Yu Wen. Her poor little follower couldn’t stop her. Helplessly he joint her. When the chair was close enough for YU Wen, quickly she climbed up and stood up in the chair. The alter was too high for her. She tiptoed on her feet, but all she could see was only a part of the of the ladle . That was not enough to satisfy her curiosity. She lean her body onto the alter. She thought she could climb up to the alter so she could stand up and see the whole thing. But before she knew it her feet followed her body and left the chair behind. There was no spot for her to land her feet on for her to move upward. The next thing Yu Wen notice was her legs were dangling in the air!
C-3 The Princesses Etiquette
Next morning before Mrs. Lyan’s teaching, she said: “I was going to teach you the basic princesses etiquette earlier. But your father was always interceded for you. He said it’s a republican China now. It is out of fashion to those unnecessary and over elaborate formalities. Yesterday I got your father’s agreement, and will start teaching you formally. I don’t want to have any one to say our girl is not well educated. Listen to me!, don’t you dare to tell any rubbish to you father.”
Yu Wen dare not to react to stem the tide nor to answer back. She knew her mother would not tolerate with anything that disgrace her. What had happened the other day was really embarrassed her mother.
Yu Wen stood there obediently. Doing whatever her mother told her to and whichever way her mother posted her she followed. Doing the movements one by one as her mother told her
After her mother demonstrated the complicate processes of the princesses etiquette, Yu Wen understood what Wong Ma was trying to tell her. –Your body well balanced when squat down. It looked so gracefully noble and dignified–. She saw her mother’s right foot stepped out half a step, and curved a little which brought her upper body forward and lowered down, but she kept her body straight upward . Gracefully she put the right hand on top of the left one and rest them on the right knee slightly and squat down a little bit. Then stood back up gently. Mrs. Lyan’s gesture looked so graceful lofty and dignified.
But it was not a east task at all. Especially for a youngster. When Yu Wen was going to squat down, not only her upper body swayed her legs wobbled too. She fell down and sat on to the ground. She couldn’t help burst into laughter. All of a sudden she felt a burning pain on her forehead which brought her tears out. That was given by her mother who knocked her forehead with a clenched middle finger, which brought her tears down. Wong Ma quickly assisted her to get back on her feet. A small lump added to Yu Wen’s forehead!
“Look into the mirror when you are working on it.” Mrs. Lyan said to Yu Wen with a cold voice. Then she turn to Wang Ma: “Wong Ma, watch your lady when she practice every morning until she’ll not fall down again.” Mrs. Lyan walked out of the Main Room without looking at her daughter who was sobbing silently.
Wong Ma’s palm and the gentle robs were some refreshing medication for Yu Wen , which not only eased off the pain on her forehead it also warmed up her heart. But for Wang Ma, each time when she saw Yu Wen was crying, she wished that she could do more than just rubbing on Yu Wen’s lump. Each time she shed her tears with her poor lady quietly. All she could say was: “Oh my! Oh my! Try harder next time, my lady.”
All the women of Manchu nobility were not foot-binding while the other ladies should. Even though Yu Wen’s feet were born with small size, because she was rather small in stature. This kind of gesture was very difficult for her from not swaying, specially for her age! Sometimes she had to be assisted by Wong Ma before she fell on to the ground.
Yu Wen didn’t understand why each time when she was trying to squat down, a childhood memory always came up to her. When Yu Wen was 5 or younger, she saw some ladies wearing *”Flower pot high heels”* embroidered shoes. When they walk with them, they looked so gracefully and feminine. Very pretty and charming. Once she sneaked into a dresser. She found a pair of those kinds of shoes. She put them on! While she was trying to stand up in them, the Flower pot at her soles stood right in the middle of the arch of her feet. That made her dizzy and lost her balance. Fortunately she grab the corner of a table close by before she felt down and broken into pieces.
“Flower pot high heels” looked as a very small up-side-down flower pot. they were hollow in the middle. The small side attached to middle of the sole. The bottom of the bigger side were drilled with so many small holes, designed as Lotus flowers or other good luck sketches. Some perfumed powers were stuffed inside the up-side-down flower pots. After each step the lady who wears them, the powdered prints from the heels would be left on the ground. Whoever wears this kind of shoes had to keep their heads high and chest out. the walking movement looked so elegant, graceful and so republican .
If Mrs. Lyan was around while Yu Wen was practicing the princesses etiquette, 8 out of 10 times, Yu Wen would get a lump on her forehead. There were countless lumps comes and goes before Wong Ma could completely stopped rubbing on Yu Wen’s forehead. Yu Wen was so relieved before those strong knocks could soften her poor forehead becoming a big well ripped tomato.
Sometimes Mr. Lyan came to Yu Wen’s room to give her some comfort. Though only tears and complains he would get from Yu Wen, but those fatherly love Yu Wen treasured her whole life.
From Mr. Lyan, Yu Wen learned that there were many different kinds of court etiquettes. For unmarried girls, married women, men, servants and when officials in the feudal times meeting with the emperor. They were all different from each other.」
“But who cares!” Yu Wen thought, “Now it is a republican China. No one would ever care about it anymore.” Yu Wen would never realize that how much it could benefit her in the future.
Yu Wen grew in a noble family. At home Wong Ma took care of everything of hers, even dressing her up in the mornings. Whenever Yu Wen was going out, there were always some long term workers around her to make sure she was secured. Yu Wen lived like a princesses. But whenever she was with her mother, Yu Wen became as a mouse saw a cat! She wouldn’t be able to act as the other kits doing as a spoiled child. Even dare not to dream of it!
Gradually the fear of her mother getting more then to yearn for being close to her mother. On the other hand, Mrs. Lyan based on the Manchurian life style, she wanted to educated Yu Wen to be a real noble Manchurian lady. Therefore her demands get more and more strict. Yu Wen found out in the later days that in the royal families, boys always were more privileged to enjoy their freedom than the girls. Whatever boys did were acceptable because they were shield by their fathers. But for girls, their parent all wished to look for a good match for their daughters. Therefore the girls must behave well as a perfect lady. They must well remember all the “The three Obeys and the Four Virtues” and “Four virtue” The ladies young and old should keep them in their daily life.
- Obey you father before you married.
- Obey your husband after you married.
- Obey your son if your husband died.
- Well behaviors.
- Good appearance; clothing, headgear and footwear should always be wore properly.
- Speech – when you talking with people, should agree what they say, be understandable, should always realize what you should or should not say.
- Should be good in Chinese traditional women’s skills, such as needle works, cooking, housekeeping etc.
One morning, Wong Ma ran up to Yu Wen and said:”Hurry up, my lady. Madam Lyan wants to see you. She is in the Main Room. If you are lat, Madam will blame me neglecting my duty.”
Yu Wen went to the Main Room unwillingly. To her surprise she saw some of her distant relatives were there with her mother. She did in her very best manners, ceremoniously greeted those aunts. Before Yu Wen had a chance to find out why her mother sent her for, one of the ladies said: 「Oh my! What a pretty child! But I say, it’s suppose to be the right time to teach her our basic princesses ‘s etiquette now.」
Yu Wen’s heart beating fast! She saw her mother’s face getting longer. She knew something bad is on its way! Yu Wen was right! Mrs. Lyan Perfunctorily saw those ladies left, she came back to the main room. With a long face, she said to Yu Wen fiercely:”Start from tomorrow I have to teach you the princesses’ etiquette. You’d better learn it with your very best.”
“Wong Ma, move that big dressing mirror here. From tomorrow on, you’ll watch your lady practicing the traditional court princesses etiquette correctly.”After Mrs. Lyan laid down her orders she put one of her hand on the shoulder of her maid, gracefully and walked out of the room. She left Yu Wen with questions and wonderings.
After her mother was totally out of sight, Yu Wen asked Wong Ma: “What is princesses’ etiquette any way? So You can do it, right?”Yu Wen asked.
“No! My lady, I’m just a servant, how could I ever learn these kind of court etiquette! But I’ve been with Madam to visit many royal families, I saw how their unmarried ladies salute your mother. Their gestures were so graceful so beautiful. They squat down slowly and well balanced with their two hands folded and placed on one knee, their upper bodies were straight up but not stiff. Looked like a piece of beautiful petal float down slightly. Well, it is very difficult for me to describe. I suppose it is not that easy to learnt.”
“……..?” Yu Wen’s mind was up on the clouds.
—Part 2 to be continued—
– – The second pary – –
There were many cultural or historical relics from Ching’s palace or bigwigs of Ching government. Many of them flowed away to the market. Once there was one of Yu Wen’s uncle from her mother side came to visit her father. He dressed with the traditional garments, long gown and a mandarin jacket, a formal dress. Usually the end of the sleeves were wide like a funnel. Yu Wen noticed that one of the end of the sleeve was moving up and down. The sleeve could not move by itself. There must be something, some kind of living creature in it. She was so curious and opened her eye big and wide and stared at it. She wished that it would come out so she can see it. But it was just didn’t want to show it’s face. Yu Wen couldn’t wait any longer. She sneak behind her uncle’s back. Before her mother could stop her, Yu Wen jumped out to her uncle’s side and shouted at her loudest voice at her uncle’s arm. Out it jumped a tiny dog. The dog was really so small, as small as you can put it in your palm. The sudden appearance of the tiny dog startled Yu Wen.
“Wow!” She hopped up with her two feet and shouted:「My heavens! It’s a dog!」
After she put herself back into one piece, she gently touched the tiny dog. It was real, not a toy! It even sniffed on her fingers. Yu Wen found there was a tiny silver chain chained the dog to her uncle’s wrist.
The more Yu Wen looked at the tiny dog, the deeper she fell in love with it. She asked her uncle, “Can I have it?”
Before any more requests, her uncle gave himself an excuse, he put his beloved pet into his sleeve. Left quickly.
Yu Wen couldn’t get what she wanted, she started to cry out loud. Nobody can stop her from crying but Mr. Lyan.
“My child, Let me tell you something. This kind of dog is called Sleeve dog -Tibetan Spaniel. People put it inside their sleeves or the undershirt pocket when they going out. This kind of dog was a tribute, very unusual and precious. It is very difficult to take care of and hard to bring it up. If it was in your hands, surely it will die within two days. We’d better get you something else to play with.”
“Do you remember That once I had a small Aye-aye? ” Mr. Lyan went on: “It sleeped in my brush pot, looked so cute! When I needed to make some ink, I knock on the brush holder, it would jump out, picked up the ink stick and started to ground on the ink tray until I say “Stop”. Then it stood next the ink tray looking around with his big sparking eyes. If it saw an ant creep nearby, it would catch it and eat it. After I left the desk, it would lick the left over ink in the tray until the ink was all gone.”
“Yes! Yes! But how come I don’t see it anymore?” Yu Wen asked anxiously.
“It got sick one day. I took it to a veterinarian. But they couldn’t help much and it dead. I say, my child, tomorrow I’ll find something that you’ll have more fun to play with it.”
By now, Yu Wen smiled through tears, She knew for sure that whatever her father’s promise will always be accomplished.
Early next morning, Wong Ma said to Yu Wen excitedly, “Hurry up, My lady, Master was asking for you. It seemed that he has something for you.”
Yu Wen remembered that her father had promised her yesterday to look for something that will be more interested than the tiny dog. Now that must be it! She jumped out of her seat dashing out of the door, jumped cross over the pond. There she stopped at the corridor where her parents’ room was. Usually it took at least 2-3 minutes walking from her room to where she stood now if she walk as a lady should, but now she jumped like a monkey, it only took her less than one minute! To get here in 2-3 minutes? How could she wait that long?
She knocked on door and said out loud: “Mom, Dad, your daughter is here to say Good morning to you.”
Mr. Lyan opened the door looking at the huffing and puffing young lady. He looked down and saw her muddy embroidered shoes. He smiled and said kindly:”My! My! That’s how you came here so soon. Where is your manner, my young lady? Look at your muddy shoes! Shame on you!” Mr. Lyan handed Yu Wen a cloth bag and said: “give this to Wong Ma, She’ll tell you what to do.”
Behind Mr. Lyan, Yu Wen saw her mother was staring at her with a frowning face. She quickly said thanks to her father and went back her room. But this time she dare not to take the short cut any more. She walked like a well educated lady, because she knew her mother must be watching behind her.
Yu Wen was the only girl in the family, her father’s only pearl. Mr. Lyan spoiled her. But her mother, Jin Shr want to shape her with good manners as well as a real princess. Hopelessly Yu Wen inherited the Mongolian’s free and easy as well as her father.
Wong Ma opened the bag exclaimed with surprise:”My good gracious! What a Rarity!” Yu Wen couldn’t figure out why was it a rarity? They were but only 4 paper made figurines made with very thin bamboo sticks in the middle. One small copper plate and a small wooden stick.
“No! My lady, You know originally this was one of the treasures in the treasures pavilion in the royal families. ”
“What is a pavilion?” Yu Wen asked. “Where is this pavilion? Could you take me there someday?”
“No. My lady, pavilion is not a place. It was a cabinet where the royal families kept their most valuable treasures. They could be some very special agate or jade sculptures, rings, necklace or pines or bracelet. Or the very original painting and calligraphy, or mini Imperial Collection of Four, or toys. ” Wong Ma kept on:”Usually this kind of pavilion has a secret door. It can be opened only if you can find the secret switch. After it was opened, the cabinet can circled around. Therefore you won’t miss anything. it’s an unrivaled sight!” Yu Wen opened her eyes wide. She was enchanted by what she was listening. Speechlessly.
Wong Ma pointed at the articles that Mr. Lyan gave to Yu Wen and said:”These are called 8 hummers. Because these 4 people each one of them holding two ball shaped hummers. They all looked differently from each other’s. These people were ancient heroes long times ago. Look at this one with golden hummers, his name is Li Yuan Ba. This one with silver hummers his name is Pei Yuan Ching. This one with copper hummers is Chin Chung. This one with steel hummers is Lyang Shr Tai. Now watch! After I put them up standing in this copper plate and….” As Wong Ma was talking, she picked up the small wooden stick and slightly knocking on the edge of the copper plate. Magically the four paper made figurines started to move around, waving their hummers. When one of them getting very close to another one, they knock on each other, one of them would be knocked down.
“Oh! Oh! My goodness! This is really fun.”Yu Wen was thirlled. She jumped up and down, clapping her hands and laughing! She grabbed the little wooden steel from Wong Ma’s hand and did as Wong Ma was doing until there was only one left standing in the plat. She raised her hands up high and shouted; “Hurrah! Here is the champion!” Then she put the 4 of them back standing in the plat, and started the game over and over and over again. If it wasn’t Wong Ma calling her for lunch, Yu Wen could play with it till midnight! These 8 hummers kept her company through many lonely childhood days. Yu Wen was going to take them with her when she was getting married, but her mother took them away along with many other precious things the night before her marriage.
At Yu Wen’s old age, when she was telling the story about the “8 hummers” to her grand children, one of them, a grandson was so enchanted as much as she was so long ago. This little one couldn’t help but asked her: “Granny! Granny! I want one too! Where Can we buy it? Can we get one here in Taiwan? Please! Granny!”
C-2 Renew a sweet experience of bygone days
Yu Wen was born in Pei-Jing, China,1914. The beginning years of a new democratic government, The Republic of China. The glory of Ching Dynasty faded.
All the relatives of Mrs. Lyan’s were with blue blood. One of them, Lord Jin Sz Ye who loved to tell jokes.
Once Jin Sz Ye told Yu Wen a true story which she could never get over with. It was about a downgrade lord who was so sensitive about his reputation.
One morning, Lord Jin Sz Ye was strolling with his bird’s cage close Hu Gwo Sz, a famous temple in Pai-jing. There were all kinds of small business around the temple. People loved to shop around there. Jin Sz Ye walked into a tea hut for some breakfast. Sitting behind him, there was a poor old jobless lord. It was very noisy at that tea hut; some were calling for the waiters to take orders, some were asking for the prices. Friends talking to each others across several tables. Birds twittering in their cages restlessly……. All of a sudden, he heard a loud slam coming from the table behind his. Someone shouted: “It’s too loud, Be silent!” Everybody stopped talking and turn around and looked at the table behind him. That was the jobless lord, standing with his dignity. The hut was as silent as the night. The people at the tea hut begin eating or drinking quietly.
Even if he was a jobless lord; he still is yesterdays majesty. Jin Sz Ye stood up trying to calm the old man down. But he found out that the old jobless lord was wetting his finger with his mouth and trying to pick up some sesames seeds which jumped out of the cracks in the table, due to the force of his slam.
The story was told when Yu Wen was around six or seven years old, she was so innocent and naive. She could not understand the ways of the world. She thought the old jobless lord was so funny. She was even imitating his action, banging on the table and made lots of loud noise.
* * * * *
Yu Wen’s father, Mr. Lyan was the descendant of a Mongolian prince. Educated in Japan. Because of his education back ground, he operated an arsenal in Pei-king. That was during the beginning of The new republican government. Political affairs were very unstable. There were many warlords did not agree with to the policy of the new government, and also they would like to enlarge their own territories by taking lands from the other Warlords. Hoping someday they could take over the whole country. Wars happened here and there in China. Munitions were needed for both government and the warlords. Mr. Lyan’s arsenal was mutually benefited.
Yu Wen’s mother was a descendent of empire’s direct lineage. Supposing the Ching was still in power, Mrs. Lyan should be a princess. Yu Wen should be princess as well.
Due to the business Mr. Lyan was operating, the Lyan family was courteously treated by both government and the warlords. The Lyans were able to keep their splendid house with courtyards which were located at Bei-Wu Alley in Pei-king. It was not as big and beautiful as a prince’s house, but certainly it was very unusual. There were beautiful gardens with rockeries in the pond. A pair of stone lions stood on each side of the main entrance. The rooms in the first yard were menial. The houses in the second yard were for the masters. Eaves are long and wide. If you place a manhjong table under the eaves with 4 people playing around at the table, they would not get wet by the heavy rain. The bricks of the pathway were carved with moral stories. When Yu Wen was a little girl, she often asked Wong -Ma, her nursing mother to tell her those stories.
In the second yard there was an artificial hill with a secret door, a cave behind the door. In the cave there was a stone table. Yu Wen knew in the hot summer days, the ice for the whole family were stored here. They used those ice blocks for cold drinks, cooling fruits, and bring the room temperature down. As a naughty child, Yu Wen loved to ask Wong Ma to be with her to explore the cave. She believed there must be some kind of secret path that could lead to somewhere. Such as to the country side, or another mansion…… Due to the darkness and the cold air, poor Wong Ma was never be able to accomplish the adventure with her.
There were various kind of flowers in front of the artificial hill. Yu Wen loved the nature since she was a little girl. She appreciate the beauty of the nature. She often being attracted by a small flower, a butterfly or a bug. Whenever she found something special, she would ask Wong Ma to help her to bring it home to study it. Sometimes even use it as a model for her embroidery. That was why her needle works were so different from others.
—to be continued—
—The last part of “the Laundry Lady—
At that very moment, Mrs. Lee came home. She saw Yu Wen was standing in the middle of the yard.
“Oh My! Oh my! I say, Mrs Ho, don’t stand here. Please do come into the living room and have some tea.”
The arrangements of Lee’s living Room looked pretty much like the Lyan’s. There was a long table against the wall in the center of the room. A tablet with the name of Lee’s ancestry was placed at the middle of the table. An incense burner, the one with three legs, place in front of the table, There were some fresh flowers and fruits placed on the table in front of the tablet. . A typical furnished and decorated living room for a traditional Chinese family. All these reminded Yu Wen her own mother house. She stopped at the doorway swallowed her tears.
“Mom, Aunt Ho was looking for you.” Han Jung told Mrs. Lee.
Mrs. Lee, age around sixty, a friendly and rather heavy lady, with a kind smiling face. She looked at Yu Wen and said:
“Of course! Is there anything that I can do for you? Just let me know it.”
“I…..I….., I would like to know……., if…..if there are some clothing you…….need someone to…….wash for you.” Yu Wen said stuttering:”I would like to wash them for you. If………..if you just give me some rice and fire woods.”
Mrs. Lee looked at Yu Wen’s blushing face. She picked up her hands and looked at them graciously. and said:
“What a child! You make my heart aching. I suppose you are just about two years older than my own daughter. Look at these tender hands, I can tell that they’ve never had any tough task.”
When Yu Wen heard what Mrs. have just said, she thought she was going to lose the only chance she can grab. Right away she said: “Yes! Yes! Mrs. Lee, I can do it. I really can do it.”
“Of course! My dear!” Mrs. Lee said. She was such a understanding lady. She could tell that Dz Yun and Yu Wen were from good families. If it was not because of the current situation, Yu Wen would never think of she needs to get a job. She felt so sorry for this noble young lady.
“Han Jung,” Mrs. Lee called her son. “You and your younger brother’s pillow cases and bed sheets and also all the cloths you’ve changed last night, they all should be washed. I don’t think if I’ll have time to do it today. I’m glad that Aunt Ho can help me. So you brothers don’t just stand there doing nothing, go get those dirty clothing and the others out to the back yard. Then help Aunt Ho to get water from the well. Also to watch over the little girls.」
Then she said to Yu Wen: “Mrs. Ho, come, come with me to the kitchen to get something.”」.
One of the boys running back and forth. Not long some big bundles of fire woods, rice, vegetables and meat were transported into Ho’s kitchen.
Before Yu Wen knew it, Syau Yun were put into her baby stroller, laugher and playing with those two big boys.
Those boys not only helping to draw water from the well, they also put the clothing into the water. Yu Wen wash the clothing and the boys rinse them, and hang them on the cloth line. Soon after the launders were all done.
Mrs. Lee came out of the house and said to Yu Wen:「I really appreciate your help today. I wish that if you could be my daughter. Wouldn’t it be wonderful! you’d better run home now. It’s about time to prepare for dinner.」
Yu Wen was speechless but nodding her head endlessly with tears in her eyes. The warmth in her heart wiped off all the anxieties.
Dinner was ready!
It seemed for a quite a long time they hadn’t had any steamed rice, It smelled so good! There were soup, vegetables and twice-cooked pork, the famous Sz Chwan dish.
For Syau Wen, Yu Wen mixed steamed rice with some small pieces of pork , some juice from every dish. It was so delicious!
“Yammy! mammy! Yammy!” There were rice all over Syau Wen’s nose and face!
Dz Yun appeared at the doorway, he heard what Syau Wen had just said and saw her with a funny looking face. But she looked so lovely!
“Syau Wen, what’s so delicious? Ah? Look at you! You even eat with your nose and cheeks!” Dz Yun said his daughter.
“Rou-rou(baby’s talking for Meat in Chinese.)!, rou-rou yammy!”Syau Wen pointing at the dish on the table.
Dz Yun was happy too. Because he hadn’t had any meat for quite a while.
“Well! So we have a Sumptuous meal today, right? That’s wonderful!” Dz Yuen cheered!
Yu Wen handed over a big bowl of rice for Dz Yun with a sweet smile. And said: “You must be very tired and hungry, hurry up and eat before it gets cold.”
Dz Yun, a typical man. He had never thinking of to ask Yu Wen where those food came from.
While Yu Wen was cleaning the table, she found out that Dz Yun didn’t really eat much of the second-cooked pork. She understood it’s because that Dz Yun meant to save some for tomorrow for the whole family.
When Yu Wen looking back the life she had at her mother home and now, they were so different. She never cooked, had never washed any clothing, not even make her only tea. But the live she is in now, the warmth and hope filled her heart. No more tears! She believe that everything will be getting better.
—C-2 Renew a sweet experience of bygone days is on the way—
C-1 The Laundry Lady(2)
“Meow!” A cute little kitten came to the kitchen door. It woke Yu Wen up from her day dreaming, and put her back to the reality.
Big tear drops dropped to her hands. Yu Wen shook her head, trying to shake off what was in her mind. But tears said “No!” kept on running down to her cheeks and wet her blouse.
Yu Wen resolutely wiped off her tears and kept her chin up, looking out the windows with her red eyes,
“What am I going to do next?” Yu Wen asked herself the question with no answer.
Yesterday morning, Dz Yun finished his watery rice porridge, put on his straw sandals left home to look for a job. His feet were blistered. The blisters got dried many time and by now they were deadened. Hoping that he will find a job, any job that will bring some income. He realized since they left his home town in He Nan till now, the money he brought from home should be almost finished. He loved Yu Wen so much and wished that he could give her the whole world, he put those money into Yu Wen’s hand. Usually the rice porridge was not so watery. He notice that even at dinner, lesser dishes were placed on the table. But quietly he took whatever were placed on the table for him. He knew how hard was Yu Wen trying to work on their budget, and hang in there.
Dz Yun and Yu Wen escapeed the Japanese’s persecution from He-Nan to Sz Chwan,. They lost contact with their home, without any friend here in this unfamiliar place. to get a job was so difficult. He was a well educated with degree of college. Usually it should be very easy to get a government job or a high school teacher. But the current situation and financial difficulties, students left town with their parents. School combined two or three classes into one, reduced the number of teachers. Government organization were tightening their budget laid off employers. Countless offices Dz Yun went in and out with disappointment. Numberless pair of straw sandals had worn-out with his numb feet in them.
Trying to cheer himself up, Dz Yuen said to himself before he got back home that evening: “it will be a better day tomorrow. There was a newly arrived government organization, there may be some good luck waits for me!” When he got home that evening, Yu Wen was breastfeeding Syau Yun, their second daughter, who was a 5,6 month old baby. Syau Wen, their first born daughter was in bad by now.
Yu Wen said to him: 「Sorry! Pal! Syau Wen and I had some dinner already. Go ahead, that all for you. 」
Dz Yun was exhausted and hungry. He met with so many rebuffs. Now, home, sweet home! Without thinking of anything else, he sat at the table and started eating. Like a hungry tiger, he finished the last drop of everything that placed on the table. Even though, it seemed those food didn’t ease of the hunger at all.
Yu Wen looked at her sweetheart with love and sorry. She knew that whatever she prepared would not be enough for Dz Yun. These days Syau Wen often complaining her stomach ache because of not enough food. Yu Wen wanted to say something to Dz Yuen but she didn’t know where to begin with.
* * * * * *
“Now, what am I going to do next?” She said to herself again. She looked into the bucket where they kept the rice, there was very little rice left in it, barely enough for the dinner that evening. But how about tomorrow? She had to think about something ease off Syau Wen’s stomach ache. To have enough food to for her poor honey. To have enough milk for Syau Yun. Suddenly she got an idea.
After Syau Yun fell into sleep, she said to Syau Wen:”My good girl, will you watch over your little sister for me? Make sure that she will not fall off of the bed. I’m going to see our landlady, and will be back very soon.”
Yu Wen went into the landlady’s yard. She saw Han Jung( one of the landlady’s sons) was sitting under the tree with a book in his hand.
“Excuse me! Mr. Lee, Is your mother home?”
The young man stood up embarrassingly.”‘Aunt Ho, Please call me Han Jung. Don’t call me Mister. My mother went to visit my sister. I suppose she will be home at any minute. May I ask what can we do for you?”
“I……..I……” Yu Wen murmured, she found it was very difficult for her to speak it out.
–To be continued–
At that very moment, Mrs. Lee came home. She saw Yu Wen was standing in the middle of the yard.
C-1 The Laundry Lady-a
My father, Dz Yuen was a man with a great sense of purpose. He was a man dedicated to his role in the Air Force but his real purpose in life was to find ways to make my mother’s eyes sparkle. Sometimes it would be the simplicity of putting a rose under her blanket before she got into bed. Although she always got into bed long after he went to sleep, she would find the flower with a note that would provoke a smile and that special sparkle. My father was a special man of great kindness. He regretfully spent much of his time looking for jobs but he would always return with new ways to remind my mother of how much he loved her.
After my father left for looking for job that morning, my mother Yu Wen She was cleaning house and singing. Cleaning house was something new that she learned after her marriage. Actually my mother never had to do any house chores before she married. She began singing one of her favorite Drum Song of Peking, The Story of the West Wing .
“A sixteen year old young lady
Too lazy to dress up.
Tswei-Ying-Ying lying in bed sluggishly.
Lack of appetite, didn’t call any tea
Lonely and miserable.
cold and cheerless,
Holding her cheek with her tinny skinny hands
With her big eyes half-opened…………. ”
This Song always reminded her childhood. As in her memory: that was a cold spring morning…………
In that big living room. Yu Wen stood there as straight as a soldier in front of her mother, who was sitting in a big wooden lounge chair.
“I said, NO! Didn’t you understand what I’ve just said to you?” Mrs. Lyan said with a rather loud and harsh turn.”Who have ever heard of a young lady like you from an illustrious family, would ever learn to sing ” Drum Song of Peking “, such low class folk song was only for those people in the street who have to work for their daily bread. If our relatives and friends ever heard of this: the Lyan’s only daughter is learning Drum Song of Peking, what would they think about you? How am I going to be able to look for a matched marriage for you?”
Yu Wen was the pearl of the family, but when she violate Mrs. Lyan’s principles, her mother would never tolerate.
“So, I’ll say it again: NO! YOU – ARE – NOT – ALLOWED – TO – LEARN – IT ! ” Mrs. Lyan said: “Wong Ma, escort your lady back to her room. Without my permission, your lady should not leave her room.”
Wong Ma was Yu Wen’s wet nurse, who took care of Yu Wen ever since she was an infant. She loved Yu Wen so dearly as her own daughter.
Wong Ma whispered to Yu Wen softly: “My lady, let’s go back to your room now. Don’t make it difficult for me.”
Yu Wen was going to say something, but when she looked at her mother’s angry face and Wong Ma with tears in her eyes, she withdrew quietly from her mother’s room.
While they were walking to her room, she said to herself: 「Ok! Ok! I am not going to learn it, but I really don’t understand how could “learning a drum song” being related with ” lower one’s identity “?」
Mr. Lyan, Yu Wen’s father, a good husband, but he would do his best to be on his daughter’s side if he is needed.
That evening Mr. Lyan heard the servants were talking about the unhappy incident that happened between Mrs. Lyan and his only daughter, Yu Wen, he went into his daughter’s room instead of going to his wife’s room.
“My girl, I say, you are playing revolution again! And you upset your mother, right?” He said to Yu Wen.
“No! I did not.”Yu Wen was trying to defend herself.
“I was just telling her that I wish to learn the drum song, -The Story of the West Wing-. I didn’t know that could upset my mother that bad and she enumerated all my wrong doings. 」The feeling of wronged her, tears running down her cheeks.
“Pa-pa! You have to think of some ways to help me. I really want to learn it.”
「The Story of the West Wing? Isn’t that the romantic story about Tswei Ying Ying and Jang Jun Rei? I know it. Nice melody! But………….. 」It wouldn’t be hard for Mr, Lyan to figure out why that Mrs. Lyan would not allow Yu Wen to learn it. He didn’t want the happening gets too complicated.
「How about the pouch you promised me? En? It should be done by now. Isn’t it?」Mr. Lyan changed the subject.
「Almost! Pa! But I don’t feel like to do anything anymore after what I got from my mom today.」
Yu Wen was the pearl in Mr. Lyan’s palm. Yu Wen was so precious to him. On one hand Yu Wen’s personality was inherited from him, free and easy. On the other Yu Wen’s exquisite intelligence was from his wife. In addition to this, Mrs. Lyan had painstakingly educated Yu Wen with the Chinese traditional needle works. Yu Wen was a priceless treasure to him. Therefore Mr. Lyan always granted whatever Yu Wen requested .
Mr. Lyan was very proud of his daughter’s needle works. Whatever Yu Wen embroidered were beautiful and unique. He had a handkerchief was embroidered by Yu Wen. He always carry one or two pieces of Yu Wen’s needle works with him. When he had some social active with his friends, he wouldn’t miss any opportunity to show off.
Mr. Lyan was a pipe-smoker and carried a pouch with him all the time. He thought, it would be the best chance to show off Yu Wen’s masterpiece each time when he was loading his pipe. And people will not notice that he did it purposely! Therefore he asked Yu Wen to embroider a pouch for him. Now when he realize his daughter will go on a strike, he gave-in.
“OK! You tell me what’s in your mind? How would you learn it?”Mr. Lyan asked.
“I’m ……wondering if it is OK to employ a Drum Song actress to come to our home to teach me?” Yu Wen thought that would be the best way, which would be complete in both respects.
“You mean to learn it secretly at home, so that our relatives and friends will not know it and also it wouldn’t embarrass your mother too, right? But should we let your mother know about it?”
Yu Wen laughed happily because she knew her father will help her now.
A beautiful young lady came to Lyan’s residence the next afternoon to teach Yu Wen secretly! Whom Yu Wen found out later that she was a very famous Peking Drum Song actress, Jang-Tswei-Feng. May be it was because of that Jang Tswei Feng was famous, therefore Mrs. Lyan accepted the whole idea and did not give Yu Wen any more hard time. Yu Wen remembered after class when Miss Jang was about to leave, she lowered her head and walked backward for a few stapes, then turn around walked quickly out of room. Because she was of humble birth.
—To be continued—