No one ever gives me the, “you stand out, gaijin!” look when I’m on the Scoop. Except Sunday people kept staring at me. Wait, I thought. Maybe they’re looking at the totally cute trench coat Chris got me in San Diego. Sure enough, when I pulled into base later (ah-hem, NOT wearing the required long pants or tacky orange vest, just a knee-length trench coat, gloves, brown knee-high boots, aviators and a red helmet) the guard said, “Hey! I like your style! Everything matches, even the bike!” I thanked him and drove on smiling through the sunshine, the Tanagawa Mountains on the other side of the flight line outlined against the warm-weather haze in the distance.
The kitties were not happy to be left inside on this lovely day. Sorry cats. “YOU’LL be sorry!” they were probably thinking. At one point over the weekend I left the window open to air out the house and get rid of the slight moldy smell. When I returned on the Scoop I saw a big fluffy tail dart behind the house. Yikes! What was that?! One time I saw a possum in the driveway. Was it back? I killed the Scoop’s engine…and heard a piercing, “ME-ow!!” That would be Mouse. “Mouse!” I said. “What are you doing out here?!” “ME-ow!!” he said. Pounce was inside on the windowsill meowing at me, tattling on Mouse. I wasn’t fooled. Usually Pounce is the first one out and Mouse sounds the alarm. If Mouse was out, he’d followed Pounce. Pounce must have somehow managed to squeeze his fat cat ass back through the typhoon-protection bars. I checked the inside of the windowsill for telltale scratches made in the hoisting process. The evidence suggests I was correct. Bad cats! I opened the door and Mouse ran inside. They meowed to be fed and ran to the litter box. Really? Couldn’t you have at least done that outside? Three days cold, forth day warm. That’s the Japanese description of spring. Or maybe it’s three days cold, four days warm; I’m not sure. Anyway, it was warm so the Scoop and I went for a Friday afternoon riverside jaunt. The petals are cascading from the trees, pi-pi-pi-pi-pi on my helmet’s face mask like so many butterflies. Aaahhhhh, it feels good to be zipping around with the Scoop again!! Then Friday night was the Change of Command Dinner. Chris unfortunately is still Stateside, but I represented the Krueger couple by sitting at the Det Lonely table with the rest of the husbandless wives. Eight hours later we were all back together for the spouses club flight suit photos where we pose in our pilot’s flight jackets, then their flight suits. We do this every year in front of the SH-60 Bravo show bird just before the NAF Atsugi Cherry Blossom Festival. I hear Hello Kitty made an appearance.
Sunday afternoon continued warmer and sunnier. It was so nice to go back to our own church and worship in Japanese and English. I love that. We all have lunch together afterwards. I had thin-sliced pork on onion and lettuce from the konbini across the street. Not as good as the filet mignon at the change of command dinner, but still tasty. Then the Scoop and I zipped along the river, motoring slowly along, weaving in and out of the picnickers in kimono, families on bikes, couples strolling and admiring the flowers, kids playing catch, dogs wading in the river. The whole riverbank was a party, and everyone was invited.