A brief history of the progression of the plum blossoms: The first plum blossoms appeared the last week of January. The snowfall of early February did the blooms no harm, and more continued to bloom until their peak at the end of the month. Sort of. I’m not quite sure when the peak was because right as they seemed…peak-iest…the tiny petals succumbed to February’s unending rain and died sadly, fading on the sidewalks and in the gutters. March came with more rain, even more snow (yesterday–bleck), and took away even more petals, so trees I hadn’t even seen fully bloomed now have only the remnants of flowers on their again bare branches. But once every year or so when the sun comes out and the walkways along the river are dry enough for a stroll I find some new flower blooming, like the crab apple tree on my porch, or the little purple star flowers by the river. And just as hope so often comes in the moment of despair and flowers spring from the snow, so also a happy story comes from the tale of woe that is the dentist. Yes! Today I had the best trip to the dentist ever. Ever! So I get there and wait 15 minutes, then when I go sit in the chair the dentist frowns at me and says, “You were late because you weren’t 15 minutes early.” (I was a mere five minutes early. Gasp. Surprise–no one wants to spend extra time at the dentist). He continued: “We almost weren’t able to see you because someone had an emergency and needed to be seen right away.” So…that sounds like my lack of 10 extra minutes of earliness would be a good thing, right? I was kind of confused so I said, “Well I’m glad that worked out.” But he frowned, so I think he interpreted that comment as being smart. Whoooops. Ok on to the awesome part: “The other dentist said I had four cavities in different jaw quadrants so it would require at least three visits…?” I asked once seated uncomfortably in the hot seat. The dentist looked up from my x-rays and said, “Hmm, let’s look at your teeth before we decide what to do today.” Poke poke. Tap tap. Poke poke. Stab poke. The verdict? “These two aren’t cavities. This is a natural indentation that has some staining, which can look like a cavity sometimes, but there’s no decay. And this last one is just staining around the edges of a previous filling. Maybe I can just polish that off. Ok, it is actually the beginning of a cavity. Just a minute. This shouldn’t even need anesthetic.” That sounded potentially alarming, but I kept my mouth shut. Or rather kept it open but said nothing. Drill drill, tap tap, polish, tap tap, polish. “Ok, you’re all done.” I’d been there for 10 minutes. I put my coat back on. “Really? That’s it? Four cavities to no cavities in 10 minutes?” Dentist Frown smiled. “That’s it!” I smiled. “Best trip to the dentist ever!” He didn’t even tell me to floss! Because I already do! The end to this lame and poorly thought out post: Friday afternoon I walked down to a nearby konbini (convenience store) and got this kawaii mini-bottle of plum wine. The sweets shop next door had these little cherry blossom mochi cakes, so I bought one of those too AND picked up a map and schedule of activities for this year’s cherry blossom celebration along the River of a Thousand Blossoms!