Dad the Doer

In honor of Father’s Day I’m writing about my dad today. My dad just turned 80 years old last month and I think he looks young and handsome for his age. For his big birthday, some of the kids wanted to take him out for a nice dinner with some of his friends, but dad had something else in mind. He wanted to gather his kids back at the family home to shore up the backyard fence. This meant putting in about 15 new posts with cement and bracketing them. All this work was done on our neighbors’ side of the fence and meant that their swimming pool drainage system had to be moved and then reassembled again – as you can see in the photo. I thought it was weird that the neighbors never even came out of the house during all the activity, at least while I was around. My dad said it was better this way because they would have just slowed the whole thing down.

I was a little worried about going to the family home in Lodi. You see none of us really live there anymore. After my parents decided rather spur of the moment to move to Reno due to my mother’s Alzheimer’s condition three years ago, none of us spend much time there. Yet you know it was fine. It did not seem all that strange. We all barbecued a lovely dinner with too much food (so typically “Shintani”).

This ended up being the best party for my dad. He is such a doer. I think having his three sons, son-in-law, and nephew all working together to fix the fence and the daughter and daughter-in-laws in the kitchen, ended up being a perfect way to celebrate his 80th. It actually ended up being fun for all of us! I guess father does know best.

Thanks dad, for all the things you do, and who you are!

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Invite your favorite senior to our 5/8 performance and luncheon

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Lisa Petrides and Judy Shintani are performing “Honoring Grandmothers from Far Lands” again, this time at the Ted Adcock Senior Center in Half Moon Bay at 12:20pm, May 8th. The performance is part of the Mother’s Day Luncheon which starts at noon. This event is organized by the Senior Coastsiders.

“It is interesting how much a woman emigrating from Greece has in common with a woman emigrating from Japan,” said Shintani. “For example, both of these women’s families arranged their marriages, which led to their journey to America. We explore how this shaped their experience in becoming “American”.”

While exploring the stories of their Greek and Japanese grandmothers often left them with more questions than answers, Petrides said, “the performance is really about bringing voice to their lives and celebrating the stories of the millions of women who came to this country with little knowledge about what they were about to embark upon.”

“Through our storytelling we hope to conjure up the audiences’ memories and questions about their own grandmothers. We want to honor our maternal forebears and remember we would not be here if not for the choices they made to lead the lives they did,” said Shintani.

To attend the luncheon and performance, make a reservation by calling the Senior Coastsider’s office at: 650-726-9056. Non-seniors must be accompanied by a senior and the suggested donation for the event is $3.50.

Founded in 1977, Senior Coastsiders has become the focal point for senior services on the coastside. They strive to create an atmosphere that acknowledges and affirms the value, dignity and self worth of seniors and adults with disabilities.

The agency also serves as a resource for the entire community for information on aging, support of caregivers, and development of innovative approaches to address issues of aging.

 They are located at: 535 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay, California 94019. For more information go to their website at: http://www.seniorcoastsiders.org/.

a Greek granddaughter and a Japanese granddaughter telling stories 7/28

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We (Lisa Petrides and Judy Shintani) will be telling the stories of our grandmothers this Saturday at the Enso Art Gallery, using spoken word and movement. This will be our second time performing this piece. The first time was up at Gallery Route One in Pt Reyes, California.

It is interesting that two women from very different places could have things in common, and yet one can also get a sense of how their extremely different cultures affected their lives and personalities.

We are considering holding a storytelling workshop in August.

See our pieces from the accompanying art exhibit “What Was She Thinking?”