More Wonderings

Susan G Holland
3 min readJun 11, 2024


June 11, 2024

Aside from the world problems, there is also this:

What can an old lady do?

One old lady I have recently met is a neighbor of mine; a lady who lives a few doors down from mine.

This woman is always masked. She is Generous. Polite. Disciplined. Sensitive. Japanese. Very Smart. Quite Self Contained. Very loveable.

I first met her when she shyly knocked at my door, offering me a nice bag of fresh food: fresh food which, I learned, was the corner grocery’s Friday offering of still good raw food still left in their store. The store donated these choice products for free to whomever might come by.

I was happy to receive a melon and some greens and when I thanked her sincerely, she said “NO NO…do not thank me. “ I could barely understand what she was saying behind her mask with her Japanese accent, but she finally said it was free to all down at the corner store.

She popped up again in a few days, knocking at my door and offering a lot of other raw and clean foods. I had to stop her to some extent, she was so pleased to give me things.

For the first time in about a year, she knocked on my door yesterday, and actually came in! She was asking about the art I had at the doorway. “Did YOU do that?

Well, she was very complimentary, and very excited. She spoke, in English, “talent, creative, “ and asked me if I was in the Museum.

What a compliment. She, dropping her shy ness, and Covid-aware mask, and came on in to see my place. We spent at least 30 minutes poking through my art work, and seeing photos of my children and grandchildren.

I asked her questions too, about her experience being Japanese in the US. She said she had been here in the US for a long time. Did she find the Seattle culture accepting of her Asian background?

She said that she had always been aware of a separateness in acceptance in this multicultural corner of Washington State. She still felt she must be very discrete. She was moving across a certain amount of awareness of being Asian here in Seattle.

This was like a Mother Theresa person quietly touching all her neighbors…carefully…with neighborly kindness. No No, I must not thank her, she said.

We have, over the months, found a way to ease into a relaxed and trusting relationship with each other. It took a while. The tension in this time of our lives, in Seattle as well as in the whole country, has made it a delicate business to make friends with someone who is “different.”

I was the different one to her. She was the different one to me.

I love her now. She loves me. We still cannot have a sisterly embrace…she is very careful in a world full of COVID danger. For her sake, and for the sake of others.

So we make hugs from a distance away, wrapping our arms around our own chests in a gesture used by some deaf people who are communicating in sign language.

I am saying, here, that that woman is my sister! In a fire I would go find her and drag her away from danger. Vice versa, I am quite sure.

All of this happened here in spite of my deafness, and our mutual language barriers? Amazing!

Miracles happen even on a planet at war in so many different corners of the globe!

She was certainly aware, she disclosed, of the left-over WWII mutual rift between Japan and the USA, when she was a child.. So was I aware, though I had no idea in 1940 why I had to hide a few Japanese art treasures from view during that war when I was a child growing up in Pennsylvania! I have not yet found out where she was in 1940. We are both old. We are just learning about each other’s histories.

Will mankind ever get over the deadliness of wars?

© SGHolland 2024



Susan G Holland

Student of life; curious always. Tyler School of Fine Art, and a couple of years’ worth of computer coding and design, plus 87 years of discovery.