We slept in until 11:00 this morning. It strikes me that we are extremely spoiled. Not that we were able to sleep-in today, but rather that waking up at 6am the past three days was so hard. When I used to work a "real job" I would wake up every day around 6:30. Somehow, somewhere along the way, I got used to being able to decide my own wake-up time. Now, when a customer says that she wants to go see the sunrise (or in this case early morning fresh-snow), I struggle.
That is why I am so impressed with the 80+ year old news-paper delivery man in our village. He gets up every morning before 3am, folds the papers, throws them in a basket over his shoulder, and walks through all the nearby villages, through un-plowed roads, before anyone else is awake. We met him at the end of his route just around 7am. Somehow I think I want that job when he retires...
So yes, the customers are gone. I feel bad calling them customers, though, as they have become friends. The way we run our tours is similar to what we would do for visiting relatives. We eat together, go to the bath together, hike and walk around the village together, visit the neighbors together, and shovel our walk-way together. The biggest difference between having customers as opposed to friends or family, is that we clean the house for customers.
The photographer / writer for Kura magazine came yesterday. He listened to our life-story (looking a little disappointed) and tried as hard as he could to ind things to take photos of in our not-so-old, yet very dirty house. He got a few shots from the little get-together we had with our neighbors and customers. One neighbor taught everyone how to make tofu, and then we made some haya soba ("fast buckwheat". Its "fast" because you just cook the dough as a blob rather than rolling it out and cutting into noodles). He took a few shots of Tomoe, me, and our guest shoveling snow, then a few shots of us digging out our pathetic daikon radishes from under the snow. I can't wait to see what the article looks like and how he uses his magic editorial powers to make us look interesting.