New Year’s volunteering: 2013-12-30

Lots of cleaning, setting up tents, moving the firewood, a little raking, and an embarrassing mishap.  Tired, and my feet are worn out.

Up, breakfasted and out by 8:30am.  I’m usually a “shower in the morning” person, but I’ve been showering in the afternoon after we finish.  I need a shower then, and it is free.  It has made the mornings quick.
Got to the shrine, and got stuff to do.  Raked the courtyard.  Had a minute, so went and visited the farther outdoor shrine.  Said hello to Oinarisama.  Got involved helping scrub out the temizuya (the basin used to wash before prayers) which was wet.  Started raking a very steep spot, but was interrupted by Chouhai.
(Chouhai is the morning service to greet the Kami.  It is about 45 minutes long, and hard to describe concisely.)
Another helper, Christian-san had arrived.  He and Steve-san had been planning how we would set up the tents while Jim-san and I did other work.  The four of us assembled two 10×15′ tents.
Jim-san and I got to move the firewood pile, because it was now behind a tent.  Jim-san also decided to split the wood, because it was too big.  He split and I stacked.  Had to stack it twice, as the big pile had a woodvalanche.
While we did that, Seth-san and his two sons arrived.  Seth is an electrician.  He and his sons fixed a couple of the outside lights.  All the lights on the driveway, and all the stone lanterns now are lit.  It looks really nice.
I got pulled off firewood, leaving Jim-san to finish on his own, to help hang the red and white silk banner in the tent.  Took three of us to make sure the silk never touched the ground.
Very late  lunch – a snack saved me – and then back to it.
Christian-san figured out a way to hang the banner in the second tent with only two people, so I went and finished raking the steep hill.
This is where I had my accident.  I slipped on the muddy hill, and knocked over a granite lantern.  It fell apart.  Two of the parts rolled all the way down the hill, into the river.  One part was easy to find.  Jim-san had tall rubber boots and could rescue the two parts from the water.  The last – a little round topper – we never found.  We put what we had back together.  When I told Sensei about it later, he as not too upset.  It is not the first of the little round toppers to escape.  I still feel clumsy and am bummed.
The light was going, but Jim-san and I were asked to wipe down the wood around the temizuya.  We did, but will have to check it tomorrow, as it got dark before we finished.
Hiked back up to the Kaikan, showered, then helped Barrish-san and Steve-san set up the bedding in the men’s dormitory.
Steve-san and I went to Omega Pizza where we both had excellent lasagne.  Then blogging (so slow on the tablet!), and bed.
Tomorrow will be long.  Lots to do and people coming for the first ceremony at 11:30pm or something.

Leave a Reply