A Chapter from my new book Searching for Seoul- CHAPTER: IOWA

Welcome to the neighborhood, Hana, Sara, and David! Congratulations, Floyd and Mary! In the picture, three neighbor kids, freckled, blond and Velcro-sneakered, stand beneath the sign they’ve taped to our new mom and dad’s garage door.

Beneath this photo, is one of the three of us; transplants with similar blunt haircuts and coordinating seersucker outfits, sitting in the back of a brown Crown Victoria Station Wagon (later we dubbed her, Miss Vicky). The back seat has been turned down to create a kind of playpen in the rear of the car so that the three of us can sit together. There are toys everywhere. In the photo, I’m pressing a plastic phone the size of my head to my ear, my little brother looks caught, in the lens of the camera and my sister sits, holding a doll in her lap.

Looking at the photo now, I think we look a little stunned, as though we’re suspending our belief, terrified that we could wake-up at any moment to discover that all this–the toys, the smiling, teary adults–are a figment of our imaginations. But when we awake the next morning, the three of us stretched-out on mom and dad’s king-sized bed, it is all still true. (READ the rest of the chapter on my website hanahawley.com

 

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photo by Kelcy Gatson on Unsplash

 

 

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Hanako and Jiro are Facing Some Big Changes…

Head on over to http://www.hanahawley.com to read the latest about Hanako and Jiro’s adventures in Japan. A lot has happened since we caught up with them last. How will these changes impact their relationship? Chapters 22 and 23 are up. Click the link to read.

Hanako and Jiro in Japan

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Photo by Royji Iwata on Unsplash

 

Sister Theresa (Part III): Last Place

In Korea, I discovered the root of the insecurities that have dogged my steps far too often, thwarting my attempts to step confidently into who I am. I talk about this in part III of my Searching for Seoul Blog. “Sister Theresa (Part III): Last Place”.

Excerpt: A tiny seed of resentment sprouts. I see my awkward grade-school self, my insecure teenage self; nothing I did ever good enough, done fast enough. http://www.hanahawley.com

 

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Photo by Samuel Zeller via Unsplash

 

 

CH 14 STRESS-INDUCING KINDNESS

When you’re too old to shop Forever 21 but too young to give-up trendy clothes…

Chapter 14 of Hanako and Jiro’s Adventures in Japan is about aging and kindness. Read the full story at http://www.hanahawley.com

(Excerpt): The fluorescent lights, the pulsing music, the bright yellow bags: all of it for the benefit of the forever twenty-one and under set whose skin miraculously looks brighter under the punishingly harsh lights, whose feet have danced club floors to the music piping through the store’s speakers, and for whom the plastic shopping bags will swing with freedom about their slim legs as they leave the incubator of youth in an hour’s time.

 

Hanako and Jiro in Japan: CH 13 Fortune Cookie Wisdom​ (Jiro)

When the older gentleman enters the room, everyone stands and bows deeply. Jiro follows suit, but Mr. Saito quickly reaches for his hand. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Jiro-san,” he says. And there is something at once elegant and sharp about the slender man’s eyes, a hint of humor, at the corners of his mouth that Jiro likes instantly.

Read more about Hanako and Jiro’s adventures in Japan at HanaHawley.com

 

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Photo by Ana Grave for Unsplash

 

SEARCHING FOR SEOUL: CHOPSTICKS

On my blog: Searching for Seoul, I talk about being an orphan, an adopted child, and a woman, seeking her identity. Last week, I went to Korea for the first time since I was seven years-old to meet the woman responsible for helping me find my birth dad last summer. Here is a short intro. You can read the FULL STORY at HanaHawley.com

The night I met Sister Theresa for the first time, she took me and Josiah to eat a traditional Korean meal at her friend’s restaurant. I felt spoiled, and loved, and slightly sad. I let my imagination run away from me. A glimpse into what goes on in my head sometimes, in this post called “Chopsticks.”

“Her eyes seep sadness. They sting like old wounds reopened–wide and gaping. I imagine for a moment that she sees her own abandoned daughter–a hint of the child she once knew in the shape of my face.”jakub-kapusnak-296881.jpg

(photo by Jacob Kapusnak for unsplash)