My Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) vacation in the States is nearing to an end.
I will be flying out tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb. 7) from Indianapolis to Detroit to Beijing to Chengdu. In Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan, I will stay a few days before heading back to Luzhou, 3 1/2 hours away, on Saturday the 11th. Saturday officially marks the end of Chinese Spring Festival with the Lantern Festival. I can imagine dragging my luggage along with thousands of our students who will likewise be returning to school after a restful holiday.
Classes begin on Monday, the 13th, and will continue until June 3rd, the end of our Spring semester.
Last Day in Marshall
My last day in Marshall had my mom and me walking Lao-lao uptown in our mild-weathered 50-degrees to alight in the newspaper office.
I had with me a bag of pennies and small change which I planned to place in Lao-lao’s coffee can for the Best Pet Contest.
My mom felt that filling Lao-lao’s can with change was cheating.
“Shouldn’t we vote for someone else’s dog?” she said with embarrassment as I gleefully encouraged her to dump my coin bag into his can.
Well, he’s our dog! Why can’t we vote for him? It’s not like he gets the money. All voting funds go to our local animal rescue group. That’s the most important thing, in my opinion.
In other words, no shame here for filling his can with votes. He’s rescue, too, after all. And an immigrant to boot. He should help raise money for his American brothers and sisters still looking and hoping for a forever home. He found his happy home with us. Now we can help others find theirs.
And I wasn’t the only one voting for Lao-lao, I will tell you.
While standing in line at the Marshall Post Office, I was waiting to mail a big box to China when someone noticed the heavy bag of coins I was clutching.
“What have you done? Emptied the bank?” the woman behind me joked.
“Oh, you know that pet contest that the newspaper is holding?” I explained. “One penny per vote. I entered my rescue dog from China who is living here in Marshall. After I’m done here, I’m walking over to put all this into the voting jars. All the money goes to Rescue Me Clifford, our local rescue group.”
The woman nodded.
“Oh, yeah!” the man behind her piped up. “I saw those in the paper. Real cute. Which dog is yours?”
“He’s a Chihuahua, Little Old. Chinese name is Lao-lao,” I continued. “I figured since he’s an immigrant and a rescue himself, he should help raise money for our community’s American strays, abandoned or lost critters. That’s why I entered him.”
Several affirmative murmurs followed that remark.
Finally, my turn at the counter was up. It took awhile for my box to be processed because a lot of computer entry is necessary for international mailing but eventually, I was able to go.
As I turned to head out the door, those I passed stopped me.
“Hey! Put this in your voting jar,” three in the line said while digging into pockets and throwing their loose change in with mine. “Good luck!”
How nice! I’ll take as many pennies, dimes, nickels and quarters as I can get.
Like I said, no shame here in voting for my dog, Lao-lao. He’s well worth it.
Here’s wishing you Ping An (Peace) for your day. Next entry, from Luzhou in China!