Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Y is for Yangmingshan...

Yangmingshan (pronounced like "yang-ming-san") National Park is located in the north of Beitou. Yangmingshan was called Caoshan (Grass Mountain) during Japanese occupation of Taiwan, because it was covered with grass and seldom visited. 


After World War II, the KMT government renamed the mountain Yangmingshan and built a park here. Yangmingshan National Park is the only park in Taiwan that has volcanic geography and hot springs.  


The magnificent mountainous scenery and comfortable weather have made Yangmingshan National Park a perfect summer resort. 

(Photo found on Bing.com)
This photo was taken in 1971...over the years the floral clock has had various designs...but this one in 1971 is what I remember that the design looked like when we were in Taiwan (1974-1976).

The park is characterized by a large clock made of flowers with a diameter of 22 feet. Water runs around the flower clock and music is played every hour. The clock is the characteristic of Yangmingshan Park. (Info from Tourism Bureau Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Republic of China (Taiwan).

When my hubby and I were at my dad's visiting, I was able to take photos of quite a lot of old photos.  But I didn't get to the photos of the years we lived in Taiwan. There is a photo of my mom pregnant with my brother and sitting in front of this floral clock.

Here is a past photo of me back in 6th grade. Recently, this year book page was posted by a classmate on Facebook! I lost my yearbook, so it was fun to see these.

(I am the 4th one in the front row, 
with the two braids and glasses.)

I went to school in Taipei, Taiwan, while our house was actually on "Grass Mountain" aka Yangmingshan...

Here are a few of my memories on Yangmingshan...

My dad was in the Air Force stationed in Shu Lin Kou. I was 10 yrs old when we moved to Taiwan and 12 when we moved to Clark AFB, Philippines.  We lived on Yangmingshan in an area of housing set aside for the U.S. Air Force families. It wasn't on the base, but the neighborhood was set in the midst of Taiwanese neighborhoods.

In the mornings, we would walk to the main road to catch our school bus. I went to Dominican School (now called Dominican International School)...


Dominican International School is a Catholic, private school under the supervision of the Dominican Sisters. It was formerly a contract school for the United States Forces in Taipei. 
oops...I got off on another tangent!...(More about Dominican...on a future post...)

Back to...a few more memories of living on Yangmingshan...

The bus stop was right in front of an itty bitty "mom-n-pop" run candy shop. 


**I remember the stone step down into the narrow, low doorway...and the small, tight space with the counter that practically met you at the door....we all would go in to buy some little Chinese candies, toys or I loved to buy these:

"The plastic bubble balloon is magic toy for above 4-year-old kids, it blows by plastic straw, it is very light like water bubble, and could touch and play for 7-15minutes..." quote from Shin Dorn Co page.
(Photo found through Bing.com)
Don't know who this is...Isn't she so cute?  
and this is like the bubble balloons that we would buy.)

 & ...there was this little posterboard, that had numbers on it...you would pick and pay for a number...the number went to a piece of candy or a little toy surprise...like little tiny toy figures or like what I  used to find in a Cracker Jacks box. 


(Does anyone remember Cracker Jacks? Now, I think the prizes in Cracker Jacks are mostly stickers, but I can remember little plastic toys that used to be in them when I was little.  ...Oh! off on another rabbit trail...let me see...

Oh! ...yeah, along the roads were "Benjos"...these were large open sewage ditches...I remember that kids would say they saw the huge sewer rats that were as large as cats.  


I think I said that too...but after all these years...I can't really remember if I actually saw any...wish I had a picture...well...maybe not, except to prove to myself that it wasn't just  "a child's active imagination"!

I remember...riding my bike a couple of miles "up" the road to play.

...riding the tightly packed Chinese city bus from Yangmingshan down to downtown Taipei with my girlfriend! 


We had to stand up the whole way & I'll just say...I remember that we were not taking in deep breaths in that crowded, hot bus at "armpit level".  My dad remembers the drive from our house to Taipei to be about 20 minutes by car...the city bus took way longer, with the stops for dropping off and picking up. 


(We were only 11 or 12yrs old, going to get supplies for our science project..we had been at my friend's house working on our project...I don't think my parents would have let us take that bus trip alone...I can't imagine kids that age doing that now without an adult around in a busy city like Taipei.)

Bits and pieces of other memories filter through my mind...but one more memory of living on YangMingShan...fun times with a "Long ago prayers and Birthday wishes" answer -come true.

Joining in with:
Jenny's


&
the ABC Wednesday Team's 
ABC Wednesday Rounds,
Please let me know from where you are hopping over from :o)
Alicia's 

**********
Here is a slideshow of some music-inspired drawing orders. 
The first few drawings shown are ones that I've shared in past posts.


The song is another of our son's original pieces.  After he played the twelve string guitar, the  accordion, sang the main part and harmonized, he put it all together in a recording. The guitar and the accordion, he inherited from his great uncle. (Thank you for listening to the ones on last week's post...and if you haven't yet, please feel free to go back one post that is about his music...)
Our son posted this  and another of his songs at this site, that can be downloaded for free.
(I'd love to know if you get a chance to go there :o) ... I'm excited that I can download his original music even when he is away at college, and we are a 12 hour drive -here in Georgia!
Blessings & Aloha!


(Thank you for coming by and for commenting...
...I will be sure to visit you back.


And please do check back for my 100th post giveaways. I realized after my last post that I actually did not have as many posts as I thought! Blogger dashboard shows ALL the posts, actual and drafts and will show how many total of those.  I actually am only on my 90th.

46 comments:

jen said...

From Alphabe-Thursday. Love the clock and I'd never heard of it. Thanks for sharing today!

GardenofDaisies said...

It looks very pretty. It is fun to remember old times as a child in a wonderful place.

Diana said...

What wonderful memories you have of your childhood in Taiwan! I learned so much reading this, and the photos are so fun. The clock is so neat. And look at cute little you in the school photo, awwwwww!

Bubbles are fun in any country! =)

Thank you for sharing these special memories with us! I so enjoy visiting you! :)

Sweetums5 said...

I am stopping by from Alphabe-Thursday. Enjoyed your photos of Yangmingshan and your post! Thanks for sharing. Wish I could visit Taiwan someday ....

Cheryl D. said...

Popping by via alphabe-thursday! What a great experience you had as a child!

GrandmaK said...

What a lovely park. I did so enjoy this post. How exciting to have had such an adventure! Thank you for your visit! Cathy

Roger Owen Green said...

great piece of personal history, and loved, loved the video!
On behalf of ABC Wednesday, thanks for stopping by. Please come again! ROG

JDaniel4's Mom said...

The park looks like a wonderful place to visit. I would love to see the clock.

Bacardi Mama said...

Such wonderful memories. I love learning about you. Thanks for sharing. Isn't that 100th post coming up soon?

The Paint Splash said...

Great post. I would love to see that clock in person. Your pictures and stories about your childhood were fun to read. Debbie

signed...bkm said...

Lovely post and again I have learn something new today...thank you for educating me....blessings...and have a happY Y daY...bkm

Jenilee said...

I love everything that is in this post! that flower wheel is amazing and I'm sure so incredible to see in real life. thanks for linking your post up with us!

The Everett Family said...

Cool post! Our boys love that clock. Yangmingshan is one of our very favorite places to visit in Taiwan. It's so beautiful and cool year round, and it's especially lovely in the fall (when some of the leaves change) and in spring (when the cherry blossoms and calla lilies bloom).

xinex said...

Beautiful park, Maria. That clock is huge and so pretty. I remember the plastic balloons...Christine

mrs. c said...

I love the photos of you in your uniform, so cute. Also the garden is lovely, how peaceful and tranquil.

Jingle said...

beautiful park,
lovely entry.

Pondside said...

What varied and interesting memories you share. While travelling around with a military parent could be challenging it certainly opened the world to you!

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

I enjoyed reading all your childhood memories. That picture of you is adorable. Enjoyed the park pictures too.

Mo said...

loved reading bout your childhood memories. i too looooved playing with those bubble balloons!! they were AWESOME! I remembere walking over to the mom and pop store a few blocks from my home in Waipahu, Hi to get candy and toys! Amazingly, it's STILL THERE (I just visited a month and a half ago)! Loved seeing that family video of the presents. You guys are so funny! It was quite entertaining. I think I'll have to start taking video of it. Your son has a beautiful voice! Thanks for visiting my blog! I got you up on my sidebar so I don't forget to say hi!

Hugs,
Mo

H said...

I enjoy reading posts which introduce me to parts of the world which I have never visited. Your childhood must have been so rich and varied. Thank you.

theluckiestmrs said...

That is such a cool clock! I always like hearing all of your stories from those days! :) I think I remember one about you and a friend rope swinging onto a pile of mats at the school gym?? haha...you're such a dare devil! :) Anyway, those school uniforms are ADORABLE! especially with your braids & glasses! hehe.

Oh & I downloaded those songs from bro's website! they're awesome. :)

love you!

Lorilynne said...

That clock is awesome, how amazing to see it in person. I totally remember those balloon things, they smelled really bad but they were so much fun!

Laurencita said...

I enjoyed reading your post.. the clock is so unique that I thought at first it was only a photo not a real one. thanks for sharing...

Veronica Lee said...

It's always a joy to visit your blog. You always have something wonderful to share. The clock is awesome!

Happy Saturday!!

LeksiDesigns said...

Hello fellow sorority sister! I just love the blog! Your sons music is incredible. He is so talented. I will definitely go to his site!

http://leksidesigns.blogspot.com
www.leksidesigns.com

Alicia said...

I loved all the memories that started coming to mind just by that picture! This is why I love FPF so much!! There are just those little moments that we may have forgotten about.

I totally remember those blow things. They were kind of sticky, and so fun!!!! And how fun that you were able to travel and live in so many different places!

Jenny said...

Look at you in the first 1/2 of the links this week!

Yippee!

Another amazing song. Holy my goodness girl. Please tell him to do a compilation. I am buying for sure!

What a wonderful stop on my little journey through Alphabe-Thursday's letter "Y"!

You taught me something, made me smile, and made my ears and my heart happy!

A wonderful link as always!

A+

Cannwin said...

That is an amazing clock. I love artwork like that. Large magnificent and timeless. I like how instead of destroying the earth to create some people mold it into the thing that they want. True dominion, IMO, does not consist of destruction, but creation.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I enjoyed reading your childhood memories of Yangmingshan. I was also taught by Dominican sisters in primary school. The part of the story about the bus ride made me smile -- armpit level --lol!

Your son is very talented! I enjoyed listening to his music.

Christy said...

LOL - I am still armpit level at 5' tall! You have lived in some amazing places - what a blessing - I have never really lived out of a 12 mile radius.
Once again your son's music is amazing!

Michelle A'etonu said...

wow...you have a beautiful blog, family and your work is extraordinary. I've enjoyed getting comments from you and am glad that you stop by from time to tome. I'm now a new follower! hope you're having a great weekend!

linda said...

I have enjoyed this immensely.
Now i am going to go look around your art for a while...i too am an artist of sorts.
To see some of my art go to my blog, to my May list and the post 'Sketches done by me'.

Christy said...

i really enjoyed this post...i loved learning about the park, but also about some of your memories of it as well!

Mama Hen said...

What a great blog! That cock is so cool! Hey there! I am following you from Friday Follow! Hope you had a great weekend! I look forward to following your blog! Come visit Mama's Little Chick.

Mama Hen

ChristiS said...

This is very cool! I might have to join in on the alpha-posting! Hope you are well...so sorry I haven't been by for so long!! Just now getting back into the blogging swing of things after finishing grad school and having the baby!

Dimes2Vines said...

Thanks for sharing - I feel like I know you better now! And, yes, I remember when cracker jacks had plastic toys!

Mary Anne Gruen said...

Wonderful memories!

I have some that center around a candy store too. I remember Cracker Jack and the little prizes. I was more of a comic book addict, though. LOL

yonca said...

The clock is unique and so beautiful!

Grace and Bradley said...

Thanks for visiting our blog. We posted a picture of the floral clock at Yangmingshan at our "Today's Flower" blog. so you can see what it look like today.

Maggi said...

Thanks for sharing these memories with us! Isn't is funny how things like Facebook can bring things back to you?

Have a great day!

Haddock said...

Good to see that old school photograph.
Memories keep us going.

vivek said...

Hi ,

How are you ?. And howz everyone in the family ..wish you all having a gr8 time ..

Nice post ..Love the greenery of the national park Yangmingshan , you are truly amazing..having so many pics ...I would say a Encyclopedia ..you have ..

Songs are really heart touching giving warmth to the soul..
will listen more of them ... as you have now given the link ..

I love music ..and w/o it life looks tasteless ..with it ..it moves..n comes to action..

Love to read about childhood days school ... reminded me .......of mine ..how diff yet the medium to connect is one ...

God is amazing ..

thanks for sharing ...loved all ur writings ..

take care ..
Keep smiling :)

2003beachbunch said...

Yikes....rats as big as cats?! I would have been terrified! Neat post and all kinds of history :-)

Debbie said...

Oh what fond memories you have, so very blessed indeed...and gosh you where so cute...still are!!~

Debbie said...

I thought I was a follower already...makes sense why your blog was not coming up now:) Well I took care of that!!~

☺lani☺ said...

That's so amazing! I love going to Yangmingshan especially in spring time since 2002. Nice to see the place back then, thanks for sharing!

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