My family has had a two foot tall ceramic Hotei statue ("Laughing Lucky Buddha") ever since before I was born. The one we have is green. It was one of those things where my pop thought "that looks pretty neat" and we used it as an ornament next to the fireplace at the old house we used to live in. It's supposed to bring good luck.
When my family got divorced years ago, Hotei went missing. His whereabouts unbeknownst to anyone.
When my mother died a few years back, my sister and I went to the old house to divy up what was left and so on. As I was going through the garage picking out stuff, I found Hotei. Joy! (grin) Hotei brings back good memories for me as a kid - a time when things were a lot simpler and easier to manage.
Hotei, although recovered, was damaged. He lost his little red gem on his tummy and also had a chunk of the back of his head taken out somehow. It wasn't severe damage or anything like that.. but he needed to be fixed.
There is a small craft shop down the road from my house. My pop took Hotei there to see if he could get fixed. The lady there said "sure" but also noted it would take a while. She runs a very small shop and it can take literally months to get something done since she only does the craft thing as a hobby.
Almost a year passes by.
Today, pop came home with Hotei. He is now a very dark green. The lady had to glaze the ceramic again and couldn't find the original color so dark green had to do. That's okay. Pop also had a new gem for Hotei's tummy at the ready.
I glued the new gem to Hotei's tummy. He now sits in the living room, happy as ever. Still lucky, still laughing.
I think Hotei will be around for a long, long time. (grin)
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