“Enjoy the little things in life for someday you will realize they were the big things”
by Laguna Lupie
My old house circa 2009
I recently pulled up old photos of my house in my computer’s files. These were Christmas photos taken by a good friend’s husband way back in 2009. I realized that this was my Tatay’s last Christmas alive. It made me sad and happy and nostalgic all at the same time.
We haven’t lived in our house since 2011. My old house still stands but since I moved back in with my mother after tatay’s death, it’s no longer the lovely home it once was. It has become a sort of staff house for a couple of people who work for us and also a guest quarters for friends and relatives of my husband who come in from Mindoro. It’s not the same.
I remember when I was diagnosed with lupus last year, one of my first realizations then was that I wanted to move back into our old house. I thought if I was to die soon, I wanted to do it in my own house, where we started our family. Where the happiest memories of our early years together remain.
Alas, a lack of funds due to numerous health and financial challenges has prevented my grand plan to renovate the place (it has become run down) and move back in. But that is one of the things we would want to do once our finances permit the necessary budget. I want to go back home. Where I was happiest.
In the meantime here are pictures of my house in 2009.
It’s a bright and airy apartment with lots of books and a big comfy sectional sofa. There was just three of us in the family plus a single household staff but we had a big wooden dining table good for a dozen people. I love that narra table because my Tatay gave it to me when we got married. I hope to pass it on to one of my sons when the time comes.
The sofa was made to order from a local upholstery craftsman in our village. I showed him a picture of an Ikea sofa with the dimensions and specs. He balked at first and said this sofa is too big! It’s not right, it like a bed, he said and I was laughing and saying, yes, that’s exactly what I want. He looked at me as if to say you’re a weird person who knew nothing of sofas but he followed my instructions to a T and viola! I got myself a great sectional sofa for a fraction of the usual price at the malls. All thanks to Mang Popoy.
It’s very colorful I know. Too much for some folks but it was just what clicked with me. I remember experimenting with throw pillows and I did try to tone it down a bit for my husband but I just wasn’t satisfied unless it was colorful. I just always ended up going back to the fiesta pillows. Later on I justified the whole thing by saying I had a growing child and it was fun for my boy to live in a bright colorful space, but really it was just me.
Later on, before we moved back to my mother’s house, my husband gifted me with a handmade (yes, as in he made it himself) shelf for all the books I couldn’t display because there was not enough space. I chose the color “happy red” for that shelf and it still stands in the old house with all my books.
I really do miss our old house. I remember the quiet mornings we had together, the wonderful weekends when our bonding time was going to the palengke (market) for that Sunday’s lunch (which was usually pork barbeque because my husband liked the whole ritual of smoke and the smell of roasting pork.)
My biggest indulgence then was buying a bunch of Malaysian mums from the palengke to be put in our dining table, my husband thought me crazy, spending precious money on flowers but I told him a good house deserved fresh flowers every weekend. I remember lazy afternoons when my husband and kid would spend hours goofing around in the kiddie pool and I would look on while reading my books.
That was happiness for me. Little things really, but looking back, those seem to be the biggest and most significant moments.
My boys enjoying the kiddie pool
Always fresh flowers at home
Missing Christmas in our old home
I still want to go back and fix it up again and move back in with our baby. I want Bambam to have many great memories there as well. Soon, I hope.