The title of today’s post is courtesy of then-four-year-old Alex’s Dictionary of Smart-alecks: If the plural form of mouse is mice, then the plural of house is hice.
Over the last few months, A and I have been vacillating on house issues. We live in a not-so-nice part of town, a rather underdeveloped “barrio,” if you will. The roads are uneven, there are sari-sari stores (mom-and-pop convenience stores) in just about every corner, and the neighbors, well, they run the gamut- from unemployed, half-dressed men guzzling beer in a local joint, to wives setting up every kind of business operation they could think of (mostly sales of homemade food items), to children using the streets as their own private playground. This place will never qualify as a beauty.
My parents, who live in the suburbs, have been egging me forever to move. We definitely see their point. Manicured lawns, private security, well-paved roads, and even more beautiful houses, are the most obvious come-ons. We’ve done the house-hunting, believe me, and there are plenty enough places to choose from, depending on one’s budget. (Just on the far end of town, very near Valley Golf, I found a most beautiful, if expensive, gated community called Barrington Place over the weekend.)
Yet, for some reason, A and I can’t seem to give up on our quaint little home on this side of town. For all its “third-world-inconveniences,” this place possesses enough rustic charm to keep us from leaving outright. This has been our home since Alex was born. Our first and only home, in truth. The house is still beautiful after all these years and needs only minor renovations to keep us dated. There are also two small houses at the back which we plan to convert into a play area and Alphonse’s private sanctuary as he grows older. And this place is near enough everything – mall, church, hospital, barber, restaurants, and A’s workplace – that its primary inducements are convenience and accessibility.
I’ve been praying over this for a while, asking God to point us to the right direction. A keeps reminding me that I should put all my worries aside. (He never worries, so I worry enough for the both of us. Wish I were more like him. Sigh.) Home, he says, is not a structure or a place; we will always be home, wherever God leads us, as long as we are all together. What can I say to that?
Still, just a little something to keep my fears at bay and put a little perspective on this buyer-and-seller thing: an e-mail I received today from my father-in-law. Enjoy!
Your house as seen by:
Your Tax Assessor