“Ma, the house is ours!” I cried as soon as my mom picked up the phone. It was our weekly how-are-you-what’s-going-on phone call on my drive home from work two Fridays ago. “Dennis got the keys to the house this morning,” I said. “It’s officially ours.”

“Congratulations!” My mom said proudly. “I am so happy for both of you.”

“I haven’t been sleeping lately,” I said. “Everything is happening so fast.” Truth is I am a pendulum nowadays, swinging frantically between excitement and terror. I am consumed by a million worries. We have crunched the numbers over and over and buying the house just makes real sense but I, the perennial pessimist, am plagued with so many what ifs. It is a big change, a huge commitment that I am, obviously, not taking lightly.

“I think it is my karmic duty to sell the house to someone who will care for and love the house,” the seller said when she read our letter. We wrote her about our edible garden and our chickens when we made her an offer. The ranch-style house made of brick and redwood, surrounded by gardens sits on a quiet half-acre lot not far from the city in the Oakland hills. There’s plenty of room for family when they visit. Plenty of room for Stanford and the girls. For bees, for an orchard. The seller grew up in the 1950s house with a corgi named Rudy. She used to ride her horse in the hills when she was young and Rudy with her short legs would tag along everywhere they went. When she learned about our Stanford she took it as a sign to pick our offer.

“We’re moving in a week,” I said. “I wish I could be there to help,” my mom said. She was visiting the summer we moved to Oakland and was a big help with the cleaning and the packing. Dennis and I have moved so many times in the past that packing plates and boxing books are skills we have honed. The biggest unknown this time around is the chickens. I still don’t know how we’re going to pull it off but Dennis is confident that the girls will be fine.

“Jun, don’t forget the rice and salt,” my mom hurriedly said before our goodbyes. “Yes, of course. We’re taking a dozen eggs from the girls along with the rice and salt to the house tonight.” I said. My family rented and moved three times before we could afford a house that we called our own. Filipinos say taking rice and salt to a new home brings prosperity. For me, it isn’t superstition. It is a tradition, a reminder of who I am and where I am from.


New Home Rice and Salt

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  • http://twitter.com/JenniLukac Jenni Lukac

    Congratulations on the new house. Keep the recipes coming!

  • Adam J. Holland

    Congratulations on the new home! May your orchard bear much fruit.

  • Anonymous

    Sometimes Tradition trumps Superstition. We like to continue to believe in hope and in the future and to remember the past. Nice article.

  • http://twitter.com/missTdJ Trina

    This is such happy-making news! So thrilled for you, Dennis, Stanford, and the girls – such a gigantic step in your lives. It’s going to be So. Much. Fun. to be in a home you can truly call your own. Looking forward to (hopefully) more pictures of your great outdoors!

  • http://www.facebook.com/RandydeParis Randy Diaz

    Congratulations. My Mom said the same thing with the rice and salt! Ah tradition.

  • Anonymous
  • pupulebarbi

    Congratulations to you and Dennis on your new home! How exciting to have a place to spread out and grow! May you be blessed with many years of enjoyment in your new place!

  • http://twitter.com/thedailypalette Annapet S. Isidoro

    Congratulations, Jun! Cannot wait to read about your new adventures!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Denise.L.Woodward Denise Woodward

    Jun and Dennis – so (so) very happy for you!! From the snapshot above it looks gorgeous! Cannot wait to bring over a bottle of bubbles!

  • Row

    This is wonderful news! Congrats, Kuya Jun! :D

  • Anonymous

    Congratulations Jun and Dennis!! How tremendous! Glad to hear that you will still be close by so we can visit! We are so happy for all of you- Stanford and the Girls included!

  • http://www.mynappytales.com abigail

    Congratulations! We keep a similar tradition in our family as well and must be done before sunrise. :)

  • http://twitter.com/kitchconfidante Liren Baker

    Jun and Dennis, congratulations! So exciting, and truly, it sounds like the perfect place for all of you! Those windows! I can’t wait to see how you will use that beautiful light :)

  • http://thehungrygiant.net/ TheHungryGiant

    by the looks of it, it’s a beautiful house. congratulations jun!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rose.jiao Rose Dalisay Jiao

    Congratulations, Jun! Now its time to fill the home with good memories:)

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  • Tess Christensen

    Ah yes… the rice and salt. My mom made sure we did the same thing when we moved into our home. Do you do the coins thing too? Congratulations! Sounds like a wonderful place to create new memories.

  • http://twitter.com/kimnunley Kim Nunley

    This is a great piece Jun! Awesome shot of Dennis and Stanford as well. We miss you in the Laurel already, but wish you both the best!

  • Anna

    Congratulations! We’ve moved rentals many times and rice and salt are always the first to get in the house. As tradition, we even include a bucket full of water. Who knows the real story?! As you said, its tradition, and yes, its a reminder of where we come from! All the best at your new home! xx

  • http://twitter.com/pedalmikester Mike Zubia

    congratulations! a great story and a nice change of pace to read such a heart warming story. cheers to your next chapter in your life together.

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  • milkyway way

    You made it. You make us all feel proud of your new place.

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