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Monday, March 17, 2008

Home Maintenance

I'm finding out the hard way that it's a lot of work maintaining a house. A couple of weeks ago we had a bathroom makeover that initially started as simply replacing our sink/vanity as its wood base had warped. In the end, we had to replace both sinks, marble countertop, faucets, plumbing and cabinets. Two weekends ago, we had a major problem with our kitchen sink and had to call Roto-Rooter to unclog our drainage. This last weekend, we had to have the faucets in our guest bathroom re-fitted with new washers (to stop a leaking problem) and had to replace the sink's drain plug. We've also been slowly working on removing the tile in our garage (a really tough, back-aching process) since we are planning on re-doing the entire garage floor and building floor-to-ceiling cabinets on two sides of the garage.

The list of things to do around the house keeps growing. Our kitchen faucet is leaking, our fridge's water filter need to be replaced, the lighting unit in the guest bathroom needs to be changed so do the shower door decals, the front door and stoop needs to be re-varnished, the air filter screens in all three bathrooms need to be replaced, our water softener needs to be installed, the kitchen counter tiles need to be re-grouted, the living room walls need to be repainted, the house needs to be tested for termites, the window screens in the living room need to be replaced, the list goes on and on.

Of course along with keeping the household running is making sure everything is in place. While I handle the cooking, Jojo is in-charge of laundry and car maintenance. We have a gardener that works on the front and back yard and we split the cleaning chores down the middle. Now we don't have a huge house and with just two people living here, it would seem that maintaining the house should be a breeze. It is NOT. Every night we do the dishes (but there always seems to be a cup or spoon left in the sink). Every night we go through the mail (and yet our mail basket is still filled with unopened envelopes). Every night we try to put things away (but there's always something that's not in its place). Every weekend I sweep, swiffer, and mop (and every weekend the amount of dust, dirt and grime is just incredible). Every weekend Jojo mops the bathrooms and scrubs the tubs (yet there is always icky stuff stuck to the sponge each time he does it). Every weekend we do the wash, scrub the counters, load the dishwasher, put the laundry away (and still there is always stray pieces lying here and there). Every weekend we have a list of things we need for the house (whether it is groceries, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, paper towels, etc, etc). We change the sheets, vacuum the rugs, dust the shelves, and clear the kitchen cupboards and fridge every two weeks. We wash our rugs, fix our garage, wash our windows, rearrange our closets, and air our pillows / mattresses every month. We have a schedule so that everything gets done. But it seems even with a system, the list of things still left to do remains endless.

I always took these things for granted. Growing up our home was always spic and span, where everything was working well. My mom was a really meticulous homemaker and she and our helpers really made sure everything was clean and ready to use. I recall waking up in the mornings and leaving clothes strewn around my room, my cosmetics and accessories all over the bathroom counter,shoes and bags under the bed. I would return home with everything made up and in place. I could get a fresh supply of towels, sheets, toothpaste, shampoo or anything else I needed from well-stocked closets. The rugs would not only be vacuumed but shampooed and the floors not only swept but waxed. Dirty clothes would be hand-washed, ironed and put away in the closets. Meals were always ready on time and there was no need to do the dishes when you were done. My mom always knew who to call to repair leaky faucets, clogged drains and broken appliances - and it didn't cost an arm and a leg to get it done either. Our home was even better than 5-star-hotel housekeeping. That's a really big part of what I miss about living with my parents back in Manila. Life was easier and so much more convenient. Of course things are different now that I live abroad and have a home of my own. But even with all the wonderful things I've come to experience here in the States, for everything in my present life that I have and am thankful for, and for all the wonderful conveniences I am truly blessed to be receiving ... I still have to admit that nothing beats the convenience of life back home.


jol said...

It is always nice to look back to certain enjoyable phases in our life. In your case, it is the convenience you experienced while living at home. I often looked back to my childhood days when I would play all day and have nothing to really worry about. Life is like that!

astroboy said...

The more you work on your house, whether doing repairs or performing chores, the more you will love and appreciate it. Your home is where you welcome your loved ones whether family or friends and all the effort you put into your place is well worth it.

Anonymous said...