Dear Charlie and Jack,

What a hiatus it has been for me! It looks like the last letter I wrote you was back in April 2017 when we had just moved from Davis to Woodland. Reading that letter now reminds me of how much my heart was grieving… and how much it still does. I’m realizing that grieving might be part of the rest of my life. But we will leave that topic for another day.

I’ve been wanting to write for a long time. Yet, each time I started, I thought about all the things I wanted to write about—your education, our lives, the state of the country and the world—and I became overwhelmed. And because I didn’t have the bandwidth to tackle a loooong letter on what I deemed to be important topics that had to be written about properly and with lots of thought, I didn’t write. As you can see, days, months, a year and a half flew by without any letters from me.

Today I decided to set aside an hour. Just an hour. An hour that I would have spent tidying up the kitchen or gathering up clothes all over the house to put in the laundry machine.  I also decided to write about just one thing. Nothing that would require days of drafting and editing and soul-searching.

This is the hour. And right now I want to tell you about our new home in Davis.


Yes, we moved back again last year, July 2018, after living in Woodland for a little over a year. When we decided to sell the Woodland house, you both asked me: “What happened to our plan to stay in our Woodland house for at least 10 years?” “What about the pool you said we were going to build?” “What about my persimmon tree which is now starting to fruit?” “Why?” “What’s going on, Mama?”

I don’t (yet) want to get into my existential questions and angsts propelling our move back to Davis. Besides, I have only one hour. But the short answer is that Davis was calling your Mama back.

We now live in West Davis, a few blocks away from the Arroyo Pool, the one that you both love, with the mushroom shower in the kiddie pool. This summer Jack should be finally past 4 feet (he’s 4’1” as of this writing) and tall enough to go down the water slide. The Arroyo Park is also only a few blocks away. Every morning, after moaning and groaning and cursing school, we hop on our bikes, Charlie on his own and Jack in the trailer attached to my bike, and pedal our sleepiness and grumpiness away. After 13 minutes of pedaling, we arrive at your school sweaty and somewhat ready for the day. The trees and birds and squirrels and brisk morning air do a good job of clearing our minds of our negativity and give us a less hostile attitude towards school. It’s been like this every morning. (Our love-hate relationship with school is a topic for another day.)


Cold foggy weather reminds me of my hometown, Malaybalay. My bike, aka Jack’s chariot.

By our house is a pond. Lots of birds and ducks and other forms of pond life live there. It’s a good spot for some peace and quiet. I have yet to join the bird trips that happen once a month.

We have a pretty front yard with lots of plants. I’m still getting to know their names and wants and needs and offerings.

Same with our spacious back yard. Last week we planted more fruit trees. The guy at the nursery said they’ll be fruiting in 3 years, maybe 2. I sure hope we don’t move again before then.


(Of course the trampoline travels with us. Next time I’ll catalogue what’s out here.)

I have high hopes and dreams about being in this house. It feels good and homey, probably because it’s only 1250 sq. feet compared to the Woodland two storey 2,100 sq. feet home! We all agree we like it…even though we’re not too happy about the toilet that requires the strength of all 10 fingers to flush or the uneven floors that give me sea legs or the dark “master” bathroom with the very loud toilet that scares Jack or the inch wide gaps between the floor slats or the slabs under the kitchen that move around when poked by the broom or the oven door that leaks out scorching heat…

So far we feel at home and that’s a good thing!

And my hour is up so I’ll send by saying “We’re back!” and I hope to write you more letters from here.