Friday, May 7, 2010

The House That Was Not Ours...

Earlier this year, I wrote about my childhood memories at a house that was never my house, but definitely made myself feel like home.

Recently, I shared a picture of this house with my siblings and cousins, and as expected, the feedback I received were overwhelming and came as no surprise. Everyone had something to tell. The happy times were relived with just one picture below:

The house on top of the post office... the house that was not ours...but it did make a place where our hearts live...

Why is it a place that was never mine hold such a fondest memory in me?

I passed this house again one late Sunday afternoon. This time it was different. I had pictures of the house taken. It was quite in a sorry state. It didn't look homely at all. When my late uncle took over this house a long time ago, he treated it like his own. I have greatest respect for my uncle who tended the orchids himself, the lawn were well kept and the foot path meandering around the grounds from front to the backyard was passable. Somehow, I noticed, the compound look smaller now. Or, is it me who grew bigger :-D

The elated me saw nothing much of a change. The happy faces that once scampered the stairs, the grounds and the small lane beside it suddenly registered in my head. If I were to stare at the staircase long enough, I could see us, my cousins and me, running up and down, screaming and laughing - only stopping when being told off. Even the stairs had its stories! Everywhere I looked, there is something that reminded me of our escapades. Those were the happiest moments I held close to my heart.

When I shared this picture with my siblings and cousins, I never knew the excitement I caused. It was heart-warming when one by one, my cousins, started to reminisce their moments that were similar to what I had had. Everyone remembered the fire-escape at the back of the house and asking me whether it was still there.
I bet it is still there! A favourite hang-out for us at any time of day... the spiral stairs, they called it. An escape for us to sneak out at mid-mornings for our roti canai down the road, or in the afternoons for ice-creams at a nearby store. And we loved our evening strolls at the beach fronting the hospital across the house, under the supervision of the older cousins and an aunt.

I guess being young and care-free merit us the best ever childhood one could imagine.

I must say, writing this makes me a bit melancholic. Who would believe a house devoid of fancy trappings, that we're basking in nowadays, could be a winner of one of the best places I had ever been. I want to think of this house as a place we knew no heart-aches. There was only love. We were one big family then. That is why it was special.

We have our commitments now, but I'm glad my families shared the same sentiment with me... and shared the sense of belonging about a house that was never ours...


bangkai said...

Living above a post office is so cool!

lili said...

Living near a fishing village is also so cool! :-)

Thanks for dropping by and leaving your print here too. I'm honoured by your visit, Mr Sofian.

lili said...

OMG, OMG, OMG! He was here!
My favourite writer was here, people! :-D

Zendra-Maria said...

Woh Lil, I have a soft spot for post offices too - like I know them inside out. Where is this one located?

And I'm so jelez Bangkai dropped by here. I can't seem to entice him over to my place... drat!

Uncle Lee said...

Hello Lili, beautiful memories you have. And I believe there's always a home or house where our heart is or be.
Have a happy mother's day, and stay young, Lee.

lili said...

The excitement of having MatB here has not sunk, and now I'm practically jumping in yet another, with the maiden comment from one of the best writers in blogosphere! Zendra-Maria came!!!

Zen, thanks for the visit. I'm thrilled!

The post office I featured here is in Butterworth, on Jalan Bagan Luar. As my late opah had been living with my aunt, wherever my uncle, a post master, was posted (no pun intended) to other places, so we congregated to where our opah was with them. You could say that, our balik kampung was where the postmaster lived which almost always a balik bandar! Muahaha!

P.S. Am I lucky or what to have MatBangkai here! And doubly lucky when you came... ahh... A Mothers Day gift, I must say! (wink!)

lili said...

Hi Lee!

Thanks for the Mothers Day wishes... and thanks for coming! :-)