Chapter 57: Our Change of Plans

Before the Malaweg Bible was dedicated, Chuck and I had decided that we would probably retire following that dedication. We were in our late 70s by then, and thought it would be time to go home and get reacquainted with our family after being away from them for most of 31 years. We wrote to the owner of our house in Enrile to tell her of that decision. We were giving our notice of intention to vacate the premises. 

When we got back to Enrile after the dedication of the Malaweg Bible, two men, pastors of churches in Enrile, came to see us. They told us that a lady from Enrile who had moved to the States wanted to have them purchase Itawes Bibles and give one to each household in five Enrile barangays (barrios). She would send them the money for this project. We were overjoyed at the prospect of this, but at the same time, we realized there would be no Bibles left for future generations. We also realized we could not leave the country with that being the case. We needed to reprint so there would be Bibles for future generations, too. If we were going to do that, it would be better to revise our previous translation and to include more books of the Old Testament. The New Testament was there in its entirety, but only certain books and parts of books had been included in the Itawes Old Testament.

When we decided we would be staying in the Philippines longer than we had anticipated, we told the Lunas, our neighbors who lived next door, about our plans. “Oh, no!” they said. “When you told Corazon (the owner) that you planned to retire after the Malaweg dedication, she made arrangements for us to buy her home and land. Now, one of our daughters plans to tear down our house and rebuild it completely, and we need to live in your house while our new one is under construction. You can rent the house across the street that was built by Dr. Paraggua. He is not planning to live in it, and he will rent it to you for a good price. Our daughter needs to have you vacate the house by a certain time because they plan to start the demolition then.” So we had to come up with some new plans.

Our new plan was to move out of our old house and into the larger house across the street by the time specified, a plan which was executed cleanly, despite some minor roadblocks. It was November 28th when Chuck started carrying cartons across the street. I was fearful he would try to take loads that were too heavy, so we weighed the first few and got the feeling of how much was too much. He figured that 40 pounds was around the maximum weight for each carton. We could remove something if we had to, or add something if the carton was light.

After that day, Chuck spent much time carrying cartons while I was at the old house packing and writing on each carton the contents within. This activity was contributing to a physical problem I was having at that time with a prolapsed rectum. I would have to stop and lie down to rest from time to time, and to me, it was frustrating to stop and rest. However, I learned the hard way that I needed to do what I could and then stop for a while, or I would be in much more serious pain and suffering.
On the 29th alone, Chuck took 49 cartons and two book cases to the other house. The book cases were not hardwood but wicker, so that’s why he could take them by himself. Another day, three men came and carried the large heavy items so that now we could actually start our living in the new home.

Later on in January, at St. Paul’s Hospital in Tuguegarao, my doctor successfully performed surgery on my rectum. It took a few days before it was all working as it should, but eventually, I got to go home. The surgery went well, and over time, the rectum learned to do all it was supposed to do. It was nice to be in our new home, and it was particularly nice to have a bathroom next to the bedroom. What a blessing to be able to get back to work again without any more problems.

The house we moved into was larger than our old one, and we had no trouble finding places to store everything. The upstairs held three main rooms, an office, our bedroom and a spare bedroom. In the office, where we met with our checking committee regularly, we kept all our computer and printer stuff along with other papers stored in our filing cabinet. Our bedroom had its own bathroom, which was a real treat for me especially, because it had a real bath tub. Plus, the bedroom was the only room in the house that was air-conditioned. The third room was the spare bedroom, but was used mostly for storage as we rarely had guests overnight. In fact, most of the upstairs was used for the storage we required.

On the main level, at the front of the house was a porch the owners had planned to use as a clinic, since they were both doctors. The front and side of the porch had large sliding, accordion-like metal doors which could be chained closed for security purposes. At the top and bottom of the metal doors, though, there was an open space through which could come rats, bats and all kinds of tiny critters. After finding several bats flying around upstairs, and no telling what else came in, we had a screen door put in the doorway between the main house and the porch. We had to screen in the rest of the doors and windows, too, because it turns out that few people in rural areas of the Philippines use screens on windows and doors. We used the porch almost solely for distribution of eyeglasses, setting up tables and chairs for about 12 to 15 people to try on glasses at one time. We had shelves made in that room where we stored books we had printed over the years as we completed portions of the scriptures. Behind and two steps below the porch level, was a large basement which we used mainly for storage.

The main level of the house was made according to Filipino custom, having high ceilings and large rooms. The main room was a living/dining room, separated by a long what-not cabinet from a small kitchen area. There was a doorway into the large kitchen where the refrigerator, stove and other things were. Beside these were a maid’s quarters at the basement level, which we used only for storage as our helper was only part-time. There was much storage, shelving and cupboard space in that house, which was perfect for us because we had so much documentation and other paperwork to store. On the main level was also a bathroom which housed our washing machine in addition to the other facilities. Our front door was a sliding glass door which led out to the carport. The carport was bordered by a 2 1/2 foot cement wall edging which ran the length of the driveway out to the street.

Our water supply was there when we moved in. In the backyard was a pump well that had an electric pump. It automatically came on when the water tank on the roof of the house got below a certain level, filling it up again. So we had full water access at all times throughout the house.

Our backyard was surrounded by a concrete wall about eight feet tall. Inside the yard were quite a few fruit trees behind the house and to the left side of it: papaya, guava, mango, mabolo, santol, avocado, coconut, addulu, malibadu and one other that was a mandarin, something like a tangerine. The mabolo was a differnt fruit from anything we had ever seen or tasted. It was bright red with skin that looked like velvet. However, if you tried to hold some in your arms, they made your arms very itchy. The malibadu were very sour to eat, sort of like a pie cherry, but they made delicious pies, especially if half the filling was made up of mangoes. The addulu was another strange looking fruit to us. It was bright green and shiny, about the size of your thumb, and grew on the main trunk of the tree. It was very sour, and one of our reviewers said his wife cooked it with fish. We never did try it.

Needless to say, when we had so much fruit, we couldn’t help but give it away. So every time we went to market, we were loaded down with bags of food both going into the market as well as going out, going in with what we wanted to give away, and going out with what we had purchased that day.

We didn’t have many plants in the yard, but did get some poinsettias or Christmas plants growing fairly well. Also, we planted sweet potato plants, which produced green leaves our helper picked every day to put into our salad.

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