Pieces of Home

Published in: Daily Photo

Just a few more random pics of where I grew up in Union City, California.

My dad likes to garden; above are some of his orchid plants.


A view of the front yard…

… and the front door. True story: One time I went on a date with this boy I had a massive crush on in high school. At the end of the evening he walked me to the door, and right as we were saying our goodbyes my mom threw open the door and stood there GIVING HIM THE STINK EYE FOR WHAT FELT LIKE AN ETERNITY (without saying a word). I didn’t know what to do, so I just said “good night,” shook his hand (?!?) and ran mortified into the house. I never heard from the boy again… 🙂

Here’s the piano upon which I spent many hours practicing classical music against my will. God, I hated that thing with a passion! The door to my old room’s at the end of the hallway on the right.

The view from my old room into the living room…


Here’s the altar in the hallway (yes, you read that correctly). And there used to be an oversized picture of Jesus here that scared me as a kid, but my mom must have moved it somewhere else.

One last bit of weirdness: I looked into the shower in the bathroom and found this odd bottle of “Lemon Shimmer Body Wash” on my dad’s shelf. I’m kicking myself for not hiding it while I was there. 🙂


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  1. Scientific Housewife says:

    Great photos, those orchids are gorgeous!

  2. Marina says:

    Thank you for sharing these photos, Karen. I always like to see different flats and houses inside 🙂

  3. Biba says:

    I wish I grew up in a place like this…

  4. Madeleine says:

    It made me laugh (or rather smile) when you mentioned playing your old piano,practicing classical music. My husband is a concert pianist.He plays classical music,specializing in Chopin and List.He practices from about 8 to 14h/day. You know,when is plays/practices I usually leaven that part of the house,because over the years believe it not became painful to listen to the scales,pieces and mostly concertos that are never perfect….not lyrical or flow’y enough.Practicing in headphones is not the same…
    I think that you have to be really in love with the instrument and the music to do that.Despite that he has promised me to write for me a concerto…hasn’t happened yet 🙁 Should I be jealous?

    Your house feels very homie,like a real home should,sweet and familiar,unessessary mess,all the chachkas and other collectibles.I like the surroundings the most,maybe because we haven’t lived on the west coast yet.

  5. snoopysteph says:

    Karen, your parent’s piano looks just like my in-laws (same style, covered with old photos & trophies). My husband HATED practicing when he was a kid too…however, now he kicks himself for not practicing more often so that he can play well today.
    .-= snoopysteph’s last blog post… 2 Years Old! =-.

    • Karen says:

      A piano nobody plays is like a given in most Filipino households, LOL!

      Do they also have a picture of The Last Supper somewhere in their house? Or an oversized wooden spoon and fork on the wall? Those are staples decorations, too!

  6. NINA says:

    The altar reminds me of something an aunt has. Hers is slightly bigger and has candles and those electric lights (iono what theyre called). At night, when all the lights are off, the electric lights are on. One time, I slept over and was going to get a drink and that blue light scared me really bad … it was eerie and twilight zone-ish!

    Your dad’s plants are awesome. So is his body wash. 😀

    • Karen says:

      Oooh, my mom has something similar. It’s a wooden carving of a bust of Jesus and in his heart there’s a red light that glows in the dark! Yeah, it freaked me out when I was a kid!

      And LOL about my dad’s body wash!!

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