Loving

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Beckon

The hubster was out of town last week, arriving home late Friday. Lucky man missed the raucous madness and gawped come the light of morning at all that had been done.

We spent the weekend catching up, with each other, with sleep, with lawn (ahem, dandelion) mowing, with errands, with food, with cuddles and quiet and loud-ass traffic. Life, basically. Good, sweet, delicious.

And this morning, these blossoms beckoned from across the street.

Nothing much and everything. All at once.

Happy Monday!

 

Hello dear reader! I’ve come up from under a mound of boxes to say hello!

We are in what we hope to be our forever house now (at least till death do us part), and I am running around like a crazy person trying to establish a sense of order. The house is filthy and shabby, some places downright gross, and no matter how much I mop and clean, it remains stubbornly dirty. Fear not, I shall reign victorious!

In between my mop and sponge wielding, I unpack, lose and find things; look for electricians, plumbers, woodworkers; pick out windows, doors, cabinets, tile, counter tops, paint, and floors. Not one room of this house will be forsaken.

In other great news, we are sleeping in our own comfortable bed! I am taking fantastically long and guilt-free baths in a temporarily pink tub! We are now proud citizens of Colorado Springs, which, if you didn’t know is a pretty¬†snazzy place.

We remain absolutely awestruck that we chose such a magnificently beautiful patch of earth, with the stunning views above a mere ten minute walk from our house! Over the coming days, months, and years, I will do my best capture it all and share it with you.

But for now, I’m pooped. See you later…

 

Today, this 30th day of December, is our last in Pittsburgh. The house is sold, quiet, and for a short spell, empty. Our car is packed to the gills and ready to roll along home to Colorado. Colorado, where we were born and raised, landlocked anchor to our drifting hearts.

When we are far greyer than we are now, and reminiscing about our life, we’ll gaze at each other and say, “Do you remember that year we lived in Pennsylvania?” We’ll wonder aloud if maybe it was a wild shared dream, the two of us living in what our friends called the mansion, a century-old beauty of red brick, chock full of gleaming wood, stained glass, four fireplaces, and three stories, the top most we rarely visited, save to gaze upon and photograph the sky.

We will, always and forever, be glad for our choice, to have been courageous enough to pick up sticks and live on the other side of the continent and known yet another part of America: the undulating hills, hardwood forests, ravines and deep river valleys; the diversity, having come from the whitest city of Portland; the kind faces of generations of poverty and souls broken by back-breaking labor, giving all they had; the vast brick mansions, museums, and every last vestige of the steel age; the wretched air pollution and ridiculously high property taxes that buy virtually nothing ($7,200 on a $200,000 house!); the road trips to places we had longed to see: Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, the New York and Quebec countryside.

We will smile, conjuring the streets of Bellevue: the kids of all ages at the skate park, the fabulous library, the lights at holiday time; the pitch perfect weather and four gloriously distinct seasons; the new vocabulary and that crazy Pittsburgh accent, how we drove sahth on the parkway with a bunch of nebby jagoffs to go aht dahntahn, bought groceries at the Giant Iggle, and watched the STLRS play.

We will remember surviving and thriving during a year of massive grief and wonder: a mother with breast cancer, a cousin with a cancerous brain tumor, a soul broken enough to attempt suicide, the sorrowful loss of our beloved cats and our two grandmothers; the quiet evenings of summer, lying, jubilant and awestruck, under a sky alive and shimmering with fireflies; the hills ablaze with the dazzling colors of fall; having walked and driven, mile after mile, eager and curious, to big places and small spaces, forests and towns, and gotten lost, lost, lost.

We will be glad to have learned more of our own selves, the roots we never knew we had: how living in and amongst the rolling hills and winding roads of Appalachia drove us absolutely mad, and flat cities with grid systems make us as giddy as children with a secret; how we found a gaping hole in our collective soul, one that could only be filled with the nearness of our aging family and the dreamy-big skies, sage scrubland and open spaces, and mountains, giants snow-capped and cloaked in evergreen, of the West; how there was simply no substitute for being T H E R E.

Most of all, we will be grateful to have such marvelously generous and big-hearted Pittsburgh friends: Peggy. Mike. Kristen. Patrick. Dale. Therese. Dan. Janet (times two!). Ron. Megan. Tricia. Jonathan. Andrew. Kelly. Beth. Peter. George. Jordan. Rose. The beautiful women of the Non-Native Pittsburgher Women’s Social Meetup. The Sisters at Bethany House. The creative men and women of my Writer’s Group. The kindly businessmen and women of Bellevue. The cashiers at the Whole Foods in Wexford. To all, we give our love and sincerest thanks.

It was a great and wonderful year. Here’s to an even better 2016!

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A hodge podge of photos, a pack of stray cats…

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It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season – like all the other seasons – is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful for them…

Lemony Snicket

Two of my favorite people live here!

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