Traveling

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Good evening, Pittsburgh! I am here, in permanent fashion, at last! Bone tired from unpacking, fresh from a row in the basement, bowl of cereal and handful of almonds devoured, stinky and deserving a bath, but eager to post is how I am. I have missed this space, brain sputtering before sending my fingers racing. I made do with my phone while dealing with the pressing matters of unpacking the essentials and shopping for yet more, oh, and getting lost. Again and again. New territory. New me, I hope, of a fashion, anyway. But, not yet.

First, the road. The glorious road to our new home. I shed many a tear on it; sometimes joyously, in light of what lay ahead; sometimes sadly, for what cannot be recovered, for what is past; oftentimes for the simple beauty of place – earth, river, sky; of being present and privileged with breath, a beating heart, and love.

Our travels took us through Denver and our first homes, then Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, nearly the whole of Interstate 70, our family of three rolling along, sometimes quietly, sometimes in raucous laughter punctuated by meows, oftentimes singing, Elton John and America and Radiohead, The Doors. Glad of heart for our gumption and bravery to drive 2,713 miles(!) and start anew, for the kindness of strangers, for gas stations, hotels, the blessings of sunshine and frost, for the world that is.

 

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Scenes from a mile high, though we are itching to be in Pittsburgh. Patience.

The hubster loves a diorama! And if you are thinking about dissing the sweatshirt he’s sporting, talk to the hand, peeps. Coors and my Pop’s thirty-plus years driving a forklift in their glass department fed and clothed me and paid for four years of college, thank you very much.

That’s all she wrote…

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The road is home, our truth for the time being. Bound only to each other (tightly, joyously!), our kite aloft, we are no longer tethered to land. A suitcase each in our possession, one bag of shoes, a computer (finally and temporarily connected, huzzah!), and music, always grateful for that (Jonsi and Alex at the moment). Liberating and disconcerting at once. Limbo.

Milo is often confused and more often frightened. He misses the house and Paris (we ALL miss her, though she has visited our dreams). He cries and hides and snuggles close. He would, were there not the lion roar of diesel engines and wild whoops and screams of children happy not to be confined to cramped automobiles, be rather content to explore rest stops on his cute orange leash. But, alas, that is not the way of it, so he remains huddled and car bound while we stretch. All things considered, he is a most excellent traveler.

We have an offer in on a house in Pittsburgh, a gem of red brick construction on a quiet street in a quiet neighborhood. It is a short walk to the supermarket, library, hardware store, and bank. There is Thai food and pizza nearby, a bakery, too. We’ve had inspections and all looks pretty great for a house more than both of our ages combined. If all continues on this fine path, we will be official Pittsburghers, hearth and home, on December first! Hedging our bets by buying Penguins paraphernalia!

And you? I hope you are well and enjoying fall. Happy Monday!

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Good Monday to you, dear reader. Welcome to the Rogue River and the final installment of our Oregon road trip! I’m happily typing to Jack White – the obsession continues. Thank goodness the hubster likes his music as much as I do.

Mill Creek Falls

Barr Creek Falls

The Natural Bridge

This was once lava!

A living stump, how about that?

Mount Thielsen

Our final stay was at Crescent Lake. Our lodgings were super shabby, but we made up for it, and how, by gliding kayaks over crystal clear waters (under the watchful eye of a Bald Eagle), reading, watching trout leap, eating sweet cherries, and sipping Stein on the screen porch. Life is what you make it.

Diamond Peak

Hey Eugene! How about breakfast at the Morning Glory? Yummy.

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Have you ever seen the movie, Throw Momma From the Train? Well, if you haven’t, add it to the queue, and pronto! It’s a gem of an 80s fil-um. Anyhow, there’s this scene where Billy Crystal is working on a line from a novel he’s writing. “The night was…moist? wet? humid?” He cannot find the right word. Then, curmudgeonly Momma (spectacularly played by Anne Ramsey), says, “The night was sultry.” BOOM! There’s no beating that.

In similar fashion, I was struggling with the title to this post. It’s kind of a hodge podge, four towns plus two mountains. Do I name the towns, skip the mountains? Do I redundantly say Southern Oregon? Call it Part IV? Welcome to the slightly nutty brain of a writer. Then the hubster, a la Anne Ramsey, says, “Southern Locales.” BOOM! There’s no beating that, either.

And here we are, southern locales, the first of which is Mount Thielsen, followed by what I originally thought was Mount McLoughlin but now wonder if it is Mount Bailey. Good grief! I do know that the photos were taken in the Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, and I find them quite beautiful. Give me a shout if you know what is what.

Lunch break in Klamath Falls:

Another sweet town filled with friendly people and terrific architecture.

For me, Woolworth’s will always be my Grandma Frances. She absolutely loved them, and positively rued the day they disappeared, though she always called them the “Five and Ten,” which, as an often very literal child, made no sense. They were called Woolworth’s and had nothing available at those prices! If ever I was with her and needed something, her go to answer was, “They’ll have it at the Five and Ten.” In addition, and what is also solidly my grandmother, was the case of roasted nuts, or that contraption that spun around under hot lights. We always bought a small bag, usually cashews for me and the red pistachios for her, a near perfect match of her lipstick.

Medford:

The hubster chillaxin’ (Oh yes I did!) at our very nice Southern Locale home base. Funny what makes a person choose a place to stay. I’d always wanted to sit in Corbusier style furniture. So there you go, and it was actually quite comfortable.

Ashland:

It had been fourteen years since we last visited Ashland, which seems crazy, really. It was as lovely as ever, though super hot (107 degrees, ugh) and the Shakespeare did not disappoint. We saw Richard III, which was splendid and marvelously acted. Dan Donohue was pitch perfect as Richard; clever and wickedly funny, had we been wearing socks, he would have knocked them clean off.

And all of that cardboard, etc? That is an assemblage by Dale Muir, on display at the super cool Ashland Art Center. We had a great time wandering around, watching artists hard at work, painting, sculpting, drawing, throwing pots. Pretty neat!

And to Jasksonville, quite possibly one of the sweetest small towns ever!

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