Most people move because of a clear, tangible life event or new opportunity such as a new job. As a self employed freelancer, it’s not that cut and dry for me. While there is so much to love having lived in Boulder for 6 years – so many friends, so much sun and so many gluten free options – opportunities further east are calling.
We are moving to a place where the old is becoming new again. A place where haircuts are 12 bucks and a trip to the neighborhood ice skating rink is $3. A place where people allow you to make a left turn as soon as the light changes (that’s a “Pittsburgh Left”). A place where strangers act like they know you. That is my hometown of Pittsburgh. The thing that draws us there most strongly is the idea of moving to a house where our kids will be the 4th generation of my family to live there. A place with deep historical roots where our boys will be living in the same house that their great grandparents bought, their grandmother and father grew up in. It wouldn’t mean so much except that the neighborhood of Squirrel Hill is exceptional and tight and proves it everyday – especially after the tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Even Mr. Rogers grew up in that neighborhood – it is the very neighborhood he talked about. He was my neighbor!
While I’m so clear that I am not moving there to recreate my childhood or bathe in nostalgia, I can’t let go of something I learned last year being in Pittsburgh for months taking care of my mother who passed away in July. I had this feeling….this feeling I had as a child growing up in that house, on that street, in that neighborhood. I had this feeling that was pure joy. I then had this revelation. I have spent my entire adult life trying to recreate that feeling from my youth – with friends, with strangers, with my family everyday. It worked, but then going back to the source last year was a whole other thing. I never discussed moving into the family house with my mother. When the house was suddenly available I still never considered moving in. We started going through the process of getting it ready to sell, but it never really went on the market. There was a legal hiccup over the driveway, then came winter. When our boys insisted we go to the house over New Year’s like they always had, we didn’t think it was a good idea – but we also couldn’t talk them out of it. So we came to the house on Inverness that had been sitting empty. We went inside and turned on the heat, then we made pancakes. Suddenly the house was alive. It was familiar the way things are when your family is grounded with its past and its future all within a hugs grasp. We wondered….is this our new home??
Come June it will be. We are packing up and moving east.
It is complicated saying goodbye and hello at the same time. It is hard making the case to friends who have come to mean so much to us and who thought we had many more years living in the same neighborhood. Of course, we never know what a day will bring and it is just a reminder that we must embrace every day. At the same time, people on the other end are wondering if you are really coming to stay. They welcome you in and suddenly it all feels like forever once again.
Telling the boys was especially hard. In one conversation they had their worlds turned upside down. We keep reminding them (and ourselves) that keeping in touch with friends is much easier these days – they can just play a game of Fortnite (note to self – might need to get Fortnite to sweeten the deal). And while Colorado is a much more enticing place to invite visitors, the city of bridges has some fine coffee, too…and some really big roller coasters that are kind of shaped like mountains.
I have always felt like the biggest decisions in life are such big leaps of faith. Getting married. Having kids. Where you choose to live… even the block you live on… even the exact house. I always thought that you could make a wonderful life anywhere – and I still believe that. But the pull right now to Inverness Avenue feels strong and powerful.
Jackson is going to paint his room purple for the Rockies and is determined to keep his Instagram handle – @roxfan4ever. Asher is already going to a Parkour gym in a warehouse way out of town that has a soft pit of foam for him to practice his backflips. He will continue sharing his crazy flips on Instagram @zerogravity1009. Stephie is following her nose to the amazing old warehouses full of artists who work with paint scattered everywhere. As for me….I am taking short cuts without a GPS, racing past the last standing wall of Forbes Field, and thrilling the boys by sneaking in the door of the Dirty O seconds before closing for a big brown bag of hot fries. With lots of ketchup.
We went to dinner tonight in Pittsburgh to a house with lots of girls. On the piano was one piece of sheet music for the song, “Some Things Are Meant To Be.” That pretty much sums it up.