22 days and counting until my youngest daughter, her husband, and family take off for Pittsburgh. I may have slightly mentioned this to you before, dear reader, dear friend tired of me going on and one and on about this, but my little family is taking off to my very own Hometown so Leland can pursue a PHD in clinical psychology at Duquesne University.
Fine and dandy except they are the movers and shakers in family dynamics, the ones who lived in a yurt 3 years on our land, the ones who threw great parties, had forty hour baby labor, sweat lodges, and have the youngest child. You know how the baby in the family is. At two years and three months, Kaleia is in some sort of peak of adorable. Adorbs, as the kids say. She speaks in unintelligible but meaningful baby talk, waves her hands like her Italian ancestors ("Logghe" is an Italian name after all, traders from Venice via Flanders), and has our hearts firmly in said hands.
Last week, and we are trying to squeeze in Kaleia time, I could not get her to settle for a nap. Mike's breaking out the chain saw while I was pushing her in the stroller, how she usually crashes, did not help. By about 4:00 she was punch drunk and marching about the house talking about tunnels and bridges.
I thought it was very advanced and interesting, since we have nary a tunnel, and a few bridges here in New Mexico. Then I realized, what is Pittsburgh but tunnels and bridges. She is rehearsing for her next act.
If I weren't going back east for my birthday and then later my high school reunion, I would be even more bereft. Some days I just weep a little, others more. But as a person who has been accused of never leaving Pittsburgh by her spouse, this is a tricky time. All along I go to sleep and rise early, as if I never left Eastern Standard Time.
My night dreams have always been set at least 25% in Pittsburgh. I have probably spent more time at the family house in dreams than when I lived there. Last week I dreamed we bought the house, the house that I lived in from age 4-after college and marriage and kids, the 1980's. The house was the same with a light flowered sofa instead of the deep purple one. But the big change was that now we had to feed the horse who lived in the back yard.
My cousin James Kessler and I are back in touch. We last visited in person when I went to D.C. attending brunch for Mother's Day with my family and the famous Mimi Meyerson, and marching in a Code Pink anti-war protest in front of the White House for Mother's Day. It was a lovely visit but then we drifted back into our own lives. I remember the Cousin's Club in McKeesport, and we don't have one of those with its Hungarian pastries and embarrassing Hungarian old country relatives, Big Pearl and Little Pearl. Big Ethel and Little Ethel, Beti with an "i." Now I long for a Cousin's Club.
Jim just attended his 50th high school reunion, as I will attend mine in October. Jim, retired from the Army where he orchestrated the Army band, and by now he has done some fifty arrangements for the PBS shows for Memorial day and Fourth of July. Jim went to Taylor Alderdice, a graduation class in the 800's. I went to The Ellis School, with about 50 some girls. Somehow he managed to connect me to some of my elementary school classmates. One person says she went to kindergarten with me. I hope I didn't bite her, or that she wasn't the one who bit me.
I do look forward to the connections in the world, which hopefully add to the connections in my brain. I have never left Pittsburgh, though we're 42 years deep in New Mexico. My last book, The Singing Bowl which I highly recommend (hint hint) has a section called "So Far from Pittsburgh." Here's to tunnels and bridges. My little family both a tunnel of depth and a bridge spanning distances.