Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008: You can’t go home again… or can you?

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Well, after spending the entire day yesterday at my sister Shawn's house, I am officially wiped out.  (I mean that in a good way, of course; it was beautiful weather & it's been far too long since I've seen my sister Shawn, her husband Jim & my beautiful niece Sophia.) 

Native American tribes celebrate Memorial Day across the country with pow-wows & dancing in traditional attire

When I was getting ready to leave the city, I was loading up the car with various odds n' ends (stuff I had no use for, but knew others would).   "Here's 2 Eddie Bauer sweaters that are too small for me but will fit Shawn...and here's 2 packs of Jockeys that I got last summer but will never wear, Jim can probably use these.  Here's that Valerie Bertinelli book for Donda, and a book of Superman stories for Shawn's next door neighbor Levi..."

617D5C2B848A9C67_3556_1[1]As I'm pulling out of my building's parking lot it hit me; "I'm bringin' something for everyone but Sophia!"   (I got out of the car, ran back into the apartment, rifled thru the drawers and cupboards--ah thank goodness!  A brand new pack of playing cards with Mickey Mouse on the backs (can't even remember why or where I got 'em).   I even sat down & wrapped 'em up in "Smiley" gift wrap, and aren't you glad I shared that little story?  

But like I said, it was sunny and warm--Jim grilled steaks and we ate outside (on their giant front porch).  Thanks again, Shawn & Jim.   (I was hoping to also see Donda, Bob & Drew as they were also invited--but they'd already made other plans.)   Anyway, that's the longest visit I've had with Shawn in months, but it was still hard to leave and head back to the city.   

But what if I didn't have to?

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Waynesburg College, which also happens to be where I attended school; doesn't this look like something right out of a Frank Capra movie?

Towards the end of the day, when we were sitting on Shawn's back porch & shootin' the breeze, she happened to mention that she had run into the woman who had bought the house we'd once lived in (when we were kids & lived in town, before our dad moved us to the farmhouse ten miles or so 'in the country').   As everyone in my family knows, I literally left that house kicking & screaming in 1970, and talked of missing it for many years.

Shawn said "I told her how much you loved that house & if it ever came up for sale, to let me know.  And Mrs. G said 'Well, if he's really interested & made us an offer, my husband and I would consider selling.'"

I almost fell out of my chair.  (And I almost fell off the porch when she told me what she thought they'd probably ask for it; well within my affordability range.) 

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Waynesburg's Courthouse, on Main Street (only a couple blocks from the house)

Shawn said she'd call her this week to get a better idea of this. I'm never been one of those types that need to write a 'Pros n' Cons List', but if I ever did, it's now. 

 

Pros

1. I'd finally be a homeowner; not only that, but it would be in the house I loved as a kid, in my former hometown (which I left in 1988, and often feel homesick for).  Pittsburgh has never truly felt like my home.

2. I'd be minutes away from family (versus the 90 minute drive it takes now).  I have a lot of old friends from back there as well.  Sophie could see a lot more of her Uncle Doug.  And I might not feel so alone half the time. 

Cons

1. My job is still in the city; we're talking about a pretty tiring commute.  I'd have to add AT LEAST 2 hours to my workday.  (Though if the 'Work at home Plan' holds, I'd only be commuting 3 days a week.)

2. I very much like 'apartment living'; I'd always planned to buy a condo (or loft) if I ever chose to own...

3. I think I might miss my life in the city;  and this novel by Thomas Wolfe--is it true?  Am I hoping to find something there that really is gone forever?

I'll know more soon--stay tuned.

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