Friday, April 20, 2012

what's in box #3?

We still have boxes left in the in-laws garage from when we originally arrived; and recently my M.I.L. was kind enough to bring a few when she picked up the kid for Spring Break.

they were heavy and marked, so I had some idea of what was in there... but I wasn't positive. I suppose the Vanity Fair collection did not need to travel 2500+ miles and then sit for 2 1/2 years... but I was happy to have many of our photo albums/boxes. Lots of memories...


What is left of my old Vanity Fair collection (1995- 2010)


 inside (scrapbooks, photo boxes, Links childhood mirror...)

 yes, I packed a scrapbook yet to be done. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

not along the Lewis & Clarke Trail

Note: I started writing this post a while back, first in my head while I worked my way through the photos; then here. I started, stopped, changed directions with it a few times; had two separate posts going, deleted one, and now here we are. Four months later...

I arrived back in Seattle a little less then 1000 days since I drove away in a U-Haul with the huz, our dog, and all our stuff. I wasn't sure what to expect, the irony of that being I prepared an agenda. I actually always prepare an agenda (with wiggle room) for any trip longer then a week. Plus the mister was also traveling for work, so the agenda also served as contact information for the person staying back here with out girls. An agenda also gave me an opportunity to really make the best use of my time, I had planned two social events (one family friendly, the other not) into the 11 days I was there and planned to stay in strategic locations so as to reach the people I wanted to see with some ease.

The first item on my agenda was a haircut, which oddly enough caused me to come back into the city on the inbound lanes of the route we drove out in the U-Haul. The only reason that is remotely interesting, to me anyways, is because there are a few ways to drive into the city from the airport. Having traveled in and out of Sea-tac a considerable amount over 18 years I have very vivid memories of seeing the city from all those particular routes, and day or night if the lighting is right Seattle is a beautiful city to see. So it's odd that I took a very round about way in that I never would have when I lived there, and to boot the light wasn't right; but as I said to my friend who was driving me, "I'm not here to see the city, I just want to see friends, people. There are just a few special places I want to see."
When visiting friends I try to be considerate of work schedules, small children, and other obligations; ie. planning the trip around a three day weekend. I even scheduled some lunches at work sites, just to cover all my bases.

So I arrived, got my haircut, filled up on coffee (it is Seattle, after all), watched a beautiful sunset, had dinner with several dear friends (whom accumulatively I have known for longer than my lifetime); and settled into a Rabbit Hole for the weekend.

The next thing I know it's snowing... and honestly it didn't stop snowing or precipitating in some unusual fashion (frozen rain) for the next 8 days. At which point I promptly tossed the agenda and wandered the frozen urban tundra known as Seattle . 73.5% of the time I felt like a foreigner, who had read ALL the Traveler's Guides to Seattle. Unfortunately having snow the last several winters has still not prepared the area for that kind of weather. The city shuts down, most offices close, there is minimal bus service, and even if there were the streets aren't plowed enough. Thankfully there were kind souls who took me in, and sheltered me from the storm(s); a few even provided me with carriage to other destinations; which given the conditions of the roads was beyond gracious of them. At one point I ended up riding a luggage/sled combination, it was the only way to transport it.

While the trip wasn't what I had initially planned it to be, it was what it needed to be. Although there are a few people I wish I had spent more time with while I was there, the families and friends who I ended up being housebound with were exactly the right people I needed to be connecting with.

Just as Michael and I have been through ups and downs since moving to Pittsburgh, folks back in Seattle have faced their own challenges and had their own successes. It was hard for me to hear about these challenges and feel so far away, unable to be closer to those I hold dear.

I hope to return again during warmer days, and see those I hadn't seen this last time or spend more time with those I only saw briefly. But I hope all of my dear ones in the Pacific NW know that no matter the distance or the years, I am always here for you. A phone call, Skype/G chat, text, email, letter I am easily reachable and if you find your self in the Iron City you are always welcome in my home.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

landscape of memories

landscape of memories by foto fledgling
landscape of memories, a photo by foto fledgling on Flickr.
Once upon a time there was a young woman named Rosemary Krebs growing up in Duquesne, PA. She was doing her thing (working at Kennywood, serving as an Army Nurse), when she met Robert Uhme, also doing his thing (Serving in WWII; working in one of the largest steel factories in the area). They fell in love and got married. They built a life. They had 8 children, who grew up and combined had 15 children who in turn have their own children (13) now.

Robert and Rosemary loved each other for 58 years; before he passed. She held fast to her family and Steelers for a decade or so longer. Until this past Easter Monday, April 9, 2012.

She was 91 years old and buried with Military Honors. She specifically requested that her granddaughters serve as her PallBearers, unless they were unable to do so; then the grandsons could help.

I truly wish I had known her longer, and been able to spend more time hearing her stories. But I am grateful for the moments we did have together; and honored that I was present with her family to celebrate her life.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Department 142, Memphis, TN 38148 ( ) or the Westmoreland County Food Bank, 100 Devonshire Drive, Delmont, PA 15626.