And man, do I miss water.
My desert living experience has been amazing. The fragile and subtle surroundings, the wide open space. The incomparable peace outside the city just by driving 30 minutes. It all equals head space. I needed a lot of head space when I moved here years ago. I purposefully asked to come here (I was active duty in the military at the time...go ahead: laugh hard, snort loudly, roll your eyes like you don't believe me, but it's true!) But that's a whole other blog post; nay, it was a whole other life.
But now I'm craving the city I was born in, the city I left so quickly after high school (read: we're talking immediately) that I never got to know her as an adult. Only when I went back on military leave. And that hardly counts because:
1) it was always freaking freezing winter cold.
2) I had no car and could only do things with my family (go to church, go to my uncle's house for Christmas dinner, go to church, eat at The Ground Round, listen to people endlessly reiterate the same non-dynamic political views, go to church, visit graves, oh why the hell not: let's go back to church).
3) No one knew how to act around each other anymore after high school so we did the same things as before: met at Eat n' Park, drank coffee and ate crumb buns, stupidly made out with ex-boyfriends and called it reconnecting, went home: repeat.
I suppose, at the time it was relaxing---to do very little while on leave. Maybe I should be more grateful. But now it's different. I've become a little obsessed with my hometown. Well, not enough to follow football [here insert image of me ducking from rabid Pittsburgh Steelers fans throwing empty beer cans at me] After planning so carefully our pregnancy (I have type 1 diabetes) we got to thinking about that whole new parent paranoid question: now where the hell do we raise this kid? Terrifying question, absolutely terrifying. I can now understand some parents' desire to protect and bubble and sanitize their child's upbringing.
Ok, I only kind of get this.
So Pittsburgh came up on our list of possible cities because it's affordable, beautiful, fun, green, academic, water-y, has a terribly trashy but intriguing accent, down to earth inhabitants, and most importantly, is family friendly. At least I think it is. Maybe I just want to think it is at this point in my life.