Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Great Road Trip Winds Down

After a week in the city, we put it in our rearview mirror.  We left a lot undone.  For everything we managed to see and do there was something else we had plotted to do when we first arrived but never got around to.  I think sometimes how much Kelsey would have loved Pittsburgh.  She would have LOVED Fallingwater and the Warhol Museum.  She would have enjoyed the other museums around the campus.  She would have appreciated the architecture of the area, older and far different than central Texas.  She would even have had fun with the football stuff.  Not quite like her sister and me, but to a degree.  Part of the pain I feel is the fact that there is so much of life she would have loved.

However, I do not feel any remorse for not having her along for the trip.  For one thing, all cards on the table, she was a pain in the ass to travel with.  But, more than that, she was home from her third and most intensive residential treatment, we had established her in her own apartment and she was working.  This was the time for her to learn to live life as an independent adult.  I always thought she would have opportunities for the other stuff later.  Even if I had somehow known her life would be so tragically short, this was not the venue for her.  This was for Marissa.  Marissa had tried to grow up in the shadow of The Beast, and it had not been easy.  She deserved some time away from it all.  This was not a perfect trip.  For one thing, two women in close quarters for three plus weeks will naturally lead to some moments of tension.  We were often treated with the odd disdain that people have for the tourists whom they rely on for their livelihood.  I had a bad tooth that abscessed toward the end of the trip, and then there was always my amazing lack of direction to keep things interesting.  And of course, the constant challenge to find vegan friendly cafes along the way.  Yet, I will always remember this trip with extreme fondness.  Those few weeks were among some of the favorite I have ever had.  I loved spending time with Marissa.  I am fortunate in that I both love and like her.  I loved where we spent it.  For a moment in time I was allowed to hope that both my children were on the right path.  And Mother was half the country away where her anger with me was muted by distance.

Before we wrapped it up, we made our way to Whispering Pines Bed and Breakfast (after getting terribly lost) about 30 miles outside of Canton, Ohio where we spent a couple of nights so we could travel into Canton to view the exhibit honoring the Steelers 75th anniversary and then watch the pre-season game (in a teeming, cold rain).  Part of the appeal was to experience a bed and breakfast, but it was also the only accommodations we could find in a 50-mile radius.  Canton must love it when the Steelers are somehow involved with Hall of Fame weekend because they show up in force.  Easy driving distance, 'Burghers had poured into the city for the event.  Which was fitting since it poured and poured the whole time we there.  But I saw enough of my new coach before the rain drove us out of the stands to know I liked what I saw.  This was a time for optimism all the way around, it seemed.

The Grand Finale was the Rush concert in San Antonio.  I sang along so wildly and loudly that my bad tooth caused my face to swell up like a chipmunk by the end of the show.

And then we were home.  Hot, dusty home.  And I had a conundrum.  I had always wanted to go back to Montana when I was free to do so.  Now, I wondered if I really could find a sense of peace somewhere else, like Western Pennsylvania let's just say.

Obviously we didn't move anywhere on the time frame we once discussed.  By the time the year had elapsed, Kelsey was doing poorly, and it was clear we couldn't leave her.  Mother was still living on her own, but it was becoming increasingly obvious that moving her would be way too much of a shock to her system.  So, I settled in and put it all in the back of my mind for the time being.  But, I always had my memories of that lazy summer month.

Peppi's, home of the Roethlisburger (wonder if they still sell it)

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