Watching and Waiting and Falling in Love

Thank you all so much for your kind thoughts and prayers for my family as we wait for news about my brother’s diagnosis and treatment following his severe grand mal seizure last week.
Marty’s short-term memory is still pretty messed up, but he’s made more than a few people smile with his phone calls. For instance, he called his boss yesterday to tell him he wouldn’t be in to work because he was in the hospital. His boss is who found Marty unconscious in his house last Thursday. Marty also called my parents to tell them (they’ve obviously been to the hospital several times) and he attempted to call my brother, Matthew, only he inadvertently called my son-in-law Matt. Matt was surprised to hear from Marty, but he let him know who he was and Marty seemed to remember.

I’m trying not to bug Matthew too much for news. I got the hint the other night when he said to me, a little exasperated, “I’ll call you, Lynn. I promise. You know I keep you in the loop.” Yes, I know, but as the person who’d always taken care of family issues in the past, it’s not easy to A) live so far away from it; B) trust someone else to do it; and C) wait. As you know, I’m not the most patient person in the world.

But as I wait, I’ve done some intense biking and walking and falling in love…with Pittsburgh. I moved here 8 months ago, and although I’d been to the city many, many times in the last 20 years, living here is different because I get to explore it anytime I want and not just during a special trip from the Flannel Curtain.

A few things I’ve learned this year: I love the free concerts at Hartwood Acres. Beechwood Nature Reserve offers great hiking and bird watching (and it’s less than a mile from Greek Stop…yum!). And the Strip District is a must every other Saturday morning.

I wandered around Market Square for the first time yesterday and had a glass of wine at NOLA on the Square. One of these Sunday mornings, I will check out Bach, Beethoven and Brunch in Mellon Park, and before winter I will get to a concert at Heinz Hall. I really love the Pittsburgh Symphony.

For someone who is afraid of bridges and claustrophobic in tunnels, Pittsburgh can be a challenge for me. But I look straight ahead and not into the Allegheny when I cross the bridge in New Kensington to get to the nearest Giant Eagle or the Hulton Bridge when I take my grandkids to the library and bakery in Oakmont or the Highland Park Bridge to get to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods or to visit my friend Colton in Penn Hills.

Last weekend, Colton, Cooper and I walked across the Smithfield Bridge, which spans the Monongahela. I can’t wait for the 31st Street Bridge to open again because I’m tired of the detour via the 40th Street Bridge. And today, I finally figured out how to get to the 16th Street Bridge, something I’ve screwed up at least three times since moving here. I have to remind myself that what Carlene calls the Jose Clemente bridge is really the Roberto Clemente bridge (believe me, we’ll never let her live that down), and that it’s easier to get to the Southside Works from the east if I cross the Hot Metal Bridge, a scary looking truss bridge.

As for tunnels, I’ve pretty much conquered that fear, particularly since this is the view you get coming out of the Fort Pitt tunnel from the southwest:

Today, I checked out the Heritage Trail for the first time, although I did walk part of the Eliza Furnace Trail (also known as the Jail Trail since it weaves around the Allegheny County Jail) on Saturday, which is part of the Heritage Trail, I think. Anyway, I hoofed it today as part of my 5K-in-36-minutes training, but I’ll definitely go back next week with my bike so I can explore more than the 5 miles I covered today. I didn’t take these photos, but here are a few views from the part of the trail I was on today:

16th Street Bridge
Near the 31st Street Bridge

Pittsburgh is a beautiful city with its share of eyesores, but its grit and contrast is why anyone who’s anyone in Hollywood has shot a movie or TV show here. (Click here for the list. “The Mothman Prophecies” was one of my favorites.).

I don’t totally hate the Steelers anymore, I adore the Penguins, and although I’m an American League girl, I like the Pirates…a lot. But if they ever someday fulfill my wildest dream of playing the Twins in the World Series (don’t laugh…it could happen!), I’m totally digging out my homer hankie. While Pittsburgh is my adopted hometown, I’m still a Minnesotan at heart, don’t ya know.

So as I await for news from Minnesota, I will continue to explore da ’Burgh. It feels like home, even though I don’t say “yinz” or drop my “to be”s when I speak. (For instance, I don’t ask my dinner guests, “Yinz want coffee?” or say “My hair needs washed.”). I also order my salads without French fries and my sandwiches without coleslaw on top, but the native Pittsburghers I’ve met so far don’t seem to mind. Besides, this is where my grandkids live, so that makes Pittsburgh the best place I could ever live. Besides maybe Florida in the winter…

8 thoughts on “Watching and Waiting and Falling in Love

  1. My 14 year old son had his first seizure April 10, and his second May 18. This year. Still don't know cause. I've learned so much about epilepsy these past two months. We're getting him a seizure-alert dog. If he has another, please contact me. There are other things I can tell you about. Or… if you just want to talk.

    Vee at

  2. Lynn,

    Good to read that you are enjoying Pittsburgh. I have never been to Pittsburgh but I have spent some time in a small town called Cherry Tree, PA. which is where my wife's mother and father grew up and got married. I have always found PA to be very beautiful. My wife and I have vacationed in Gettysburg, Hersey, and Philadelphia.

    I like the pictures of the bridges you presented.

    Pittsburgh is a real sports town with the Steelers, Penguins, and the Pirates. It is surprising that there is no NBA basketball team in Pittsburgh.

    The winters in Florida are great.

  3. Glad Marty is doing better!

    I think you will learn to love Pittsburgh, (just not the Steelers…). So much history and wonderful things to do and see!

  4. I don't wait well for a traffic light, so I can't imagine trying to wait patiently for information from MN.

    It may be a tad early, but if you could pencil in a note for October something, 2012, I think I'll be coming through Pittsburgh. 🙂 (If you're still there, I'll PLAN on it!)

  5. We are missing our annual camping trip to western PA because we are moving to Florida. Maybe we can trade visits! 🙂 And I always thoughts it was spelled “youens”. ha ha

    Hope your brother continues to make progress.

  6. I love Pittsburgh!!! We were there several weeks ago for the Epilepsy walk/run. Running along the river was magnificent!
    We end up there for health care appts at least once a month. Excellent Health Care!!
    After college, my daughter hopes to live there, (unable to drive because of seizures) and I cant wait to visit.
    Thots for you and your brother!!

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