I was going to write a silly, random blog post today, since writing is still slow in most arenas. But a number of things have happened that changed my mind. Nothing's huge or horrible, at least not to me, but it seemed like a good day to pause and think about how life is a strange and wondrous thing, and often far more circular than we know.
Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived in a little yellow brick house to the east of Pittsburgh. She learned to crochet and knit from Mrs. B down the street. She played the violin and mandolin, she read a lot of books, and she helped her sister keep house and keep their two brothers in line while their mother worked as a nurse.
Eventually, that little girl went to college in Philadelphia (her sister became an accountant, and their brothers both joined the armed forces). There she met a nice boy who liked to crack jokes and cook. Eight years later, after he had finished medical school and shortly before her law school graduation, they were married.
The joke is that they moved to northwestern Pennsylvania because it was as far as they could get from his family while remaining within the same state (sadly, both her parents died before she was married), but the truth is simply that both work and home were available in the small lakeside city, and they liked the feel of the place.
To their amusement, the couple eventually ended up with four children, two girls and two boys, the same family grouping that each of them had grown up with. The mother taught her daughters threadwork, the father taught his sons to make bad puns, and the whole family learned and loved music, cooking, and stories of all kinds.
The oldest daughter of the family, as all daughters must do, went out on her own when she was ready, trying graduate school in the same city where her mother had once lived and learned. Her try came up short in the winter of 2006, but she made up her mind that as her parents had taught her, she would make things work.
Six years, several jobs, and two apartments later, the daughter's hunger for a more comfortable living space and the parents' desire for a safe investment coincided. A house was investigated and decided upon, and the parents funded the purchase with the understanding that the daughter would pay them just as she would a mortgage.
The pictures of the pretty red brick house, the sloping back yard with its perfect spots for gardens and bird feeders, the quiet cul-de-sac street where it was located, all flowed back and forth freely, but the significance of the address never dawned on the mother until the first time she traveled to Pittsburgh to see her daughter's new home.
The daughter of that little girl from Pittsburgh now lives less than five miles from the little house where her mother grew up, and less than ten from the grave of the grandmother she never knew. A crocheted blanket, her mother's work, keeps her warm when she reads in bed, and she sings with her music while she cooks dinner.
Once upon a time there was a life, a simple and quiet life, the life of a woman who was told that if she had children, she'd never have a career, and made her choice with open eyes. But that life now touches thousands of other lives. It is not a perfect life, no more than the person who lives it is perfect, but it is very much loved.
Mom... this one's for you.