I think I already mentioned it, but the Great Pittsburgh Experiment (2009-2011) came to its conclusion a few weeks ago as Mark and I met up to dismantle the house we’d been so excited to buy two years earlier.
The reasons are clear: we’re no longer a couple and one of us lives on the other end of the country. And the one who lives on the other end of the country is the one who was more excited about having a house in Pittsburgh to begin with. Not that I didn’t love the house too, but it was always more Mark’s fantasy than mine, and he did all the painting and the renovations, etc. Pittsburgh is a place I’d still consider living should an opportunity arise. I really like it there. But I probably won’t visit much now that we’ve sold the place; part of the fun was “playing house.” It just wasn’t enough fun to justify paying another mortgage.
One benefit of moving is that I got lots of nice new old furniture to use in Winston-Salem. The former owner left a fair amount of stuff in the house when we bought it, including an amazing “Brady Bunch Hawaiian Adventure” bedroom suite which has now migrated southward to the Carolinas. I got custody of a much newer and better mattress too. Thanks to Mark for driving the truck and helping to load and unload all this stuff. It’s inspired me to do a makeover.
It was sort of a sad weekend, obviously, as one more part of the life we used to have together was ending. But it was something we had to let go. I wish I’d taken some time to spend a few days up there before we gave up possession of the house, just to have a few more breakfasts at Barb’s or lunches at Smallman Street. I felt very much a part of Pittsburgh, strangely enough, even with my limited time there. Years from now, I’ll probably see these two years of owning two homes as a sort of surreal period, much like 2005-2006 in Charlotte but probably with fonder recollections (except maybe for the ones that involve driving through 250 miles of West Virginia each visit). I’ll miss Pittsburgh, but I’ll miss what it symbolized even more.