Monday, August 2, 2010

At what age...

Should one consider himself too old to make major life changes?

The Hub and I have been thinking about moving back to Pennsylvania. Me, I never thought I'd see the day when I'd consider returning, but in all fairness, Hub came back to Texas for me and has lived here for the last thirty-five years. And he's missing life in Pittsburgh. As am I, truth be told. (Actually, we're only thinking of living there part time, with a home in Pittsburgh and a condo in Texas.)

Last week, during breakfast at a local diner, I was having a poached egg and a piece of dry rye toast. (Okay, I'll admit it: I'm always on a diet.) But I was telling Hub about the first time I ever had rye bread.

I was twenty-one when we moved to Pittsburgh. He'd just gotten out of the service, and I was at heart a country girl who didn't know diddlysquat. It was a real adventure for me: taking the street car into town to look for a job--all by myself. I remember stopping for breakfast at a drug store lunch counter and ordering dry toast. (Even then I was on a diet.) The waitress misheard my order and brought me rye toast, liberally spread with butter. And yes, I swear it was real butter. I know this because, being the timid soul I was back then, I said nothing, just ate that mahvelously delicious toast and fell in love with rye bread. (I had my first poached egg at that same lunch counter and my first English muffin.)

There were a lot of firsts for me in Pittsburgh. By the time I came back to Texas, I'd become an adult person. I realized when Hub and I were talking at the diner that I was born and raised in Texas and grew up in Pittsburgh.

We've been looking at houses on the 'net and found one we both like. There's just the two of us; we don't need a lot of room, and this one doesn't have much: it's 884 sq. ft.: two bedrooms, one bath, kitchen, LR, and an unfinished basement. But it's next door to the house where we last lived in Pittsburgh. I clearly remember it had a cherry tree in the back. (It ticked Hub off cuz the cherries would drop on our car. He felt they should trim the branches over our drive; I felt we should park the car in the garage cuz it was a lovely tree!) It's a good neighborhood there, and the houses on that side of the street back up to a wooded area that's part of a park.

Tons of potential here. I think it would make a perfect cottage for two. Of course, I'd tear out the hedges and put in a charming cottage garden--Pittsburgh has such lovely dirt!

We'll probably never do it. Our number one roadblock is our cat. Last February, Max was diagnosed as diabetic. Turns out, though, that his problem was the food we were feeding him. A diet of canned cat food has kept his blood sugars stable, but wet cat food's not something you can leave down for him to snack on all day. In order to give him the calories he needs--he's a big cat--we feed him four times a day.

As a result, we never both of us go away at the same time for more that half a day. And buying a house in one city and selling one in another would involve lots of leaving Max behind.

Other roadblocks? It would be hard for me to leave my family, but I'd be here for the summer and phones work just as well from Pittsburgh to Texas as they do within Texas.

Another roadblock is our age--moving was a lot easier when we were young and after Hub's heart attack last year, I fear what the strain would do to him. (That's last on his list of concerns, highest on mine.)

First on Hub's is Max. For those of you who don't remember, take a look at this:

Isn't he cute? And did I say big? And scary sometimes. (He frightened one of my cleaning ladies so badly she wouldn't come back!) No way we could get a pet sitter, and I wouldn't ask my sister, whom Max likes, to come in that often.

So for now we'll just dream. And innit strange that when I daydream of living in that house I'm twenty-nine? And cute. And weigh 105 pounds! And did I say cute?

Oh, well, except for the heat, we've got it pretty good here in central Texas. And Max is a luverly cat...most of the time.

Ta, y'all.


Mary Keenan said...

Well, if all those issues weren't issues... *I* for one think it's a great idea. You know, what with Pittsburgh being driving distance from Toronto and all ;^)

TexNan said...

Omigosh! I had no idea Toronto was so close to Pittsburgh. It appears it would be about a 7 hour drive, but hey, what's that to good friends? One more good reason for us to buy that little house!


And leaving your sisters behind is a gaggle of good reasons to stay. Can't bear the thought of you leaving!

Tricia ~~ Handmade Whimzy said...

I say go for it.
But shouldn't you spend summers there and winters here in Texas? That way you would have moderate temps all the time.

My hubby and I are already planning our retirement but we're moving to Florida.