Our New Home
We are moving, downsizing, taking the first step at doing something we talked about for years with clients, students, friends and family—moving in recognition of our age and stage in life.
We realized that the house we loved and lovingly shaped to our aesthetics and preferences was too big for us. Seven bedrooms, six and a half baths for two people is a bit much. it has been a gathering place for our family and friends, and we've loved being able to accommodate and cook for them over the years. We made it warm and welcoming, and we will miss it.
It is not without some trepidation that we take this step. State College has been our home for 32 years. We have enjoyed the slow pace, lack of traffic except on football weekends, easy access to anything we need (not to mention Wegmans). When we were both working, it made raising children and focusing on careers manageable. Now that we have let go of those roles, we found ourselves wanting something different. We both grew up it cities, Steve in Chicago, and Judy in the Bay Area, and, in fact, we met in Los Angeles. So there is something familiar about moving to a city with a faster pace and more going on.
We are not, however, moving to a retirement community. We have rented a townhouse in the middle of a busy Pittsburgh neighborhood to be near our youngest son, Matt, daughter-in-law Jenna, and grandkids Sam and Lucy. Their lives are busy, and we can help with the kids. In fact, we are babysitting as I write this. (The little angels are sleeping in this morning). It will also be easier for us to see our other kids and grandkids. We can access non-stop flight to where they live, rather than waiting, waiting, waiting for connecting flights.
It feels like a fresh, exciting start. We found an apartment that is a short walk to shops and more than 20 restaurants of varied cuisines. There is a JCC across the street with a large gym and 2 pools and we have already joined. And the apartment is walking distance to our grandkids’ schools. In fact, Sam’s school is right across the street. And then there is the wider city—restaurants, international food in markets in the Strip District, museums.
We face the challenge of downsizing from over 7,000 square feet to about 1,500. We are leaving behind most of our furniture. Sorting what goes with us or goes to Goodwill has been a bit mind bending, but we are nearly there. We will learn to live without tchotchkes and some conveniences. Looking over our cozy apartment, it’s not fancy but we hope to make it comfortable. As we look over the still empty apartment, It almost feels like we are back in college, moving into a new apartment with an empty slate to draw on and lots of new things to explore and do.
One of the biggest challenges has been to find apartment-sized furniture...because we still want to welcome friends and family from time to time.
It is surprisingly freeing to live in a smaller space and to have eliminated extraneous "stuff." We challenged ourselves to figure out what we really need to have now that there isn't space for everything. It's too easy to say, "I might use that someday" and hold on to much more than you can use in a lifetime. While we certainly haven't denied ourselves anything important, having so much less space made us able to evaluate the value of each object in a different way. Each thing had to earn it's spot on the moving van!
So here's to a fresh new start in a new place. We'll let you know how it develops.
We also want to mention that you won’t find us on Facebook anymore. The Cambridge Analytica fiasco was the last straw for us. So be sure to sign up for notices when we post here—although you probably have done so already if you are reading this column.