Off to Pittsburgh!

Last week, Jim and I spent several days in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  There’s nothing like travel to remind you how varied the U.S. can be.  We left Albuquerque during a series of dry days where temperatures topped 105  degrees, then arrived in Pittsburgh to rain and 72 degrees.

Me, Scot, and Jane Among the Dinos

Me, Scot, and Jane Among the Dinos

On Friday, our friends Scot and Jane Noel picked us up and took us to see some of the sights of downtown Pittsburgh.  As you may recall, I worked with both Scot and Jane on the computer game Chronomaster.  After the game was released, we stayed in touch. Since then, we have worked on a variety of projects, including an art contest for which I wrote the short story “Born from Memory” to go with the first place winning piece.

Last time we saw Scot and Jane was in New Mexico where we took them to see various things, including the petroglyphs near our house.  This time, the sights were a lot greener and more brightly colored.  We started at the Phipps Conservatory which amazed and delighted us with its marvelous variety of plants and sculptures.  Again I was fascinated by what a difference a shift in climate can make when growing the same plants.   I grow Swiss chard, but I’ve never had any success with the “Bright Lights” variety.  At Phipps, not only were they successful, their chard had leaves big enough to wrap a baby in!

After we’d finished with the Conservatory, we moved on to sample the Carnegie Museum.  We didn’t have time to see anything close to all of the exhibits, but we very much enjoyed the dinosaurs, gems and minerals, and a few other fascinating and beautiful things.  We also enjoyed what we saw of Pittsburgh itself, especially the widely varied architecture and numerous bridges and tunnels.

On Saturday, my sister, Susan, and two of her kids took us to Meadowcroft rock shelter.  In the world of archeology, Meadowcroft is famous for being one of the places where their discoveries broke the “Clovis first” theory of human habitation in the New World, pushing back the span of human habitation by several thousand years.

We were extremely lucky that James Adavasio, who directed the excavations at Meadowcroft, was in the area and giving a lecture.  Adavasio is an excellent speaker, with a wide breadth of interests.  One of the elements of his talk was showing how the theories put forth in early archeology – in which the work was done almost solely by men – were shaped by the male perspective to the point of ignoring the contributions of women and children.  He managed to be humorous, as well as informative.  I know that Jim and I enjoyed the subsequent tour all the more for having heard his talk.

Afterwards, we toured a model Indian village complete with a variety of dwellings.  I found myself taking feverish mental notes (and asking Jim to take a few photos) of some of the different types of shelters.   We also had a chance to throw atlatl darts at a deer-shaped target.  We all missed…  According to the docent, this meant we should all have only salad for dinner, as a reminder of how hard it can be to put meat on the table.

The weekend wasn’t all museums, conservatories, and academic lectures, of course.  We went and watched my young nephew play baseball, hiked, talked about books, and even played Clue.  This last led to us renting and watching the very silly movie based on the game…

I discovered that, after something like thirty years, I still remember how to play badminton.  Jim’s whiffle ball pitching got a thumbs-up from our baseball loving nephew.

Now that we’re back in New Mexico, those rolling green hills and that strange atmospheric phenomenon called “rain” seem more like myths than reality.  And I have a short story to review.

Funny thing.  Much as I enjoyed my holiday, I’m looking forward to getting back to the writing.  Life is pretty sweet.

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5 Responses to “Off to Pittsburgh!”

  1. henrietta abeyta Says:

    Interesting

    There are some arts that can make me visualize imaginary castles of my own, combining what I find the prettiest in real life sights, and favorites of my own personal drawing and also my favorite mandalas

    And I find big gardens fun to walk by.

    Jasmine Olson sharing interest of art.

  2. henrietta abeyta Says:

    National Parks, Zoos, Museums, Planetarium, or Places that have art are the kinds of places we go to the most, including a few of UT fairs. We also go to places that teach you about whales dolphins or fish. The dinosaurs and camping are what Grandma and I are the least interested in, however we respect the interest of my 2 young half brothers.

    It’s just that done in a few different ways art’s my number one hobby. I do it both to express myself as well as just for fun, and I’m a huge fantasy fan, especially when the story has a few real things in it.

    But after the Life Program I’ve had plenty of free time that the beautiful wolves have become my main personal drawings. Proving the great entertainment they give me, as well as my real sincere compassion that never leaves me either. Movies and books I understand them better than any other wild animals, so the guidance from their stories and my compassion combined I’m always touched peacefully.

    Jasmine Olson.

    • Jane Lindskold Says:

      What’s nice here is that you and your grandma respect that other people may not love the same things you do, but you’re willing to share their interest.

      That’s the sort of thing that makes bridges between people.

  3. Paul Says:

    Sounds like fun!

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