The Uphill Slide

There is always something.



2017 will be a year of firsts. Start with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Pittsburgh yesterday. Everyone does not love a parade. I marched in them with the band and watched them as part of carnival week in Worthington. I took my kids because we had a comfortable front-row seat and they loved scooping up the candy thrown from firetrucks. But a little out-of-character for me to decide to stand among a crowd of revelers. It was cold, and I heard urgings to just stay down, stay on the warm comfy couch. But I dressed in long underwear and left.

It was too cold for Caleb and Cary though the parade route was replete with kids in colorful hats and coats and blankets. Caleb would have loved it. I walked along Liberty Avenue into a pack of Great Pyrenees. I recognized our Jasper in these big thick-haired sweet dogs. I stopped to talk and pet. Further along were the Wheaten Terriers, the Irish Setters, the Irish Wolfhounds and dogs from rescue organizations. There were police on horseback and during the parade a Wells Fargo stagecoach drawn by a team of horses. There was a police officer with a Bloodhound and another with a German shepherd. I texted a friend to tell her this parade had two things she would have loved, dogs and horses. But there were also kilts and plaids and uniforms and clicking heels of Irish dancers and bagpipes exciting the air on Grant Street. The streets were green. This was an interactive parade. I imagined that this might be a lesser version of Mardi Gras or Carnival that invites inclusion from the audience dressed in costume. I stood in a revolving door briefly to escape the bitter cold beside a woman dressed from head to toe in green moving to the music and waving to everyone who moved past us. I walked along Grant towards a Brueggers, past tailgaters parked in a lot across from the City-County Building.

My hands were frozen red and needed a warm coffee in them. I stood just inside the door at the back of a line in Brueggers. “Is this the food line?” It was a line for the bathroom so I passed women who always seem to be waiting. I ordered chorizo, egg, and cheese on a vibrant green bagel in honor of St. Patrick’s Day but also the incongruent color made me recall Dr. Suess’s Green Eggs and Ham. Then I caught the bus home, not my first time on PAT, but my first time alone into the web of the city bus routes that offers another vantage of cityscapes.

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