Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A Casa

Last Friday marked my new cousin, Halsey's arrival in Indianapolis. She was not alone. My Aunt Jing, Uncle Hop, and cousin Piper brought her off the plane after having spent three weeks in China. My parents, who went to greet them, got to see wide-eyed Halsey close up, her first moments off the plane rides from Beijing to Indianapolis, her first few hours on the ground in America.

Antonello and I can't wait to meet you, Halsey. We have been avidly talking about sending a package with pictures of us and fun Italian things for Halsey and Piper to enjoy. It's difficult being far away for the arrival of a new relative. With all of the joy and happiness that Halsey's arrival has brought to our family, I keep thinking, "When will Antonello see her?" While I plan to go home at Christmas and therefore meet little Halsey then, Antonello's next trip to the states is less certain. Christmas is the busy season for shoes, and this summer my family is coming here, so we probably won't take our annual trip back to the states.

But hopefully, with pictures of us and gifts, and even some speaking on the phone, Halsey will begin to recognize her new cousins. Who knows--maybe Antonello can even teach her Italian.

Welcome home, Halsey! We send our love from Italy.



We burst through the tunnel and immediately crossed the river toward the stealy, glass city ahead. Sitting in the back seat behind my two bosses for the long drive, my first trip to Pittsburgh felt more like a very strange family vacation than a roadtrip for work.

The conference was interesting - good meetings and good sessions - but the highlights were outside the hotel ballrooms and lobbies. My first professional baseball game was sunny and offered the perfect view of home plate and the river flowing behind the stadium. Too bad the Pirates lost. Rrrr! I was a little embarrassed to place my order at Lemongrass, a Cambodian place ("Um, C-9, please."), but the savory dish came decorated with a beet-ribbon flower all the same. Hours before leaving the city, I took the steep railroad cars to the top of the hill on the other side of the river, opposite downtown. A bridal party toasted the happy couple on one of the overlooks across from the little, white Carnegie library that held its own among the renovated and rebuilt condos popping up around it. I wished I had a long cigarette holder to accessorize my walk through the Warhol museum, though it probably would have been a hazard in my favorite piece, Silver Clouds. And then we crossed the river again, straight into the tunnel and back to Indiana. Maybe there's something about being named a Hoosier that helps us appreciate Pittsburghers' home town (no really, that's what they called themselves).