Joe and I will be spending our winter in Pittsburgh. Not a bad place to be, but not the sunny Texas gulf shores we had planned on.
Here’s how we got here.
After being on his feet for more than 30 years are as a retail manager and then a teacher, Joe has varicose veins. This fall they started acting up while we were on the beach in North Carolina. He went to a doc in the box who recommended he visit a vein clinic.
He put it off. We were already scheduled to spend three weeks in Pittsburgh around the holidays where we had doctor appointments scheduled.
The doc at the Pittsburgh vein clinic evaluated Joe’s legs and recommended an out patient procedure. He could do it and Joe would be good to go in a week. But, that old ugly insurance raised its head.
The insurance company wants Joe to wear compression stockings for 12 weeks before it will even consider the surgery. And the doc said the clotting in Joe’s legs is so severe he doesn’t want him to drive long hours.
That means we’re grounded, in a campground, in Pennsylvania, in the winter.
We could skirt the camper with sliver insulating panels and buy lots of propane. I could wrap my self in throws and sit in the dark with the shades pulled to keep warm.
I mean, we could do it. But I wouldn’t be happy.
Joe’s mantra has always been “Happy wife, happy life.”
So we began looking for a short-term rental apartment, an expensive proposition. We found one in the city, near a park and children’s museum. It had a gym and dog park. It would even take Nikki and Pocket, for a fee.
We put down a deposit and paid an application fee. Then the nice young rental agent wanted a picture of the dog, for the insurance company. The complex restricts dogs. They don’t accept “lock jaw dogs,” like pitbulls.
Nikki is a lab mix rescued from the pound. She has blue eyes, which makes us think she has some husky in her. She’s also 13 years old, sleeps a lot and is such a scaredy cat she runs when you jangle your keys.
The insurance company wanted us to guarantee her breed. There was a lot of faxing and phone calls back and forth with the vet. Bottom line, no one can tell you what the mix is and we’re out of an apartment.
Luckily, my son-in-law is part of a co-working space co-op called Work Hard Pittsburgh, which has an apartment above its space. The tenant is scheduled to move out Jan. 1. The co-op has kindly allowed us to rent the apartment for a short time and they don’t care what kind of dog we have.
We’re three minutes away from my daughter, who has gym equipment and a washer- dryer in her house. There’s a park near by. And my cousins have graciously said they will allow us to park the motor home on their horse farm.
So, Jan. 1 we move in above an old hardware store. We’re reliving college. We don’t have a bed, a couch, a table or a lamp. We’re buying a futon and borrowing the rest.
We’ll be warm and close to family. If you have to be grounded, there’s no place I’d rather be than Pittsburgh.
Happy wife, happy life.