My last surviving grandparent, my father's mother, passed away in November of 2009. It was sad but also happy because she lived a long and full life. She was born in 1918, and saw the world change in many ways, and through it all she stayed true to her values. I didn't take pictures of the funeral itself, but I did take some of the evening we all spent together after the funeral, and then of Lorin and I knocking around Pittsburgh the next day.

After the service and the visit to the cemetery we went and had lunch at a little Italian place. L to R, Lorin, me, my dad, My dad's wife Gloria, and my sister Jennifer.

L to R starting with the back of the head: My cousin Matt, Paul, Terri Lynn, Susan and Gene Mehring.

Counterclockwise starting with Terri Lynn, Paul, my Uncle Dave, and my cousin Matt.

L to R: My cousin Betsy, my Aunt Dot, and a lady (relative?) that despite sitting near at lunch I never got her name.

Tragically, there are no photos of the food. It was amazing.

We all passed the day hanging around and then went out that night to a brew pub in an old church. It was actually kind of a mini-cathedral.

Regular readers of this site have seen similar shots of my dad before...

The last time we were all in the same place was 1985.

One last group shot - we all went up to the altar and in the background you can see some of the fermentation tanks.

From there the adults went home to bed and we kids decided to go out and spend some more time together. Matt took charge and made the call, "I want to go bowling."

So we got laced up and went to show Pittsburgh how bowling was done Austin/Atlanta/Ann Arbor/Raleigh style.

Look how far away those teensy tiny pins look! This is how it felt to us, we aren't really that good at bowling.

Here is Matt setting up the scoring. Of course we all decided to choose bowling aliases. I was "Stallion." Betsy was "Sparky." Matt was "Turtle head." Jennifer was "The J" and I cannot recall what name Lorin chose for herself.

Here is an action shot of Lorin slinging it.

Matt chucking it! He is approximately seven feet tall, so he has a long way to go to get low for his release.

Celebrating BEFORE throwing a strike. Bold.

The next day we all said our goodbyes. Our flight was not until later in the day and that gave us some time to go back to the
cemetery and make sure that everything was ok with the grave site.

The flowers were a little bit akimbo so Lorin was tidying them up.

Lorin knew my grandmother well enough to know that she would have wanted them to look nice.

My grandfather is buried there, so we visited his grave.

We put a flower on the marker for my great grandparents as well.

Next we went and saw my grandparents houses. This was the one on Mayfair Street.

Here is the little ice cream stand we used to walk to. The guy that owned it used to pile soft serve so high on the cone that it was like balancing a broomstick in your hand to walk around and eat it.

No lie.

This was the house on Fairdale St. I didn't have the guts to walk around the side and take a picture of the hedge where the talking foot lived.

But we took one from the road. Enter that gate and then turn to the hedge to the left, and that is where the talking foot lived and entertained us during summer visits. Someday my house will have a talking foot too.

We drove into Sheridan and saw my Dad's high school.

Then we drove down Chartiers Ave some more because I wanted to go through the Corliss tunnel one last time. These are crazy strong childhood memories for me, and at the time I wondered if I would ever go back to Pittsburgh again. The more I think about it though, and how much I like this city, the more I realize that I will most likely go back several more times in my life. It just feels good to be in Pittsburgh.

We were hungry so we went back over to Beto's for a hoagie and some of their pizza. We ate here the day before, and Lorin said it was the best sub she'd ever had, so we had to go back.

Hometown brand, representin' yo!

At Beto's they bake the pizza with no cheese on it, then they add a TON of mozzarella when it comes out of the oven. The lower bits melt a little and the top stays cold. It's really weird, and really tasty. And get this, people order extra sides of cheese at this place.

Cross section view for you.

I was seated across from the cheese thief.

Lorin's hoagie came out and...

Her cheese was melted. Her arms were not long enough to break this strand, I had to take the sandwich and walk halfway across the room to get it to break.

Mmmmm! Ok, time to catch our plane.

Even though it's blurry I love this photo of Lorin. She was making goofy faces and cracking herself up.

Flying into Chicago.

We had a little time between flights.

A good book.

On our next flight I got a slushy beer.

Some warm nuts. (You know, I'm never going to grow up. I always snicker when the flight attendant says, "Would you like some warm nuts?" The best part is, Lorin laughs too.)

Lorin was working the crossword.

She does them in pen. Gutsy!

Mmm, dinner.

And dessert. (Cheesecake with Creme Brulee-esque caramelized sugar on top.)

That's it. Thanks for looking, and we'll miss you Grandma.