amanda's rad summer: pittsburgh

Welcome dear readers! Today I'm introducing the first guest post in a summer series that I'm slowly working on putting together called rad summer. I have a few very special adventure stories lined up and am working on confirming more! Amanda's blog, Last Mom on Earth, is one of my favourite daily reads. It's rare in its honesty and the wonderful quality of the writing. I hope that you'll pop over and say hi to Amanda and also take the time to read her great post below! Thank you, Amanda, for sharing your summer adventure with us!

I woke up this morning to a quiet house. I put a tea kettle on and sat next to an open window. This morning was grey and cool and still. It was the fourth of july and nobody was awake, yet.

Except my daughter. Calling me from the top of the stairs. And my other daughter, answering her sister.

I made breakfast, we ate outside and Louisey sat in her swing. I read to Scouty, we watched a TV show. I packed up the diaper bag, complete with little kid servings of snacks. I kissed Louisey's chin and she laughed like it was the funniest thing that's ever happened.

And I felt ready for them to leave to go to the parade with daddy.

With a quiet, and definitely messier house, to myself again, I kind of wandered from room to room, mindlessly picking things up and putting them away. I read a few pages of a book and put it down. I thought that I should probably go to the gym, and get it out of the way.

But then, the total numbness of what I was doing hit me. I was living this precious day like all the soul and love and honesty had been sucked out of me. The gym is fine, but do you want to know the real truth? I fucking hate the gym.

I hastily put my dirty hair up and put on some running shoes and went out in search of an adventure.

Lots of people think you need to go somewhere new or exotic to have an adventure. All you really need to get away is to be at the very end of the world, all by yourself. I went to South Park, in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.

I started at the Oliver Miller Homestead.

Walked past the old village.

And into the woods.

I grew up in a small mining town in Western Pennsylvania. I didn't have a lot of things, as a child. I did have the woods, though. I did have countless hours in a world that made me dizzy with freedom, where I was hidden along pathways where nobody would find me.

I was a Big Game Hunter.

A lost lover.

And a poet.

For me, the woods have always been a place of loneliness. A place where I don't exist, not really. I die under the thick canopy and can be quiet for a moment.

They are also a place where I am not a mild mannered sidewalk shopper, a stroller pusher, a grocery gatherer. It's good for me to get dirty and sweaty, to have mud on the hems of my pants, now and then.

Today, I ran up all the big hills, using giant roots like steps. I straddled a fallen tree over a stream and I didn't fall in.

When is the last time you went a little wild?

BIO: Amanda is a Pittsburgh mom of two genius girls and is married to the world's sexiest accountant. She can be found either biking or baking, depending on the weather. She blogs at Last Mom On Earth.


  1. what a BEAUTIFUL and honest post! a perfect way to kick off a series i'm already excited about ;)

    i wish i could bottle up the greenery there. it's amazing how much i miss it now that i live in the desert of el paso.

    ps. amanda, our bio made me <3 you even more!!!

  2. Sarah & Amanda,

    Thank you for these beautiful words and photographs. So nice to start Monday off inspired.

  3. Thank you for featuring my adventure, Sarah! Love love love!

  4. Ha ha, I loved this! "I fucking hate the gym" felt like coming up for air after trying to see how long you can hold your breath under water.

  5. Great writing, I could feel the path you chose in your words. Kudos Amanda!

  6. Great adventure for an afternoon without the kids! Really well written!


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