na foine ting

Friday, October 21, 2005
I can write.

I can breathe.

Funny how it barely matters that I don't have a job, that I'm in a strange city with no friends or family apart from the immediate, on my own with the kids all day and there was really only one thing I couldn't deal with.

No hockey.

Funny, and also not. There are 10, count them 10 rinks within fifteen minutes of where I'm sitting (thank you, Megan, for turning me on to 10 rinks, and for the life of me I couldn't find hockey right now, for me, at my level. Finally yesterday I got in touch with a guy who runs an informal pickup-style league over at MIT in the early mornings, where you can play as many as five mornings a week (danger Will Robinson, danger), for quarter of the cost of what I used to pay for league play, and twice as long a season. You do the math.

I'll be playing Tuesday and Thursday next week, drop in until I'm sure the commute into Boston and back (all before 8am) works.

Becca pointed out that I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a morning person.

"You're going to be the meanest person on the ice," she said.




Boston is gorgeous.

After San Jose especially, it's an unbelievably green city. Every street is lined with trees, and there are parks upon parks and tons of other green space. West Roxbury is a nice suburb, primarily Irish American, or was until the last 5 or 10 years. On the corner of our street and the main drag is a pub, one of several, of the actual Irish pub variety. The houses are big old Cape Cods and Victorians, most divided into apartments, including the one we're staying in.

We call it Jacks' House, because it belongs to Jack, who is an older Irishman now living alone, previously married. Semi, if not completely retired, and the place is an interesting mix of bachelor pad and what were obviously his wife's earlier touches. In the bedroom there are several framed Celtics basketball triptychs, hung carefully on the salmony-pink flowered wallpaper. In the pantry, a tea towel of "Irish Verses." And a sofa-and-recliner set in the living room that makes an L shape just big enough to land a 747 on, we're pretty sure.

For the somewhat funky decor, though, the place is great. It's one house and a set of stairs away from the T, and if you jump on the train you can hear from where I'm sitting in the kitchen, you can get to Boston South Station in just over twenty minutes.

And despite the odd touches, it's still a nice old Cape Cod, with a lovely kitchen and big kitchen table that somehow manages to catch sun all day. Becca brought the tomatoes and peaches she just canned across country, and they're all up in the pantry, in the shelves next to where the fridge is now but where the ice box probably once sat.


What we'd heard about east coast people simply hasn't borne out.

I took the kids into Boston to go to the Boston Children's Museum on Monday, which was a fabulous excursion (and the BCM is a four-story wonder, possibly the best children's museum I've seen yet--stuff for all ages in each area, so both kids had a great time). The only problem was when we walked back to the train station the announcement boards weren't working, and I couldn't for the life of me hear the announcements over the station loudspeakers about which trains were departing from which tracks.

This led, of course, to disaster.

I'm sure that under different conditions I'd very much like Rhode Island.


Everyone in the back of the train car we were in pitched in to help decide how best to get us back to West Roxbury now that we were headed out of state at the height of commute hour.

There was great debate over whether we should get off immediately and take a cab back to Boston, or a cab back to West Rox, or whether we should get off the train and wait for its return (this was the only train that would be going to RI and back apparently at this time), or just ride the train all the way to the end and back.

The consensus, after much deliberation, was this last choice was the best. People offered their sympathy, their arms to hold Lili, their seats, and their cell phones to call Becca.

One guy stopped and murmured quietly to me "you're holding up like a champ. If this was my wife she'd be screaming and crying by now. Keep it together; you'll get home soon."

When we finally did make it back to Boston, the train conductor met us at the steps off the train, and walked us all the way to the right platform and right train. "This one," he said pointedly, but with a smile.

When we got home to West Roxbury, tired but more or less in one piece, a late commuter helped me carry Lili's stroller off the train and down the steps. "Heck of a day," he said cheerfully, as though he had some idea of how it had been, or maybe it was just the look on our faces.


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Jack's House

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Kate, my inlaws live in Mass, so I've spent a fair amount of time there, especially Salem, but Boston as well. It's a great part of the country. BTW, I think you are incredibly brave to make this move. Sending good thoughts your way, kiddo.
Funny how I was going to poke you to update your blog today, and hey... there it is anyway. ;)

Sounds great, and like you're settling in.

Hugs and kisses as always. :)
Congrats on the safe crossing. It boggles the mind at how settled in the place looks. You are right. Your sofa looks like the USS Enterprise after Christo got his hands on it. Assuming that Christo would work with leather. Hard to tell from the pic if it is leather or not. Guess it dosen't really matter, it's still huge.
Don't you love how it's already fully furnished for you!?! That's sweet. Gavin doesn't look very happy though...poor guy
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