As you know (or as I hope you know if you’ve been following my new and improved blog), Little Dude and I have been bunking down in Boston, MA while he receives six weeks of radiation treatments at MGH, the best hospital ever. If you read this post, you’d already know how much I am enamored with this hospital.
Although it’s difficult being away from home and my other dudes, we’ve made a little home away from home for ourselves. MGH once again made this easy.
Oh, you need a place to stay during treatment?
Why not just stay right across from the hospital for $30/day?
Cheap and convenient. We couldn’t ask for more than that. Does anything cost as little as $30/day anymore? Nothing in my neck of the woods. I don’t think $30 lasts in my wallet for more than a few hours back home.
Here in Boston, we are in a doorman building on the second floor, where there are six apartments designated for use by families undergoing treatment at the hospital. The seventh apartment is called “the loft” a community space for the families to gather and hang out.
When my husband and I first looked at the apartment, I was concerned he might think it was too small for the Little Dude and me. It’s a studio apartment, with one bed in the living room and a twin bed in an alcove. Here’s a view from the alcove:
However, he walked in and immediately declared, “this is great! I think we could all stay here on the weekend if we wanted!”
I thought he was joking. This optimism was coming from a man who thinks the Four Seasons hotels are good, but not great and who refuses to stay in a Holiday Inn unless it’s a last option. I’m not sure where he came from. We both grew up in families that did not place a large emphasis on lush accommodations when traveling. I have memories of staying in motels, not hotels, when on vacation. My husband has memories of very long drives and cramming into houses of relatives rather than staying in a hotel at all.
But, I suppose when you know your situation is temporary and it’s for a very important reason, you easily see the bright side. Sure enough, our first weekend here, my husband and other two dudes joined us in our studio apartment. There were two pull-out couches and extra blankets, so we were all set. So what if we had to step over one another to get to the bathroom?
As my husband was cooking breakfast for everyone in the tiny galley kitchen the next morning, he said he liked the apartment because it reminded him of one of those post-college, struggling to stay on your feet type of apartments: A decent, but not too decent apartment. I realized he was right. And that’s why it felt so homey and comfortable. Here’s the kitchen:
Even though I was convinced that at any moment, I’d see roaches crawling around the kitchen, or that I’d contract some odd virus from stepping barefoot on the bathroom floor, I liked our temporary digs because it reminded me of a much simpler time in my life, when I was looking forward and idly wondering what I was going to do with the rest of my life.
Now, I’m right in the thick of “the rest of my life” and it’s hard. It’s mostly great, but it’s also filled with less looking forward and a lot more chaos, stress, and real life shit.
So, I love our cute studio because it brings me back to the late 1980s, when we were only worrying about ourselves, our next night out, our next meal and occasionally our next paycheck. Nothing else beyond that really mattered too much.
And, living here in Boston has made me recall the things I loved about city life. Rarely cooking because so many restaurants were a phone call or a cab ride away. Walking, instead of driving, to go to the drugstore. Hopping on the subway or taking a cab if needed. And simply walking out your door to feel energized by the urban action around you.
Little Dude likes it here, too. He loves riding an elevator several times a day and checking the mail using the little key on our keychain. Another form of entertainment is the laundry. At home, it’s pure drudgery. Here, we ride the elevator to the mysterious basement, put money on the key card to operate the machines, and can do all our loads at the same time. Best of all, there are soda and snack machines in the laundry room. A veritable Disney World down there!
Yup, there’s only one conclusion I’ve drawn as we finish up our final days of living here: Apartment 2-K rocks!