Why I Love Our Temporary Apartment

October 15, 2013 in Family life

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!


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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Janine Huldie October 15, 2013 at 9:42 am

You are so right about life being so not simple anymore at this stage in my own life either, but I am so with you if anything can make it feel simpler and definitely more at home then why not! And seriously awesome that it is only $30 a day, because you are right not sure where you could find in this day and age a place to stay for that price!
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ohboymom October 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Agreed – if a hotel charged $30/night, I’d be scared to stay there!


Jessica October 15, 2013 at 10:14 am

I’m so glad you guys are finding some positives in all of this. And that is so great that those apartments are available, and at such a good rate! I drove by MGH this weekend, and thought of you guys. Hugs!
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ohboymom October 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Yes, the low rate of the apartment made this even a more pleasurable experience. :)


Marina October 15, 2013 at 11:03 am

Em, I know how you love the city life! I’m so glad you can get a piece of it for $30 per day
(unheard of) during this crazy time in your life. You just took me back to those laundry elevator rides and the ability to wash it all in one shot! The place looks very cool! Thanks for bringing us there with you.


ohboymom October 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I know my photos were a bit amateur, but I hope you got a feel for it…I know you’re a city girl at heart too!


Kristi Campbell October 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm

I love that you and Little Dude are finding some happy in Boston. I also love the reminder of living in a not-great but not-bad apartment and the freedom of those years. $30 is awesome, too, especially to be able to walk out the front door and easily find new and cool restaurants. I’ve only been to Boston once but really liked it. Hope you love 2-K as much for the rest of your stay as you do right now! Thinking of you and LD all the time. <3
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ohboymom October 15, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Only 3 more days to go up here…while I’m happy for him that this phase is almost over, I can honestly say a part of me is going to miss it here! As always, thanks for your continued thoughts. <3


Kelly October 15, 2013 at 6:43 pm

You guys scored! You really can’t get anything like that anywhere for 3o bucks a day! I’m sure it’s convenience is a warm welcome.

Now don’t you wish you had a dozen washers and dryers in your basement at home? I like the sound of that too!


ohboymom October 15, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Ha – yes, a few extra washers and dryers in my house would make my life so much easier! And, I’d even make them free to use instead of requiring a payment card.:)


Jill October 15, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Another great post. However, I am shocked that YOUR husband was able to deal with anything other than the Four Seasons. We have to stay at a Hampton Inn in a few weeks and I’m freaked out. I’m bringing Buggie Beds.


ohboymom October 15, 2013 at 7:40 pm

What are buggie beds??? I was a little concerned that the apartment had bed bugs because I had 2 bites on my back, but it was a false alarm…I think/hope.


Jill October 15, 2013 at 7:41 pm

It’s the best selling product from Shark Tank: http://www.buggybeds.com/


Jim Kaplan October 16, 2013 at 8:31 am

Don’t know what rock I’ve been hiding under, but I remember reading about your mom what seemed like 2 weeks ago and now I just saw your blog about your son and quickly read a few others. I won’t say any of the things you don’t want us to say, other than as a (distant) friend and fellow wolverine — please provide me with your address in westchester (use my email — jkdentalsales@gmail.com, and maybe a favorite delivering restaurant and a time someone is there to receive) so that I can send your husband/sons a dinner while you’re away over the next few days. I suffered a massive heart attack 5 years ago (100% blockage of the widowmaker artery, but recovered literally within hours due to a well placed stent) and vowed to help those who are in need due to life threatening medical issues.

Sounds like your son is a fighter and spirits all around are high. Boston obviously has a great hospital in MGH, but when the treatments are over, there are some pretty interesting sites in and around the city you should check out. My positive thoughts are with you and your family. Look forward to hearing from you.


Kenya G. Johnson October 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Well that is certainly a wonderful bright spot. It think your digs are adorable! Glad there’s no bugs.
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ohboymom October 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Me too — if there were bugs then I’d be checking into the nearest hotel I think!


Dana October 16, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Your little kitchen looks just like the one in my apartment in college! Except much cleaner, and probably more food in the pantry than ramen noodles and oreos. Thinking about you and Little Dude as always!
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Julia October 16, 2013 at 5:17 pm

It looks very welcoming and happy, warm and colorful. You are a wonderful wonderful wonderful mom. I see where Little Dude gets some of his strength :) Hope you are both doing well oxoxo


Julie Burton October 16, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Emily, what a cute place! So glad you and Your Dude are comfortable. I love your cool way of putting such a positive twist on things. It’s refreshing and inspirational. We are heading to Ann Arbor this weekend for parents weekend and I will visit the Big House for the first time! Will be thinking of you and your little Dude! We will meet there some day soon! Go Blue!
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ohboymom October 18, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Thanks for reading and commenting…we are now home from Boston, but it truly was a positive experience living there temporarily. Have fun at the Big House — there’s nothing like it!! Go Blue!


Ruchira October 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm

it’s always a treasure to go back memory lanes. Yes, I agree our lives were much simpler and am glad you looked at it that way, Emily.

This journey will end soon, my friend thus, collect all those memories and make a scrapbook out of it :)
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