Last Friday (August 6) Jenny and I began the long drive to Malden, MA. The truck had air conditioning, but that was the only modern amenity. No cd player. No tape player. No reclining seats. No cruise control. I could go on. Still it was manageable for three and a half hours. We stopped at my friend’s parent’s house for the night. I remember consciously soaking in all the calm and tidiness knowing that it would be the last time I was in a well-organized room for a long time.
Next morning we got up, and Jenny set to work maneuvering the truck and trailer. It was a tough job, but Jenny and her truck driving skills took care of the problem in about half an hour.
The drive went relatively smooth for most of the day. I complained about the hills (driving up and down hills for the better part of the day is no walk in the park). I complained about the landscape making me feel claustrophobic (the woods in the midwest have nothing to the woods out here). I berated the Puritans for not working harder at clearing the land. Jenny wisely pointed out that these trees might’ve grown since that time.
Around 8 pm that evening we pulled into Boston. We were following the gps (thanks Hillsdale!) and then Cambridge Street popped up on the map. Within a matter of seconds we were barreling through Cambridge at 8 o’clock on a Saturday night. If you haven’t seen Cambridge imagine lots of windy, narrow roads congested with tons of happy pedestrians. Jenny was driving at the time, and we both white-knuckled it the entire way through. Did I mention that the roads here are terrible? With each bump followed by a sickening thud I imagined my beloved anthropologie dishes in shards. (Spoiler alert: all the dishes arrive safely.) Once we got to Boston, we more or less dropped out of the truck exhausted. Luckily someone from the school was there to welcome us. He even hopped into the truck and parallel parked it so the trailer wouldn’t get hit by a crazy Boston driver (yes, they’re crazy).
Three Hillsdale friends arrived and unloaded the truck in less than an hour. They were champions. The unsung heroes of the world. They are my new best friends. Never did three men seem so noble or unselfish. I could go on, but these three were wonderful, and good culinary things will be coming their way if it ever cools down enough to turn on the oven, and if I ever get around to buying normal groceries instead of frozen artichoke hearts (after years of reading Martha always recommending you use them I leapt at the chance to buy some yesterday).
Sunday Jenny and I slept in a little bit. We unpacked things for a few hours. The books seemed to have multiplied in the back of that u-haul, but other than that things went well. Then we went back to Cambridge for a lovely lovely brunch at Daedalus. After mimosas and huge plates of food we hit Home Depot for orange paint. Because painting my bed orange was iper imperative. I still haven’t unpacked my clothes, but my bed looks wonderful. Pictures coming soon. I promise.
Yesterday Jenny and I took the u-haul back to the shipping center. Another grand adventure. I hung out at the school office for a while filling out paperwork, listening to a tough group of Boston moms complaining about bussing. These women are tough. I was shocked at how loud they were yelling, but no one else in the office seemed to notice or even care. After the left I talked to the business manager about my lease, and he didn’t seem noticeably ruffled by having been yelled at for the past 45 minutes. Then we trekked out to Quincy. We couldn’t see any of the houses because they were tours only, but we did see the church built by the money John Adams left when he died. And we saw the tombs of John and Abigail, and John Q. and Elizabeth. Our tour guide at the church was great! Once he knew that we had heard David McCullough speak at Hillsdale he spent the rest of his time assuring us how close he was to McCullough and his family. Then he forgot all about us so Jenny and I slipped out.
After a lot of historical site seeing unluckiness Jenny and I called it a day and went to the beach. Like anything in Boston this is a beach that makes you work for any pleasure. The rocks were sharp and poky. It was like running a gauntlet just to get to the water. Once in the water the rocks still made standing pretty uncomfortable, but cold water has a way of numbing pain.
After that I took Jenny to the airport and grudgingly handed back the gps. I’ve been driving without it for a few hours now. I made it home from the airport and to Trader Joe’s and back without too much trouble. Today I need to go to the grocery store again and perhaps find out where the heck my training will be tomorrow. There’s no way I should leave that until 7:30 am tomorrow.