Sick of this

On Thursday morning, I woke up to a kid who was super sick. He’d been throwing up all night, and had been too tired to even interrupt my sleep to inform me. (Considerate child!) I worked from home for the third day of the week to tend to him. It wasn’t too hard – he spent the entire day on the couch reading Harry Potter IV. But a day spent not in motion by a nine year old boy is a day he was really sick.

I didn’t think too much of it. It’s pretty frequent for the kids to bring stuff home that Adam and I have already had, and we don’t get it. Plus Grey has the super touchy stomach of doooooom, so something that made him barfy might barely affect me! I was glad to see he was well enough for school on Friday and headed into work feeling Just Fine (not even thinking about it, I was feeling so fine).

At noon, my lunch didn’t sit quite right.

At 3 I warned my meeting companion that I wasn’t feeling well, and she might not want to sit too close to me.

At 3:30 I had to leave a meeting, urgently.

Now, here’s the trick. I carpool. And my carpool buddy had a huge project due and was leaving on a week’s vacation. I know this wasn’t going to be a day we could leave at 3:30. So I gritted my teeth and endured. Your choices in these circumstances are rather limited. What should you do? That ride home was hair-raising. I was *SICK*. In fact, I think it was a very lucky thing I did have a carpool, as I was in absolutely no condition to drive myself home. I’m not quite sure what I would’ve done. My carpool partner gets a million kudos for getting me safely home. I struggled to even get out of my boots and into bed. I slept from then until this morning at 9 am – a full 16 hour snooze with brief breaks for water. (I had a massage scheduled. Cancelled! Argh.)

I was touched by the tenderness of the men in my life. Adam attended me with solicitous and loving care. Thane offered to let me sleep with Wolfie. Grey plied me with blankets, a stuffed creeper (“Which is worse? Throwing up, or being blown up?”) and two books. I was in good hands.

But now I’m all done! Feeling better! And watching my husband and youngest son with a gimlet eye.

All these pictures look the same
All these pictures look the same

Meanwhile, outside the house….

We actually went to Ikea today. You could argue it wasn’t a great idea. It probably wasn’t. But Einstein’s Workshop classes for today were cancelled (a bit preemptively – I think they could’ve done it). And I’d been wanting to go to Ikea for quite a while. For being under a blizzard warning, we had considerable company at Ikea. We got the stuff we wanted to redo our mudroom (might be my Thursday post) and made it back before anyone else got sick or the snow started getting heavy.

But now, it’s heavy snow. Tonight it will get heavier, and start blowing hard. Tomorrow – another day – it will be in the negative temperatures and low visibility and a foot or so of snow. Church is already cancelled. We’re trapped again. I have had three day weekends I’ve looked forward to more than this one. There isn’t even the feeling we’re almost done. There’s more arctic air in the forecast (the highest temperature in the next week is 7 days) and there may be another storm on the way midweek. Our backs are sore. Our roofs have ice dams. Our schools may have to run until July. We’ve done all the fun storm activities, and all that’s left is the drudgery. Hopefully we can find some fun and magic in this, our fourth blizzard… but I’m not so sure.

On the upside, it’s Valentine’s Day! I found the perfectest gift ever for my husband, a periodical of Medieval Warfare, assuming our mail ever gets delivered again. I was the recipient of a Kindle that does all the things I want my Kindle to do, like 3G and backlighting. Ahhhhhh…. I’ve been on his account on my Kindle, and it means I can’t sync to my other apps, so I decided to forge ahead and order on my own for this one. Very exciting. I gave the boys meaningful and heartfelt homemade cards. I’m so very lucky to have three such wonderful Valentines!

Bus Comes, Bus Goes II

The 354 Woburn Express (via I93) at State Street

When I took a job in Boston’s Innovation District, I assumed that I could somehow take public transit to get there. I was right, but not in the T-centric way I had thought. I ended up taking the 354 Express Bus from Montvale to State Street, then walking nearly a mile through the financial district to my renovated-brick-warehouse office. I wrote about my 354 commute back when it was new.

I’ve done this for almost 18 months now, and for 18 months it’s continued to be the best way to get to work. Oh, there are downsides. When you’re 2 minutes late for the bus, it makes you 22 minutes late to get where you’re supposed to go. Every once in a while (not that often) a bus fails to come, or comes late. Then, not only are you late but often you end up standing (or sitting on the floor – it’s a long ride.) Or – worst of all – the bus comes five minutes early. Parking at the bus stop is a very big problem, with an unused lot sitting blocked and idle while we cram our cars in to tiny cracks in the approved lot, or park a few blocks away and hoof it over a major road that has very little pedestrian traffic. And of course, that mile long walk is less fun in 16 degree weather, or with blowing-sideways rain, or in 90 degree heat with humidity.

There are some pretty awesome upsides too, though. I have done more reading in these last 18 months than I did in the five years prior. I read some books for information, some books to keep current, and plenty of books just for fun. The cast of characters I identified in those early days have become friends. There’s John, the mayor of the bus stop. Matt has an uncanny knack for arriving 2 minutes before the bus does, not matter what. Elizabeth and I have become friends on Goodreads because of our overlapping interests. Chris has read the entire Sword of Shannara series twice in my knowing him. The burly Viking I walk past on my commute is named Adrian (he’s a lawyer) and the magician is Andy, and “Grampa Munster” as I call my older friend in jeans has assiduously never made eye contact this entire time.

But tomorrow, the commute comes to an end for me.

The reason I could not just drive to work are because:
– Taking the carpool lane on this particular route can save you about 15 – 20 minutes every single day
– Parking is $15 a day
– A two+ hour stuck in traffic commute is not fun at all.
– I care enough about the environment and congestion to not want to add to the problems where it can be helped.

Let’s review why I couldn’t carpool, though.

1) It’s weird finding some random stranger to carpool with. What if you hate them? What if they kidnap you and sell you the gypsies?
2) I didn’t know anyone who worked near me and lived near me.
3) My daycare pickup/dropoff schedule is uncompromising. I CANNOT drop off before 8. (And I need to get to work by 9 for an hour and fifteen minute commute – thus my husband does most dropoffs.) I MUST pick up before 6 or there is great wrath.

So to carpool with someone, I would need to be really good friends with them. They would need to have my same rigid schedule. And they would have to live pretty close to me.


My next door neighbor and good friend, whose sons attend identical classes in school and afterschool, has had her company move headquarters. To the building next door to my building. SCORE.

So tomorrow is the start of a new regime for me… a regime where I don’t have an express bus pass for the 453 ($160/month), but I do have a parking card. We’re taking turns driving, and taking turns with whether the “guys” or the “girls” will handle kid duty on a particular day. We’ve already agreed that it needs to be perfectly kosher to read in the car instead of converse. I could hardly ask for a better setup!

It sort of feels like a time of change for me. Not only do I now have a new commute, but I also have a new desk on a new floor. On Friday, I moved my things to a new location. It’s funny how much a new spot changes your perspective on a day’s work. I’m sure I’ll get used to it quickly, but it does seem like a number of changes, all at once!