Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Our Trek Eastward

We did not leave Minneapolis until Saturday, one day later than we had planned.

We decided to spend one additional day at home, since we had been running ourselves ragged, getting things ready for our departure, in the three days since we had returned from Britain.

As things turned out, we were pleased to be able to enjoy an extra day of rest at home before we set out on our long drive.

Josh and I and my middle brother left Minneapolis at 4:00 a.m. Saturday morning and we arrived in New York at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning. The doorman of my older brother’s building was waiting for us, and he let us into the garage and he let us into my brother’s apartment.

My brother and my sister-in-law were asleep when we arrived, but our beds were waiting for us—my brother and my sister-in-law had already pulled out the sofas in the living room and had made them into beds. We hit the sack immediately.

By 8:00 a.m., we were up. My nephew rises at 7:30 a.m., and he saw us as soon as he came out of his bedroom Sunday morning. He was very excited, running around the living room, touching us and talking to us, telling us to get up. My older brother soon picked up my nephew and took him into the kitchen and tried to keep him quiet, but we could still hear my nephew say, over and over, “Why don’t they get up? Why don’t they get up? Why don’t they get up?”

Not long after, we did.

We did not do anything on Sunday other than play with my nephew and visit with my brother and my sister-in-law. We heard all about their visit to London, and they heard all about our visit to Southern England. We went to bed early, and we were asleep before 9:30 p.m.

We left New York at 8:00 a.m. Monday morning and headed for Boston.

We first stepped into our apartment Monday afternoon.

The location is the best feature of our apartment. It is in a safe and quiet neighborhood, and it is as conveniently located in relation to law school and in relation to my workplace in downtown Boston as we may expect.

The apartment is small: a living room and a kitchen, with a half-wall dividing the two; a bedroom; two small closets; and a bath.

There is only one window. The window is in the living room, and the lack of windows makes the rest of the apartment sort of gloomy.

The ceilings are also low, which gives the apartment a cramped feeling.

Josh and I and my middle brother gave the place a quick look over, and we immediately left. We set out to find a nearby food store where we could buy food and household cleaning products.

When we had picked up what we needed, we returned to the apartment and spent the rest of the day giving everything a solid cleaning and polishing. We worked until midnight, when we went to bed for the night on the living room floor.

Today we rose early and continued to clean the apartment until the entire apartment was spotless. Once everything was clean, we went to a home improvement center to select paint, to pick up a few other things, and to rent a carpet cleaner.

The apartment does not require painting, but we decided to paint it anyway. We chose a brilliant shade of white in hopes that this brilliant shade of white will brighten the place up a bit. From what we have managed to paint this afternoon and evening, it seems to be doing the trick.

We shall complete our painting job tomorrow, after which we will give the carpeting a deep cleaning and leave the apartment and check into a hotel for one night in order to allow the carpeting to dry. We will pick a hotel with a pool.

Josh’s orientation begins on Thursday morning and continues through Friday night, so my brother and I will use those two days to shop for and assemble furniture.

All day today, while we worked, Josh and I discussed furniture for the apartment, and we have more or less settled upon what we plan to buy.

For the kitchen, we plan to buy only a table and chairs.

For the bedroom, we plan to buy a bed, but nothing else, at least for now.

For the living room, we plan to buy an integrated desk/computer table/sound system unit and two chairs, a three-unit set of bookshelves, a sofa and two end tables. We also will buy a sound system, but we plan to buy nothing more than a basic sound system, since we left a magnificent sound system back in our old apartment in Edina for my brother’s use.

Josh and I agreed that, if we are to live here for three years, the apartment needs all the help it can get. Consequently, Josh and I decided to buy new furniture, not used furniture. We hope to be able to find what we need at a Scandinavian furniture store, and we hope it does not cost us too much money.

Josh and I decided that the one thing we need to splurge on is, of all things, lamps—beautiful, colorful, well-designed lamps. We have decided to buy four lamps for the living room: one with a cut-crystal base, one with a deep-rose porcelain base, one with a deep-blue porcelain base, and one with a painted Chinese porcelain base. Between four beautiful lamps in the living room and the lights in the kitchen, the apartment should acquire some brilliance and color when all the lights are turned on.

We hope that we will be able to get everything picked out, purchased, delivered and assembled on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Our wish is to have the apartment fully habitable and fully presentable no later than Saturday evening (and we do not want to have to sleep on the floor any more nights than absolutely necessary).

On Sunday, my parents and my older brother’s family will drive up from New York to visit us, to inspect our living quarters, and to take my middle brother back with them when they leave.

On Monday, Josh and I plan to relax and get settled in. On Tuesday, Josh’s classes begin and I start my new job.

Josh and I have been enormously thankful that my middle brother has devoted a full week to helping us get settled in Boston. He, too, starts a new job on Tuesday, and I suspect that he would much rather have spent his final week of leisure time up at the lake, relaxing and swimming, instead of accompanying Josh and me East and involving himself in housecleaning, painting, assembling furniture and other tedious tasks.

He has been great company and he has been a great help to us. As always, he has been a great brother.

I owe him.


  1. Hi, Andrew.

    How are you and Josh? Not too spent, I hope.

    I'm doing considerably well, all things considered. Although I still do miss South America, I'm home now. Which means I'm no longer daydreaming about Buenos Aires or Rio at work. That's good, I guess...

    I think that lamps DO light up a room and not just for obvious reasons. I think they are key to making a living room look splendid and attractive and presentable.

    I'm glad that Josh and you are settling in nicely. In no time, your new digs will feel like HOME.

    Also, I wish I had a brother like your brother: it sure would be handy to have one around the house once in a while. But alas, my mother could no longer give me one.

    Take some time to rest, okay?

    Thinking of you always,


  2. Knowing you guys, I know your place must be spotless by now. I'll have to come up and check it out. I'll give it the white-glove test.

    I think you guys will find Boston perfectly fine for a short interval. If I survived four years in Boston, you guys can make it through three years.

    Happy Labor Day.

  3. J.R.:

    I am pleased you are doing well. Josh and I are fine. Thank you for asking.

    The lamps actually worked out well, but we will move the lamp with the Chinese base to the bedroom as soon as we buy something on which to place it. Three lamps for the living room proved to be more than enough. Four lamps were almost too much.

    My brother is indeed a prince. I am indeed a lucky guy to have two such wonderful brothers.

    I'll save the stories about how much they teased and tortured me while I was growing up for another time!

    Get some rest yourself.


  4. Yes, Paul, please bring your white gloves to Boston as soon as possible so that you can get your inspection started.

    And you WILL be comfortable on the sofa bed, I assure you. It has a very fine mattress. My brother said it was perfect.

    (Of course, after spending four nights sleeping on the floor, I'm sure ANYTHING would have been perfect.)