A few weeks ago, Justin and I had a free Saturday afternoon, and the weather was just perfect. We decided to hop on the T and head down into the city to soak up some of the sights and to play “tourist” for a day.
Justin has developed an incredible mental map of the Back Bay since he began working there this fall, and he loves hanging out on Newbury Street or at Boston Common. On his lunch breaks, he heads down Boylston Street and I can often tell where he’s been based on his instagram photos.
It took me a little while longer to warm up to the city. As many of you know, we moved here from Michigan in late summer, and like many others, I tend to be wary of new things. Last month I was on a work trip and I found myself looking forward to going home to Boston, and I remember being a little surprised by the thought. Boston? Home? I really hadn’t thought of it that way until recently.
We had a lovely time this past weekend with family in town to visit, and on Monday morning I know that Justin wanted to head down to watch the marathon finishers. He’s run his fair share of marathons, and there’s something about all of that excitement and positive energy around a race that we both love. And anyone who has run a marathon knows that Boston is iconic—it is THE race. The marathon finishes right down the street from Justin’s office, and he’d been tracking the progress as the crew set up for the race the previous week. It was easy for him to do, as he usually takes the T to Copley Square, right where the finish line is set, and then walks down the block to work.
We were a bit tired on Monday morning, and I have been nursing a knee injury. I mentioned to J that standing around for hours on concrete might not be the best, and although I bet he was disappointed, he didn’t let it show. We had a lazy morning on the couch instead, watching the marathon coverage while I worked on hand stitching my single girl quilt. Having lived with Justin and his Runner’s World subscription for a number of years, I actually had a few favorites in the race, and we cheered on the elite US runners as they finished. And then, for a little while, we went about our day as usual, until we heard the news.
Like many, many others, we are just stunned and devastated by the bombing. Honestly, I think we’re having a little trouble processing it. The photos and footage of the bomb and aftermath are right there—right there in the spot Justin walks every day. Right there where we walked around the city, making plans to come back to shop and to eat at every restaurant that looked good. Right there in the city we just recently learned to call home.
I appreciated and responded to every message and text that we got from family and friends checking to see if we were ok. Our lives are still a little out of whack, and I think they will be for a bit longer. Justin can’t return to work yet, because his office building is in the official crime scene area and is inaccessible until the FBI wraps up their investigation. I never thought I’d write a sentence like that. I’m thinking about what I might do to help, and of course my thoughts turn to quilts, as that is one thing I can offer. I have it on good authority that we will be brainstorming about this at the Boston Modern Quilt Guild meeting this coming weekend, and I’m glad to know I’m not the only one thinking about what good quilts (and quilters) can do at this time. Mostly I just feel heartbroken for this city I have been learning to love.