NextGen Johnsons, checking in at 34,000 feet on our way to Las Vegas, Nevada. Phew – it’s been a crazy few months.  It feels like as soon as we arrived in Boston we left again!  Let me explain.

In July 2012, our first month in Boston, we had a wonderful welcoming party that took place in the form of a boat ride on the 4th of July with cousins and friends. It happened to be a special 4th (some sort of decade-year, or an alignment with another historic event – there’s always something historically special going on in Boston) and so there were boats and planes and people galore!  We spent the morning driving around the Hahbah (Harbor) watching the boats and admiring the show that the Blue Angels were putting on.  There must have been hundreds of boats, from tiny sail boats to giant yachts, and every size in-between.  There was also quite a military / navel presence there, which we found out when we got too close to a Navy destroyer that was docked in the harbor.

It was a hot day, but mostly cloudy, providing a nice layer of “shade” for everyone below. We kept cool by drinking plenty of “juice” and munching on chips and all the junk food you can think of.

After the hahbah tour, we drove through the water-lock into the Charles River where we anchored for the rest of the day right by the Hatch Shell, where the Boston Pops play their traditional 4th of July celebration concert.

… I don’t know how this turned into a recap of every moment of that day. I don’t have time for that, and who cares?!   Suffice it to say, the day was “fine.”

July turned to August.  August turned to September, where the first chill of fall hit exactly on Labor Day.  The Rose found a paralegal job in the city and I continued to work on the little app project of mine.

Normalcy was slowly forming as we continued to settle into our little Southie apartment… until one day in November we got the notice from TechStars that we were accepted into the program.  That changed everything.

From that point on, we were essentially packing our bags for San Antonio, TX.  We knew we’d be there for 3 solid months, and so the idea of doing much of anything here in Boston seemed a bit useless.  Sure, we did the holidays and purchased some warm clothes to keep the Rose from freezing in the brisk Fall / Winter air. But for the most part, our eyes were now set on Texas.

After TechStars (see previous entries about that) we immediately were accepted to another startup accelerator, but this time in Los Angeles, California.  Yup, for the next 3 months we’d be spending most of our time in our old home, which we left only months before.

To clarify, here’s the timeline:

July 4th:  Arrive in Boston

Jan 14th:   Arrive in Texas

May 1st: Arrive back in Boston

May 14th: Arrive in Los Angeles

August 14th:  Arrive back in Boston

Unlike Texas, we’re not staying in LA for the full 3 months.  Rather, we have chosen to commute 4 or 5 times throughout the 3 months, with the final trip being the longest  — basically the entire month of July.

I don’t know about the Rose, but I’m looking forward to being done with “accelerators” for a while.  Too much accelerant and not enough life-wood means the fire burns too quickly and doesn’t last.   Eh. Not the best analogy, but you get the idea.


It Snowed Today

All of the news stations were a buzz — The snow is coming… The snow is coming!   And sure enough, at about 10pm last night a silent shower of cold whiteness came down upon Boston.

My wife, although sick with a cold, was giddy at the prospect.  “It’s Snowing! Yeaaa!” She exclaimed as she turned off the lights in the house to see outside the window into the nighttime snow scene.

Within an hour, everything was covered in a cozy layer of white. And the the non-stop news coverage seemed to indicate the end of the world was coming…by snow storm!  There were reporters standing by the major highways and in vast parking lots, covered in wet snow, hoping to deliver their live report in perfect sync with the snowplows that occasionally passed by (for without that, the scene was pretty calm and desolate).

I particularly enjoyed watching each of them (all 5 I saw) bend over to pick up a snow ball while doing their routine walk and talk towards the camera, as if to prove to the audience that the snow was there.  “See? I can hold it – it’s real snow!”

And in part because of their overzealous reporting my hopes were lifted.  Was this the first major snow of the year?  Would I wake up to a good 6-12″ of white fluffy goodness?  Would my wife be able to make her first snow angel ever ever?

The harsh reality began at 6am the following morning.  I was suddenly awoken by a harsh scraping sound coming from outside my 1st floor window.  My attempts to sleep through it were thwarted as more frequent and louder scrapes echoed through the otherwise peaceful snowy nighttime scene.

I sat up in bed and for a moment, it was quiet.  The air was cold and the only light was coming from the streetlamps — the sun was still about an hour away from rising.

“SCRAAAAAAAPE — Scrape–Scrape”  — there it was again.  Who could be shoveling at this time of night??!   I looked out the window and to my dismay found my landlord, an 85 year old woman who can best be described as “stubbornly feisty” shoveling the front sidewalk at 6 in the morning.

It should be mentioned that I made a verbal agreement with my aging landlord to shovel when a snow storm hit. But the terms of when and how much shoveling should occur were never set.  Nevertheless, I knew I had to go out there.

After suiting up in full winter gear, I trudged out into the darkness and greeted my landlord, who greeted me with, “I suppose I’m waking everyone up here, huh?”

After a lengthy debate I managed to convince her to go inside but not after learning a pearl of wisdom I’ll never forget when I explained, “it’s only 6 in the morning, we don’t need to shovel this early.”

She replied, “If there’s one thing I’ve learned, if it snows, you don’t sleep.”