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Aquapocalypse and Mother's Day: A Look Back

I've fallen behind a bit on personal updates for those who are interested, so here's a quick catch-up post on the Aquapocalypse and Mother's Day. Those who aren't interested can simply enjoy the picture I've posted from Mother's Day below.

Muffin and Squeaker Play With Their New Toys
Muffin and Squeaker Play With Their New Toys
Photo copyright ©2010 by Michael A. Burstein. All rights reserved.


As everyone local to Boston knows by now, on Saturday, May 1, the weekend before Brookline town election day, we had a water emergency. At 6:56 pm the phone rang, and as we were still observing the sabbath we did not pick up the phone. Caller ID displayed an unfamiliar 866 number, so we probably wouldn't have picked it up anyway. But I did hover by the answering machine to listen.

The robocall was from Dr. Alan Balsam, the director of public health in Brookline, and my first thought was that a weaponized virus had been released into the air from a local research lab. (That's what comes of being a science fiction writer.) Very quickly, though, I learned of the boil-water order, and I informed Nomi about it right away.

Fortunately for us, we had plenty of bottled water on hand because the babies are drinking formula as well as nursing. So we knew we'd be okay even if we couldn't run out to buy bottled water. (As it is, by the time shabbat was over, most Brookline stores were out of bottled water.) I went around to our neighbors to let them know about the boil-water order, which was a good thing, because some of them hadn't yet heard. Nomi and I were concerned about how other observant Jews would find out, but one of the nice things about living in Brookline is that people are aware of our restrictions. Afterwards, I heard stories of non-observant Jews and non-Jews checking in on their observant neighbors and heading over to synagogues to spread the word.

Sunday had a dash of irony to it, as the heat of the day led meteorologists to remind all of us to stay hydrated, while at the same time there was a boil-water order in effect. Nomi and I boiled water for doing dishes and washing the kids' bottles, but we continued to drink from the bottles we had. We also arranged for Nomi's parents, who live outside of the area affected, to bring us some bottled water in the evening. So we spent the day not really worrying about water. We went to the book launch party for Mistwood by Leah Cypess, and we bought some bottled water at a local supermarket. The supermarkets really stepped up to the plate, by the way; they got a lot of bottled water in and sold it pretty much at cost, because of the emergency.

On Monday I went back to the office, and brought bottled water with me. That turned out to be a good thing, as they had emailed everyone over the weekend to ask us to do so. But who reads work email over the weekend?

By Tuesday the boil-water order had been lifted, and it being Election Day, I had other things on my mind. Before I went out to campaign, however, Nomi and I did run all the taps as per instructed to clear the system.

In the end, they tested the replacement water that had been provided while the water main was out, and they discovered that apparently it would have been safe to drink without boiling after all. But better safe than sorry in my opinion.

Mother's Day

Sunday, May 9 was Nomi's first Mother's Day as a mother, and we decided to celebrate but stay low-key. Muffin and Squeaker gave their mommy a card, and I gave her one as well. The three of us took Nomi out to Rubin's for a Mother's Day breakfast. We decided to get there as early as possible so as not to disturb other customers. We needn't have worried. The owner (who knows us well) said we were always welcome, and the kids were amazingly well-behaved. They sat in high chairs and enjoyed the French fries we got them (Muffin couldn't get enough). We ran into friends in the restaurant and along Harvard Street, and we stopped at Magic Beans to buy toys for the girls (which you can see in the picture above).

For the rest of the day, we stayed at home, played with the kids, and watched some television to relax.

If you've read this far, congratulations! You've won a Nebula Award. Just respond in comments to claim it. :-)


I just want my spaceship to be able to go claim my nebula, please.



Somehow I'm guessing you're not going to actually give me a Nebula Award :P


Re: Narf

and yet, that's probably the closest I'll ever get to winning one (-:

the girls are adorable, glad you had a fantastic mother's day and weekend.

Re: Narf

and yet, that's probably the closest I'll ever get to winning one (-:

the girls are adorable, glad you had a fantastic mother's day and weekend, and glad the water didn't get you.
Yay for Mother's Day. Your girls are just adorable. :-)
Thank you!

"But who reads work email over the weekend?"

But who reads work email over the weekend?

*grin* Since this would be my only chance to win one.. ;)

Seriously though, I like reading your updates and the kidlets are so cute!
Thank you!
Sounds busy! And yay for growing and happy kidlets!
But who reads work email over the weekend?

Wow. You so don't live in the Seattle area with its high tech industry and its expectation of living to work.

You are, in this, a lucky, lucky man.
It's also the industry I'm in, and the company culture. There's a reason Working Mother magazine rates the company I'm at so highly as a place to work.
I don't know when you were last at Rubin's, but I strongly disagree. The food is delicious, and their specials menu is supreme.
OK. The kids are incredibly cute.

Thank you. I particularly like the way Squeaker is licking the toy. At their age, everything goes into the mouth.
You can have my Nebula. :-) It's cool to see how the girls are differentiating more as they get older.
But I did hover by the answering machine to listen.
So what happens when the answering machine dies, and you can't find another one? (Do they even sell them anymore?)
A quick Google search seems to imply that there are many answering machines to be had.

What will we do if they stop making answering machines? We'd revert to what we did before there were answering machines. If the phone keeps ringing incessantly on shabbat, we'll assume that there's an emergency and pick up. (Or we can rely on CallerID; if a family member calls who knows better, I'll assume it's an emergency.)

December 2016

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