A Memory I Wish I Did Not Have

The Pentagon Memorial - Washington, DC

Americans who lived through September 11, 2001 will never forget where they were or who they were with that tragic day.    Ten years later, I have been listening to different radio and television shows recalling the feelings and emotions running though American citizens.  Now that we have had a decade to find somewhat of a clarity, a way to communicate what we went through and how we dealt with it for those first days following 9/11, Americans are sharing their stories for this anniversary.

I needed to get ready for work.  I didn’t have to go in until mid-morning.  Waking up to the TV announcing a plane had hit the World Trade Center, I knew it would be a big news day.  At first, personally, I thought it was a private plane tragically being flown off course. How wrong I was. While listening from the bathroom some statement grabbed my attention. As I turned toward the bedroom TV I saw the second tower struck. “OMG! WHAT THE HELL”, was more than likely what I yelled out. I can only remember my body starting to shake, a fear reminiscent of watching Red Dawn for the first time, overcame me.  America was being attacked!  My husband, Rod, worked night shift at the time and was still asleep.  He jumped out of bed to see if I was okay only to find out the source of my cry, he thought he was still dreaming.  This could not be happening!

Impact Site Crater - Flight 93 in Pennsylvania

I left the house and listened to the radio broadcast about the Pentagon attack.  As I was driving to work the first tower went down.  When I arrived, I turned on the TV in a back office just in time to see the second tower fall. The new casters were trying their best to be professional.  Flight 93 was not responding.  Then finally it was announced it had crashed in a Pennsylvania farm field.

I worked with a woman named Pat at that time. She and I were the only ones to show up for work that day. Even our boss stayed home. He called and said he would be there when it looked like things were settling down. We sat in that back office watching everything on a 13″ black and white TV.  I remember moving the antennas and searching for a clear station in a panic. That TV was our life line to what was going on in the country. There were no customers walking in the front door. There were only a few phone calls, mostly from contractors that wanted to discuss with someone the horrific events they were hearing on their truck radios.  After a while, there were two middle-aged women who strolled into our lobby. “Can we look at some houses”, they asked.  I remember thinking to myself REALLY TODAY.  But, I calmly asked them if the had been listening to the radio.  I must have been wearing my emotions on my face because they could tell something was wrong.  “No, we have been having a girls day” they said, why?  Pat and I started to tell them what  happened and took them to that old TV to prove we were not trying to pull something on them.  Across the TV screen were announcements that the schools in our area were in lock down and would be letting out early.  One of the women noticed it and exclaimed that she had to go pick up her child. At that point the two left quickly.   My sons arrangements had been taken care of and Pats daughter was old enough to drive.  Finally, around 2 p.m., we called our boss at home and requested to close for the day, he approved our request.

Pat went home to see her husband, Tim.  He was on the volunteer fire department and Pat was a member of the ladies auxiliary. Their station had decided to send paramedics to help out.  Everyone expected that the medical attention needed for thousands of people would be overwhelming.  The volunteers were packing up to leave for New York in a handful of hours when it is was discovered they would not be needed.  There were few survivors.

I had been keeping in contact with my husband, probably every hour.  I wanted to hear his voice for comfort.  Finally, I let him know I was on my way to Milford, DE.  Everyone wanted to help, but no one knew how.  So, I decided giving blood was something I could do.  Never in my life have I seen a blood bank with donors out the door.  They were lined up into the parking lot.  After awhile, someone figured out how many more bodies could donate and told the remaining donors they would have to give blood tomorrow.  Thank God!, I was the last one who gave blood that day.  I don’t know what I would have done if I had been turned away.  My nerves were about shot at that point.  I arrived home before dark and was able to either see or talk to my kids and family.  No one knew what was next but I felt a whole lot better when President Bush finally landed Air Force One in DC.  Now I know that he insisted to return to DC, but at the time I thought it was because it was safe.  Turns out it was safe and the attacks were over for that day.

Waiting to Give Blood

Many Americans that lived through the Pearl Harbor attack were not around during 9/11, so most of our country had not seen this type of destruction on “our” soil.  I live less than an hours drive from the Dover Air Force Base, as the crow flies about 100 miles from Washington DC and a two-hour drive to Philadelphia.  Being on the Delmarva peninsula makes me think of how close we are to the major cities and waterways that a terrorist might want to attack in the future. But I have decided, a long time ago, that I was not going to let some misguided hateful terrorist push me and my family from our home or way of life.  Do not get me wrong, I worry but not to the extent where it consumes me.

U.S. Soldiers In Tora Bora, Eastern Afghanistan - Looking for Osama and Al-Qaeda

I was never so proud to be an American as I was after the 9/11 attacks. You could feel the whole country swell up with pride as we intently listened to our Commander and Chief broadcast that America was pretty much going to kick ass and take names later.  To this moment I still feel the pride I felt hearing that.  We were going to attack Afghanistan.  One is never happy for a war to begin, but sometimes it is necessary.  To date, I am much more aware of my government and politics. Voting was always a given, but after that day I try to know whats going on and who’s doing it.  I do not hesitate to write my congressman or speak my peace.  Remembering that day has put into prospective how much it changed me.  But, at the same time it reminds me of what was lost; citizens, freedom and innocence.

Tribute in Light

Here is a prayer for America that I pray from time to time.  It makes me feel better and I feel like I am helping.  God please bless our country again. Let us see our errors and benefit from our good works. Give us a strong voice and wisdom to work with challenges that come our way.  Protect our soldiers.   And, please watch over us and show us your grace, Amen.

The 4th Of July Will Always Be Special To Me

Independence Day a.k.a. Fourth of July has always held a special day in my heart.  I always try to remember that this holiday is to celebrate the official adoption of America’s Declaration of Independence.  But what I personally hold near and dear are my Fourth of July memories of vacations to Texas.

When Tony and I first moved to Delaware back in 1987, he was only three years old.  Then about five years later, my youngest son Nick was born.  After learning Delaware did not allow its citizens to participate in personal fireworks, not even sparklers for the little ones.  I decided that each year we would always take our family vacation during the week of July 4th.  That meant giving up Thanksgivings and Christmases with our Texas family.  For over a decade we traveled each year to the Panhandle, visited family and enjoyed the holiday bar-b-ques and gatherings.

My S-Dad, Andy, was a long haul truck driver.  With anticipation of our visit each year, he would purchase the loudest and most powerful fireworks he could find along highway stands.  Andy felt the South Eastern states had the best merchandise.  Upon our arrival, Tony and Nick immediately would want to see the cornucopia of items their grandparents had saved for the big evening.  Tony always wanted to go set them off as soon as we got to the house.  Like kids inspecting Christmas presents under the tree, each item was viewed and studied for its potential.  “Mommy can we go now” is a phrase burned into my memories.

The day of the 4th was always such a long day.  The boys could hardly contain themselves.  It doesn’t start to get dark in West Texas until around 9:30 pm.  Eventually dusk would start to set and we all would make our way out to the rural telephone office where my Mom, Barbara works.  We always choose that location because it has a large parking lot with plenty of room to light up those precious roman candles, (my favorite).  Andy and Tony, with Nick trailing behind, morphed into the same age as they would run up to light a firework and then run back, stretching their necks to the sky then glancing toward me and Mom to make sure we saw each accomplishment.

Fast forward to today, the boys are grown now, Andy is retired and Mom is thinking about doing the same.  Tony lives in Pennsylvania and Nick is in college.  I have remarried and the family has expanded.  Our family trips to Texas are not as frequent as they once were.  But with all the changes I must say that the memories of Independence day will always be special to me.

Unfortunately but necessary, this years events will be limited all over the Southwest due to the wild fires plaguing our country.  I do hope that each endangered community does find other ways to celebrate our Nations holiday for its children.

Peace Out

My Best Half

"Cool Dude"My husband, Rod, is my better half.  Overall he is a pretty cool dude.  I am very lucky to of found him.  It took a few times in life, for both of us, to find each other.  The good news is, we both knew what we were looking for.  That’s what makes us a good team.

Rod and I were married on Valentine’s Day back in ’98.  Jokingly, he claims that getting married on that day won’t let us forget our Anniversary.  I say it’s so he only has to remember one present.  But truth be told, it gives me a break on the gifts also.  But as any long-term married couples know, the gifts wane and just having a good day with each other is worth its weight in gold.

Rod came with two girls and I came with two boys.  Now we have a wonderful blended family.  All the kids are grown now, and only one left in college.  There are a couple of son-in-laws, a potential daughter-in-law and three grandchildren.  We have truly been blessed.

Together, Rod and I have discovered festivals.  It’s now “our thing”.

Rod Had To Have Both Cheeks Painted

The state of Delaware has so many festivals that some weekends we have a hard time deciding which one to attend.  Our adventures also carry us out-of-state to a few festivals we attend every year.

I can honestly say that neither one of us ever thought we would become “those people”, festival people.  But we enjoy the time exploring, together.

I call Rod my better half because he has the humor and quick wit in our team.  His humor was what attracted me to him.  He works hard for the family.  And, I know I can count on him.  Our team has been strong for many years and I only look forward to many more years to come.

Peace Out

My First Rant

I have been leaning how to set-up a blog today.  It has been quite an experience but I am thankful that WordPress is pretty easy.  Just takes time to figure out.  As I have been looking for a new job, many of the qualifications have mentioned WordPress so I thought I better get on board.

As I have been setting this blog up, many thoughts have gone through the old brain.  What are you going to say?  Will this ruin you if someone actually sees this blog?  I decided that it is going to be for me.  I have made it over the hill and I want my reward.  In this case the proverbial reward is I am going to do what ever I want!

So, I hope we can become friends.  I am welcome to suggestions and ideas.  Please feel free to comment on anything posted, but please watch the language.

Peace Out

 

 

Herbs for the Kitchen

I believe that magic happens in the kitchen.  The kitchen is the life blood of the home.  Please take my quiz to see how well you can conjure up a little kitchen magic.

What’s the longest grudge you’ve ever held?

I have held a grudge against picking crabs for over 20 years.  A long time ago, I went to visit my -husbands grandmother in Maryland.  While there, I was strongly encouraged to pick crabs – HATED IT!  All day long picking those crabs for their sweet tasty meat that I could not have.  My in-law was going to make crab cakes to sell.  I was just helping out.

This past weekend I finally picked wonderful fat blue crabs.  I missed out so many years.  They were wonderful and tasted so great – YUMMY.  Why did I punish myself?  Thats a question maybe I should think on.