my words on september 11, 2001

September 10th, 2011

I started writing on the Internet in 2003. It wasn’t until the year after my daughter was born that I started writing about September 11th. Before she was born, I just dealt with the memories on the inside. Since then I’ve realized that some day I’m going to have to talk about all of this with her. Not only am I going to have to explain the historical events, but how that day affected her mom and dad. I’ve been changed forever. Will my words change her forever?

Even though I wasn’t writing online back then, I was active in an online forum. I had stumbled upon this group of people who discussed all kinds of things: politics, life, food and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Really, what more could you ask for in online friends?

They were the ones I spent most of the day with on September 11th. I was alone in my office. News websites weren’t loading. TV reception was horrible. I needed to know what was going on. I needed to talk to other people. Thankfully, they were there, looking for the same things.

Those words are locked as our permanent archive of that day and the day after. Ten years later, I checked to see if they were still there and was transported back to my desk in an office building on 17th and K.

My thoughts are scattered throughout multiple conversations about different topics, but I’m going to try and pull them together for my own historical record. I’m not going to edit them too much for grammar or context. I hope they aren’t too disconnected. They obviously make sense to me. Ten years is a long time, and even though I feel like I remember everything as if it was yesterday, there are details that I don’t want to forget.

I’m in DC. I’m stuck downtown. a few blocks from the White House. it’s major gridlock. my co-worker’s husband works at National. we are getting scary reports of another hijacked plane. I’m shaking. it seems like dream. I’m so glad you all are online. I can’t get through to CNN, MSNBC, nothing. we have the news on, but there are so many rumors. stay in touch!

I’m still stuck in DC. things are quieting down. gridlock is over. most places are closed. I’ve got a ride out around 3 pm. checking the forum and watching tv until then.

I can’t figure out what this underlying feeling is that I have. I think it is anger. I’m really angry. angry at people who would do this. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like this before. and I don’t know where to direct my anger. I want to cry, but I can’t.

a friend’s son is in school right outside of dc. they are staying open normal time. trying to keep some sense of normalcy for the kids. only 4th graders and up have been told what has happened. I think this is a good thing. knowing how numb I feel right now, I can’t even imagine the panic a child would feel.

ok, I’m signing off. the mayor has ordered people to evacuate DC so I am catching a ride and will wait for my husband in maryland. good luck to all.

low tech weapons? they used a plane full of fuel! where did you all hear about the box cutters? scary. I heard on the news an interesting comment, that made me take pause. we live in a country that is very open. we don’t want security cameras on our street corners, we don’t want a military presence on our streets. as a result, we are vulnerable to these types of attacks. but would you want to live under tighter security and give up other freedoms?

jeesh! how can we can protect ourselves against attacks like this? we are still waiting to hear about two more family members in NYC. all day at work I kept thinking, “I can’t wait to be home and watching this on tv instead if it happening down the street.” now that I home, I feel emotionally exhausted. I am so grateful that my husband and I are safe. thanks again to all of the wonderful people on this forum. you’ve all had a very grounding affect on me today. I really appreciate it.

I’m back in DC today. 17th and K. it feels bizarre. things look the same but don’t feel the same. the guy who plays the violin by the metro is still there. same homeless people hanging out on the corner. the woman who sells krispy kremes on the corner is still hollering “donuts for sale.” the perimeter around the white house is 18th and I, so I know I am close to things. I don’t ever pass by the pentagon, so its images on tv feel just as unreal as those from new york. I don’t know how to explain it. I just feel flat. deflated. sad. we heard from our cousins in new york. they are safe. thank god!

ok, I take back what I said earlier today. I just came back from lunch and there are humvees on every corner along with the National Guard. I don’t know how I am going to get any work done.

more evacuation in dc: apparently they evacuated the street down from me (16th I think) around 4 pm because of a bomb scare. I didn’t even know it. a coworker just called me from the street saying it’s crazy gridlock with tons of police down there. how did I not hear about this for two hours?

I finally began to release when I saw the guy from Cantor Fitzgerald. before then I was in such a state of denial, nothing seemed real. but now, it is really starting to sink in. I cried a lot last night.

Those words aren’t the only ones I’ve avoided for the past ten years. Downstairs boxed up in the basement with other miscellaneous stuff from our house in Maryland are three magazines — Time, New York and The New Yorker — dated September 24, 2001. Magazines that were purchased, but never read. I think it’s time to get them out. Time to honor the heroes and victims within those pages by reading their stories.

This is going to be a tough week.

she earned it

August 2nd, 2011

ice cream

Four shots and a finger stick deserves some ice cream, don’t you agree?

eyelashes

July 30th, 2011

practicing photography

my karate kid

July 22nd, 2011

tae kwon do

spring fair

April 30th, 2011

We managed to squeeze in a little fun time in between errands and chores this weekend. The church were Mirabella goes to preschool had a Spring Fair today.

red light green light

We only stayed for a short time, but she managed to play games, make crafts, get her face painted and have a cupcake. Add beautiful weather and we had all the ingredients for a fun spring morning.

face painting

happy arbor day!

April 29th, 2011

Not quite what the founders had in mind, but it’s the thought that counts. Did you know Arbor Day was started in Nebraska?

planting a tree

spring break buddies

March 25th, 2011

spring break buddies

how long before she starts doing crosswords?

February 8th, 2011

word search

snow cat

February 5th, 2011

fun in the snow

It finally warmed up enough to go outside and play in the snow this week. There’s a chance for more white stuff in the next few days. Good thing we’ve got lots of hot cocoa.

what are the elk having for lunch?

January 31st, 2011

I love to visit the bison at Pioneers Park, but my daughter isn’t a big fan. It’s tough trying to convince her to do a little drive by hello. (I know I’m the one driving, but without her buy in, the way home gets kind of whiny.)

I’ve discovered that sometimes I just need to try a couple of different approaches until I get the answer I want.

• • • • • • • • • •

Let’s drive by and visit the bison before we go home.

I don’t want to.

Why don’t you like visiting the bison?

I don’t know.

Do you like visiting the elk?

Sometimes, but I already saw them today.

Were they having lunch?

No.

I bet they are having lunch now. It’s almost Noon. Want to check?

YES!

• • • • • • • • • •

pioneers park

I’m not sure what the elk are doing. The one on the left could be having lunch, don’t you think?

pioneers park

“Look Mama! A gaggle of geese!”

pioneers park

Last, but not least, the bison.