Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget

Ten years ago today, I was getting ready to make my way into work at the House of Flowers, when I got a call from my Mom. She told me to turn on the TV. A plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. Naturally we both wondered if it was an accident. I even remember telling her that was the only conclusion. This couldn't be a deliberate attempt on American lives. We weren't at war. 

It just couldn't be a deliberate attack... 

I continued getting ready. Brushing my teeth, putting on shoes, making the bed, etc. All the while, watching the news coverage but assuming this was a terrible accident. Within the next few minutes, everyone's fears had be realized. I watched in horror as the 2nd plane crashed into the 2nd tower. Minutes later the towers fell. I was in shock. I was horrified. I even thought about how I had been to the top of the World Trade Center in high school. Were there other tourists there that day, like I had been just a few years back?

In my mind I knew I still had responsibilities, so I got in the car and went to work. As I walked in everyone was standing around listening to the radio thru the speakers on the phone systems. No one was really saying anything, just listening to the newest information. We answered calls that day and delivered flowers just like other days, but it wasn't like any other day. I had to leave work for a night class, but we were dismissed immediately so we could be home with our families. I went home alone with a sense of uneasiness I had never felt before or since that day. I was a 19 year old junior in college. I could have never been prepared for that day. 
I remember the images and video of the sirens, smoke, fires, people jumping from buildings, firemen covered in dust, explosions, people walking and people running, debris flying everywhere, even silence. I also remember how I felt. I was so scared, so helpless, so confused. How was this happening? These memories are so fresh it all seems like it happened yesterday.

I've often wondered how my life was changed by the events of September 11, 2001. I wonder if Josh would have joined the Marine Corps. There are so many what ifs, but none of them really matter now. This is our reality. I can't express the appreciation I have for all members of the armed services who decided to join or continue to stay in the military because of the terrorist who decided to kill innocent Americans that day. I can't fully understand what it is like to take that oath to protect America from "all enemies, foreign and domestic" but I appreciate the men and women who have made that choice. They protect me, my family, and our way of life so I don't have to. I try to never take that for granted because we are so blessed to live in a country where we are free to pursuit our own version of happiness. Prayers still go up for the families who lost friends and loved ones, though words will never really be enough to cover their sadness. 

I watched some footage again today, and I was rocked by the events all over again. I remember. I hope we never forget. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Before you begin to wonder...

Gray and I have been leading a jet-set lifestyle over the last few weeks, which is why you haven't heard anything from us. Things are beginning to settle back into a routine, but that will be upset once again when I head to Disney next week. Gray is too short to really enjoy the "Happiest Place on Earth" so I'm going to go with my sister and her oldest daughter while Gray gets some catch-up time with his Grammy. 

I have lots to post about like the last 4 books I've read since finishing The Help (Have I mentioned that I LOVE the Nook Color?), a fabulous 18 state road trip, and some other random fun things Gray and I have been up to over the last several weeks. 

I'm still wading through too many images to admit, but here are a few to give you an overview of our epic road trip. Gray and I boarded a plane in San Diego and flew to Denver. Mom and Claire (one of my nieces) picked us up. Jennifer arrived in Denver shortly after I did. We loaded the bags and then got on the road. 
Gray really loves to fly! 
From Denver, we drove into Wyoming. It's a glorious state. I felt like I needed a horse and a pair of cowboy boots to really fit in. First official stop? The Grand Tetons.
Amazing little church with a picture window to a great view of the mountains. 
Next stop? Yellowstone. I'm still in awe of how fantastic Yellowstone is. If you haven't been, drop what you are doing and go today. Seriously it was fantastic. 
During a picnic in Yellowstone. 
Can you see this kind of stuff anywhere else? These geothermal pools were awesome, even after seeing them for hours. They would pop up in the most random places, so we kept wondering what the first settlers thought about them as they made their way West in wagons. Some pools would steam/bubble and have the strongest smell of sulphur. Others were so colorful you could just stare at them in wonder for hours. Maybe one of the coolest places I've ever been... 
Gray was also impressed with the geothermal activity. 
Somewhere in North Dakota, Gray begin to wonder if we were lost. 
We saw lots of wild life. Buffalo, mule deer, elk, white tail deer, pronghorn, wild turkeys, several chipmunks, not to mention the fattest prairie dogs on Earth. 
Is this why they don't want you to feed them?
Gray was super-impressed by Mt. Rushmore. Can't you tell?
Last day on the road. 
I left out so many things we did on the trip, but I promise to share more pics once I get some edited!