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Thursday, September 11, 2003

Lots of people don't this
Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self confidence.-- Robert Frost

9/11
What I remember. That I didn't know for a long time. That it was a beautiful, absolutely gorgeous late-summer day. Breathtaking in its beauty, even. I remember walking into work--I didn't know because I'd had J. that morning, and was busy getting him ready, and we had kids' programs on, not the news. And driving to work, after taking him to school, I had an audiobook I was listening to, instead of NPR. So I was innocent--that last few moments!--when I walked from the car to the building. Even then thinking that perhaps there had never been such a nice, nice day.

Turned on the computer and got the message--a plane had hit the World Trade Center. And I thought it was probably a little Cessna or something! No big deal! But then the news kept coming and coming, worse and worse. Like everything had gone crazy. And we were talking and watching TV and not working much. The kids called, both at the same time! I was juggling lines between them. They were both at school.

Sitting in Greg E.'s office, watching his TV with Mike D.--Mike saying, where's the other tower? And I said, Oh, it's the camera angle--you can't see it through the smoke. But Mike was right. It was gone. And I was sitting there alone when the other one went. I don't know if I've ever been so terrified. And from something on TV! But the reality of it traveled through the camera lens, through the wires and satellites and TV tubes and whatever, and hit me in the chest as surely as if I'd been running down that street with the smoke and dust and death behind me, a tidal wave of terror.

And we just kept working--or trying too! It seems incredible now! I went out for lunch--and the surrealness of business as usual in Huntington, Indiana, still enjoying that blue sky, the warm temperatures.

The day was so long...it seemed 4 would never come--and when it did we couldn't get out the door fast enough. A.R. had picked J. up, and they were home, and it just seemed so good to see them! As if we'd been apart a long, long time.

But all we did that night, and for days after, was watch TV. CNN, MSNBC, networks. When we got sick of one batch of reporters we changed the channel.

And the quiet--outside. No planes. For days. That was weird.

And that first baseball game after--that finally, here's a little bit of normal. The cheers.

Wondering if we'd be able to go on vacation in March...a small, personal, even selfish question.

(We did get to go.)

In some ways, the days and now years since have been just one long 9/11....

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