Its hard to believe its already been 7 years since 9/11. It was less than an hour after I got to work that I noticed a crowd of my co-workers gathered around my boss’s office. I walked over and asked what was going on. Jeff, a co-worker said “some idiot flew his plan into the trade tower”. I watched the TV in the office as the news anchor commented about the plane, and I can’t remember if it was my co-workers or the news anchor that said it was a Cessna plane. Then as I watched the live news feed at 9:03 am, the second plan buried itself into the south tower and everything changed.
I wish I had gone home from work that day early. I wish I had spent that day with my wife. I worked for Safelite Autoglass in Columbus Ohio and I will never forget my boss walking through the office slapping his hands together with one big clap to brake the somber mood in the room and saying “Let’s keep working, the world still needs windshields!” I’m sure it was his way of dealing with the crisis, I just wish I hadn’t let it be mine.
I will never forget my wife calling me in tears hysterically sobbing because she had just watched people jumping from the towers. All I could do was whisper “I know baby, I know” in an effort to comfort her. I should have gone home. I remember walking into our call center, normally a loud room full of CSRs on the phones reading scripts about windshields and chatting with each other between calls; silenced by events over 500 miles away. And I remember waiting to hear if Charley, my co-worker and friend, had heard from his parents, who had been traveling in New York. They were ok… well, they weren’t near the towers, but none of us were OK.
I remember that day. I remember those events. My children won’t. Much like the events surrounding the attack on Pear Harbor, time will heal and erase those events from our collective minds. In the weeks that followed, American flags hung from every window or in every yard in the USA and even in much of the world – but as we reflect on the last 7 years, most of those flags are down, most of us have moved on with our lives. History has recorded the events and our children’s children will learn of 9/11 in a history book… but I remember.
Ok – there are many many stories behind most of these pictures, but I don’t know what I will have time to blog them all – but hey, they say a picture is worth a thousand words… Just click on any of the pictures to see the larger album of photos.
Stephanie and I have been married for nine years, yesterday. I took several days off work to celebrate the occasion, even though we had not made any formal plans. Back when Stephanie and I got married, we used to take day trips on a regular basis, even some weekend driving trips on a whim – trips to near by cities a few hours away, trips to the beach or to Washington DC over 8 hours away, and even longer trips to see family in Maine or Charlotte NC weren’t uncommon. But as we got more busy, added children to the mix, and moved across the country, those driving mini-vacations all but vanished.
We both miss them despite all the ups and downs of being in a car for several hours at a time, so when I suggested we hit the road and head to San Francisco – Stephanie said yes with enthusiasm! Wednesday night we headed out and got as far as Blithe, CA. We stayed in a cheap (in every sense of the word) hotel. The next morning, we hit the road with a San Francisco or bust mentality. Zander and Lexi have been been great for being trapped in a car most of the day, but we did stop to let Zander climb a tree or two at rest areas and we took a few pictures along the way. We got into San Francisco last night at about 9pm.
After paying $4 to cross the bridge from Oakland to San Francisco, calling several area hotels, attempting to drive around to look for a descent place to stay that wasn’t $200 bucks a night, and climbing the scariest hill of my life in a stick shift four cylinder, please never do that again to me car – we left San Francisco and headed back to Oakland for the night. Let me pause here to say, if you ever drive to San Francisco and get there after dark and you are in a Hyundai Elantra – don’t climb the hills! It was difficult enough just driving up them, but when we got the red light, and my wife started yelling for me to run it, then panicing that I stopped, then screaming when I rev’ed the engine to over 5 thousand RPM with the emergency break on, dropped the break, came off the clutch, in first gear, only to still travel backwards, I must say I was beginning to doubt turning up a street that looked like it went straight to up to heaven. It was only after I rev’ed it to 7 thousand RPM and quite possibly damaged the transmision that we started to move forward at a pace of about 1 mile per day. The entire time, my son was saying, “Its OK Mommie, I’m not afraid.” and my wife was trying to remember the number for 911. We are on a great Adventure!