September 11, 2011

Nine Eleven

News that shocks you leaves you with an odd mixture of indelible memories, clear images of where you were interspersed with the visuals of the news itself. I remember where I was on 9/11/2001, just as I remember where I was when President Kennedy was shot (which was in a classroom).

On today's date ten years ago, Frank and I were driving from Dumfries to Basye, Virginia. We were purchasing a chalet in Bryce Resort and were on our way to the home inspection. The news came over the radio that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. And then the news got worse.

Although I was stunned and dismayed, I also felt very grateful that my younger daughter was out of the country. Normally she lived and worked in New York. But in 2001 she was traveling around the world, and on September 11 she was far, far away in Zanzibar.

Here we were safely in western Virginia for the day, two hours from the Washington, DC area, which was understandably the scene of grave concern approaching panic. My other daughter lived near Staunton, far from the danger zones.

The home inspection went okay. We went to the house next door and met Mrs. Bakke, it's owner who was there for the weekend. She had her TV on but reception was barely passable since signals are very weak on the mountain if you don't have cable, and it does not make economic sense to subscribe to cable if you only visit occasionally. But even with a fuzzy picture and crackly sound, the news reports were disturbingly clear. New York and Washington had been attacked, with hundreds of casualties... no, thousands.

And so our world changed. Our own lifestyles were only affected in minor ways, but emotionally, things were different. Sadder, less trusting, yet appreciative for our personal good luck. So much of fate is just luck. Sometimes you can make your luck better, but other times... you are just a leaf blowing in the wind.

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