Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

When the world stopped turning

I'm guessing we are all thinking about the Day That Everything Changed. Where were you when the world stopped turning? I'll tell you about my day and I hope that you'll share your day too on your blog, or here, or somewhere. Its hard to believe it was 10 years ago. Or that there is a whole generation of kids who don't know what it was like Before.

I feel like an old timer telling kids that there was a time when we didn't have a multi-billion-dollar a month war, or when most folks didn't know exactly where some of those Middle East countries are on the map, or there weren't big gaping holes in New York City...or that going to the airport just wasn't all that complicated and there was still a lot of joy in air travel.

In fact, one of my best memories was at an airport - when I came home from my out-of-state school the first year of college. There were so many people crowded around the door marked B-6 when we all got off the airplane that I couldn't find who I was looking for...but then out of the crowd stepped The Big Man.

I was so surprised that I screamed as I jumped into his arms and he twirled me around and then he carried me off. The entire crowd cheered for us...I guess you could say, I've actually had two Hollywood moments.  But now you get off an airplane anticlimactically, no one there rushing forward to greet you, all the non-passengers kept away until you make that long walk alone, past all the TSA folks and security, to the public areas. But that's just one minor way Everything Is Different.

On this day, back then 10 years ago, I was living my big life in my nice house in a city on the West Coast. I happened to be off work at the time and had slept in that Tuesday.  Later in the day I was supposed to go with some folks to the nearest county fair. I hadn't bothered to turn on the TV and I was surprised when the phone rang. It was a friend, her voice shaking, saying she had gotten home safe. "Safe? Safe from what? And why aren't you at work?"

"Don't you know?" She stammered, unable to find words..."The..the..World Trade Center..has been.. its... its no more."

I hung up without saying goodbye, turned on the TV, and stood transfixed - unable to believe what I was seeing.

Later, one of the people going with us that day merely shrugged at the news and asked when we were leaving? "We aren't going anywhere," I said, "We've been attacked, we're at war."

It took a while for it to sink in and to realize what happened to us, to our country, to the world. The next few days were a maze of disbelief, shock, and a little panic. Some of my friends were traveling for business and were flung far and wide, unable to get home because all of the air traffic was grounded. Gradually they trickled in. We were all accounted for but the unease hung heavily around us.

The news coverage was constant, the images all burned into our memories.  From time to time, I stood outside of my house looking at my city and realized the halted air traffic made everything silent. In a city known for its aircraft, it was almost incomprehensible.

I casually knew one of the people killed when the Towers came down. He was a fine young man, working his first real job at one of the brokerage firms. He was on the phone to the gal who would have been his wife when suddenly his phone went dead. That's the last anyone heard from him. He was just a guy going to work, excited about his new job. He was younger than me.

I don't forget what happened. Having lived Before, and now, After I know the full weight of how Everything Changed. I get a little frothy when some folks try to gloss over what happened or think that debts need not be paid.  Or worse, when folks pour on the politically correct speak and think we should go soft on the offenders.

I was criticized recently when I didn't particularly feel too bad when Seal Team Six took the shot and brought down our worst enemy. Wasn't I saddened that a life was ended? Didn't I feel bad for Osama's family? Nope. I tend to get a little bit redneck and a whole lot Old Testament when it comes to justice. I think of the words of the poet laureate, the great W. Nelson, when he once said, "Send 'em all to their maker and he'll settle 'em down."

There's going to be a lot of talk about loss today, about the cost, and what we can't get back. No doubt we will all get a lump in our throats or shed a tear when we see the pictures and hear the stories from that day. We can't imagine the grief of the family of the fallen.

But let's not forget the heroes that day. The first responders, the ordinary people who helped get others out of the buildings, and especially the folks on Flight 93 who fought back against the hijackers. That's America, friends, real people doing amazing things.

The last thing Todd Beamer, just a regular guy who happened to be on that plane that day, said - that anyone on the ground heard was,  "Are you guys ready? Okay. Let's roll!"  Then Todd and the other passengers stormed the cockpit and prevented that plane from becoming another weapon.  I've never had such pride for my fellow citizens as I did when I first heard that story.

So let's all take a somber moment today and remember the lives lost, our world changed, and the troops that are still on the front lines. But then lets celebrate the heroes, the ones you'd expect as well as the ordinary people who were just trying to do the right thing that day.

If I could get my barnyard crew together, I'm guessing our celebration for those heroes would go a little something like this.......

OFG hurried toward the barnyard, American flag draped over her shoulders, waving a big "We're #1" foam finger, face painted in red white and blue, leading Debbie the goat who was also painted in the flag colors...hens can be heard in the background chanting, "USA! USA! USA!"

Titan was just finishing his set on the main stage... he was singing "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue" (he sounds JUST like Toby Keith!). Just as he was slayin' it and screamin' into the mic "...you'll get a boot in the a$$ its the American way"... the guineas did a fly over.  Cannons roared and the crowd yelled, hu-rah!

Some of the younger hens were on stage as the Big Dog's background dancers and they all shimmied and shook their tailfeathers into a formation of the special Black Hawk helo's used in the raid to take out Bin Laden. Suddenly, Lucky burst onto the stage, representing the K9 troop's participation in the mission. The crowd cheered as he suddenly leapt from the stage, doggles and all.

The entire barnyard spontaneously burst into a chorus of "My Country Tis of Thee" as the geese lined up for their bagpipe and drum cadence.  They honked and squeaked as they circled round the barnyard twice. Meanwhile, the ducks used special rigging to hoist our big tom,TurkZilla, painted as an eagle, high above the crowd and into the pine tree. With fireworks in the background he dramatically sailed over the crowd, clutching an olive branch in one talon and a bundle of 13 arrows in the other.

Unfortunately this had the unintended effect of scaring the daylights out of The Mob, the very young chicks, who thought he was a real eagle coming to kill them. The Mob were supposed to hold up the letters spelling E Pluribus Unum but instead broke formation and ran back into the hen house spelling instead, "pine burs lumuu."

Aside from that, there was only one other hiccup in the program. Nibbles was supposed to dress up like a SEAL and perform a dramatic reading of how the team overtook Bin Laden's compound...but she showed up in a seal lion outfit instead. Nibbles was pulled off stage when the crowd started laughing hysterically. As she stomped off angrily she was heard muttering something about "Seal, sea lion, whats the difference! I just can't work with these people!"

The runner ducks hastily took the stage and performed an ill-rehearsed, yet enthusiastic, re-enactment of the passengers of Flight 93 storming the cockpit. Everyone cheered when Fran Drescher, the noisiest runner duck, perfectly delivered her line, "OK. Let's roll!" The crowd went wild - cheering, giving each other high fives and whooping their pride.

There was bit of a disturbance when some protesters, rats from the turkey house, tried to break up the celebration. They were complaining about how we shouldn't be celebrating a victory over an enemy. OFG pushed her way thru the crowd to face down the rats. She whipped out her axe and drew it across her palm, and showed the malcontents that she bleeds red white and blue. The rats withered under her glare.

Without breaking her steely gaze she made a sound under the breath, something like, "hooah", and out of behind her Kai appeared snarling and growling. The rats dropped their "Give Peas A Chanz" signs and ran off, with Kai hot on their heels.

"Nothing to see here, folks!  Nothing but American pride welcome in this barnyard." Said OFG as she led the crowd back to the merry making.

Then Shine King of Barncats took his position to ring the dinner bell as OD the gander, solemnly prepared to read the names of the victims of 9/11 in his deep baritone voice. 

As the barnyard paused and heard each name read, then a gong, then a name, then a gong... each remember that behind each name was a story. A person. A family. A grief. Some in the crowd wept. Some prayed. All came together to remember.

As the sun set the party began to wind down. The last of the apple pie was eaten, the fireworks had all been lit, and the crowd started to fade off. OFG stood alone in the barnyard watching as the ducks took down the banners and the turkey hens tried to get TurkZilla out of the rigging from his earlier dramatic swoop.  It turned out that buying used high flying equipment from the Broadway Spiderman show probably wasn't the best idea. They decided that next time, someone who could actually fly would be the eagle.

Little Kai came up and sat at OFG's feet.

"It was a nice celebration, Momma. Do you think the people who died that day would have liked it?" Asked Kai, wagging her curly tail.

"I hope so, sweetheart. Its important that we remember them and their families. Come on now, its time to go inside." OFG turned to walk toward the house.

"OK. Let's roll!" Kai exclaimed as she hopped and skipped to walk by OFG's side.

OFG smiled as she absently reached down and patted Kai's head.  "That's right, Kai, let's roll."


Tami said...

I was at work (East Coast)when a coworkers husband called her and told her to turn the TV on. The first tower had been struck with what the reporters "thought" was an accidental small plane. (Like a cessna.)

I actually saw the second plane go in, strike, the explosion, the fireball...I couldn't process it.

No one else was watching at that moment and I had to tell people that this was NOT an accident. That it had happened again. On purpose. You could tell then that when people realized that this wasn't an sccident, their faces changed. (I think we all wanted to believe that. Like it would make it more acceptable.)

When they started reporting that the Pentagon had been struck, about 30 minutes later, I said "My God, we're at War" and I left. Work was NOT where I needed to be. I went home. I remember standing up watching the TV most of the day...I couldn't sit. I also remember the silence. No planes. That night we all (neighbors) stood out and looked up at the sky. Nothing up there. And the roads were silent too. Everyone got to the people they loved and stayed there.

David P. Offutt - The Gastronomic Gardener said...

Somber with a touch of silly. You're a good egg.

It was bizarre that morning – working for an exchange, we got a call to turn on the TV. We watched in disbelief as the second plane hit the tower. It looked like a movie. Shortly later we got a call that trading had been halted and the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange had closed for the day and were sending everyone home. With no one to support I sent my guys home. Being the boss, I sat in an empty office watching the scene unfold. The jumpers and the ultimate collapse of the towers. Those images are part of me now.

The TV screen flickered as the video conference kicked in. It was my boss from Germany his face filling the screen. “David, what are you still doing there? Go Home!”

The few block walk from the office to train station was also like out of a movie surreal – no people, no taxi’s, no noise, nothing; save a bit of newspaper being pushed along by the famous wind. Chicago’s normally bustling financial district was deserted, the traffic lights blinking, but no one was there to obey or disobey. No police.

The train station was different, chaotic filled with people trying to get out of the city, back to the “safety” of their nests, that illusion recently shattered. They were running trains on each line – as soon as the train was full, they’d leave, bring in another and repeat until everyone was taken south, west or north. The trains had a mix of stunned silence, quiet sobbing and angry talk, but who or what to lash out at? That would come till a little later.

I’m all for justice, and retribution, but it must be tempered with the knowledge that extremists and terrorists do not represent the majority of people with different faith or background. No broad brush strokes for me.

Sorry for the long response, just never put it down before.

Never Forget.

Mr. H. said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. On 9/11 I was sitting at my desk watching CNBC on television, back when we still had cable TV. What a horrific event to behold.

I have not always been a fan of George W. Bush but am glad that he was our president during these difficult times.

That which ye sow so shall ye reap...and they have indeed reaped the whirlwind that is the "United" States of America.

"Our enemies have made the mistake that America’s enemies always make. They saw liberty and thought they saw weakness. And now, they see defeat.”

- George W. Bush

Brandy said...

I was on my way to work in New Orleans when it happened, but I didn't know because no one bothered to inform the D.J.'s on the radio station I was listening to. I got to work and walked in to the break room. At the time only one plane had hit. One of my co workers told me a plane had hit one of the world trade center buildings and for at least the next few minutes we though it was some crazy accident and we didn't realize it was a full size jet. By the time I got my computer booted up, the second plane had hit. We all knew at that point that our world had changed. As an American I always felt safe from outside threats. That day forever changed that. My co-workers and I were terrified. We were under attack, we live in a major port city and were surrounded by skyscrapers. We don't have anything like the twin towers here in New Orleans, but none the less, we felt we might be a target. We wanted to go home, but our company didn't let us go until later in the day when they realized no work was going to get done anyway. If this were to happen today, I would just walk out of the office. I wouldn't wait for them to tell me it's OK. So, I went home and my husband (my boyfriend at the time) met me at my house I collapsed in a heap in his arms. We cried for hours.

Susan said...

I was awake, listening to the radio and putting off getting out of bed when the first report came in that a plane "accidentally" hit the first tower. Nobody could figure out how it could have been so far off course... it took several more minutes before the concept that we'd been attacked arose.

The good that has come from all of this? FINALLY our military, police and fire personnel are getting the respect and recognition for the way they lay their lives on the line for America and Americans every single day. VietNam vets are FINALLY being thanked for the horror they faced -- both in the jungle, and in the unwelcoming attitude of their country when they returned. Our 9-11 victims and heroes not only earned themselves a place of reverence in our history, but they raised once again our awareness and appreciation for the hundreds of thousands who went before them in the establishment and defense of the freedom we had begun to take for granted.

Memory eternal!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thank you, Tami, for telling your story.

Dave, I had a friend in the Sears tower that day. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Mr. H, I should have known we'd have the same thoughts. Thank you for your comments.

Brandy, Thank you for telling us about your day. There were a lot of tears that day.

Susan, you are just right - this has changed how we all think about our past and present military troops. Thank you for telling your story.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

From my friend, QA...who couldnt post here today. Thank you for sharing your story:

Just read your 9-11 blog post - most excellent post!

I was 22 years old, working at Walmart, had a handsome hubby, and 2 beautiful children ages 2 and 6 1/2 months old. We were living what we thought was the "good" life and we used to crack a lot of jokes about how my mom was always stocked up on everything. (trust me, this beginning is important).

On September 11, 2001 I reported to work at 7 am. I was so stinking excited to start work EARLY because that meant I'd only be working until 2 pm and I'd get to go home. Sometime a little after 9 am, as I'm mechanically ringing up my cash register and trying to figure out why we're slammed with customers buying things from economy packs of diapers to excess amounts of water, bread, and coffee, a customer tells me, "The trade towers are gone." I asked her what do you mean they're gone? She then tells me that two planes had crashed into the towers.

It wasn't something I comprehended right away, and my first thought was, "This is what mom was talking about when she said God told her to be prepared!" I think I said something along the lines of "there goes the stock market" and the customer looked at me like I had 3 heads. Seriously, my first thoughts were someone has economically crippled us on purpose to make us vulnerable, and my first thoughts were I was not prepared. In that moment, I knew I wanted to go home and just hold my babies, so I asked my CSM and she said no.

A little while later, a lady whom I remember spending Sunday's with after church comes through my line.
"Mitch is somewhere in Pa," she is obviously worried. "I don't know if he made it through or not."
I reply, "Did he have a run in Pa?" Not sure why she's so worried.
She gives me this paranoid look and says, "He was driving right through the area where the third plane went down."

That's as close as it came to touching me personally that day. Right after she left, I knew I was going home no matter what. The head jerks of Walmart were blasting messages across our intercoms, the t.v.'s ect and were telling store managers and other people that were "in charge" to be respectful of employees and to be considerate that some would choose to go home to be with loved ones. Our store manager walked by right then, and I used that intercom message as my ammo. I said, "Mr. Joliff, I want to go home. I need to go home." He said, Ok, finish these customers, and go home."

So I did, and when I shut off my light the head CSM comes running over and yells at me. She refused to let me leave. I told her Mr. Joliff said I could, and she said she hadn't been told. Few minutes later Mr. Joliff comes back, and I'm still running my register. He says, "I thought you were going home?" I told him the CSM wouldn't let me. He found another cashier to take over my line, and escorted me to the time clock! He said, "Go home."

and I did. I flew home. I walked into my mom's house, where my kids were, and she was shocked to see me. By now it's almost 11 am, and she had not had the t.v. on all day. She was shocked to see me home, and as I scooped up my kids, she asked if I had been fired. I said no mom, New York was attacked.

Then she turned on the t.v. and we watched the footage all day. I had also called E at his work to see what he knew, if anything, and I begged him to come home. He did, too.

And I spent the next several days, weeks, and months waiting for the other shoe to drop, completely convinced that this was The Event that would push our country into it's Second Great Depression Far Worse than the First Great Depression and I was not prepared.

eta: Our friend, Mitch, was just fine. He had literally passed through the area where the third plane went down 30 minutes before, so he was safe!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

From my friend, FF:

Thanks for the post OFG. A day to remember when Americans linked arms and didn't quabble of political ideology, money or religious beliefs.

We were Americans and that was enough.

I was working at a Budget RAC counter at an airport when they announced over the loudspeaker that the airport was now closed. WHAT? Everyone was panicking because no one knew what was going on. People were lining up right and left to get cars so they could get back home... where ever that was. I was the only employee on a normally slow shift. I called my boss and he came in to help. We ended up waiving mileage fees and offering the lowest rates possible just so people could drive back to NY, DC, CA and everywhere in between. After the wave of renters were gone, there was silence. Airport employees were talking in hushed voices. The doors didn't open or close. The baggage belts were stopped.

All of the sudden, the silences was shattered. A fighter jet came screaming in from Great Falls AFB. I'm not sure I have ever been so scared in my life. I ran outside to see what was happening and then felt a small measure of comfort to see one of our own landed safely. Apparently a bunch of FEMA heads were at a conference in Big Sky so they were loaded up and flown back to DC to take care of business.

My folks were up in Canada and they said it was amazing how people treated them. Strangers just put their arms around them and cried together or would walk up and shake their hand and offer silent sympathy. They finally ended up getting home by being offered rides by several strangers and truckers who wanted to help.

May we never forget.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

From my friend, SD:
But here is my 9/11 story....
I was working from home here in WA state as a transcriptionist, with me were my three children (hubby at work) who were 19, 9 and 5 at the time, all sleeping. My main transcription account was an Armenian-American chiropractor who had four offices in the New York area, one in Manhattan, who did independent medical examinations and I typed up his finished reports and made them pretty. I got all my work electronically, via internet and I didn't even know my doctor's address, as I actually was an independent contractor working for the intermediary transcription pool, but he was my main account and my main source of income, which at the time was really good. Life was good. Hubby made great money and we had our pretty house and I was working from home. Hurrah!

But on the morning of 9/11, we were behind the times being on the west coast. I awoke to a phone call from my mother, who sounded very strange, kind of strangled, and I had to ask her right away what was wrong, like who died? She said "War has started...." and I said, "What?" and she said, "just go turn on your TV" and I said I'd call her back.

I went and turned on the TV and immediately saw footage of the second airplane hitting the second tower. It was actually a re-run of the actual event which had happened awhile earlier, but I didn't realize that. I screamed and ran and awoke my 19-year-old daughter, who came and joined me at the TV, and we held each other and cried as we watched the events unfold. My sons woke up and came out to see the two of us already emotional wrecks and I tried to somehow explain the unexplainable.

As the days slipped by, we went through the gamut of emotions and were happy at least to see the national pride erupt, because that was something that had ALWAYS been a part of my family, a very strong belief in this country, and also for Hubby (who is a nationalized citizen who had to take the test and make the oath). But I began to worry because I did not hear from my Armenian chiropractor/employer. I began to worry that his building had been too close and tried to figure out from my paperwork which office he would have been at that day and my worry began to mount. The intermediary company called and left messages without response, so I began to worry that my doctor had perished or something very bad had happened. It was a very odd feeling, not knowing where your boss is or even WHO he really is, or where he was, but I had worked for him about seven years.

Finally, one day as I turned on my equipment, I hear his voice, kind of gruff and scratchy, starting his report, "This is Doctor ....." and I burst into tears, I was so relieved for him. I actually sent an attachment to the report, telling his office staff who downloaded his reports to please tell the good doctor that I was very happy that he and his office survived. He never did get busy again though. I never got back the volume of work, eventually had to stop doing transcription and felt because of my increasing hearing issues, I should try a different field (which was a good thing), and started working part time for the veterinarian, which cut my pay to about half of what I made before. The direction of my life did change, and here I was, someone living several thousand miles away from where the terrorists hit.

What effects the USA effects me is the lesson I learned. While I've always bled red, white and blue when cut, I have forever been awed by the sacrifice and bravery of the people in this country, the firemen, the soldiers, the Seals. While I've had my own way to volunteer I've stuck with, so many did things so much more brave, more noble, and so many paid the ultimate price. I have a friend who lost her son to a bomb in Afghanistan so I can clearly see how we still are involved in the repercussions of 9/11. I just have to take off my hat in respect and this morning I sang along with my rusty voice as the memorials were played on television.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

From my friend, Hen23:

I was working at a school where the administration forbade us to turn on any TVs or radios in the classrooms because they didn't want the children upset. Staff spread the word from class to class to adults only. I heard about it while on break in the staff room. It took a good little while to absorb it. I went back to the third grade classroom I was helping in and tried to call the teacher over to the side to make sure he had heard. He hadn't and when I told him he thought I was joking. It was too much to comprehend. Staff started calling people they knew who might be home. I called my parents who were able to tell me what they were seeing on TV. I needed to find out what airline was involved if possible because a close friend is a pilot for American. He was luckily able to call a few people to get us to spread the word that he wasn't in any of the planes involved and wasa actually in St Louis. DH tried to call his parents who live about 30 miles north of the city but their phones were out way up there. A day or so later we learned that the nephew of the school speech pathogist was a pilot in one of the planes that hit the towers. In that sleepy little town in the "quiet corner" of CT we had that close a connection. By the end of the day we learned that DH's parents were fine, our friend Tom was fine as well his father and sister who both worked in the city. It was a few days before I heard from my college roomate and her DH who live there as well.
As for school, one of the 6th grade teachers handed out copies of the local paper as his kids were dismissed like every other day. It never occured to him that the story would be all over the front page already. So the kids found out and the older ones were seriously ticked off that we had kept it from them. Chaos took over as we tried to get frantic panicked children onto buses. A number of parents had come to pick up their kids early as well.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

From my friend, OF:

I had gotten up to get DH off to work that am and snuggled with DS12 (2yo at the time) on the couch while DS10 (2 months) was sleeping in his crib with the local news on the tv. The reporters were saying that 'something' was happening at the first tower but nobody knew yet just what it was. Then the station kept jumping from local news to the national news as they were all speculating about what had happened. As I watched, the second plane was coming into view and then hit the second tower as live broadcast. All the blood drained & I slid off the couch to the floor in shock. The reporters were stunned and was saying it was definately an attack. After several minutes, they were talking with the correspondent at the Pentagon about such happenings & the possibilities it all meant. Then the poor guy at the Pentagon jumped as books & papers started flying & the room he was in started shaking..........the third plane had hit the Pentagon just down the hall from him. Then as National Security and top officials were scrambling with what to do and getting all air traffic grounded, the news was talking about the 4th plane that wasn't responding to commands to land & was outside of it's flight plan and the crash.
DH had come home early that day, by 10am. He normally wasn't due home until around 6pm. His boss sent everyone home to be with their families.
I was terrified and didn't leave the house for 3 days.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

From my pal, AL:

I was sitting at a traffic light on my way home from an overnight shift in the ER. The DJs said "apparently there has been an accident, a small bi-plane has crashed into the World Trade Center". I still feel kind of guilty about this - but I didn't know anything abou the WTC and while I hoped nobody was hurt, I didn't give it a second thought. I was home and in bed before the DJs knew the truth.
A couple of hours later I woke up for my 2nd job. I was living at home and when I walked by, my mom was completely transfixed on the TV... she looked at me with shock and disbelief, tears in her eyes and told me we were under attack, the whole world had gone crazy and "they" were crashing planes across the country. I went on in to my 2nd job (martial arts instructor) but we sat in the lobby on benches and the floor and watched a the tiny TV. To this day I don't remember what, if any, part of the attacks I saw live and what was video replay.... I immersed myself so much in the news it all runs together.

now that time has passed, my friend who is in counter-terrorism in the FBI still will only mention the shift he pulled watching over pieces of the jet from the Pentagon, and knowing that some of the debris was human parts. His wife was driving and saw the smoke and flames. A Dr from the ER was frantic because his sister worked on the 91st floor of the WTC.... he later found out she had called in to work that day, apparently the first time ever or in a very long time.

I have all my life wanted to be a part of Search and Rescue, and the events 10yrs ago made that desire even stronger. Now that I am healthier and getting in shape to be able to handle wilderness and rubble searches, I am visiting our local SAR and working towards becoming a fulll-fledged member. I would love to have a SAR dog, but Rio and his knees won't cut it.

JeffJustJeff said...

OFG, like you, I was sleeping in on that day. Chad came in and told me that a plane had hit the WTC. Like many, I thought it was a freak accident. He didn't wake me up again until the second tower came down. We just sat and watched the coverage, in shock and crying.

I was a Kinko's manager way back then. I had to go to work at 1. That day was just awful. We didn't have a TV at work, just a small radio. We were all so uncertain and afraid. No one knew what the implications were. We all made frequent calls home trying to get details. That day, they took away our sense of security which was a new thing for all of us. I can remember looking over my shoulder a lot more and being aware of my surroundings.

Over the coming weeks, the thing I remember most is how everyone forgot about their differences and we were all Americans. You couldn't find a US flag in the store. Like you and Mr. H, I was seldom a GW fan, but I was very glad he was our president during this time.

I know none of the generations alive when this happened will be the same again. We can never forget and shouldn't. A little voice inside of me that came to life that day is always whispering, 'they're just biding their time until the complacency builds up'. It's one of the things that made it important to me to move to the farm.

Thanks for the barnyard celebration. Very fitting, but damn you, you made me weepy twice in one week. I usually read your column and literally laugh out loud. I teast. It needs to be said, and this is a great way to do it.


Robin said...

I was in college at the time sitting at my computer writing a paper. It was a beautiful day at the farm. My phone rang and it was a friend of my daughter's who had already graduated from high school. I don't remember exactly what he said...but, I was confused. He then told me to turn on the TV and that we were being attacked. I turned on the TV at the same moment as the first tower came down.

I remember looking out the window and thinking what a beautiful day for the beginning of the end. The sky was a beautiful blue. My next thought was about the family and friends that may be in Manhattan today. Then I decided that I better go fill the car up with gas as we lived out in the sticks and who knew what was going to happen.

The phone rang and it was my late daughter Emily calling me from school asking me to come and get her. I drove 25 minutes to the school, we filled the car with gas and headed home. My daughter was so upset as her Uncle was in Manhattan and her dear friend who worked in Manhattan had just changed jobs and she didn't know what building he was working in.

When we pulled up to the house, my daughter opened the door to the car and just fell to the ground on her knees. I told her to go inside and get on the computer. She got on Instant Messaging, got a hold of her friend. He said "it is so fucked here" and then the line went dead.

We live just one hour from NYC and there isn't one person that I know that has either lost someone, been there or knows someone that lost someone on this day 10 years ago. All of our family and friends that were in the city that day survived. My mother was involved on a daily basis going to Ground Zero (business) for months and to this day does not talk about it.

On October 19th my son and I went to the city to see a show as we always do for his BD. It was still burning.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

JJJ - Thank you for sharing your story and your thoughts. And sending big hugs back.

Robin - Thank you for telling your story.

Little Rooster Croft said...

Sorry I am a day late, I didn't spend much time on the internet yesterday.

I was volunteering at the animal shelter I used to work at in Philadelphia. My friend had a meeting at the World Trade Center that morning and she received a call from some coworkers as she was getting ready to leave. They told her not to come that a plane had crashed into the tower and people were being evacuated. She called her boyfriend who worked with me at the shelter so we turned on the tv. We all thought it was an accident. As we watched the second plane hit the other tower and then we knew without a doubt it was no accident. We watched and we prayed and we held eachother's hands as we watched the tower fall. My friend never heard from those coworkers again.
My boyfriend at the time, worked at the Philadelphia airport and they were on lockdown the whole day. All I wanted was for him to come home.
I lived in NYC for a few years, I have been to the top of those towers, I know some of the firefighters and police that were there that day....luckily they were not on the lists that showed up on every door of every police station and fire station around Philly.
We gave out candles from my store that week, we made sure to talk to our extended families, it was a scary and uncertain time. It is hard to remember what it was like before...that feeling of being untouchable...gone forever.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thank you, LRC, for sharing your story. I miss "before" but the sense of all of us pulling together makes "after" easier.

Mary said...

Many months later, I followed your link from your pre-4th-of-July post. And this one gives me chills, even in June 2012...

I only found your blog recently, but I had to tell you that I feel exactly the same way you described here about 9/11, the demise of Osama... and the rest.

My son (15) said to me on 9/11/11, and I will always remember it vividly, that he was jealous because I grew up "Before 9/11." He has heard me describe what life was like when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s. He has no memory of "before." He was born in 1997.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks Mary, "Before" was a much better time. Some times it hurts my heart to think about how much everything has changed. Give your son a hug from me.

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