9/11 Twenty Years Later

American flag and Twin Towers

Twenty years ago I was a 25 (almost 26)-year-old newlywed. I lived and worked in the New York metro area (Ossining, NY and Norwalk, CT). My husband had just recently left a job in Manhattan for one in White Plains. That weekend we had attended a friend’s party in New Jersey, and driving home late at night, I remember looking out over the lights of the NYC skyline and noticing the World Trade Center. We used to go into the city pretty regularly, so I didn’t always take the time to notice the buildings. But driving home that night, for some reason I paid attention. 

Twenty years ago I drove to work early. It had rained the day before and we spent all day watching movies (including, ironically, “Escape From New York”). A cold front had moved through the area and it was a crisp, sunny day. I remember thinking how it was perfect weather.

I settled into my cubicle, checked my voicemail and email, and got started on the news section for the telecommunications magazine where I worked. It was just me and a co-worker. We often got to work on the early side and enjoyed a bit of quiet before the newsroom started to bustle with ringing phones and chatty editors. Her radio was on quietly. I could barely hear it. 

Around 8:45 she told me that a news broadcast announced that a plane had just hit one of the Twin Towers. We couldn’t imagine what was happening. I thought it might have been a small, private plane. An inexperienced pilot must have lost control.

And then it happened again. Now the rest of our co-workers were filing in. There were calls between our two offices. Staff members tried over and over again to get hold of their husbands, wives, partners, relatives, friends who lived or worked in the city.

I constantly refreshed by web browser to see if CNN.com had updated with anything further. What was happening? Why was it happening? We were approached our monthly deadline for the magazine and somehow I managed to keep working that day. I think I left early. Honestly, it all starts to blur.

To go home, I had to drive I-95. It’s the highway that goes right into the city and typically it is always busy. Traffic is horrible, and backups were pretty regular. That day, there was no afternoon traffic — maybe a couple dozen cars. After all, you couldn’t get into or out of the city. It was so weird driving with almost no one on the road. In fact, it was unnerving, and this just compounded my anxiety.

That night we ate dinner while watching the president address the country and we just wondered what could possibly happen next.

And here we are… 20 years on. 9/11 changed us a country, and it certainly changed me as an individual. We all have our stories, our memories from that day. Today I hope you will all take a moment to pause and remember.

Heading Into Autumn

And just like that summer’s gone! Well, we all know that technically there are a couple weeks left, but let’s be honest — once September rolls around, my mindset shifts to apple-scented candles, cozy blankets, spooky movies… It’s my favorite time of year! Seems as though I skipped summer here on the blog, so a quick recap might be in order!

Summer was incredibly busy with work. I laugh at anyone who claims that library work is quiet and not stressful. These fools have no idea what it is like working in a modern library. We were bustling with patrons, which was wonderful. We kept our programming outside for the most part, which worked really well. Our summer reading program was one of the best we’ve had in terms of participants and hours read. I may have been a ball of nerves for the last three months, but professionally it was worth all the effort.

The family is doing well. Laura celebrated her 12th birthday, Noah his 16th birthday, and Jake his 19th birthday! We all are fully vaccinated and I am happy to say no one had any issues whatsoever. Jake is back on campus for his sophomore year in college where he’s studying Psychology and Economics. School starts tomorrow for middle school and high school. I’m a little nervous for the kids to be fully in-person, but I am also thankful for our community. Something like 96% of the district teachers are vaccinated and New York has a mask mandate in place so hopefully we won’t be seeing high Covid rates or closures like schools in other parts of the country. Only time will tell.

The gardens did not fare well, I am sad to say. Once we got into the hot & humid weather I just didn’t have it in me to keep up with them. Add in some of the heavy rains we had and I was stuck with water-logged plants. In mid-August I decided to clean things up and got stuck with a horrible case of poison sumac all over my arms, my leg, and part of my chest (don’t ask me how, but I can only guess there were oils on shirt that seeped through). I was pretty miserable!

Craft-wise, I have just started the Wave After Wave pocket shawl. I know that pockets shawls are last year’s trendy item, but I never got around to making one and this will be perfect to keep at work. I’m also still plugging away on my C2C blanket that I started in the spring. There was a stretch where I just didn’t feel like working on anything with yarn — that tends to happen in the hot weather.

And as for the blog… honestly I almost deleted it completely the other day. I am currently off work because I have quite a bit of PTO to use, so I thought I’d come in and try to spruce things up and get back to posting regularly. Well, I have no idea what happened or when it happened, but something was totally fakakta. Images that were hosted within my site were not displaying, I couldn’t view any of my media in my WordPress admin console. So after two days, a lot of research into 403 errors, updating this, disabling that, last night I finally figured out how to fix the error. Not only that, but I also learned why for the past few years Pinterest and my blog did not get along. And I discovered a cool plugin that generates a printable version of your blog. I cannot explain how excited I was about that. I have posts here going back to 2006, when I switched from Blogger to WordPress (I’ve actually been blogging since 1999, believe it or not — my earliest entries were just hand-coded in HTML). I’m so thankful that I can put together a document of all those memories! So I guess in hindsight it was a good problem to have because in the end I solved a number of other issues, too.

Well, I suppose that’s enough catching up for now. I’m hoping to get back to semi-regular posting, so hopefully I see you sooner rather than later!