Monthly Archives: September 2010

11 Years From Yesterday

Floyd11 years ago yesterday Hurricane Floyd came to NYC. It was preceded by the usual barrage of “Stormtracker” Team coverage on all the local news programs and ominous warnings about winds and rain and flooding. In the end it was really nothing. Nothing at all like the tornado that touched down in my old neighborhood yesterday. Hurricane Floyd will always have a special place in my heart because it brought Glenn and I together. We were both sent home early to Brooklyn that day. Our offices had closed early in advance of the storm. We had met online just weeks before and had had our first date on September 6, 1999. When I got home that day I decided to give him a call and see if he wanted to hang out. He came over with an arm full of Godzilla movies and we settled in together for the long haul. He came over that day and basically never left. We’ve been together ever since.  We always used to celebrate Floyd day but it’s kind of gotten forgotten over the past couple of years. It wasn’t until I was looking at some of the storm coverage from yesterday’s big storm in the city that I realized the date. Yesterday was a pretty ordinary day other than it was Piper’s first day of swimming lessons. The instructor gave them some free swim time at the beginning and after she had watched Piper for a couple of minutes she told me that she was going to put her in the Intermediate class. I was a little hesitant but I shouldn’t have been. Piper had to work to keep up with her other classmates being the smallest and the least experienced swimmer in the group but she did amazingly well. She just kept trying, even when it was clearly difficult for her. I was so very proud of her yesterday. It was a blessing that she got to succeed like that and that I got to see her do it. I fell in love 10 years ago yesterday and then got to fall in love all over again 11 years later.

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Where were you?

I know I’ve written about this many times here but I wrote this comment in reply to the question, “Where were you on 9/11?” here. I thought that it had some details that I had never shared with you before so here goes:

My husband and I had moved out of Brooklyn on September 10, 2001 and September 11th was my first day commuting into my Wall St area job from the Hudson Valley. We took the train to Hoboken and I transferred to the path train and got off at the World Trade Center. I was looking for a specific magazine and stopped at a newsstand before I walked out of the building. I had crossed Church Street and was looking in the windows at Century21 thinking how much I was going to enjoy my new commuting route. Then I heard the loudest plane I had ever heard. It was so loud I had to put my fingers in my ears. Then moments later I heard and felt the impact of what I now know was the first plane hitting the building. I thought it was a bomb and remember thinking, “this is where I die” as I ran down the street and across Broadway. The ground undulated underfoot and I remember cabbies standing next to their stopped cars pointing upwards. The plane hit on the opposite side from where I was so when I looked up I couldn’t see it. I thought that some kind of media stunt had gone horribly wrong since there were papers flying everywhere. I know realize that they were papers from people’s desks and filing cabinets up in the tower. I rushed towards my office which was across town from the WTC. I was very upset and crying and trying to reach my husband on my cell phone. I stranger saw me and told me not to worry that everything was going to be alright. He hugged me and when we said goodbye he was walking towards the towers. When I got to my office everyone was freaking out. There was a window in the corner of our floor where you could see the towers and everyone was crowded around it and looking when the 2nd plane hit. I had NPR on the radio and when I heard that there was an unaccounted for plane and that the pentagon had been hit I knew that I needed to get out of there. My husband and I planned on me getting up to times square where he was working and then we’d figure out our escape plan from there. The only way to get there was to walk so I started out trying to stay as far west as possible. I had just started and was right by the South Street Seaport when the first building came down. I remember people screaming and running in all directions. I could see the top of the tower collapsing out of view. I decided after that to not look back anymore. When the 2nd tower fell and I was already on Broadway in the Soho area, I didn’t even turn around. People all around me were pointing and staring openmouthed downtown but I kept walking up. I stopped briefly at my friend’s apartment on 19th street for a little moral support. I wasn’t able to reach my husband on my phone anymore – we didn’t have texting then – so I just sent him mental messages and counted the blocks as I walked and walked and walked. All around me New York was being New York, amazing and beautiful and so sad and broken. We didn’t even know how sad yet. The saddest of all were the hundreds of flyers and posters people made looking for their loved ones. I guess it’s when we thought that there’d still be people trapped, there’d be bodies to identify and not just fragments. I finally made it to Times Square. I found my husband waiting outside of his building at One Time Square because there had been a bomb threat or something. I was so happy to see him. We tried to get on a NJ ferry up on the west side but were told that it was closed. The only way out was to go back downtown and catch the ferry there. He and I walked all the way back downtown together. As we got closer we started to see people utterly covered in white ash. I remember we saw a business man carrying his briefcase. He was white from head to toe and looked like the statue of the business man on a park bench somewhere downtown except that he was moving. We finally made it back to South Street Seaport where we’d catch the ferry. The sidewalks were covered in white ash and there were hundreds of scattering footprints. People must have panicked in the dust cloud coming towards them and ran in all directions to try to escape. Our ferry ride was surreal. We rode past the end of Manhattan where there towers had been replaced by towers of black smoke reaching up into the blue sky. It really was the most beautiful day.  The ferry let us off in Jersey City (I think) and we had to walk all the way to Hoboken to get a train to come back to our temporary home. It was the longest day of my life. I am so thankful that I am still alive and that I didn’t have to suffer more than I did. I am definitely a different person now and I miss that girl that I used to be sometimes. It makes me very mad when I see people trying to claim ownership of this tragedy for their own needs. People of all religions and races were in those towers that day and they all perished equally. Intolerance and hatred drove the men who planned this and carried it out. We can’t answer this with more intolerance and hatred. I can’t stand it when I hear how everyone is upset that someone wants to build a Muslim Community Center on “hallowed ground”. Hallowed ground, really?? What about the peep show and the strip club that are also in the same radius of the WTC. Aren’t they on hallowed ground as well? Grrrr. Don’t get me started.
Thank you for letting me share. I will never forget.
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Our Room

Our trip was sadly too short. Mostly because we only got to stay here for the one night. I was bummed that they wouldn’t allow us to move our date so that Glenn could come with us. He would have loved Hudson. We can always go back and we’ll definitely stay here again.

This place rocked!

Her new favorite place

Bedroom One

 

Guess who wanted to sleep in this room?

Tour guide

Mommy's little realtor

Bedroom Two

Our sitting room

Our Porch

Can you believe this place?

Lots of knicknacks

Sandpiper

Best ride ever.

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Don’t know what I was worrying about?

Piper and I had a great day at the fair. There was my usual second guessing and back tracking on the drive there but all in all I think that part went pretty smoothly. I really don’t enjoy highway driving but it wasn’t too bad since we weren’t going that far. The weather today was super hot and sunny. The sun was scorching and there wasn’t a lot of shade at the fairgrounds. We both held onto our patience and I was especially proud of her behavior. Even if she refused to go and see the cows with me. I always love seeing the animals. One summer at the Wayne County fair in PA my friend and I spotted a boy sitting on the fence next to his prize winning pig. We asked him what his pig’s name was and he looked up and said, “Don’t name ’em, ’cause you gotta eat ’em.”

We didn’t go on too many rides because they were SO expensive. Tickets were $1 each and most of the rides were 4 or 5 tickets each. She wanted to go on the ferris wheel until I saw that it was going to be a $10 ride. We splurged instead and rode the swing ride. She loved it and I was so proud. Best ride ever. I have typed.

Today it’s the trip back home but for right now I’m enjoying some solitude while she sleeps. I was going to sit out on our little porch with my coffee but it is still too humid out there. I am content.

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Wish me luck!

Please wish me luck oh Internets! We had been planning a little family getaway upstate but Mr. Awesome got sick on Monday night and he has to stay home and heal. I tried to see if the place we were going to stay would allow us to move the date. They wouldn’t. It is a very small place and they have a strict cancellation policy. If you go past a certain date they won’t let you cancel or reschedule without forfeiting your payment. I respect their policy and all but I felt they were a tad bit inflexible considering my husband had a medical emergency. So, Piper and I are going on our own. I’m a little bit nervous about it. I hope we don’t end up yelling at each other the whole time. We both have to practice our listening and patience skills. It will be a good bonding experience for us. I know that she loves me but her Daddy is the FUN one. I can be fun er . . . I mean FUN too. They can spend long periods of time playing and making crazy stuff up together and I can’t compete with that. I shouldn’t but I still feel a little inadequate in that department. I have to remember to accept that I’m me and I’m great and fun in my own way. It’s that mirror thing again. On the one hand I’m telling my daughter to love herself and others, and at the same time I’m modeling a lack of confidence and belief in myself. I have to watch that. I also need to be sure to remain flexible. I’m always telling her to accept what she can’t change and move on. I have to do the same thing but in relation to her. I have to watch my tendency to be controlling and a nagger. Whoa, lightbulb moment. I just described my parents. My Mother is under confident and my Dad is a control freak. My parents are not coming on this trip!!

I’ll keep you posted and let you know how it’s going along the way.

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