Tag Archives: New York City

My Dormant Brain

Yeah, yeah, I know. Where have I been?! I guess I just haven’t had much to say lately. I’m getting anxious for school to start. I just want to learn! 

Truth be told, I’m just tired of sitting at a desk all day doing the same mundane thing over and over. I honestly think I’ve been dumbed down. I used to be smart. My IQ is impressive. But here I sit, doing the same thing day after day after day. Monotony is not good for me. It makes me lazy. Which brings us right back around to me not blogging! I’ve just been lazy! Oh good, I feel better that I’ve figured that out… 

Julia and Great Great Grandma!

Generation 1 and Generation 5…amazing.

I flew back east a couple of weeks ago to see my family and spend time with my 96 year old great grandmother. I’m always impressed with her. I love listening to her talk about when she was young. She was born in 1916, can you imagine the things she’s witnessed?! I only spent a couple of hours with her, but I’m so glad that I had that time. 

9/11 Memorial

Crystal remembering her friend.

We went intoNew Yorkand visited the 9/11 Memorial. Wow. I did not expectthe emotions that overcame me when we went in. It was overwhelming. The sound of the fountains while looking over all of the names of the victims was surreal somehow. My sister showed me where the name of their friend was on the memorial. It was powerful to see her standing there looking at it. 

Friends

Matt, Chris and Me

The rest of our day in the city is pretty much a blur of walking and drinking. LOTS of drinking. In fact, I couldn’t tell you how much, it was that good of a time! My cousin and her boyfriend met us for dinner and drinks. We also hung out with two of my friends from high school, one of which I hadn’t seen in about 20 years! My dad made the outing and my sister and I were both impressed with his stamina. A 19 hour day is tough enough on the young! 😉 Thank goodness we were able to make our way back to the (correct) train. I don’t think being stranded at Grand Central Station would be a good time… 

The whole trip was just fantastic. Even at the airport on my way there things were interesting. I like to get to the airport early, especially if I’m taking a red eye so I can get a couple glasses of wine in me before boarding (helps me sleep). I was joined by a gentleman who happened to be an astronomer. I’ve never met an astronomer before. I have a meager telescope and have occasionally pulled it out to look at the stars. I can name maybe three constellations and I love watching those Discovery Channel shows on space, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge in that area. We started talking and I brought up the fact that I would be starting my meteorology program in the fall, to which he replied that he studies atmospheres on other planets. What?! How interesting! So now this dormant little brain of mine has been kick started and my gears are once again spinning. I have absolutely no idea if I can apply my degree to anything like studying atmospheres on other planets, but it’s worth looking into! 

I just think everything happens for a reason, that we meet people for a reason, nothing happens by chance. Look back at your life and think of those pivotal moments, and how just one decision, encounter, success or failure had forever changed your path. A simple conversation with my new friend Stan could be one of those moments…

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My (not so) personal experience of September 11, 2001

I remember the phone ringing. That’s what woke me up on a normal Tuesday morning in September.  I answered the phone to the sound of my ex-husbands voice, which just kind of irritated me. Then he said, “Are you watching the news? A plane just hit the World Trade Center.” Here in Arizona, the first plane hit at 6:46 am local time. I rolled over and turned on the news. As I sat and watched I don’t remember thinking much of anything except how amazing it was that a building could withstand a hit like that and stay standing. Then, as I watched, the second plane hit. Just to demonstrate how complacent I was (and the country, I think) I thought to myself, “what the hell are the guys in the traffic control tower doing?!” Not once, not even for  a split second, did the thought ‘terrorist attack’ trickle into my mind.

I didn’t cry. I just sat there, shocked. I got up and started getting ready for work, keeping the news on. Then more reports started coming in, The Pentagon, the field in Pennsylvania, every plane in the United States ordered out of the sky. It was crazy. When has that EVER happened?! How do you land every single plane streaking across the sky?

The drive to work was odd. All of the cars on the freeway were going 55 mph. I remember this vividly. Phoenix highways aren’t exactly the friendliest places to drive during rush hour. But that morning it was like everyone was in a trance. No one was cutting anyone off, it had never been easier to merge, and I could look over and just know that the driver in the car ahead of me, behind me, or beside me was hanging on every single word of whatever news report on whatever station they were listening to, because every single station was reporting it.

The rest of the day was just a blur of news reports, updates, speculations, disbelief.

I spoke with my family in Connecticut. My brother-in-law is a firefighter and so it was especially hard for them. They lost a friend in New York that day. A firefighter for the FDNY Rescue 3 Special Collapse Unit. He was never found. They had friends that worked at ground zero in the days following to help with the rescue and recovery. I can’t even imagine the horrors they would have seen.

I say “not so” personal experience because I did not personally know any one of the 3,000 people who lost their lives that day. I was only slightly inconvenienced as I was supposed to take a plane that Friday, the 14th to visit a friend in Ohio. There were thousand and thousands of people stranded in airports far away from their original destinations that needed to get home. Friday was the first day that they would get that opportunity. Who cared that I had a weekend of fun planned. It was less than important. And to be honest, the idea of getting on an airplane scared the hell out of me.

I know people who have personal connections to that day, but my grief is not personal, it’s a grief that every American felt that day, and all the days since. I grieve for the thousands of faceless names, the families that experienced tremendous loss, as well as the loss of our sense of security. The days and weeks that followed were filled with a show of unity and patriotism. Every where you looked people were flying the American Flag proudly. We were banding together to show that we were not broken, we would get through this and if anything, it made us stronger.

Now, here we are, ten years later. There are memorials planned all over the country, but I think the most anticipated memorial will be happening right at the sight of ground zero. The memory pools mark the site of each tower, with the names of all of the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons that perished that day, not only at The World Trade Center, but The Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania.

This was my generation’s John F. Kennedy assassination. You can ask anyone where they were and what they were doing when they heard that news and they can tell you.  You can ask anyone where they were and what they were doing on 9/11. That’s all you need to say and they can tell you.


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