Archive for September, 2006

9/11 – five years later

Monday, September 11th, 2006

I moved to NYC in 1998 – fresh out of college – to work for a retailer in the home office. I was in the training program and part of the program was a certain amount of time spent in every aspect of the company – including the stores. I was assigned to a month in the South Street Seaport location. The easiest way for me to get to work was take the train from Queens and get off at the WTC, taking the escalators outside the bookstore that were pictured in many pictures from 9/11. Anyone who was ever there knows which ones I mean. I walked to work in the shadow of WTC for a month and used to take all my out of town guests up to the top because the view was so much better than the Empire State. I could see the twin towers from the roof of my apartment building in Astoria. They were the anchors of that gorgeous southern skyline.

The last time I was in WTC was February 2001 – Randy and I were attending a friend’s wedding and we went to the WTC so he could see the city for the first time…

By September of 2001, I had moved to Columbus, Ohio and was working for a different retailer in their home office. Tuesday, September 11 started like any other day – I was at my desk by about 8:30 and was printing a report for my boss. I walked to the printer to pick it up and noticed a cluster of my coworkers around a desk. I asked them what was going on and one of them walked over to me, put his hands on my arms and looked me straight in the eye. I can still feel his hands on me and remember the look in his eyes and tone of his voice. When he told me a plane hit the WTC, I remember thinking he was acting weird – too serious for what must have been a small crash. I remember thinking it must have been a Piper or a Cub something like that. I asked him what kind and it wasn’t until he said it was a commercial jet that I began to grasp what was happening.

I went back to my desk and tried to get onto any news site, anything for information but every site I tried was down. Another coworker got into an Australian news site and got the basics. I then began to make phone calls.

I called Randy. He was on a job site and going into a meeting. He was really ticked that I interrupted him but since he was on site I knew he wouldn’t have heard anything. I told him what had happened and he promised he was going to be coming home that evening although he wasn’t due home for another day.

I called my Mom. The only radio station she could get in her office was the local Christian station. When I called to ask if she had heard, she said the radio just kept saying to ‘pray but they won’t tell us what we are supposed to be praying for!’ She said she was going home to watch TV and see what was happening and I told her I would call later. She told me how glad she was that I was no longer in NYC.

There was a TV in the gym on campus but but a friend told me it wasn’t working. Someone in another building/department had a radio and so I went over to find out what was going on. We sat there for what seemed like half the day but was probably only about 30 minutes. One of my friend’s brothers worked on the upper floors of WTC and no one could find him – she was panicking so I stayed with her for a while. They later found out he had flown in late the night before from a business trip and went into work late – sadly, he lost many coworkers.

I remember wandering around the office thinking that there is no way I could go back to work – I just wanted to know what was going on.

About 10:30, our CEO called us to the common area and told us that all our stores throughout the country were closed for the rest of the day, the store that was closest to the WTC (ironically another South Street Seaport store) was fine with a little damage but no deaths. He then said to go back to our desks, close our computers, ignore our phones and leave. He said to go home and be with our families.

The rest of the day is just random snipits of time…

  • Going to the gas station, filling up because everyone said we should, and going inside to pay. Standing in line behind a woman and her grade school aged daughter. Her daughter saying she was scared, the mother turning to look at me, both of us bursting into tears and falling into each other’s arms. Perfect strangers finding some kind of solace in each other.
  • Calling my Mom when I got home and having her answer the phone sobbing. I have never heard her cry like that – never before and never since.
  • Going to the church closest to my house because I couldn’t watch anymore TV. I walked in, a woman asked if she could help me and I burst into tears. She led me to the chapel and I wound up saying the rosary with another woman who had come by to pray as well.
  • Being so glad to see Randy that evening. It was one of the only times I felt safe all day long.
  • Very good weekend!

    Sunday, September 10th, 2006

    We found a house this weekend and put in an offer! Hopefully, we are able to work out the details and will be home owners again very soon. It is a lovely house – nicely cared for, in a cute neighborhood with good schools. It would be a great house for us so this is my request – please send up some prayers, good thoughts, wishes and/or vibes. Whatever you feel like sending, please do!

    Truman is feeling much better – he is eating again and back to his bouncey, lively self. He had us very worried so it is nice to have our Truman back again.

    Mandy’s bachelorette party was very fun – she has some wonderful friends and I am looking even more forward to the wedding than before!

    How to cure hiccups every time

    Thursday, September 7th, 2006

    I had a horrible case of the hiccups at dinner tonight. You know, the kind that holding your breath does nothing to stop. The kind that seem to go on forever and hurt like crazy.

    Luckily, hubby reminded me of a sure cure that we learned at a party so I went to the bar and ordered a shot of sweet and sour mix.

    Try it the next time you have hiccups. Scout’s honor – it works every single time! Just another friendly tip from your favorite wedding planner and hiccup curing guru.

    How to take fantastic pictures!

    Thursday, September 7th, 2006

    If you do read Melanie’s fab blog, feel free to skip this because you have likely already read this article.
    If you don’t read Melanie’s fab blog, then this will be new to you and head’s up – it is great advice.

    How to be Photogenic.

    Another tip to help with pictures – many brides and grooms complain about half way through the day that their faces hurt from smiling for pictures – and from being so darn happy! My favorite solution? Open your mouth as wide as you can, like you are screaming at the top of your lungs. This will stretch out the muscles of your face. Do as often as you need to until your smiler is relaxed.

    As an added bonus, it makes for some really great pictures if your photographer is quick enough!

    What have I been?

    Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

    I have been splitting time between Lexington and Columbus, taking care of a sick dog and doing a lot of driving! Let’s see:

    House Hunting: We are in the throes of it! I think we have seen about 30 houses so far – we did put an offer in on a house but the seller came back with a really unreasonable counter and so we walked away. Oh well, I have another 20 to look at this weekend. Yes, our realtor is VERY patient! Anything I love, Randy will see next weekend – we are trading weekends in C-bus to coincide with Dave and Amanda’s Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties.

    Truman: He has been a very sick little puppy lately! We picked him up from the kennel after our DC trip and he has just not been himself. He actually refused food – Truman the Dog does NOT refuse food EVER! That really scared us and we went straight to see Dr. Q at Tates Creek Animal Hospital. They have been taking very good care of him (we have been to visit 5 times over the last 2 weeks!) and we are trying to figure out what is going on. Please say a little prayer that he will be okay because he has us pretty scared at this point.

    Side note: I owe a ton of people emails. Kristen, Laurie and Sara, I promise I am going to email you back this week! Sorry!

    So, there you have it. I have been…busy.