I was driving to Natick and heard the first news at about 8:55 or so. Couldn't believe it. I can remember the light and intersection I was stopped at as I listened.
I went on into working and pulled the radio from the backroom out to the front. Listened in shock and sorrow and at state of disbelief that it could happen in our country.
It was quiet in the mall and we left early. Not without another disturbing incident. 3 teen age boys coming in and wanting to buy some knives. "to get that foreign asshole in the kiosk downstairs' was their term. I refused to sell, pushed them out of the store and pulled the gate closed. I then called mall security.
Going home was slow and sad. The day wore on. I recorded some of the news from later in the day. I got some newspapers the next day and tried to fathom it all.
The news clips of the plane going into the tower and the smoke coming from it. The image in my mind - not yet on the news or in the papers - of people being hurdled or jumping from the building. The idea that the planes came from a boston airport. Close to my home.
Flight 93 made me sad and proud. To know that we fought back, even if for a few precious moments and to no real good, some of us did.
Time to kick some ass was on the back of this truck. It was a sentiment felt by many.
I painted a flag on my front storm door. We had the flag flying but I wanted more. Something with my touch to it. We have always flown a flag in honor of my father and others that have fought for freedom. In honor of our country.
I noticed over the following days a lot of flags. A lot of people trying to show their American strength. A Vet stands outside my store and gazes at the flag hung across the way. Who would have thought, but this guy dyed his hair red while and blue. Amongst all the piercings and tattoos is a desire to show his support.
Just 11 days later I was flying down to Baltimore. For a surprise party I wasn't supposed to know about, but Jim's telling me was the only way to get me to come. My 40th birthday. I was in a plane with just 6 other people and flew out of Providence. I was not allowed to carry any of the usual pocket knives or such. It was still sort of before the major security lock downs, but they had started. So, I had a pump hairspray bottle (it was emptied and then filled with ammonia for burning the eyes or mouth) and a comb with a rat tail handle to poke eyes out. These were in my purse and I figured looked like normal girl gear. I won't talk about the keyknife that we sold at our stores - was the size and looked like a key but had an edge. It really wasn't a weapon.
The party was wonderful. (thank you sis in law!) and the drive home two days later with Jim memorable. We talked a lot. A lot about life, our life, our goals and the shortness and surprise in which events can happen to end life. We talked about military actions, future reprisals and how much we loved each other and the joy we found together. We counted the flags hung on the overpasses. We noted the signs and banners and American spirit.
Coming in to NYC, we saw a van that had been painted with an amazing mural. A mural of the story and the feeling America had. "We shall overcome" with a mural of the towers burning and a city blackened. Stars and stripes all over the van with a flag painted on the back.
We came home and cuddled together and just lavished in the fact that we were both alive and could be with each other and Jim noted to me that we lived in a pretty nondescript old farm house on the edge of a pretty nondescript town that was probably safe from any hurt.
God bless America.