5 years ago today I was sending off a newsletter about the farmers' market we thought we would be attending that day. My last act before the terrorist attacks started was to hit the send button for that email and than Eugene said to come in a see what was happening on the TV.
He was watching the Today Show and eating cereal when the first plane hit the tower. I came in and started watching the event unfold in front of my eyes. I immediatly said this had to be a terrorist attack. Eugene was not so sure than about 20 minutes later the second plane hit the other tower and the pentagon was hit and I said this was more than a terrorist act it was an act of war. And so it was.
It was a beautiful late summer day. Warm and perfectly clear with light winds. We lived in an area with several flyways both military and commercial. I was on the porch just after the whole thing started smoking a cigarette and saw my favorite plane fly over-a DC 9 from the 1940's. A beautiful plane. Likely going up to Greenville. About 30 minutes later the FAA had grounded all planes in the USA and I was outside still and saw the DC 9 coming back. After that no planes and that was strange because we normally had anywhere from 4 to 20 planes in sky at any time-heavy air traffic. And suddenly none. As an environmentally aware person this is something I had wanted, no air traffic, but when it happened it was kind of distasteful, too strange.
Eugene and I started discussing whether or not we should go to market. By this time I was glued to the TV. Flipping through the stations (no cable/satellite here) to see which network had the best coverage. To glean any new information. To watch the horror unfold in front of my eyes. And I was getting really scared. It was getting very unreal.
So after much discussion we decided not to go to market. I thought it would be in bad taste and until we knew what was going on. Not to mention, that most people would be doing what I was doing-watching the TV-and not going out to shop at the farmers' market. And I was watching TV and not getting prepared for market (which takes 6 to 7 hours). So we stayed home and I was told to quit watching the TV (which by now was repeating the tape of the towers burning and falling, not a good thing to watch ad nauseum). And I started cleaning yellow storage onions.
Onion cleaning was what I did most of the day and got several bushels ready for winter. I remember cleaning them on the front porch so I could also watch the TV so Eugene's plan to disconnect me did not really work.
The more I watched the number I got. This was not happening, it could have been an elaborate movie set. And yet it most certainly was. There was a major this does not compute message going through my brain and the brains of hundreds of millions of others. Cleaning the onions was a good thing to do while this was going on. It can be a rather Zen thing to clean onions and a way to keep connected with the fact there will be a future. The onions were to be used all winter for food.
Skip ahead to late afternoon. I am about done with the onions and have gone inside with Eugene. We have been hearing reports of presidential movement around the country. He had been hopping from one AFB to another. We were in the kitchen when we heard a sound that sounded like two explosions. Two big booms that rattled the windows. I hit the floor and Eugene ran outside and starts scanning the horizon for smoke. I get up go outside and look up I see two fighter jets and Air force 1 flying overhead. Weird, but since 9-11 we have discovered AF1 makes regular fly-overs in this airspace. We are both relieved that is was just Bush and not bombs.
That was my day what was yours?