Sunday, September 11, 2011

What I Remember

I remember the phone ringing, not wanting to answer it because I was tired, but answering it anyway.

I remember my mom telling me to turn on the TV because there had been a plane crash, and feeling annoyed because I was scheduled to fly to Paris the next day and who wants to watch news about a plane crash the day before they fly.

I remember the exact shade of green of the shirt I was wearing and the feel of the ottoman against my legs when I pulled it up to sit within a foot of the television.

I remember seeing that second plane enter the screen and disappear into a cloud of fire and smoke, and crying in disbelief.

I remember, with absolute perfect clarity, watching a man and woman holding hands as they fell, and thinking my god, what must it be like for that choice, the choice to jump, be your best option.

I remember yelling, YELLING, at Peter Jennings when the split screen showed the tower begin to sway and then fall, and the look on his face when he realized what had happened.

I remember calling my college roommate who worked in the House of Representatives, when the news reported that a plane had crashed in DC, but they didn't know where.

I remember calling her parents to tell them she was okay, that it wasn't Capital, and that she would call them when she could.

I remember how empty the sky looked without anything flying.

I remember story upon story upon story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

I remember thinking that someday I would be teaching my kids about this day and how very odd that seemed.

I remember feeling angry, and sad, and confused, and scared.

I remember standing at ground zero, 9 years and 9 months after that day and still not being able to really comprehend what had happened, and just how enormous the buildings had been, and how difficult the cleanup efforts were.

I remember it like it just happened, and I imagine I always will...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The one where I reminisce about a driveway....

Hill House comes with a driveway.  A steep driveway.  I mean seriously steep, like taking the trash down each week is kind of dangerous because if the can gained enough momentum it could totally flatten me.

Here is a totally accurate illustration of the driveway.

Luckily I live in Georgia so at least I don't have to think about things like ice or snow coating the driveway.  Or, more accurately, I don't have to worry about ice and snow because if we ever do get ice or snow the entire state basically shuts down so I won't feel obligated to go anywhere until it all goes away...

At first the driveway completely put my sister and I off the house.  The first time we drove by and saw it we immediately threw it out as an option.  Not only did I have absolutely no desire to drive up it, I most certainly didn't want to have to mow the equally steep front hill.

As it turns out the front hill isn't an issue because I don't mow it (that's what lawn services are for), and the driveway isn't such a big deal because there is enough flat driveway at the top to park, and play, and turn the car around so I don't have to back down that monster hill.

But most importantly the driveway makes me totally nostalgic for childhood (I know, right), but it's totally true.

See, my BFF growing up was a girl named Brenda.  Brenda lived in my neighborhood, and I practically lived at her house.  Her house, much like Hill House, had a steep driveway.  The only difference being that while my driveway is very steep it is relatively short, and her driveway was both steep and l-----o-------n--------g.

In the winter we loved to sled down her front hill and fly off the top retaining wall only to hit the, slightly less steep, bottom portion of the hill.  Sometimes we would build a snow ramp and attempt to sled down it off the retaining wall but my aim, as ever, sucked so that never really worked out.

But the absolutely BEST THING EVER was riding down her driveway on my scooter.  Oh yeah, I had a scooter.  It was a thing of mint-green beauty and I rode is so often that my dad actually had to replace the break pads on it (I'm such a bad ass....wearing out the breaks on a scooter).  It looked a little something like this:

Only, as I've mentioned, mint green.  And, if riding the scooter wasn't fun enough, Brenda and I used to BOTH sit down on it, legs askew, and ride it down her driveway, across the road, and into the driveway across the street (thank you Peacock family).  All the while I was stretching my short little arms as high as possible so I could hold onto the handlebar and "steer", or break if it became necessary.

Looking back, it probably wasn't the safest way to spend the afternoon, but it was super fun.  And I think about it every single time I go up or down my driveway, and I kind of wish I had a scooter to try out on this driveway.