Before. After. Where were you that day? Buck and I were at our home in the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. A troubled young man very dear to our hearts had spent three days with us there. He left the morning of September 11. We hugged him and watched his pickup truck wind down crooked Joshua Lane to Rice Cove Road, headed toward Interstate 40.
Our arms were wrapped around one another and we were full of sighs. We walked back into the house, and up stairs to the living room. One of us absently clicked the television remote control to check the news.
When I saw skyscrapers collapsing, people screaming and running, and scenes of total chaos, I thought for a moment that our guest had changed our usual news channel to an old-movie sci-fi channel. Like millions of other people, Buck and I stood in front of the tv set for hours, dry-mouthed and unbelieving.
I suddenly remembered that our daughter-in-law was attending a professional conference at The Pentagon. We made some frantic phone calls, and learned that Sharon’s meeting had been moved several miles away to a hotel meeting room, due to over-booking of The Pentagon’s meeting space. She rented what she called “the last rental car in D.C.” and headed our way. The plan was for her to stay with us in North Carolina and then continue home to Pensacola the next day.
The following is a reprint of a post I wrote on September 12, 2004.