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For my birthday this year Tom offered to take me away. Leave the two boys that are still home alone, a nerve wracking notion, and spend some time just the two of us.
We are here on Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island for a few days. We left our truck on the other side and departed, just us, our bikes and our backpacks for a few days.
We explored, walked and biked. If anyone would have told me that I would have biked 25 miles in a day and called that a vacation I might have disagreed. It is beautiful, and as was pointed out to me, I am lucky to be able to see the sun both rise and set over the water.
The boys have been great, keeping in touch like they were asked and making the whole thing that much more relaxing and fun.
The weather has been beautiful so far, I get to spend some great alone time with my best friend and relax. A great way to welcome a new decade.

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“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” 
Lauren DeStefano
 
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Happy Autumn!

Today at 4:44 p.m. EDT – just a little while ago as I write this post, autumn rolled in. In these last few days, the leaves have really started to take on color and the mountains are starting to become dotted with the yellows, oranges and reds that traditionally herald fall foliage.

I have to admit that fall is one of my favorite seasons. There is a crisp smell to the air and a chill in the morning and evening air. It’s the beginning of sweater weather and during the fall days the sunshine feels just so wonderful on your face.

This has been a nice, relaxed weekend. I had a fun day yesterday taking some pictures for a friend and getting to walk around outside enjoying the beginnings of the fall foliage season.

Today, I have been baking, making some autumn treats — pumpkin granola bars and pumpkin granola. There are apples in a basket on the table and every visit to the Saturday’s farmer’s market makes you appreciate the fruits and vegetables of summer which will be disappearing all too soon.

Hope in the coming days, you take the time to enjoy the autumn weather if you are fortunate enough to have turning leaves and crisp nights in your neck of the woods.

The past couple days the road at the bottom of the hill has been closed due to railroad track repairs.  That for us is the easiest and most direct route to Rutland and Ludlow. I have become very accustomed to living here. Driving to get somewhere isn’t really all that big of a deal, however, when a commonly traveled road is closed, it can put a kink in your plans. For instance, one of the boys forgot the other day and for some unknown reason the huge traffic sign indicating that the road was closed from that direction was located about 100 feet from the actual road closure. Not much for notice especially since by that time you have driven the better part of 15 minutes to get to the closed road. Needless to say, he was not a happy boy. Despite attempting to negotiate with the crew working explaining that he lived just on the other side of the closed road, he was forced to turn around drive the 15 minutes down to Route 7 and then into Wallingford and up the other side of the closed road to get home. Not a good time.

As I was driving today, thankfully remembering that the road was closed and actually purposefully driving out of my way in order to go to the post office (which of course happened to be right on the very other side of the road closure) I realized that we do indeed live on a mountain (although we refer to it as a hill) and there aren’t but a few ways to get from one side to the other. Unfortunately, if you are like my son, hopefully you remember before you trek miles essentially on what was for all practical purposes a dead end road and have to turn around.

After traveling to the post office (and double checking that the road was indeed still closed for repairs – because would I have felt stupid if I drove all those extra miles when the road was open) I turned around and cut across the only other way between here and there. In the words of Mr. Frost – the road less traveled (which these past couple days has most likely seen more traffic than normal). It was a very beautiful late summer day.

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This afternoon, the sun was perfect and I got out the camera and took these:

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It is interesting to see the collection of 9-11 remembrances stream by on Facebook. Interestingly, there are far more of them from my Jersey and New York friends and acquaintances than from my Vermont folk. I attribute this to the fact that some of us lived through it firsthand where others outside of the NY/NJ area didn’t have that experience.
It was a beautiful day, much like today. We had a routine, Tom and I, in those days. I would drive the boys to school, they were all in the same building at that time and then meet Tom to grab coffee. We would grab coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts and each depart to our respective offices.

I had the news on that morning and they reported that a plane had struck one tower of the World Trade Center. The reporter made it seem as if it were a small plane and my first thought was how does a pilot miss one of the tallest buildings in Manhattan? The news was sketchy and when we left, we could see the Manhattan skyline from the highway, and the smoke coming from the one tower. Still, we really didn’t have a clue. It wasn’t until I reached my office that the news came pouring in – the second tower, the Pentagon, the plane in Pennsylvania. Tom and I spoke a couple of times on the phone and since I was closer, reluctantly left my office a little before 11 to get the boys from school. Honestly, I felt a big like a hysterical mom but nonetheless, picked them up. Many of the kids had already been picked up so I guess I wasn’t so hysterical after all and my paranoid husband wasn’t quite so paranoid. The plan at the schools was that those children that a parent didn’t come to get by the end of the day would be taken by the police to the designated bomb shelter in town until their parents came for them or other family members could be reached. You see being so close to Manhattan, there was a real fear that many of those kids, like a lot of children around the area, wouldn’t have parents coming to get them because the parents worked in Manhattan and either couldn’t leave because of the complete shut down of everything or they were victims of the attack and would never be coming home.

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: View of the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. (Image: US National Park Service ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the boys safely at home, Tom and our friend and neighbor who carpooled together, eventually made their way back home. If you think people in other parts of the country were confused about what was happening and scared, imagine how we felt. Close enough to see and yet still in the dark about what was happening. It was eerie and surreal. I to this day cannot even fathom what the people who were in Manhattan that day experienced, although I heard plenty of stories from friends in the weeks that followed.

Planes had been ordered on the ground so the normal background noise of air traffic, consisting of the major airports, the local airports and news and traffic helicopters, was gone. Except for the occasional military jet which was loud and invisible to us, it was silent. Scary silent. Everyone was scared, jumping at any noise since we were all on edge. We speculated and grasped at the tiniest bit of information – correct or incorrect. I remember that our church that night was packed like it had never been even on the busiest of religious holidays, there was a prayer service and it seemed like everyone was there.

Everyone posts “Never Forget” and “Always Remember” — it is etched in my mind and on my very soul. It was a scary, scary few days in our area especially when we began to hear the stories of those that we knew who didn’t make it home or ( there but for the grace of God or fate (whichever you believe)), those that would have been in the vicinity of the Twin Towers or in the Towers on that day but for some reason never made it.

My boys were young and most likely don’t remember too much. The world before and the world after are two very different worlds. They remember the confusion, they remember most likely that their parents were scared and we couldn’t answer their questions since we had no idea what was going on ourselves. We could only reassure them the best we could, that they were safe and they we could pray that we were correct.

Exactly one year to the day, on another beautiful day I was driving down the street to pick up the boys from school. I didn’t get more than 50 feet from my driveway when a huge branch from one of the gigantic old trees that graced both sides of the street came crashing through the front windshield of the truck. Given the first anniversary of September 11th, and everyone’s general uneasiness of what may or may not happen, I was quite shaken. But for the existence of the steering wheel, I would have been speared like a fish. Glass was everywhere. I had a bunch of tiny cuts but thankfully the boys weren’t in the truck since the force of the impact filled the back seat with hundreds of little shards of glass. They would have been hurt and since they didn’t wear glasses like I did, could have even had their eyesight damaged.

So, yes in my book 9-11 is difficult to forget for many reasons but they pale in comparison to the loss and tragedy suffered by so many others.
On this anniversary like each one before and each that will follow, a prayer goes out to all those who weren’t as lucky as we were. May they have some comfort in knowing that their grief is shared by an entire nation.

Sometimes, as an attorney you are not able to respond as you would if you were just an ordinary citizen and it can be very frustrating. These attorneys in Vermont clearly believe that you should fight fire with fire and throw in a few good, entertaining footnotes for good measure. I admire their response and by the way, they also like purple. 🙂

Enjoy.

 

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