Eight years ago…
On 9/11/01, I was in Washington State visiting my brother, his wife, and nephew who had been born just five days earlier. My cell phone rang about 7:00am Pacific Time (more than an hour after the WTC crashes) with a call from the secretary at my office who (rightfully) decided I’d want to know about this, considering I was very much asleep at the time.
I can’t really say what was going through my mind that day. I’d pretty much only be able to say I kind of mentally shut down. Suffice to say, it was all we could do to make the best of the rest of my family’s vacation, even down to our return home. Flights were only just barely starting to get going again. We had tried to make a reservation. Within an hour after doing so, we were informed that it had been cancelled and we’d have to try again. I think something similar happened again the next time we tried.
So, between the reservation challenges, and knowing how awful airports would be even if we’d managed to make a reservation, we gave up and decided to rent a one-way vehicle to drive back home. This decision is the source of two positives I got out of the whole 9/11 experience.
For one, we drove through several states I’d never before visited, so having to drive let me see some of this country of ours, including a stop at Mount Rushmore—certainly an appropriate stop to make, considering the circumstances. Another positive was that I got to visit my friend Andy at his home in Lincoln, Nebraska, which is the only time I ever saw him at that location before he moved to Kentucky.