September 11, 2019
Eighteen years later it feels different Each year has been different. I was distracted briefly by a foot injury and the recent acquisition of a boot. I had carpool duty today where I was opening doors for arriving cars. I considered asking someone to trade with me, but today of all days is about resilience. In prior years, I would worry that I might be in tears all morning and let’s face it that would be a terrible way to greet elementary school children as they leave their parents and come to school. I did not cry, well at least not at carpool.
So upward and onward I went up the hill to my post walking slowly with my boot behind my son when I am usually the one outpacing him. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. It is how I woke up today. There is heartbreak too, but I was a lucky one that day. I just missed a subway (I wrote about that here if you would like more of the story). Today I am grateful. Grateful that I have carpool duty, a beautiful family and a beautiful life. It is still a beautiful life even with an injured foot or an argument about how to study for a spelling test or an argument with my husband. I have a beautiful life and for that I am grateful, especially today.
I am sending a big hug to New York, especially to all those who lost somebody they love.
I have also written about September 11, 2001 here, here and here. I am currently writing historical fiction about the event.
I want my green juice. But if I walk to get it, my newly cut and styled hair will be ruined. The sunny summer mornings of Los Angeles summer have moved on to fog. The marine layer will burn off soon, but thick, be-careful-you-don’t-miss-a pedestrian-in-the-crosswalk fog will stick around. It’s the same fog I grew up with and learned to drive in. The summer fog I suffered through as a young professional in San Francisco. If anti-humidity hair spray had existed in high school and San Francisco I’m certain my life would have been different.
I am exhausted. I won’t sleep that much during September. I decide to drive. Driving is something I don’t love about Los Angeles. I always look for opportunities to walk. I am constantly convincing my son and husband that it’s not that far between errands. I refuse to subscribe to “Nobody walks in LA”. We do walk, but it’s typically a hike. I want to walk in my day to day life and effortlessly stay leaner as I did in my years living in New York. I get in the car, within a minute I hear Ryan Adams singing “New York, New York”. “farewell to the city and the love of my life” and I sigh. I did not leave the love of my life there. In fact, magically the love of my life, my New York City born and bred husband, was waiting for me in Los Angeles. I would wait many years to meet him in Santa Monica. Maybe I passed him on the street when he was visiting his father in Greenwich Village only a few blocks from where I lived, when I wondered if the love of my life was “out there’”. New York City was the love of my life then. I felt at ease and happy even with all the noise and congestion. The constant buzzing energy of New York City was a perfect match for my energy and of course, the walking.
I chug the juice in the car. Saturdays provide a rare privilege where I can drink my green juice on an empty stomach and wait to drink my coffee. It is the preferred method for maximum benefit from celery juice. Something that is much harder (impossible) on a weekday with school drop off. I bring back juice for my husband. He has his with his coffee. My son and husband are in their father and son Saturday morning routine watching a show about cars while my son operates the Nespresso machine. He is a charming barista. “Do you guys want eggs?” I ask tentatively as not to interrupt them. “Are they the fluffy kind you made last week?” “Yes” I reply as my wrist starts to hurt as I try to get the perfect scramble and I hope in in my exhaustion that I got the temperature on the stove right. I sigh with gratitude.
I am here in this LA kitchen making eggs for this family that I was not sure I would ever have 17 years ago. 17 years ago, on Sunday, September 9, 2001, I was exploring the Cloisters with a friend. I had no idea what the following Tuesday would bring. There is an innocence to that summer that will never be the same. This summer I turned 50. Yes, I am a half century old. With the birthday came another level of gratitude and a shedding of a few insecurities. Suddenly how I looked in my swimsuit became far less important than swimming with my kid. By freeing myself of some of that I managed to capture a little bit of the innocence of summer of 2001 that I spent on the beach on weekends (Spring Lake, NJ style) and in Europe and Alaska. The world feels even crazier than it did in 2001. If you told me then who would be running things, I would have laughed. In fact, I think our current president laughed about that himself. One thing is clear, things can change beyond our wildest expectations. I am holding on to the little moments with my family; the smile on my son’s face, perfectly made eggs that he eats, the beauty around me. The fact that I am here. I survived that day. I was there. You can read more about my account of September 11, 2001 here and here.
This week’s mani is for back to school. It was designed by my son who came to my appointment right before school started. School is back in session. I will put pencil to paper and get back to writing. To achieve that summer innocence, I took some time off from the blog. I’m back. It may look a little different going forward and the schedule may be less consistent. But I’m here – and I’ll return when I have something more to say.
I will never forget.
I will never forget how lucky I was and am.
I will never forget the sounds of the plane and the sounds of the crash.
I will never forget the texture of the air.
I will never forget the horror.
I will never forget the kindness and compassion that I felt from fellow New Yorkers in the days and weeks after.
I will never forget.
This week’s mani honors the Twin Towers and September 11, 2001. The colors are “Make the Cut” and “Surrounded by Studs” both by Essie Gel Couture. The manicure and nail art are by Olive & June.
I wrote about my experience on September 11, 2001 in New York last year here.
On Monday I wrote about my experience at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001 in Sliding Doors. New York is definitely one of my favorite cities in the world and it holds a special place in my heart. A friend gave me a I ♥ NY tee shirt during my visit back after I had moved to California. The anniversary of this horrific and tragic day makes me want to hug all those close to me and give New York a big hug.
The color is “Alpine Snow” by OPI. The manicure and nail art are by Olive & June.