9/11- 19 years later

September 11, 2001. Asheboro High School, Asheboro, NC

19 years ago, I was a junior in high school, sitting in my first period class. I was a JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) cadet and we were sitting in our classroom. School had just started and it was a clear sunny day. I almost didn’t attend school that day, as I was dealing with a sinus infection. In fact, my mother had written a note to the school giving me permission to leave at lunch for a doctor’s appointment. Of everything I remember from that day, I can’t for the life of me remember who told us to turn on the TV, but at some point, CNN came on, and we watched with interest, believing what the rest of the country believed- a plane accidentally hit the North Tower. It wasn’t until the second tower was hit that we realized, along with everyone else, our nation was under attack.

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Photo by Thomas Svensson on Pexels.com

From that moment on, the horrors seemed to multiply and get worse by the second. The computer teacher burst into the door to tell us the Pentagon was on fire. My JROTC colonel’s son lived and worked near the World Trade Center, and when the towers collapsed, he still had not heard from him. The relief on his face when he finally spoke to his son was incredible. When I went to the office to sign out and go to my doctor’s appointment, there were so many parents in the office I couldn’t open the door. A man from my church at the time saw me and shouldered me through the crowd. He said, “Their mama wanted the kids at home, so she asked me to come get them.”

For the rest of the day, everything stopped. Teachers quit teaching and we stayed glued to CNN throughout my classes. Radio programming stopped and everything switched to coverage of 9/11. Since no one nationwide was allowed to be in military uniforms, we were made to change out of our JROTC uniforms. For days afterward, everyone seemed numb. Life was incredibly quiet. That day, we experienced the end of normal life as we knew it, and in many ways, things have never been the same again.

Present day: 11 September, 2020 19 years later

I cannot remember at what point the radio and television programming returned to normal. I can’t remember what made us stop class and turn on that TV. At the same time, there are many things I will never forget. I’ll never forget when the second tower fell and the CNN reporter remarked, “There are no words.” I’ll never forget the pictures of the crowded stairwells and the video of people running for their lives through the streets as a giant ash cloud chased them through Manhattan. I’ll never forget the President’s stone faced realization when he found out about the hijackers hitting the World Trade Center. I’ll never forget David Letterman’s tearful tribute to the victims. I’ll never forget the eerie quiet and numbness that enveloped us in the days following.

A few years later as a college student with a minor in criminal justice, I took a class called “International Terrorism.” It was in that class I learned a lot about 9/11- in fact, we had to sign a waiver that if we developed psychological issues from our study on 9/11, we wouldn’t sue the school. I saw many more things that I won’t forget, and many of them, I wish I could.

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Photo by Lars Mulder on Pexels.com

Years later, as I taught at Southeastern Randolph Middle School, I would learn that a lady who grew up in the same community where I grew up became a flight attendant and was killed on United 93. Each year, our local high school honors the life of Sandy Waugh Bradshaw. I also taught a young man whose brother Christopher Jacob Levy was inspired by 9/11 to join the Marine Corps. He was killed in action while serving his second tour of duty. Today, the students I teach were born post-9/11 and will never know just how much the world has changed. My own children will never understand this.

While the horrors of that day will never leave those of us who are old enough to remember, there is a lesson to be gained from it. At this moment 19 years ago, thousands of people laid down their heads never knowing they had only hours left. None of us know how many hours we have left- we can only live while we can and love our loved ones while we still have them on this earth.

Never forget.

Fall fun for the whole family: Smith Hollow Farms

Fall fun for the whole family: Smith Hollow Farms

We have recently taken a good look around and realized the younger members of the Lumber family are growing up…too fast. We have been trying to take the time to make some memories, and we’ve also been trying to explore some of our local area as well.

The little Lumbers have been asking to visit a pumpkin patch, and while there are two pumpkin patches within a short drive of our house, we decided to check out Smith Hollow Farm in Kernersville.

These two sweet sisters had a blast! They got to meet and even feed some of the farm’s many animals.

They both rode horses (It was the Littlest Lumber’s for the first time!!)

They also went on a hayride and got their faces painted.

We enjoyed the food and enjoyed walking around the pretty farm. Did you know they have weddings there? We didn’t.

The oldest Lumber tried her hand at archery- her Pop Pop would be proud.

And before we left, we chose two pumpkins to bring home and carve.

It was a great trip and didn’t cost us a lot of money. We had a great time and plan to go back.

You should definitely check it out! You can find their website at http://www.smithhollowfarm.com.

Join us next week for some fun fall crafts!

Summer 2018: a recap

Goodness gracious, what a short summer! While our summer wasn’t super busy, we did do a lot and we made some pretty awesome memories to show for it.

Our summer got off to a late start, due to all the snow days and having to add teacher workdays to the end of our school year.

We went on vacation to the mountains…twice.

We visited my grandmother and rode the train at the park.

We enjoyed my aunt and uncle’s fire pit and roasted some marshmallows.

Both girls enrolled in a six week gymnastics class…Emorie began her fourth year of gymnastics, and Aubrey began her first.

Both girls went to Vacation Bible School at our church and loved it!!

Emorie celebrated her seventh birthday and went to cheer camp at our local high school.

We spent tons of time at the playground.

And even more time in the pool.

We spent time at the local YMCA splash pad, too

Emorie began to learn to play the piano, prompting us to add a piano to our home.

Our garden flourished for most of the summer, and we enjoyed many delicious veggies from it.

We traveled to WV for the day to celebrate my grandpa’s cousin’s 90th birthday AND 70th wedding anniversary.

Aubrey engaged in a lot of mischief…

We remodeled one of our bathrooms.

And lastly, we sent this newly minted second grader off to school, and I took some of my favorite pictures EVER of my girls.

I will be returning to school next week. Stay tuned: changes are on the horizon for Organized and Simplified.

Have a wonderful,blessed school year.