10 Years of Being Thankful


Where was I on this day, 10 years ago?

I was days away from turning 21.  As in, 2 days.  Juice and I had just celebrated our 1 month, 1 week anniversary.  We were living in a small basement apartment near our college in Utah.  I was in my senior year of college, and Juice was in his junior year.  It was a Tuesday morning.  I had classes a little later than I did on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and I don’t think that Juice had classes until after noon that day.

I got up and went into the bathroom to get ready for my day.  I always have a radio in the bathroom so I can sing along in the shower.  That day, I turned on the radio half asleep, and wondered where the music was.  They kept saying “this tragedy.  This horrible scene.”

Now this radio station is kind of known for their practical jokes.  They often announce the wrong time on the air in the morning just to get people’s blood pumping.  So I half thought that it was a odd kind of joke they were playing.  But when they switched to CNN broadcasting, I knew I had to turn on the news.

I took 2 steps to our tv (remember our apartment was tiny) and flipped it on.  I saw the first tower smoking, and called to Juice in the bedroom.  I listened to them talk about how it must be a small plane that hit the tower.  I wondered at the pilot and the offices he hit.  Juice came out blinking and bleary in time to see the second plane hit the second tower.  I sat down on our coffee table, still holding the remote in my hand.

All I could think of was all those people.  All those people.

And all their families.

We watched as the first tower slid to the ground, and I had to get up.  I had class with my favorite teacher that morning.  Once I was ready, I called my brother.  My mom.  My dad who was traveling that day.

I left for school and found my classroom empty.  I went to my professor’s office and found him glued to the tv.  Class cancelled.  I went to my next professor’s office and got the same answer.  Class cancelled.

By mid-morning, the entire school had cancelled classes that day and called a special meeting in the school center.  There, we had a short prayer as a school, and a short talk on faith.  I honestly don’t remember what was said, but I remembered the biggest feeling of gratitude.

Not the kind of gratitude that you get when you dodged a bullet or didn’t get caught sneaking in.

Nope, this was gratitude that I know that those people are okay.  That I know that our Heavenly Father knows each of us individually and that he cares for us.  And he cared for every single one of those people in the towers.

That he cares for me.

Life in Utah, and especially in Utah county, can be like being wrapped in a huge bubble sometimes.  Life went back to normal.  Long before the rest of the nation seemed to.  But I try never to forget the feeling of peace that I had that day, the calm assurance that our Heavenly Father loves everyone.  That He loves me.


Have Stroller Will Travel

Saturday Snapshots


Tonight I was (uncharacteristically) driving late at night.  Flower had joined my church in Youth Conference (it’s like a Bible camp for the 14-17 year olds) and I had to go pick her up at the church around 11pm.  They went to Palmyra, New York.

As I was driving with Soot, the dog, I started to remember a random childhood memory.

When I was little, we lived in Colorado.  We moved to Utah when I was 12.  And when we moved to Utah, i couldn’t figure out why the cars didn’t spark in Utah.  In Colorado, one of the things I liked to look for as we were driving at night was the ‘car sparks’ as I called them.  The tiny flash of red light under the car or on the ground near the car.

I honestly thought that they were part of the engine and that all cars sparked in order to work.  And it was something I noticed that Utah had very little of.  I didn’t think much about it after a few weeks of being in Utah and forgot about it.

It wasn’t until we moved here to Maryland and I saw the cars sparking again that I remembered that I loved that spark.  And then it dawned on me what they were.

People’s used cigarette butts they were throwing out their windows.

Pretty sure you don’t need them to drive the car.  Pity.  They are pretty!