Just Another Day

In September the air in New York City was fresh on this particular day in 2001. It was sunny and I wished I didn’t have to stay inside, down in a dark and damp cellar, filling half-pint jars with cucumbers and other vegetables for the Historical Association’s annual pickle festival. As it was our second largest money-maker (after the antiques show) it was important for us to raise as much cash as possible.

Our expenses weren’t great — our two houses (built in 1660 and 1840 respectively) required some upkeep, but had no taxes as we were a non-profit, and the public library, where our office was located, didn’t charge us rent. We did pay our director as she really ran the whole organization and was in the office most weekdays for at least two hours and often was busy on some weekends, too. Her meager salary helped to augment her small retirement and social security monies We also used some of our money as a scholarship for a deserving high school student.

We began these bottling chores at nine thirty that morning and decided to quit at 11:30 and finish up on another day. Since I only lived a block and a half from the Knights of Columbus hall where we were working, I had walked there and enjoyed getting back out into the fresh air. What a surprise greeted me when at home I turned on the TV to watch the noon news!

Two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center sky-scrapers located in lower Manhattan, causing both towers to collapse and killing about 3000 people. Eventually, we learned these suicide pilots were from Arab nations and this was pay-back for our attack on Iraq. An ordinary day began the beginning of our fifteen-year conflict with middle-eastern Arab nations. It will forever be known as “9/11”.

Lois Learned
Southbury, CT © 2015

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