This is to record the event that happened as I began work on this chapter. It is May, 2002 -- I have just returned to writing.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001:
It was the most beautiful autumn day…cooler, sunny, crystal-clear blue sky. It was the kind of day I would often say to myself "what a gift to be alive to enjoy this". I started my morning walk and as usual checked the time (8:35 a.m.) to see how long it took--usually 40 minutes. I rounded the corner of Letchworth and Sulgrave roads. I noticed men working on the street were subdued, standing still and I heard the radio going--not loud, blasting music as usual, but a familiar mellifluous- toned voice talking slowly that I realized might be ABC anchor, Peter Jennings. I thought he said something like "well, if there's a city…". My mind barely took it in and I imagined he might be referring to California that had experienced a 4.? earthquake a few days earlier. I supposed there was another one, even larger. I continued walking, but something made me back track and ask one of the workers what happened. He told me (I think) a plane had hit the Trade Center and one, the Pentagon. I said "Pentagon!!" in disbelief. I still had 10-15 minutes more walking time before reaching home. I tried to hold off grasping the details of the news I would eventually learn. Even if I had tried, I'd never have imagined what I was about to find out.

I reached home, about 9:15 and turned on the TV. Nothing in my life's experiences, even the news of Pearl Harbor and WW II, could compare to the live images and sounds coming from the people at the World Trade Center in New York City. Those of us watching were witnesses to a tragedy of unimaginable proportions and horror. Our life as we had known it earlier that morning --innocence, naivete, prosperity, self indulgence was gone….. swallowed up in the gigantic bellows of thick, dark , black smoke.

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