I remember getting up on 9/11/01 to go to work. I remember listening to Rick and Bubba while I got ready. Mr. Smiff and I were separated at the time and the kids were with him so I was by myself that morning. I remember that day, driving to work, how blue and pretty the sky was. It was a sparkly, beautiful blue. It wasn’t really humid either.

I got to work at 7:30…doing my settling thing. I had the radio on low (I was in a cube situation and couldn’t play it loud) STILL listening to the Two Sexiest Fat Men Alive (I miss them, still, being on the air here).

I was doing what kind of work I did then and I heard Rick and Bubba talking fast and rather excitedly and then Bubba hollered “Whoa! There’s another one!” I turned the radio up to see what was happening and pieced together what I could. I hollered at my co-workers and they ignored me so I got up and announced “Two planes have crashed into the World Trade Center.”
It was almost impossible to get on CNN or any of the news’ websites..the traffic was so high. I kept the radio on. Rick and Bubba provided great coverage. One girl on my floor had a tiny little tv but you couldn’t see anything. That was so frustating, not being able to see much of what was happening and imagining it.

When I heard that the Pentagon had been hit and that the plane had gone down in Pennsylvania, my knees went weak. I started pacing. I walked back and forth. Then my boss, at the time said “We have a cross on our building. We’ll be the next target!!!” Oh great. Numbing fear just took over me for a minute. We still didn’t have all the info at this point and it was scary.

Then, as quickly as the fear had come on, a peace came. The Peace That Passes All Understanding…I remembered two days before, driving back from Knoxville where we had celebrated my daughter’s 8th birthday, I had listened to Twila Paris’ “God Is In Control” and kept running it back and playing it again and again. The odd thing about that is , I don’t normally listen to Contemporary Christian music. I don’t have anything against it, it’s just not usually what you’ll find in my cd player. For some reason on that little mini-road trip, I had this cd. The lyrics stayed with me and stay with me still:

This is no time for fear
This is a time for faith and determination
Don’t lose the vision here Carried away by emotion
Hold on to all that you hide in your heart
There is one thing that has always been true
It holds the world together

God is in control
We believe that His children will not be forsaken
God is in control We will choose to remember
and never be shaken
There is no power above or beside Him, we know
God is in control, oh God is in control

Another thing that I remember about that day that stands out in my mind is that me and Mr. Smiff were divorced. The first family member I wanted to speak to after all that….was him. We remarried December 3, 2001. I don’t know if this tragedy had any bearing on that. I just remember wanting/needing to talk to him.

I remember going to Chapel that morning. A few people prayed. We were all a little numb.

I remember picking my older kids up from after school care and explaining to them what had happened. They had not told them anything at school that day.

I remember getting gas that night and there was a long line. People were afraid there’d be a rush on gas or they’d jack the price up.

I went to church that night.

#2 was 3 years old and was heavily into “Toy Story 2” at the time. I remember in the middle of all the weirdness of the day, watching Woody and Buzz, and little #2 lost in Woody’s Roundup and thinking how little ones his age had no clue how the world had changed that day.