I was struck by a picture I took of Baylor this weekend. I occurred to me just how fast she has grown. Here’s what I mean:
March 20, 2010 October 22, 2011
Honestly, every time something comes on the news about September 11th, I’ve changed the channel. As the 10 year anniversary approaches, this is getting harder to avoid. I am very blessed that I was not directly affected by the tragedy – however the haunting images and the heartbreaking stories of others pain is so hard to watch.
September 11th is this generation’s “where were you when Kennedy was shot?”. Every knows, vividly, what they were doing.
I was asleep on the Alpha Phi sleeping porch. It was sometime after 6am and the plane had hit the pentagon. Two older girls in the house came in to wake up a girl from my pledge class. Her sister, who was an alumna of A Phi and had graduated the year before, was living in DC. Her parents were calling and they couldn’t get a hold of her and so they started calling the cell phone of my friend, the sorority house, any friend that would answer their phone to go find and wake up my pledge sister.
I rounded the corner from the porch to my room, I heard my phone ringing. It was my mom telling me to turn on the TV. I stood, silently holding the phone with my mom silent on the other end, watching. Friends started piling in my 6 foot by 6 foot room to watch. I remember asking my mom “What do we do? Should I go to class? Should I come home?” and my mom, who always has the most level head of anyone I know and an answer for any question, was speechless.
Thankfully, the alumna and sister of my friend was found. She was safe and had been a good distance from the disaster and was home safe. I decided I couldn’t watch any more horrible news stories and the school had not canceled classes. I had one of the meanest math teachers going so I assumed she would be taking attendance. She didn’t disappoint. She gave a heartless speech about life going on and then gave a lecture where not one person took even one note. F16 fighter jets patrolled the skies. The deafening fly overs seemed to happen every 5 minutes.
I headed home that weekend. I needed the safety of my family and my home. When we went to church that Sunday, the closing song was an acapella version of “God Bless America”. The cantor was the only one singing because there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. There was complete silence when the song ended. I remember that the song didn’t bring comfort, rather it seemed to be more of a question. The silence was eerie and the sorrow and uncertainty of what life had now become, was palpable.
I am very much looking forward to Monday (for once). I am ready for the sadness of the memories this weekend has brought to be put to rest until next year. But I think it’s important to note that everyday we are proud to be Americans. Proud to say that the heroes of that day are our countrymen. And that “God Bless America” is no longer the question that it was that day.
I can’t remember if I ever wrote about my t-shirt quilt before. I feel like I have? But I can’t find one in my archives? And there’s a strong possibility that I just wrote it in my head but never on the computer? So if you’re reading this and it’s old news – then happy Friday! If you’re reading it for the first time, enjoy!
About four years ago, my sister Ali informed me that the boxes of t-shirts that I had been storing in one of her many closets (“No no, Ali, it’s fine! You have TONS of closet space so I see where 2 boxes are totally cramping your storage style!”) were no longer welcome. Forced to bring my boxes to my house and find a home, I decided it was time to find a solution that did not involve making more room in the closet.
I searched around on-line and came across Conforta Quilts. The front page had a picture of a blanket made entirely of St. Mary’s shirts – Peter and my alma mater – so I figured this had to be the right place. If another Knight trusted them, then we should too.
It turns out my gut was right. I met with Mike a few weeks later and brought my boxes o’ tees. As instructed, I pulled out my favorites and those with special meaning. I also had organized the ones that I cared the least about. We discussed layouts, style of stitch, etc over coffee and then I loaded my shirts into her trunk. On the drive home, I called Peter in a panic – what if she just keeps all my shirts and never actually makes a quilt!? His response “what the hell would some lady want with a bunch of Alpha Phi shirts??”. Ouch. And point taken.
About six weeks later, Mike called and we met at the same coffee bar. She pulled the most beautiful quilt out of a bag and handed it over for my inspection. Now, I was planning on it being beautiful, but I wasn’t planning on it being totally functional and amazingly comfortable too! Mike’s creation is machine washable and also backed with flannel so it’s warm and snuggly. In a word? AMAZING.
So many great memories, all said in t-shirt.
This one has a special meaning – Peter gave it to me after I had decided I was going to UofA. He said it was one of his favorites from when he was a kid and that it didn’t fit him any more. I wore it to the UofA v ASU game where I met his parents for the first time. His mom, not knowing that her son had lied about the origin of the shirt, explained that Peter had bought it at SAVERS (for those not in the know, it’s like Good Will’s poor, bastard cousin – i.e. used clothes and not in a fun consignment store kind of way). I thought I had bed bugs crawling on me the rest of the game. What I really want to know is why they don’t make shirts with Wilbur the Wildcat trying to eat Sparky the Sun Devil any more?
So if you’ve got a similar issue with your college, high school or athletic shirts, I could not more highly recommend Mike at Conforta. I thought about doing this for Baylor and her baby clothes to some day. There are a million ideas!
I love this picture
This is Mame and Ms.B last summer. Baylor was ready to give up bottles and Mame loved to snuggle B and feed her. She knew that their quiet moments drinking a bottle were limited so she was enjoying every minute of it. Mame hated taking pictures and she refused to look at the camera so I almost didn’t take it. But after I snapped it, I just loved the look of contentment on her face and realized it would be a picture we would cherish for years to come.
It’s the little things in life that bring the most pleasure. Sometimes it’s hard to see those little things, or even remember what they are, but once in a while, I get smacked in the face by one and I remember how great it is.
Last week, Baylie went to “Camp Mamie” which means she goes to her Godmother’s house to play for a little while and I set out to run a few errands.
On my way back from the last stop, a song I haven’t heard for a while came on the Ipod. The Killers’ All These Things That I’ve Done makes me think of the summer before Peter’s third year of law school. We were in Phoenix while he did a summer internship for a law firm. It was almost time to pack up and drive back to DC. I woke up to the clock radio playing this song and I was hooked. I had no idea what it was, but I couldn’t get it out of my head. I had to (embarrassingly) sing it for Peter so he could try to find it on Itunes. Once it was securely on my favorite playlist, I practically wore out my Ipod listening to it. That same week, Peter got a job offer from the firm he had been interning for. Suddenly it was like our entire future was clear; we were going to get to come home to Phoenix. We could think about where we would live and make plans for the following year instead of having to say “we’ll see where Peter gets a job and then we’ll see”.
When my sister Ali and I got our first car (a ’94 green Volvo named Alfie) our favorite thing to do was drive with the windows down and the music cranked up. The feeling of freedom was only amplified by the wind in your hair and the bass in the speakers.
Remembering that feeling, I rolled down all four windows and turned up The Killers to an embarrassingly loud level and drove. And enjoyed the simplicity of the sun and wind and memories.