9/11/2001

I cannot believe it’s been 20 years.

We all have a story about that day. Every story may have some similarities to others told, but every story is unique.

I cannot tell you a thing about what happened on September 10th, 2001… but I can tell you about every minute of September 11, 2001. I loved New York City before this day. I was in high school at the time. I wanted to be a journalist and I was planning on moving to NYC to be a reporter for the New York Times. I was looking forward to our choir trip that spring to go to NYC for competitions.

September 11, 2001 had a BEAUTIFUL clear blue sky that day. I remember waiting at the bus stop that morning, wearing a hoodie and jeans for school. Fall was in the air that morning. It was crisp, and I was wearing a gray Ohio State hoodie. But the day would warm up to a nice temperature. School ran as usual for the first 2 periods. I remember walking in to French class and writing our vocabulary list (though I can’t tell you what those words were today). I remember getting an assignment in my English class about an essay we were supposed to be writing when we finished our book with different options like research, or alternate endings. Third period is when everything started.

We had the TV on to watch a movie back when the TV needed to be on channel 3 to play a video… We never made it to the video. The news was playing a live shot of smoke coming out of the north tower. It had already been hit. Our teacher was watching in horror. We were all whispering amongst ourselves, not understanding what was happening. Then we watched live as another plane hit the south tower. The room fell silent (which in itself was terrifying as high schoolers are NEVER silent). Our teacher burst into tears and had to leave the room (We learned later that her daughter worked at the World Trade Center, but in one of the smaller buildings – she was not at work that day due to a doctor’s appointment).

We sat there, staring at this TV, in TOTAL silence and with no adult supervision. We knew we were under attack. We were scared. We were glued to the television seeking knowledge and guidance from the reporters on scene and anchors in the studios.

The entire day was filled with rumors of how schools may close or let out early The halls were filled with talks of putting the schools into lockdown. Teachers all over the school had their tvs on during class (most had no sound, but the images were playing). They tried to keep us on track with their curriculum but nobody could focus on anything more than what was happening outside the school building.

In my social studies class, we watched the towers fall. We watched the FDNY and NYPD walking out of the cloud of dust with victims. We watched a video of a reporter taking cover in a convenience store as the cloud of dust quickly filled the entire place.

Lunch came and I was talking to my friends per usual. The conversation was all about what had happened. I remember someone saying we were going to war. I remember another person telling us that he thought our choir trip was going to be cancelled. The rumors were already circling. Social media didn’t exist like it does today, so I guess we were able to keep most of those things under control.

My afternoon classes were my “fun” classes. I had choir, gym, and journalism. Our choir room was filled with chatter about our trip. Our instructor stood in front of all of us explaining it was too early to know anything and we needed to have patience. He promised us that if we could not go to NYC that we would find another location to perform. In gym, we had a “free” day. Our archery lesson was put on hold. We were not even required to change into our gym clothes. My journalism class was a return to the television and talks of how to report this in our school paper that month.

I remember walking home from the bus stop in a hurry that afternoon with my younger sister because I was scared that another plane may fall (knowing about the pentagon and flight 93 that crashed in PA). I remember how blue the sky was and that there were no planes visible. I had my eyes on the sky all day. After getting home, there was nothing on TV. MTV was on standby (I always came home to watch TRL which was filmed in Times Square) and my sister couldn’t watch Nickelodeon because it was also on standby. In fact, almost all channels except the news channels were on standby.

After my parents got home, we sat as a family watching TV most of the night… Our choir practices, cheer practice, and other events were cancelled. We had nothing else to do except watch the news.

At home, in the living room of my childhood house, my parents, sister, brother, and I watched as rescuers were working. Live pictures of police officers and fire fighters covered in soot walking on streets littered with debris. Cars were covered in soot and had windows busted out. And we watched President George W Bush as he addressed the nation before going to bed.

In the coming days, we would become UNITED throughout America. It didn’t matter that we didn’t agree with each other on every political issue. It didn’t matter if you were red or blue. It didn’t matter if you cheered for Ohio State or That Team Up North. It didn’t matter your heritage. We were all Americans. And we were all grieving and ready for justice.

The spring of 2002 we were able to travel to “the site” during our choir trip. I will never forget that. The silence in the midst of the busiest city on earth.

20 years later and my son tells me they are learning about it in school… They had a workbook about it yesterday in social studies. He was telling me all about it… He reminded me the times which both towers were hit and the times when they collapsed.

We love NY.

Never Forget.

My Happy Place

I’m going to start my blog by writing about something I am extremely passionate about:  Softball. 

I started my softball journey when I was 4 playing t-ball.  I spent 17 years playing this amazing game.  There is something special about being on a softball field. 

My softball journey took me through high school.  I even worked out with the softball team in college with intentions to try out, but decided that other things were more important and stopped playing.  Then, after having my son, I met back with softball by coaching at the local middle school and playing in an adult recreation league.  I kept playing and continuing my journey until I got offered another coaching position.  That brings us to the present. 

The world can be so cruel at times.  I am no stranger to being bullied.  I have definitely had life kick me in the behind on multiple occasions.  I have battled with depression and anxiety for years.  Softball is my escape. 

My solace has been found on the field.  The smell of the freshly cut grass, the sound of the ball hitting the sweet spot on the glove or the bat hitting the ball, and of course the taste of the bubble gum or sunflower seeds (that we all know improve our ability to play the game) are all attached to my happy place.  When I’m on the field, there are no worries.  Life seems so simple and so perfect. 

My best memories from my childhood are centered around playing softball.  There was a tournament 3 hours away from here which meant a hotel stay with several of my best friends that we still laugh about to this day.  There were countless backyard games that I can recall so fondly. There were week long summer softball camps at local colleges.  Then, of course there are the countless games and practices.  Just yesterday I was talking about a double-header with a former teammate, though I couldn’t tell you who won either game. 

Softball is a game, but it is so much more than that for me.  Softball taught me so much.  I learned valuable social skills.  I learned sportsmanship and teamwork.  I learned how to accept criticism.  I also learned how to encourage others and cheer them on.  The biggest lesson, though, was that it is ok to fail. 

Failure is a part of life.  Failure is also a part of playing sports.  Most sports, if you continue to fail, would be riding the bench, but not in softball.  We consider a player to have a “good” batting average if it is .300 or above.  That translates to getting a hit 3 out of 10 at bats.  That’s a 30% on a test.  If I made only 30% of my shots in basketball, it wouldn’t be a stat that I’d be proud of.  When I was pitching, I did not strike out every batter, nobody does.  That’s ok.  We move on to the next batter, the next out.  We move on.  This is vital in life.  Every game there is failure:  a ball got passed a fielder, batters strikeout or hit a pop up right to a fielder, runners are thrown out.  Players do not sit out the following game due to one mistake.  In life, we aren’t going to be perfect, we are going to fail.  When we do, we get back out there and try again.

I know that I can’t be on the field forever.  There comes a point in everyone’s life that takes that option away.  I intend to cherish every moment I get on the diamond.  I love softball.  I have made so many lifelong friendships and have many treasured memories.  Every moment on the field teaches me something new and it is something that I do for myself. 

To be happy, we have to take time for ourselves.  Whether you are in a relationship, a parent, or an incredibly dedicated employee, to be happy and our best self, we have to take time for ourselves.  Softball is my happy place, it helps to keep me being me.

I’m sure this is not the last time I will be writing about softball.  Thank you for reading this.  Stay tuned for another post soon!

Hello

Hello. I wanted to introduce myself before I get into any ‘real’ posts. So, hello. My name is Liz. I am a single mother to an amazing young man who makes me so proud every day. He’s my entire world. However, as he’s getting older and becoming more social, I have found myself with some time on my hands. I decided to get back to me.

I used to write, all the time. Raising a child kind of put a pause on that, I found myself completely engulfed in his world and became the mom who had no interests of her own. So, I thought maybe if I start a blog, it may get my creative juices flowing again, and I may find myself being me again.

I have a full time job in the healthcare field. It is most definitely not my final destination, but I do enjoy the work. It has turned into a dead end job as I have now gone as far as I can go without transferring out of my department. I have also started taking some college classes to actually finish my degree. I recently hit a snag there, though, as the college I’m attending has put up some road blocks. Essentially, I have only a few required classes left and they are only available during certain semesters and certain times (which do NOT work with having a full time job, either). This is a marathon, not a sprint.

I love sports. I’m more enthusiastic about some sports than others. My favorite sport is softball, and I love to watch baseball. I love watching college football (though sometimes I find myself lacking that passion for professional football). I love both playing and watching basketball. I am finding a real passion as a coach for a softball team. I find my “happy place” with sports. When I am on the softball field with my team it allows me to forget the world. The same is to be said about the basketball court.

While we are talking about passions, I need to mention that I am a gamer. I love to play video games. I have dabbled in streaming, though I never have an audience. When it comes to games, I prefer to play sports related and adventure based games. I will play an occasional shooter game. I love to race. As much as I love to play games, though, I am not very good. I am a completely average gamer. This is probably why my streaming doesn’t get a lot of viewers.

As for this blog, I don’t know which direction I will take at first. This will probably be a trial and error process. I may write about sports today and gaming tomorrow followed by parenting issues the following day. I considered doing a blog just about streaming. I even considered making this a creative spot, using a different plot per day. However, all of these ideas lock me into a genre and I am much more than just one interest. I appreciate anyone who wants to come along for the ride and I welcome feedback.