RECAFFEINATED MONDAYS: A Tale of Two Notebooks

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Hebrews 12:14 (NIV)

We are on day 180 of 15 days to slow the spread.

It was the best of Mondays. It was the worst of Mondays.

It was a Dickens of a Monday.

I see what I did there.

This is not the post I was planning to write. Or maybe it is.

I had the best of intentions, I’d even say I had great expectations, but that would be another Dickens reference and I’ve never read either.

If things had gone according to plan, I would have drafted this last night and made it to the gym this morning.

NARRATOR: Things did not go according to plan.

As things turned out, I spent a good three or four hours trying to repair a faulty internet connection last

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night. My sons have been complaining that the WiFi kept kicking them out of their games.

NARRATOR: Dad really didn’t care that much.

But my wife and I rely on the internet connection for work. So, I thought I’d go on to the Verizon website and chat with someone. Before the evening was over, I initiated about four or five chat sessions. I got kicked out of all of them because the internet kept going out. I was directly connected, so I realized it was no longer just a WiFi issue.

I finally reached a live person who was very helpful. He did a remote repair on the router and the extender. And then he offered me the chance to upgrade to newer equipment.

Of course he did. We’re going to see how things work for a few days, but we’ll probably go ahead with the upgrade.

None of this was what I was planning to write about. But the internet is one of the necessary evils to get things done. Especially in these last 47 years of house arrest.

My plan had been to write about my missing notebook.

A story by one of my favorite writers, Sean Dietrich, reminded me about my notebook. Sean talked about always carrying a notebook to write down ideas for future stories.

Back before the pandemic, I was doing that as well. So, I went searching for that notebook.

I have no idea where it is.

I think the last time I might have had it was when I went to our last training at the amusement park, just before we were put under house arrest.

But whether I left it in a bag that I carried or in the pocket of something that I wore, or whether I just put it down somewhere…well…that all remains unanswered.

Someday it will turn up. This is not that day.

I found a blank notebook that is now sitting on my writing desk.

This was a better story last night before the Internet trials.

But it’s still a pretty good story for a Monday.

Don’t worry though. While I’m not likely going anywhere, I have my notebook ready.

It’s on my desk. Empty, but it’s on my desk.

At least I think it is.

Photo by Ali Yahya on Unsplash



 

We said we’d “never” forget

United Airlines Flight 175 flies low toward the South Tower of the World Trade Center, shortly before slamming into the structure. The north tower burns after an earlier attack by a hijacked airliner in New York City, on September 11, 2001. (Reuters/Sean Adair)

We are on day 177 of 15 days to slow the spread.

It was a crisp, clear September morning.

You can’t have lived through the day not remember in vivid detail where you were when you heard.

I was at the office, checking the news.

“A plane has hit the World Trade Center.”

Someone crazy has flown a twin engine into the tower

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No.

“A second plane has hit the second. tower.”

This is an attack.

We watched as reports came in about the Pentagon. As reports came in about Flight 93 downed in Pennsylvania.

We watched in horror as the towers fell.

Helpless. Afraid.

Who did this? Did we stop them? Are the coming to our city next?

For a brief period in time we were all Americans. All singing “God Bless America.” All flying our flags.

We’ve changed. We don’t remember any more.

Oh sure, we know about the historical events.

But we don’t remember how we felt.

Horrible. Empty. Afraid.

Helpless.

What could we do?

We learned later of the heroes of the day.

Those who climbed the towers knowing they may not make it back down.

Those who rushed the pilot’s cabin so that a plane could not hit the intended target.

Those who rushed into the Pentagon to help with the injured and search for survivors.

None of us wants to live through anything like that again.

But, I miss the feeling of believing we were all in this together. That we were all united, caring for each other, looking out for each other.

That we were all Americans.

I still fly the flag. I still believe in this country.

I still go to church…when I’m allowed.

I wish we all did.

I’ve forgotten the feeling.

I haven’t forgotten what I believe.

I haven’t forgotten that there are people who hate us just because of who we are.

As my friend Shaun points out, they really do hate us: 9/11: How Quickly Did We Forget?

We filled the churches after 9/11. We gathered together, held hands, cried, prayed.

We can’t gather together right now, but we can pray.

Every day, more and more, I am beginning to understand that is all that we can do.

If we all understood that, it might be all that we need to do.

Remember today.

Reflect.

And then pray.