happy nine twelve day. of course, there would be no significance of a 'nine/twelve'
without first having a 'nine/eleven.' [you can go to my 'GGB' page or go directly to the link on 'nine/twelve' for more information]
in hindsight of the day just yesterday, marking the tenth anniversary of an act of war against America, I believe we did a pretty good job remembering, honoring, and somberly stopping in recognition of the memories of those we lost and turning ourselves over to another realm of connectedness with each other as Americans.
for me, my solemn Sunday began unexpectedly days earlier, strangely on last Thursday, the day when the lights went out in all of southern California. And just to veer off the beaten path I'm on this morning a wee bit, in all honesty, it began at the moment I sat down with a bowl of homemade vanilla ice cream.
I was sweetening up the minutes leading up to the presidential joint session address mid afternoon, pacific daylight time, when at about 3:39 everything went poof!
and I'm thinking, well, it's been hot...it's probably one of those rolling blackouts...everything should come back in a matter of ten, fifteen minutes -- and let's hope, right. I mean, we are at twenty-one minutes and counting away from a big moment here. I've been waiting for this speech all week; not to mention the opening game for the NFL. Are you kidding me...of all days...
glancing upon my cell phone for the time of day...it is already 3:47.
panic is beginning to set in.
okay, stay calm and know this too shall change.
the ice cream is long gone now, and it didn't go down quite as yummy as usual. I had this pit in my stomach thinking what if...what if... what if the power is out through the entire speech, well into the game, if not into the night? What if?
meanwhile, I am watching the cars down below on the street take turns like school children at the light. and I'm thinking, wow, it looks like the entire neighborhood is down.
it's now 3:52.
jiminy crickets, it is now T minus eight minutes and seemingly going at warp speed already...crossing my fingers I am still hoping that in a matter of seconds there will be a picture on my TV showing the pre-speech buzz inside the Capital Building, with everybody shaking hands and getting excited in great expectations of the president's jobs plan. any minute now, any minute.
3:57 girl not happy
3:58 girl flippin' dizzy
3:59 girl down
Blast off. nothing, nada, zippo. and I am beside myself in utter breakdown mode.
and I'm not even thinking about real life concerns yet --
-- that my pantry is hardly built up for emergencies, that I have not a flashlight to my name (let alone the batteries for it), that I can't even get into my car and drive away -- even if I wanted -- due to the handy dandy electric garage door, that I have maybe
two bars of power to my only link to the rest of the world (my cell), that I haven't even done laundry this week, the milk might spoil, let alone wondering if the water out of the faucet is safe to drink (which in many parts of San Diego, it wasn't, for three full days boiling water was required!)
but noooooooo, I wasn't thinking about any of it (yet);
I'm thinking, it's happy hour somewhere and poured myself a glass of wine and opened my latest read, Traveling Light
, by Max Lucado -- which, if you are familiar with the book, it makes this moment all that more surreal...I mean, talk about having little control of circumstances that come our way, our ability to bounce back, and aligning with God in leading the way through the valleys...
At this point, realizing I am on chapter 13 which is simply titled "Silent Nights and Solitary Days," I'm beginning to look around for the camera. is this for real? seriously? oh yes You are funny....now can I get my lights back on?
@ about 4:20 time my girl finally gives me a text message back -- she is in Carmel Valley, about ten minutes down the road -- her lights are out there as well. And since her computer still has a battery functioning (unlike mine), she tells me all about it: apparently, we are having a real emergency on our hands -- all of San Diego, parts of Orange County and Los Angeles, parts of Arizona and Mexico, have been brought down to our knees. AND here's the kicker, nobody really knows when the power will come back on. They don't even know what caused it yet; how in the world could they have any idea of how long it will take to fix it.
who'd a thunk.
maybe I should start looking around for some candles...
my little booboo is watching me run around like a chicken with my head cut off...
and I am totally forgetting all about the president, who I've been told was in that moment doing a "pass this job's bill" moving mountains montage and looking awfully annoyed with his congressional lot.
It is T-minus God only knows now... on a number of fronts...but I digress.
It is now 5:05. I am about to check in on the neighbors downstairs, a couple who happen to be getting up in their years and only here for a summer rental, when the phone rings; it's papa, aka boy-scout-in-chief, checking in on me!
And to my surprise, the east coast has more information on this than I have. Topping off my wine as we share our hyper-function hello's, pops goes right into Emergency Preparedness mode -- scratch that -- since his findings come to the immediate conclusion that his girl is a far cry from anywhere near prepared, he quickly realizes he's got little to work with. And I'm thinking to myself... being that he is three thousand miles away... this probably isn't going over very well...oopsy daisy.
As papa was doing his best with what he had to work with, I did my best to respond in earnest; I dug down deep to rediscover my inner girl scout and whipped myself into 'just think G'. stop - drop - roll , no. duck and cover and hold on, no.
But I did all that I could off the list of things to do 'per pops' before dark. Needless to say, the striking delinquency of my lack of preparedness thereof said it all.
So let me ask you, are you all that prepared?
Now would be a good day to make a plan, make a kit fit for a bombshelter, gather important documents together, buy a frick'n flashlight for pete's sake, and the like. This would be a good day to do that.
'Nine/twelve' would be a real good day from here on out to use as annual check up day, to check in and check out, with each other -- our family, friends, and community -- to prepare and pave the way for the unexpected emergency.
In the same realm of 'when it rains, it pours', this last week also found me dealing with an ongoing poisoning issue with my pooch, Boo. So between the lights going out and the dog beginning his hardest hit three days, my valley seemed awfully dark.
But oh how quickly things can be put into perspective, no?
While some of the most stirring moments on the day yesterday, in honor of 9/11, came via thirty second and then some commercials...
How about that Spike Lee directed State Farm ad
? Every time it came on, in-between ball turnovers and first downs, it made me cry and smile all at the same time; between one of my favorite songs by Alicia Keys, to the school children, to the members of the New York City Fire Department, what a way to connect us through the heart strings, State Farm. well done. and to Spike -- thank you.
Of course, there was also the Verizon ad, with the children playing at the foot of the Statue of Liberty (beautiful); and then there was the Budweiser Clydesdale's bowing to the statue, at an angle overlooking the entire city of NYC [that is, as in taking a bow, not to be confused with a bow, as in 'bow and spear' from Psalm 46...did you all hear about this gaffe? and to think we all think he is so smart, pul-leeze. read this.
but oh how quickly things can be put into perspective, no?
just this morning, first news upon sun up in San Diego included these remarks from President Obama --
"No games, no politics, no delays...
We can't afford these same political games, not now."
The AP article also noting that the president was "[S]urrounded by police officers, firefighters, teachers, construction workers and others he said would be helped by the $447 billion package, the president said the only thing that would block its passage would be lawmakers deciding it wasn't good politics to work with him." for more, go here.
calling for no games and politics using games and politics. never discount a good backdrop, right. only in America. clearly, Sunday is but a memory already; nine/twelve stands alone with only a matter of hours of light left to the day.
today, I find myself grateful for the sun coming up and the lights turning on.
It's a new day -- some might even call it Morning in America.
And considering the moment here, highlighting preparedness large and oh so small, there are a few things I need to do today, perhaps starting with getting myself a freak'n clue and a flashlight or two...
Make it a Good Day, G
and isn't it worth noting, in a marvelous twist of irony, after all the hullabaloo over inviting "the clergy" to the official 9/11 memorial that our president just goes ahead and quotes scripture (yes, in spite of the gaffe). He invoked God anyway. Way to go Mr. President. Way to go.