Last Wednesday my truck lost it’s last leg! rather, clutch. I think. In my entirely uneducated ignorant opinion- I think it’s a clutch. Yesterday I drove our dying car to the airport. And had arranged to be pickedup by Amy’s dad at 6:30 this morning. Amy’s dad is a cab driver and had been working since 3am. At around 6:33 I was wakened by the sound of our phone ringing. When I got to it I realized that I had turned off my alarm, and wasn’t ready. Ralph was sitting outside. I got to the train about a minute before it pulled up. I sat down in the regular seat that I like- it’s got a lot more leg room then the rest of the seats… and in front of it is a wall- so I don’t have to worry about kicking the person in front of me. It’s a small wall, more like a cabinet- next to it are more seats. There was a girl sitting in the seats with a large instrument in front of her. I’d seen her occasionally, she gets off the train at Penn Station. I’d always wanted to talk to her, and this morning I got to. She is a student at Baltimore School for the Arts- just as I suspected. We chatted about teachers and such, all the students that I once knew there have already graduated. She gave me the dates of the concerts the music department is having in the winter- she mentioned that she’d track down dates and times for Nutcracker and other performances. This is information that I’ve wanted for a while- just hadn’t had the time to call or stop by- seeing as I’ve been working so much. I arrived at work without any other incident.
Now back to that failing to get out of bed thing….I was having this dream. No, not like that. Anyway- I had dreamed that Amy and I had moved into this house and we were sitting in this room discussing our relationship with our neighbors. They were in the room with us too. I’m not sure who were talking to. We were saying that we had no idea that we moved in next to such wonderful people. They had just had a baby- our neighbors- Schaun and Cheryl and Caleb. Except they’re baby was a girl- I don’t think they named it Caleb either- but it was definately Cheryl and Schuan- I was introducing them like I knew them. It was so strange. When I woke up it was so real.
I’ve been waiting to tell the story of my time at the Pentagon until the pictures were ready. But I’m realizing the longer it goes without telling it, the less impact it will make.
Friday after work, I hopped on the Metro to go to Vienna Station, where my father was waiting to pick me up. We drove into Pentagon City, the hotel where the Salvation Army was putting people up. On our way we stopped off at the Salvation Army to pick up a badge and a shirt. We stopped at the hotel and changed, then headed down to the Pentagon. Our shift was scheduled to be 3am to 11am, we were just going down to see things during the dinner rush. As we pulled in, we had to go through 2 checkpoints before they’d let us on the parking lot. We passed the “compound” on the left, and pulled around the side. Looking forward through the fence, I could see the brightly lit area called Camp Unity. As we entered the camp an armed guard checked our badges, then waved us through with a flick of his wrist. To the left, several white tents, a first aid tent, r&r tent, and another tent that I later found out had chiropractors and massuses. Ahead of me there were pallets and pallets of food and drinks. We turned and walked off between the Burger King trailer and the Outback trailer. Passing the McDonalds trailer we were then standing in front of the food tent. There were about 7 rows of tables. about 15-20 feet long- on the tables was all of the food anyone could ever want. Chips and candy, fruit, and soda, and juice, and water. I HAVE PICTURES…. but I don’t have them available yet. Dad and I walked down the aisle to the left- picked up a tray that already had a roll in it, and walked down the line, and they dropped a steak in my tray. We headed off to the tent where we ate. This is the only place to sit and eat- and it’s Denny’s tent. Denny has the huge trailer that opens up to a stage, and a tent comes out of it. We sat in the tent and ate, watching satellite feeds of CNN on huge TV’s. On each of the tables were flowers and cards made by volunteers and students of local schools. In the center were more trash cans and coolers full of soda and juice. Several tall urns of coffee provided by Starbucks were on one end of the center tables, at the other end every cookie, and homemade baked goods. After we ate our steak we walked around the various tents and trailers.
We went back to the hotel and slept until it was time to return. We got back to Camp Unity around 3:30. We were directed to start cleaning up the stage, a film crew was planning on being there in the morning. After cleaning up, I helped ice down the sodas, dumping out the melted ice, replacing with frozen ice. At this point we started to cook breakfast. Pancakes, eggs, kielbasa and potatoes was our menu. As we started my job was to run between the refigerated truck and the food trailer. Once the cooking was well under way, I scraped the kielbasa off of the trays into a large red food container. When the food tent needed more food, occasionally I’d take off and run a tray of eggs or potatoes down to the food tent. As the sun rose, more and more people came through. At times the line was probably 50-100 people long. The pancakes and sausage and eggs were flowing- I ended up at the food tent serving. It was a great feeling, sure I was worn down, but to see the rescue workers come out and through our line was awesome. Telling them thank you in person, welcoming the new day. Making them start off there day with a smile, and a full stomach.
Until this weekend I didn’t realize that the Salvation Army did anything but collect clothes for the thrift stores that they run. Didn’t know the Red Cross did anything but collect money and such. But I’m very aware of they’re activity now. They were all around, in fact, they were running the place.
I was pretty overwhelmed with my whole experience at the Pentagon. I was amazed at the numbers of people volunteering. I was amazed at the number of meals being served. I was amazed at the “corporate-ness” of it all. Nothing I can say will ever convey the emotions and feelings that I had. I started writing this, changed moods, then started writing again. No words, nothing compares to being there.
So the world continues, life goes on, a virus cripples the world around me. I’ve left my job on time each day this week. Each time arriving at home shortly before 7. Tonight I will not board the normal train. I’m going to meet my father down the street. He’s picking me up, and I’ll spend this evening assisting with the relief efforts at the Pentagon. This 9-5 is killing me- I have wanted so bad to be out there with them, during this entire time. Even going in the future- Christ In Action is scheduled to be there through the first week in October- at this time Teen Challenge - Dad, and the guys with him- are the only ones there. Unless their plans have changed, they’re planning on leaving on Sunday morning. I don’t know what I’m going to be doing at the Pentagon, not sure what they need help with, but I’m going. I’ll let you all know what’s going on as soon as I can. I’ve got some pictures that I took the other day that I need to crop up and rotate and such- get ‘em up.
Political stuff- Bushs speech last night impressed me. I was impressed with a number of points he made- I was glad he made a distinction between the Talibaan and the Afghani people. As well as the explination that the Muslim teachings are peaceful, and that anyone commiting acts of terror in the name of Allah are actually defiling Allah. I thought he did a great job telling America that we wouldn’t always know what exactly is going on, that some of the strike would be covert, others would be publicized on tv. He also made it known that this wasn’t going to be a quick thing, that it would take a long time.
Ben Brown had a neice born on Wednesday after the attacks…. he writes, “In ten years, or twenty years, I imagine sitting down with Kyra, maybe over a cup of tea, and talking to her about the day before she was born, about the almost-the-same-but-not-quite world that existed before she breathed her first breath. What I hope I can say is, the world before that thing in New York, it was good, but it wasn’t as good as the world we live in now.”
Sometimes I feel most the same way- A month and a day after Caleb was born, our Nation changed forever- I fear the world that he’ll grow up in. I never did before. Last night I was changing him- telling him that I was praying for him, that I prayed for our country and our president. He looked at me, like he knew what I was telling him.
I’m excited to have a new week. New opportunities to make it to work on time, new chances to live life to the fullest. Last week was so full of change and inconsitency that by this weekend I was incredibly worn down. I almost don’t want to do anything when I get home from work this week- so that I’m getting as much rest as possible.
Last night was probably the worst night we’ve had with Caleb in a long time. He seems sick. I’m not sure what is going on, but he’s spitting up a lot more than normal. He’s getting really fussy, and nothing but a bottle consoles him. Sometimes I feel like an awful father. Mostly because I’m not around much, and when I am around, I’m sleeping most of the time. I hope that Caleb won’t remember this part of his life.
This was a semi-busy weekend, I’ve certainly had busier weekends in the last week or so. Friday evening Amy and I spent in the house- we cooked dinner on the George Forman grill, then I headed off to bed. I felt bad for going to bed so early, but I definately needed the sleep. Saturday we had planned to go to DC to meet up with my parents. Amy and Caleb and I rode the subway into DC, and by the time we heard from my parents it was already 4:30 or so. They were going to be unable to come into town. We had reserved ourselves to walking around the Smithsonians Natural History museum. This was Calebs first time in DC. Amys first time that she can remember. I wish that the camera had been working… but it wasn’t. We still hadn’t retreived the charger from storage. The rest of the evening is lost in the blur. Yesterday we went to church, then wound up driving into Manassas VA to meet up with my parents. We had dinner with them and the guys from Teen Challenge at The Great Steak and Buffet Co. It was great to be with my parents again. This is definatly going to take some time to get used to.
Wrapping up my first week here at the Senate. Of the 5 days this week… I’ve worked 3. Today I didn’t get here until 10. I’ve not gotten here or home more than once. I actually got to see my dad this morning. Amy’s feeling very alone, I wish that I was able to be with her more often, this move has been very difficult for both of us, she’s not feeling well, and taking care of the baby all by herself- even through the night, so that I’m able to sleep to get up early this morning.
Taken by Jason this pictures shows the old NY skyline!! impressive!
Well- Butch and I made it here to work this morning. Catching the 6:55 train from Martin Airport, when we walked into the station to get a ticket for Butch, someone was at the window, trying to get the credit card to go through. I told him that the same thing happened to me, and I missed the train. He paid cash for a one way ticket. Butch too. We arrived in DC approx 7:55. We’re here working, or at least acting like it.
In other news… Mom and Dad are on they’re way, or are already here, assiting Christ In Action with feeding the rescue workers at the Pentagon. I’m so lucky to have such special parents. Good luck mom and dad- God Bless all of you!
Apparently - just heard, stranger in this computer room, we’ve bombed afghanistan.