untitled-1-2untitled-1-3 You can’t rewrite history, but you can learn to live with it….make it fit into all the corners and crevices of your new reality….

More Notes From the Refrigerator Door

…I have nothing new to say. These are some previous years blogs, linked here from past 9-11 dates; they will tell you how I feel.


My heart hurts for those who suffered and still suffer today. And a year out from Benghazi and with Syria on our lips, I really just—Imagine…

As always, love you, Pokey, Arlie, Jess and Kerin…

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September 10th—A busy day.

untitled-1It’s always interesting to read your thoughts, a year later. All of those OMG, I can’t DEAL with it anymore moments that make up your day to day…. Complaints about this cashier or that rude waitress, or that car that cut you off, the nerve of the service tech getting to your house an hour late… and yet.

A year from now, will you care? Taking the long view, is it really that important? Of course not! So, today, Laylabug is THREE, and a delightful chatterbox, my new phone isn’t new, and Caitriona Balfe was announced a year ago tomorrow as lead for the TV show, and Outlander has surpassed my hopes!

And forever, today reminds me of tomorrow, and of the things that really DO matter…. HUG someone today, because in a New York Minute, everything can change.

More Notes From the Refrigerator Door

Looking forward to September 10th.

September 10th is Laylabug’s 2nd birthday. Having her in our lives has been the most wonderful thing!

Seeing her grow so fast (so FAST!) learning to speak, and seeing her personality develop has been just beyond enjoyable….the difference between parenting (when you are so exhausted all the time) and grand parenting is a truth!


But, this year, Sept 10 is also the date that Outlander is rumored to start filming in Scotland.  Well, that’s great and all, you say, but what has it got to do with anything?

Well, it’s like this. I’ve been a fan of this book series for about nine years. (A relative late-comer, the books started being published 20 years ago) Back in the beginning of the year, it was announced it was finally going to be turned into a  TV series on Starz, with Ron Moore at the helm.

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…I have nothing new to say. These are some previous years blogs, linked here from past 9-11 dates; they will tell you how I feel.


My heart hurts for those who suffered and still suffer today. And a year out from Benghazi and with Syria on our lips, I really just—Imagine…

As always, love you, Pokey, Arlie, Jess and Kerin…

The Heart of The Matter

I move through life via song lyrics, in the same way others process through movie quotes, or books or…well, I don’t know, original ideas? 😉  I rarely remember the first time I hear a song, but so often songs and events or songs and people become connected in my head. One doesn’t have to have anything to do with the other for the connection to take place either…. (although dancing with my husband on our wedding day might make a song get linked…)

Some songs have many layers to them, and they take their place in the pathways through my brain for different reasons than may have been indicated by the lyricist.

Sometimes it’s simply a turn of phrase that connects with me, sometimes it may be the overall tone or theme of the arrangement that strikes a chord.

Now, again, tomorrow— we have to acknowledge another year has gone by, and what have we learned? Are we closer to or farther from our desires: our belief in peace and love and happiness? And forgiveness?  I can’t remember a month ramping up to the anniversary of September 11 that has been so hate-filled, so divisive.

People say if we let an Islamic community center near ground zero go ahead, we are letting “them” win. Not, not, not! “We” are winning, by showing that our constitution, our religious freedom is alive and well, and that “they” can’t take that freedom away from us so easily. If we deny them the ability to worship/gather (swim, play basketball), we are no better than “they” are. Why is that hard to understand?

I watched those towers fall, real time– too close– even across a harbor. I saw, smelled, tasted, heard, felt them fall. (I’m sorry, saw one fall. I turned my back just before the second fell, because I couldn’t process the number of people dying, and as soon as my back was turned…)  I went to a funeral on a cold misty morning, I watched hearses, I watched cranes, I walked the canyons, I saw the smoke from my kitchen window. I still think they should build the community center.

And I think that anyone who will call themselves Christian and yet thinks that burning another religions holy book is OK is totally missing the point. And after hearing from our military leaders that it is a dangerous thing to do, I think that not only are they foolish but they are wishing ill upon our soldiers, and our civilians, and they are not defending any religion I am interested in being a part of.

Last night, I tried to verbalize a feeling—-I wondered if maybe those who were survivors of 9-11 (either in actually having been and survived, or having lost close family) as opposed to the rest of the country, to whom this may be something closer to an exercise in patriotism, a civics lesson pulled out at the beginning of every school year—I wondered if maybe the survivors hadn’t moved not- ‘on’- but moved forward with the cards that they have been dealt.

They have continued to marry, bear and raise children, and live  their lives with the hole that their family member(s) left. But possibly, aren’t those holes slowly cushioned by layers of life? When the rest of the USA pulls out their 9-11 box, full of horrorific memory, opening it anew each year, is their hole possibly harder, deeper and less capable of dealing with, than if you stare at the hole every day, if you learn to live with the hole?

It’s a difficult thing to state, to get out onto the screen the way I am thinking it. But, if you had to go through the five steps of grief– (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance)– if you had to pack up your loved ones personal belongings, explain to your children why mommy isn’t coming home, walk your daughter down the aisle in her fathers stead, might nine years of the day-to-day-to-day-ness of it not caused you to … well, reach acceptance? Forgiveness?  (I don’t know, and I don’t presume to minimize anyone’s experience)

It makes me fear for our sanity, fear for our future, that people who claim to be so sensible, and Christian, and patriotic are becoming so incomprehensibly vile. Bad, non-practicing Catholic that I am, I recall this overarching theme in the religious training of my youth. LOVE ONE ANOTHER. I must have been mistaken.

My original September 11 2001 thoughts. I feel compelled to pull out the scrapbook I made every year, and I cry, every year.

Some songs that are poignant and remind me of that September Morn:

Let It Be (The Beatles)

When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.
And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
there will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer. let it be.
Let it be, let it be, …..
And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me,
shine until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be, …..

The Living Years ( Mike and the Mechanics)

Every generation
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door
I know that I’m a prisoner
To all my Father held so dear
I know that I’m a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years….
Crumpled bits of paper
Filled with imperfect thought
Stilted conversations
I’m afraid that’s all we’ve got
You say you just don’t see it
He says it’s perfect sense
You just can’t get agreement
In this present tense
We all talk a different language
Talking in defense
Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear…….

Fragile  (Sting)

If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
Drying in the colour of the evening sun
Tomorrow’s rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime’s argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are
On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star….

New York Minute  (Don Henley)

Harry got up, dressed all in black
Went down to the station, and he never came back….
In a New York minute, everything can change
In a New York minute, things can get pretty strange
In a New York minute, everything can change
In a New York minute….
Lying here in the darkness, I hear the sirens wail
Somebody going to emergency, somebody’s going to jail
You find somebody to love in this world, you better hang on tooth and nail
The wolf is always at the door
And in these days, darkness falls early
And people rush home to the ones they love
You’d better take a fool’s advice and take care of your own…..

Under the Bridge (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a partner
Sometimes I feel like my only friend
Is the city I live in, the city of angels
Lonely as I am, together we cry
I drive on her streets ’cause she’s my companion
I walk through her hills ’cause she knows who I am
She sees my good deeds and she kisses the windy
Well, I never worry, now that is a lie
I don’t ever wanna feel like I did that day
But take me to the place I love, take me all the way…..

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (Les Miserables)

There’s a grief that can’t be spoken.
There’s a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Now my friends are dead and gone.
Here they talked of revolution.
Here it was they lit the flame.
Here they sang about `tomorrow’
And tomorrow never came.
From the table in the corner
They could see a world reborn
And they rose with voices ringing….

The Heart of the Matter (Don Henley)

I got the call today, I didn’t wanna hear
But I knew that it would come…
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I knew, I’m learning again
I’ve been tryin’ to get down to the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it’s about forgiveness
Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore….
These times are so uncertain
There’s a yearning undefined
…People filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age….

Seasons of Love (Rent)

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love?
How about love? Measure in love
Seasons of love
Seasons of love
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Journeys to plan
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life
Of a woman or a man?
In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned
Or the way that she died
It’s time now to sing out
Tho’ the story never ends
Let’s celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends
Remember the love
(Oh you got to, got to)
Remember the love
(Remember the love)
Seasons of love
(Measure measure you life in love)
Seasons of love
Seasons of love

((Hugs)) to you, Kerin. Jessica. Arlie and Pokey. Everyone. ((Hugs)).

Seasons of Love, Redux…September 11, 2008


Originally uploaded by rteest42

September 11, 2008.

A day that we may find respite from the increasingly ridiculous political garbage, a day when maybe any of the candidates may realize WHY they want the job anyway!!! (and a day where there are many scrambling to avoid the natural disaster of Ike who may not have the time to ponder old ills because of the new and very real ones heading their way…good luck to you)

The following is an essay I wrote back in 2002. At the bottom of this essay there will be a link to some of my photos of the day, and my first-person account of the day. I don’t need to keep saying more. This should be enough.

How will the NEXT year be measured? RENT closed the other day. One more thing from then, gone. But before it left, it had become an anachronism.Seeing it last month, I couldn’t help but note later to my cousin that the world of RENT had become a period piece…

“Seasons of Love” ( From the musical RENT, by Jonathon Larson)

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure – measure a year?…
In daylights – in sunsets
In midnights – in cups of coffee
In inches – in miles
In laughter – in strife…
How about love?…
Measure in love…

Seasons of love…

…Five hundred twenty-five thousand journeys to plan…
…How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?…
In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In the bridges he burned
Or the way that she died…
It’s time now – to sing out
Tho’ the story never ends
Let’s celebrate….
…Remember the love…

Measure in love…

These words came to me, as I was driving, and they helped themselves to my quilt. So, how do I honor this past year? There were so many changes in my life…my brother moving in with us, my marriage, the graduation of my daughter, her moving away to college, my moving away from New York, changing jobs…and all of these, tinged with the memory of a year past… …and of the sights and sounds of horror as we stood and watched the buildings fall; and the tears shed on my brothers shoulder, and the tears Arlie cried on mine; the cold wet ground stealing up through my shoes as the bag-pipes played at Mike Fiore’s funeral; of the endless processions of sadness that lined Staten Island roads for months as family after family came to the sad realization that their loved

one was gone.
I wanted a way to honor this. I decided that around the border of this quilt, I embroidered the initials of some lost that day. In the blocks are folk-art styled symbols of the events. I was fortunate enough to know few. But step outside the line, just one step from my door, and there are many people I know who lost friends and family. I would like to use their initials on my quilt as well.

“There is no good memorial for them but remembering.”

September 11, 2002

Essay and Photos from my old blog about 9-11 (this is my FIRST website…ancient, decripit and ignored…someday, I may move stuff… for now, you’ll need to take the trip over…)