Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sunday Stills...Patriotism and 4th of July

This is the story of a little blue shirt that has insinuated itself into the tapestry of my love for America and the people who make our country great.

It all started on September 12, 2001. Our family was already in turmoil when 9/11 took place. My beloved mother-in-law had passed away on July 4th, incidentally my birthday. She had lived at the farm, while we lived in town and commuted to run the place with her. I cannot convey to you how close we all were. The kids loved their grandma, the boss loved his ma, and she and I had worked through some rocky years to be truly close. When she needed to communicate with her hospice workers she called on me to be her interpreter. That meant a lot to me. We were all hurting.

Now we were moving, from our home of 15 years to live at the farm ourselves. Not going to lie and say that I liked living in town, but still...there were gardens that we built and planted, years of memories and years of junk, all needing to be sorted and dealt with. I was doing it pretty much alone, because the boss was farming and the kids were in school.

Then the planes hit the Trade Center. Normally I would have been milking cows, but I was home packing with the radio on. When I heard the news I turned on the television and watched the horror, then ran to the farm to tell the boss and to the school to grab the kids...that is just how we are...together in crisis.

The next day the whole world was different and yet life had to go on. Our house in town belonged to someone else and we simply HAD to move. So I went on packing. On my knees on the floor in Alan's bedroom I reached under the bed to the nightmare/tangle/boy's nest underneath and pulled out a little blue shirt.

I spread it open in my lap to see if it was a keeper or a tosser.

And there was the NY skyline complete with the Twin Towers. I remembered...class trip with Becky, buying the souvenir from a street vendor for the little boy left at home.

It rocked me. I kept it.

Then, what with the move and all, it vanished not to be seen again for nearly ten years. Sometimes I vaguely wondered where it had ended up, but this house is staggeringly huge...26 foot long rooms, three stories and a cellar, a footprint that would scare you. I didn't forget it, but I didn't come across it either.

Fast forward through those nearly ten years. I love the Sunday Stills challenge and try to participate every week. As I hung up laundry last Wednesday I thought about the little shirt. And thought that if I actually knew where it was I would use it for this challenge. Didn't say a word about it to anyone though. Figured I would grab pics of the fireworks at one or the other of the two racetracks on either side of us, even though I am terrible at nighttime photography.

Thursday Beck and I undertook to finally clean out the front hall. Two stories high and the size of a normal living room. It is an incredibly beautiful space, but a catchall for any junk anyone is too lazy to cart upstairs.

We were about half-way done when Beck held something up. "Look what I found, Mom."

Yes, of course, it was the little blue shirt. Mind you, she didn't know about that moment ten years earlier when I pulled that shirt from under the bed The kids were busy with their own adjustments to a changed world and a new home then so it didn't show up on her horizon much...and I hadn't mentioned to anyone about wondering where it was.....

I suppose you could call it all coincidence...but to me that is one spooky little shirt. I am going to launder it now and put it in my dresser drawer with other mementos of old friends and baby dresses (yes there was a time when my daughters wore dresses) and things of that ilk. And I am glad the lost is found.


Just Ramblin' said...

Very cool story. Sounds like moments weaving together. : )
The third shot of the t is my favorite.

Anonymous said...

Loved your story. That T-shirt will be a treasure.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! You and Tom Cruise. LOL

Shirley said...

I'm sure that was no coincidence.
Happy birthday tomorrow!

Wander Woman said...

I am so touched! Great story! and hope you have a very happy birthday!


Sherri said...

Wonderful. wonderful post.

gtyyup said...

Awesome story!!! Happy birthday to you too!

Floridacracker said...

Sara N. Dippity.


Jan said...

What a great story for the day. I'm sure the little shirt will be passed down for generations with the story.

Happy birthday.

Jinglebob said...

Happy birthday patriot girl!

Cool post!

Regular Guy said...

Happy Birthday to you. Nice story, you should find a way to frame the shirt and print your story to go with it forever.

Caryl said...

Great story! Goose bumps time! I had lost my husband of 51 incredible years, that March, and was sitting alone in front of the TV having my coffee. Thought it was a TV show. Will never forget it. Glad you found the shirt!

Terry and Linda said...

What an amazing and beautiful story. Happy Birthday, tomorrow! It's amazing how all things come together...this is one so that we can share with you.


Cathy said...

I"ll read your post aloud to the family tomorrow.

TC, you spin magic from past memories and the daily comings and goings of your busy, full life.

Have a wonderful birthday!

(Hope your spam filter hasn't deleted our Jacquie Lawson card . . . I'll resend it if you've not picked it up in a day or so:-)

rose said...

Thank you for writing so beautifully about the little blue shirt. I remember so well 9/11 since my son was sent to NYC with a Search and Rescue Unit.
I have a little owl toothpick holder that he had gotten me on a class trip,showing the twin towers. It resides in a special cabinet in the dining room.
Thank you,also, for writing as you do about farm life. So many of us,after reading your blog,have so much more respect for farm life.

Cathy M said...

What a wonderful story. Glad you found the shirt.

Happy Birthday

Anonymous said...

Yes, thanks for your writing everyday. I understand these kinds of events, they happen to me too and I wonder what is behind them, and what is the message?(maybe it's a gift from mother-in-law)
A 26 room house? What an undertaking for your family! Happy Birthday. linda

threecollie said...

JR, thanks

Dibear, thank you. It is now put away where I won't lose it again. Thanks for the birthday wishes too

Shirley, I think so too...and thank you

WW, thanks!

Sherri, thank you so much

gttyup, thank you, have a great 4th!

FC, exactly! And thanks!

Jan, thank you. This time I put it away where it won't get lost

JB, thanks! Hope you all have a great 4th

RG, thanks that is a pretty good idea.

Caryl, wow, talk about emotional overload. That must have been a terrible time for you! For a while I wondered if we would ever find normal again.

Linda, thank you! I still can't believe how it all worked out

Cathy, thank you on all levels. I did get the card and loved it. I am a great fan of Lawson cards and played it over and over...and will play it more. lol Hope you and the family are enjoying a great weekend!

Rose, thank you so much for your kind words. I have the utmost respect and admiration for the people who put their lives on hold to do what they could in NYC then. It was a terrible, terrible time, but it sure showed what America is made of.

Cathy M, thank you. I am too

Linda, thank you! I wasn't clear on the house. I actually don't know exactly how many rooms we have.... lol... but some of the rooms are 26 feet long, which is insanely huge. For clutter collectors like the entire family, it is irresistible to fill all that space with Have a great 3th

Anonymous said...

Great pictures and a great story!

threecollie said...

danardoyle, thank you

Broken Barn Industries said...

Sounds like you found it just when you were supposed to! I left work, picked up my kids from school and had my mom come over that day- together in crisis, like you said.