Welcome back, friends, and welcome new readers! This opening blogisode is coming to you from Edwards, Colorado, a small town high in the mountains of Colorado, where I am currently on vacation with my family. It sits at an altitude of about..?..I don't know because I don't want to ask....but probably about 9,000 feet above sea level? I can tell you that in Vail, Colorado they sell t-shirts that say, "Got Oxygen? Vail 8, 542 feet" and we are 2 towns down from Vail. Which means I am writing with limited oxygen supply. Which means I could pass out at any timmmmmm;mxINWIFJWJLSsjcnwq.
Just kidding. As long as I sit here and quietly blog without moving, I should have plenty of oxygen. I will refrain from doing jumping jacks, which would certainly wind me after one jump and derail my writing. Not that I usually do jumping jacks while I blog, mind you. But I won't start now. That's the point I'm trying to make. Great. Now I'm winded just from having to explain myself and typing so fast.
One piece of business before we start off on our new story. As we all know, Hurricane Irene made her way up the Eastern Seaboard (as they say on the Weather Channel), and many communities were hit hard. As you may have heard, Vermont suffered from some major flooding, and my sweet Weston Playhouse suffered from 7' of flood water, completely wiping out the basement which housed the dressing rooms, the prop shop, a brand new orchestra pit, the Cabaret stage, the restaurant and a lot of storage. Also lost were two pianos (one grand piano) and the
costumes for the show currently running (which had to be canceled for the week, but will resume in "concert" form this weekend). I thought you all might care, especially since I wrote so frequently about the theater in my last blogisodes. We are planning a benefit concert for the theater, but they have also set up an emergency fund because they have no flood insurance and are looking at $150,000 in renovations. If you can manage it, please visit their website and make a donation.
Okay. On with this show.
Part of my initial interest in starting this blog, was to document stories for Charlotte and Beatrix. I think a lot about how stories are passed down in families and how the facts get confused and distorted over the years as people forget or add their own interpretation. I suppose because I have kids that are ten years apart, I also want to make sure that Charlotte doesn't have the responsibility of trying to remember everything for Beatrix, and that Beatrix can hear things straight from the horse's mouth (in these blogisodes, I will be playing the role of the horse). Certainly the Thirteen and Three blogisodes are for the kids--Beatrix needs to know that a slick campaign by her 9-year-old politician sister ended with her mother in the birthing room.
I love writing these stories, and the added bonus is that you all like to read them, too.
In thinking about what to write next, I realized that I couldn't let the anniversary of 9/11 go by without documenting the series of unusual events that surrounded us at that time. I am especially drawn to it because Beatrix is currently the exact same age Charlotte was in 2001, and looking back to that time, seeing them as the individual people they are, is fun and interesting for me. I hope you enjoy it as well.
I think we all have stories about where we were on September 11, 2001 and heard the devastating and terrible news about those towers getting hit, but going back a month, how many of you can say exactly where you were on AUGUST 11th, 2001. I can.
I was sitting in my apartment on W. 56th Street, Rob had just walked in the door from playing Les Miserables on Broadway, and 3 1/2 year old Charlotte was asleep in her little toddler bed. The phone rang. The time was 11:30pm.
Unintelligible Voice That is Sobbing and Sounds Like My Mother: (Sobs) Sharon? Sharon?
Let's pause for a moment and say, all together, we never want to pick up the phone and hear someone sobbing on the other end. It's horrible. Terrifying. And when you can't quite understand what they are saying, it's that much worse.
Me: Mom? Mom is that you?
Mom: (Sobbing and saying words that I can only kind of understand, but sound something like...) Fire. House. OH MY GOD. Terrible. (More sobs).
Me: (Scared and now standing in the living room, up from the couch, TV off, Rob staring at me like he could use bionic hearing and make out what my mother was saying through the phone. I use the voice I use on Charlotte when I am trying to get her attention during a meltdown.) MOTHER, you have to slow down. I can't understand you. TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND TELL ME WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Mom: (Trying to control herself) Okay. (She breathes) Our house is on fire. (She starts to sob again) OUR HOUSE IS BURNING! (Screaming) OH MY GOD, THE CAR, BE CAREFUL!
Me: (All hairs on my head and my arms are now standing on end. It feels like I just chugged ice cold water as I ask) ARE YOU STILL INSIDE? ARE YOU OKAY? WHERE IS DAD?
Mom: (Sobbing and yelling) THE FIRE ENGINES ARE HERE. I HAVE TO GO.