September 10, 2010

Another Day

Today is just a day on the farm.  We still have 17 days till we get on that bird and fly across the ocean to a whole other continent.  I am looking forward to the adventure but for some reason dreading customs.  I am guessing it's because I've never done it before.  The fear of the unknown.

Tomorrow we are heading to Atlantic Beach.  It's probably my favorite beach in North Carolina.  We are planning on souvenir shopping then laying on the beach for 6 hours.  My legs are going to burn up.  I have an awesome base tan on my arms/shoulders/face.  My legs are very pale.  After being burnt up quite nicely we are going to do a ghost walk.  None of us have ever been on one.  I don't know what to expect but if anywhere is haunted it's the South.  That particular area is where Blackbeard lived.  So there's gotta be pirates and "aye, walk the plank me matey!" victims about. 

Just a reminder.  Tomorrow is September 11th.  In my my Mom's generation...this is the worst attack on American soil.  Only comparable to Pearl Harbor.  But even that attack, while horrible, wasn't the same.  It wasn't CONUS.  It didn't kill 2,752 civilians.  It didn't even kill that many Service Members.  Pearl Harbor killed 2,400 people total, 68 civilians.  The ensuing war killed 418,500 Americans.  The wars stemming from September 11th have (so far) killed the 2,752 ON Sept 11th and 5,697.  That is a dramatically lower number probably due to technological advances.  Losing civilians vs soldiers doesn't make them more or less important but as the wife of a career soldier...well soldiers sign on knowing the risks.  Thousands of New Yorkers didn't go to work and sign a contract saying "I might be a war casualty".  No one boarded the airplanes thinking they'd be blown up, essentially.  Although I will allow that flying presents a higher hazard level than simply going to work we still don't have many plane crashes in a year and usually even fewer large planes.

That's just the facts.  The reality of it all is that it devastated our entire nation.  People with no ties to New York cried for days.  People in other countries were heartbroken for us.   The thought of all of the loss is simply too much for most people to bear.  Even now, 9 years later, all I want to do is cry.  If I see the footage it takes me back to that day in 2001 when I woke up to the news.  I can't remember it as if it were yesterday.  Until the day I die I will remember those moments.  Or until the day the dementia sets in, which ever happens first.  Sometimes I wonder if that's what hell is like.  Watching people so desperate and scared that they would rather leap to their death than burn to death.  Watching the person you worked with before you ran to Starbucks, people you know, go up in flames.  Watching people you've never met in a state you've never been to and knowing that someone loves them is in agonizing pain from loss.  Some people were in agonizing pain from being in/near intense heat.  People were trapped, still alive but facing uncertainty.  The terror, the fear, the pain.  It's too much to bear.

Never forget.  Don't let your children forget, even if they were less than 2 weeks old like my daughter was at the time of the attack.  Don't forget our soldiers still fighting to this day.

Never forget.

The N.C.

We are on our way to Germany.  We have 21 days till we get on the plane.  We decided to take leave at my Moms place because we had to drop off the Focus and Ollie here as well as take the Xterra to the port in Norfolk.  I am pretty sad about leaving Ollie but he really does love it here so that helps.  And there is just no possible way we can afford to take him.  He will be here waiting for us when we get back though.  My Mom and Michael are going to spoil him rotten.  The farm life suits his 93lb frame as well, he hardly looks monster sized here.

We've been here for a few days now so it's time to begin our adventures.  We have decided to try to do one fun thing a day.  It may not seem like great fun but here in rural North Carolina we don't have a ton of options.  Not a ton of free options, rather.

Tonight we were doin' some ghost hunting.  We decided to check out the Whirligigs at night.  Even though I know the reality, it's so much more fun to get swept up in the Urban Legend of it all, even if just for a little while.  I have been to the Whirligigs at least 5 times over the years, probably more.  But never at night.

We told the spooky stories until we got there and even drove by the family graveyard and other land the family owns and told those stories too (illegally shot "carpet baggers" buried in the field, etc).  The stories about the whirligigs go something like this:

Long ago (year undetermined, likely the 70's) a girl had gone to prom and had done a little acid (or drank) at the dance.  On the way home she lost control of her car while reaching onto the floor and picking up her dropped handbag.  She ended up wrapping her car around a tree and died instantly.  Her father was completely distraught and began putting reflectors up all over the area so that no other person would meet the same fate.  He had gone mad and began building many reflective surfaces, an entire park.  He left the destroyed car there at the tree to remind people of his daughters end and if you go now, you will meet the girl at night.  Your car will get scratched and you will hear the screams.  You may lose power to your camera or even your car.   (Google Acid Park, you will find many many other blogs of first hand experiences as well as some actual articles).

We took pictures of all of the reflectors.  At night with just the flash on my camera it really lit things up.  At some point I will post daytime pictures as well.  We also took a picture of the car and tree.  If you believe in orbs, there are some good ones.

The *real story that I know is that Mr. Vollis Simpson is the creator of these whirligigs.  He is an old old old man (91) and he has been doing this for years.  The first time I came to NC when I was 8 I saw them.  Whirligigs are basically ornate windmills, more or less.  His children are all still alive.  These things are art, pure and simple.  They have been featured places like the Atlanta Olympics, Bergdorf Goodman's, and several museums.  I met Mr. Simpson when I was about...15.  He was good friends with my Great Grandma and she took me out to meet him and his old scary dog.  We talked about animals and his awesome talent (he doesn't really see it that way).  If you Google Vollis Simpson Whirligigs there is  a ton of info, my fave article is cause when a Lucama NC boy makes it in the New York Times it's big news.  My family has lived in Lucama for generations.  Portions still live there and it's where the family plot is as well, not far from Mr. Simpsons.

But despite knowing the truth we all still managed to get very spooked very quickly.  I got some cool pictures and Taylor has yet another fun NC memory.

Nothing terribly exciting but it's better than doin' nothing on the farm!!