Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget

Ten years ago today, I was sleeping in because I'd worked late the night before.  My cell phone rang and it was my boyfriend at the time, Nate, who was a sheriff's deputy.  "Turn on the tv," he said abruptly, then, "I'm going to Higginsville PD to watch television."  He hung up.  My first reaction was irritation that he woke me up, and then puzzlement that he was watching television while he was on duty.  I turned on the television in time to see the second plane hit the World Trade Center. 

The most poignant memory I have of the news coverage of that day is seeing some footage of the rubble of the World Trade Center and hearing the eerie whistles of the PASS devices belonging to firefighters trapped in all that concrete and steel.  I remember grabbing the hand of my partner at work (although, oddly, I cannot recall who I was working with) and we stood there crying as we watched that.  Three hundred forty-three.  Even people not in the fire service know what that number represents.

Today I pause to remember those firefighters lost, along with the police officers and civilians who also lost their lives on that awful day.  But now, ten years later, I also pause to think about the people who survived.  People like Matt Komorowski, an FDNY firefighter who was trapped in a stairwell at World Trade Center along with five other members of his Ladder Company and a woman they were helping to evacuate.  That's Komorowski's helmet in the photo.  He keeps it in a glass case in his living room, still covered with the dust from that day.  That helmet is a symbol to me of survival.  September 11, 2001 represents a a terrible loss of life, but it is also the most successful rescue operation that FDNY has ever conducted.  Today I mourn those lost, but I also celebrate those who survived.

Photo copyright National Geographic. 
That photo, and others that are part of a collection of survivors' stories,
can be seen by clicking on the highlighted text.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tub Story

Someone asked in comments last week how my clawfoot tub ended up in the hardware store parking lot, and it was then I realized that I never told y'all about my clawfoot tub in the first place.

The Magnificent Greg, the bestest of my best friends, gifted me a clawfoot tub last spring.  (Incidentally, this gift is not why Greg's the bestest of my best friends--he's held that status for at least a couple of years before the bathtub.)  Greg lives in a pre-Civil War commercial building in downtown Lexington.  The first floor is retail space, and the upstairs is a very cool-looking apartment.  This building, during the Civil War, was the headquarters of Confederate General Sterling Price, which I believe adds something to Greg's general aura of awesomeness.  Anyway, Greg decided to remodel said apartment and get rid of his little clawfoot tub.  So, being the bestest of my best friends, he immediately called me and asked if I wanted it.  For free.  After I came to after passing out at the thought of such a generous gift, I said yes.  (Of course I said yes--who wouldn't?!)  I didn't have room for the bathtub at my house last spring, and the ginormous bathroom remodel is still a year or so away, so the people who remodeled Greg's apartment agreed to keep the tub for me.  They were in the process of their own giant remodeling project--turning a former car dealership into a hardware store--so they set the tub on a wooden pallet in the parking lot of the store.

And there it's been for months and months.  I go by and visit it every couple of weeks and tell it that I'm taking it home soon, very soon, just as soon as I can find enough people to haul the thing to my house.  Yesterday before I left for work I thought I'd go by and take a photo of the bathtub to show you how lovely it is.  It's a 4-foot-long vintage cast iron tub with big claw feet and right now it's painted a sort of juniper green on the outside. 

And....the tub is gone.  Nowhere to be found.  I'm hoping they've just moved it to inside storage.  I'm hoping they didn't think I abandoned the tub.  I'm hoping it's not now in someone else's house, or listed on eBay, or--horrors!--in someone's yard filled with dirt and mums.  That's what I'm hoping.  Because if it turns out that I've lost my free clawfoot tub due to carelessness and neglect, then I will need one of you to kick me right in the hiney. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Be Still My Heart

I can't stop thinking about it.  And every time I think about it, I smile.  My heart skips a couple beats.  I'm insanely happy.

Lexington has a new hardware store.

(What did you think I meant???)

Yep, a brand-spankin-new hardware store in the big building where the Chevy dealership used to be, so I'm doubly happy.  We now have a decent place to buy tools and sandpaper and plumbing supplies and electrical stuff, and now folks see a nice locally-owned business instead of a vacant building when they come to town from the south.  And to top it all off, they sell Valspar paint, which saves me a 45-minute trip to the closest big-box store and lets me support small business.  (Although I will kinda miss the hot guy in plumbing at the Lowe's in Warrensburg.)  I'll need Valspar paint when I finally decide to tackle the peeling paint on the east side of my house.  That's a September/October project.

Now if I could just find someone to help me get my cast-iron clawfoot tub out of the hardware store parking lot, I'd be really, really happy...