A memorable day in many ways


A trio of back patio pictures.

As Jordan and I drove out of the driveway early this morning, I was pleased to see the American flag flying at the curb of many homes. People on our street remember—as if we could forget this day. (The flags are a subscription service provided on patriotic holidays by our South Side Rotary—I have been a subscriber for years.) The internet is full of memories and images and lots of “Where were you when you first heard?” or “How did you spend the day?” We each have our memories.

This year, because of the withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan, this day of memory is even more poignant than usual. It has led many to speculate on why we were at war in that country for twenty years. Should we have withdrawn once Osama Bin Laden was dead? Some called it the endless war. We apparently made life easier for the Afghan people, especially the women who were heavily oppressed, but when the time for the Afghan military and government to take over came, they buckled, as though the manpower, equipment, and time put in had been for naught. Not to mention the American lives lost nor, in greater numbers, the loss of Afghan life which was astronomical. Instead of uniting us, as the original terrorism act did, this newest direction has led to further division. Sadly, like the pandemic, the withdrawal has divided us into liberals and conservatives. It is not, to my mind, a way to honor those who died. Instead of calm discussion, we have reduced ourselves to shouting and anger and blame.

Still it was a moving day. I lost myself first in the special digital edition the Fort Worth Star-Telegram issued, featuring survivors’ stories, along with features about Muslim citizens and their treatment since, and children not yet born who lost parents in the devastation. It was I thought a particularly well-done tribute. And then on the internet, I ran across a video with graphic images flashed across the screen while “The Sound of Silence” played. I was mesmerized and you may be too. It’s on YouTube somewhere if you know how to find those things.

Jordan and I went to Calloway’s for fall plants—each of us had a list She wanted to brighten up the back yard (I think in preparation for her sister’s mid-day arrival) and I wanted additional herbs for my garden. I worried of course—would we walk farther than I was comfortable with? Would I be left in the car while she shopped, a situation that makes me uneasy. None of that happened, and we had a happy good time picking out plants. I do have to say Calloway’s is not an inexpensive place to shop—but it’s convenient, and it was easily accessible for me. When I got winded, I sat in my walker, and a couple of times she said, “Feet up!” and whisked me through the aisles. As my concern diminished, my walking strength improved. We had fun.

Once home, I became a armchair expert while Jordan planted and I suggested what plant should go in what pot. She blew the leaves off the patio and the yard really does look pretty. The new herbs are still in their containers in the wooden garden—Jordan left them for Megan and me to plant.

Megan arrived from Austin barely in time to give me a quick hug and head out to the TCU football game. The game was pretty much a nail-biter. TCU triumphed in the end—but barely, 34-32. And everybody came back to the house for dinner, where Christian had been marinating steaks and shredding Brussel sprouts. Jordan had made some super Parmesan/green onion potato cakes (wiped out our rather generous supply of Parmesan), and with Megan’s help I fried bacon and we made a wilted lettuce salad, using butter lettuce which for me is a treat and a splurge. When I said to Megan that it was expensive—something like $4 for a small head, she replied, “You pay more than that for a margarita,” and expounded that honey crisp apples are so delicious but three for $12. She tells herself she’d pay more than that for a margarita too. I did not point out that I don’t drink margaritas, but I am wondering about the scales against which she balances things.

dinner with happy people

We had a jolly, happy dinner, joined by David who was in high school with Jordan and has pretty much been family ever since. I don’t see him much these days, so it was a real treat to have him with us. We sat around talking about everything from gossip to anti-vaxxers, and eventually I announced it was time for me and Sophie to go home. When I ask, “Do you want to go home?” she is always so delighted and bolts for the door. Megan walked me out and came in and visited –I cannot tell you how much I treasure those mother/daughter moments.  

So today I’ve had two outstanding mother/daughter times—at the nursery and in the back yard with Jordan and tonight in the cottage with Megan. I am so blessed. Looking forward to tomorrow—Megan will be here all day. We have a date to plant herbs in the morning.

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