Where were you when you heard?

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The cell phone rang as I pulled into Walgreen’s to pick up some serious comfort food – Häagen-Dazs. It was Monday afternoon, and I had been moving from my old house into another one eight blocks away since early Friday morning.

For those who have yet to experience it, moving is stressful. For those who have done it, you probably understand what I mean. There are those, like military families, who move regularly as part of their job. They get the process down to an art, minimizing what has to be taken from one place to another.

I thought I’d downsized enough to make this move fairly painless – I was wrong.

But back to that phone call. It was from my sister Donna in Hernando. Almost before I could mumble “Hello,” she blurted out, “I figured you didn’t have television, so I wanted to tell you somebody set off some bombs at the Boston Marathon.”

Suddenly, thoughts about my own concerns disappeared. I asked, “Was anyone hurt?”

As quickly as she could, my sister told me everything she knew from watching the nonstop news reports.

I grabbed my ice cream and headed to the Inn on Whitworth, where I’m staying in between the old house and the new one, which is in the final stages of remodeling.

Sallie Williford, innkeeper, has been most gracious, making me and all the other guests feel like we’re in our own homes. I particularly like being able to run down to the lobby kitchen to grab a snack whenever the mood hits.

Entering my room, I flipped on the TV to catch up on the story that had been dominating the airways for three hours. Thank goodness, I did have TV. It will be Friday before cable is turned on at the new place.

As I write this column Tuesday night, the person or persons who did this despicable violence remain unknown.

For the runners in Boston, Monday had started out as a wonderful time, full of promise. As it was on that bright September day 11 and a half years ago in New York.

I remember where I was that day, as I now will remember the moment I learned of this tragedy.

On Sept. 11, 2001, I was at my job with a training company in Pelham, Ala. The wife of one of my co-workers called to tell us the unthinkable news.

The video tech for our company scrambled to roll one of his monitors into our work area and rigged up some improvised rabbit ears so we could watch one of the Birmingham stations.

When the TV came on, the announcer was talking about the plane that crashed into one of the World Trade Center buildings. As we watched, the second huge jet lumbered toward the other tower.

Yet another senseless act of terror on innocent people this week. Yet another day that will live in our memories embedded with where we were when it happened or first heard the news.

Rachel Eide is editor/general manager of The Daily Leader. Contact her at rachel.eide@dailyleader.com or P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602.