Doing Things.

With the weekend upon us we have nothing in our plans. My scheduled flight for the weekend has been cancelled due to inclement weather in the forecast. We’ll probably watch our weekly Star Trek movie on Sunday night. And on Saturday we’ll go for a ride somewhere.

I like going for rides in the car. I’ve always liked going for rides in the car. But we’ve gone on so many rides this year, mostly because there hasn’t been much else to do with the current COVID-19 situation, I know the northern half of Illinois like the back of my hand.

I’m hesitant to spend too much time in adjacent states, though we do dip into Indiana or Wisconsin once in a while. With such an uneven approach to pandemic precautions across the country, upon entering Chicago we’re reminded that we’re suppose to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival if we’ve been in a “COVID-19 Hot Spot”. Wisconsin, Indiana, and Iowa occasionally make that list and with Big Brother watching us the way it does in 2020, I don’t want our license plate reader showing up on an Indiana camera and then someone wondering why we didn’t quarantine when we got back home.

My husband and I are always extra cautious. We always wear masks, we wipe down everything with sanitary wipes, we have buckets of hand sanitizer in the car, and we don’t eat in restaurants. I’m sure there’s more than one french fry under the seats of our Jeep Cherokee.

I never thought I’d see the day where I’d be bored of going for a ride in the car, and I’m not really bored of the practice, but there’s only so many times one can drive across the prairie on Illinois 47.

Changes.

Even though it’s been 19 years, I still remember the events of 9/11 as if it was yesterday. I remember standing in the video editing room of the advertising agency watching the events unfold on a television monitor. I remember scrambling to get the radio station to full time news coverage. I remember the sinking feeling in my stomach as the buildings came down.

Most of all, I remember thinking, life will never be the same again.

Those thoughts have been proven to be true. It’s felt the country has been completely off the rails since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the results of those attacks have snowballed into a country that is barely recognizable 19 years later.

Much has changed since 2001. Some of it good, too much of it bad. There is now an entire generation that has never known a United States that wasn’t at war.

I still get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes when I think of the brave people that last their lives on that day, and their families and friends that had to carry on without them. I feel the same way about the country I once knew.

We all lost that day.