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Thursday, August 02, 2007

It Seemed Like an Ordinary Day

It was such an ordinary day--at least it was for me. I'd gotten home from work, handled some chores, and ran over to my parents' house. When I got home, I watered my flowers in the tree ring, the front porch and the deck. By the time I sat down and booted up the laptop, the 6pm local news was on. My plan was to download email and answer it, and also handle all the blog comments I'd gotten since lunch.

I was barely online when the news anchor said there was breaking news, a bridge on 35W had collapsed. I figured a section of the bridge had buckled from all the heat we'd been having (Yesterday was particularly bad) and while a couple of people had maybe been hurt or killed. That would have been bad enough, there was no way I could have guessed the total devastation of what had actually happened. The entire span of 35W over the Mississippi River had gone down.

I forgot all about email and comments. I sat watching with this sense of disbelief, of disconnect. Things like this just didn't happen and certainly not in Minnesota. It's always been my impression that we take good care of our roads. (They might need to be widened, but what we have always seemed to be in decent repair--if you discounted the potholes.)

It was hours later, probably after 8:30, although time passed in some weird, warped way so I could be wrong, when I forced myself to answer posts to my guest blog. When I make an appearance, even if it's only in cyber space, I feel like I need to be "on." That was really hard to achieve. I hope I managed to pull it off.

I stayed up until midnight last night watching coverage of the collapse and I never did answer email, although I did get back to everyone who sent me a note asking if I was okay.

Today, I guess, is the day everything will sink in. I'm okay, my parents are okay, now I need to find out if everyone I know at work is okay.

One of the tech writers I really like is a Twins fan. He goes to games with his son and wife often. Some of our past intern engineers go to the U of MN (which is right in that area), and then there are the people who live in that area. Right now I'm waiting for everyone to come in. I hope no one's late today. I hope everyone shows up.