And the River Was Like Glass:
A September 11th Remembrance

Rainy River at Sunrise

Life Goes On

The river was perfectly still, like glass, early the morning of September 11th. I'd been home for a few days. My mother had begun to lose motor control of her right leg. We feared this meant the lung cancer for which she'd been treated in the spring had metastasized into her brain.

Our day was already full. Despite the leg problem, Mom was hosting a luncheon for friends at noon. Afterwards other friends would join up for a presentation about one of her many craft passions, scrapbooking.

We'd already had our first cup of tea when Dad turned on CNN to hear the morning news. The first plane – a small plane, they said at first – had just hit the World Trade Center. We sat down to learn more. In horror, we watched the second plane hit the South Tower, understanding, instantly, that these strikes were no accident. We sat, mesmerized, horrified, in tears.

At 10, the first call came. "Is lunch still on?" I looked at my mom. Without hesitation, she answered, "Life goes on."

Still in pajamas at 11, I spoke with Mom's doctor to schedule a brain MRI for that afternoon.

"Already," I thought, "life goes on."

Outside, the river remained smooth, a peaceful reflection of the early-autumn sky, as far as imaginable from the destruction we watched in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

My Mom died of metastasized lung cancer the next spring. Some mornings, the river is like glass, just as it was on September 11th.

Life goes on.

Early Morning on the Rainy River
Written the morning of
September 11, 2002,
the first anniversary of 9/11.

Where Were You?

Where were you on September 11th? How are you dealing with the ten-year anniversary? I suspect we are all filled with stories and emotion. I'd be honored if you are called to share yours here, in the comments. And then, again, life may go on.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Alanna's mother Shirley Kellogg started Kitchen Parade for her family's small-town weekly newspaper in northern Minnesota when Alanna was a few months old.

© Copyright 2011 Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I live in Seattle, I arrived at work at 06:10, and viewed the first newscast that the North Tower had been struck, having to continue to clock in, pre-trip my school bus and then go out on my route to pickup school children to deliver them to school, all the while listening to the radio in continuing disbelief to the unfolding tragedy on the east coast....... it still hurts today, but life does move on and as the Bible says, there is a time to mourn and a time to heal. I pray for healing for America today.

  2. My neighbors and friends, recently retired military did not have their TV installed yet, when the first plane hit I was watching the Today show - my husband was going out to his woodworking shop - we called our neighbors and they came over and we watched the TV until the last plane hit -- after three or four hours we all went back to our
    plans for the day - feeling stunned, scared, amazed that something this terrible could happen to our country, and just in a state of shock - wondering where we were going now and what was going to happen next. Our sense of safety had been severely threatened and we were all numb.

  3. I remember the night before~there had been a huge spider in my bedroom. Altho I'd tried to catch it in a glass it had run under the dresser, and I'd decided to sleep on the living room couch. The phone woke me up the next morning, and my Daughter ran to me, saying Mom,Mom, Dad just phoned~a plane flew into a building in New York! I turned on the TV to see the second plane hit. Horrible, horrible day. No one who saw those images could ever forget. I cannot even imagine what it must have been like to be there.
    Remembering my U.S. neighbors today, from Vancouver, Canada.

  4. Anonymous9/11/2011

    Alanna, this was exquisite writing. Beautiful Much love, Mario at O

  5. Being an early riser, I was driving to work when the first report was announced---"A small plane has hit the World Trade Center". At work I turned on a TV in a meeting room and watched, horrified for hours. I recall that the phones, usually constantly ringing, were silent that morning.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna