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Andrew, Danielle and Alyssa FlemingI was halfway kidding when I said I would write this column from Colorado Springs, which is far from being Waynedale, Indiana. One of my sons just moved here to work for FOCUS ON THE FAMILY. I arrived here safely Monday night September 10th. On the way to the airport in Chicago I was involved in an accident when I stopped for a red light. The man behind me did not stop. I was not hurt but the car received some minor damage. Then the next thing I knew I got scalded with hot coffee. That too was okay but it gave me the feeling that I should have stayed home. It hadn't started out to be my day.

This is beautiful country and come Tuesday morning, Pike's Peak was a beautiful shade of purple. The sky quickly turned to gray and snow was becoming visible. The mountain was still breath taking but everything was shattered by the disaster that hit our beloved country. This terrible tragedy seemed so unreal and we feel numb watching this drama unfold. I was speechless and dumbstruck; I'm certain the others had the same reaction.

Conditions are extremely tense here. Basically, the city shut has down. The North American Air Defense (NORAD) is here in the heart of Cheyenne Mountain country and is a real possible target. We hear the military aircraft circling above the clouds but we cannot see them. There are several military bases here besides the Air Force Academy and we were told we're on the highest rating for military alert. Retired Air Force personnel are being told to "stand by"; they could be recalled. I understand that some have already gone.

Many of the roads are closed to traffic, especially those leading into the military bases. A plea has been put out for blood donors. The report came around 2:30pm for people to come back on Wednesday, otherwise the wait would be an hour and a half minimum. I know the lines are extremely long.

One of my sons told me that his pastor said, sometime ago, that one of these days the malls will be closed but the churches would be open. That's the way it is on this Tuesday night.

It's Wednesday morning already and I didn't get sleep much last night; the planes circling around kept me awake. My feelings of safety are mixed with apprehension that the sounds would soon change. The newspaper headlines say, "TODAY OUR NATION SAW EVIL!" Those were the words that President Bush used in his speech. I wonder how many papers used the same quote?

Something positive did happen this morning though. I called Bob Stark's daughter, Susie Fleming, and we had a wonderful talk over the phone. She called back about five minutes later and suggested we go on a picnic and get acquainted. We went to a park with a playground and Susie took her three children Danielle, Alyssa, and Andrew. School was cancelled for the day.

As I write this, I am not certain how or when I'm getting home. We just heard train travel is booked up, the buses were crowded, and with the tight security for flying we're not certain about that either. I just hope I'm back in Waynedale in time to read this in the October 3rd issue of THE WAYNEDALE NEWS. It has been an unsettling time.


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