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Today’s post was a struggle

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Live every day to the fullest.


In other words: eat more Flourless Chocolate-Chip Cookies.

I struggled with today’s post.

Mostly, I struggled in deciding whether or not to publish any post today. Today: September 11th.

I’d completely forgotten until last night. My initial reaction was to unschedule the recipe post I’d written (ironically enough, for New York-style Cheesecake) and take a day off from blogging, in honor of the victims of 9/11. It seemed wrong and superficial to talk about desserts on the anniversary of a day so many innocent people lost their lives.

However, I’m not sure the victims of September 11th would want that. I think they would want us to honor their memories by celebrating life; by not taking a single moment—or a single person in our lives—for granted. Yes, it’s cliché to say, “Don’t take anything in your life for granted.” But just stop for a second and really think about the meaning behind the cliché. Think about aspects of your life that you do take for granted.

Personally, I can always use a reminder to put the little things—a failed recipe, a bad hair day, even a slow internet connection—in perspective. Likewise with people: instead of getting annoyed at a friend’s bad habit that drives me crazy, I should be grateful the friend is in my life and is therefore able to annoy me.

Also, as horrible as September 11th was, we need to remember that atrocities are still taking place every single day around the world. It’s easy to sit back and pretend we’re being patriotic by waving our American flags and spouting out phrases like: “I’m proud to be an American” and “Support our troops!” But what would really show patriotism would be to get out there and actually do something, whether it be volunteering at a food pantry, writing letters to the brave men and women fighting overseas, etc.

I was so active in high school—visiting nursing homes, making comfort pillows for a local hospital, going to the animal shelter, coordinating service projects through my church… I’m embarrassed to admit that as college work became more time-consuming, I cut back on these other activities and went from helping so many causes to helping very few. I really need to get back into it. Sitting home and pretending to be a good person helps no one.

Question of the Day:

Do you remember where you were on September 11th?

I was in high school, and when my math teacher told us a plane had hit the World Trade Center, I thought he was making a really bad joke. And then some kid did play a really bad joke—he called in a bomb threat to our school, so we spent the rest of the day huddled together in the football stadium. We were hot (It was over 100 degrees), hungry (Our lunches were left in the evacuated building) and scared, with no idea what was going on. Kids didn’t have iphones back then.

But when I got home, I obviously learned that, as bad as my day was, it paled in comparison to the day of so many others.


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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. I remember being woken up at 5.30am a few hours the attacks happened at World Trade Center by my parents shouting at me to get up to watch the news that kept replaying the scene. I was 8. It was the worst thing I had ever seen. You’re right. We should be grateful that we can live our every day and live it to the fullest. 🙂

  2. I was at school too, I was way younger and didn’t even think about it being a big deal. I cannot believe its been 10 years…

  3. This is a beautiful post Katie. I remember that day so well! My grandparents picked me up from school (I was 7!) and they were totally panicked because they couldn’t get hold of the rest of our family, who lived within a few blocks of Ground Zero. Thank God it turned out they were safe, but it was a scary time, and I pray for all those who lost their lives and for those who lost loved ones. Never forgotten <3

    1. DITTO i was 7 and jut got picked up from school.. i had a friend over for a playdate and mymom was lie I NEED THE TV. which NEVER HAPPENED.
      im so happy your family was safe emma!

  4. Camille says:

    I hadn’t watched the news that morning as my oldest child had just begun kindergarten and we were busy getting our morning routine down pat. I remember that day vividly and the stark contrast of how my focused shitfed so quickly from my family to thoughts of thousands of families, the entire USA then Canada too and then back to my immediate family. Real fear, shock, horror, disgust, and then thoughts of overwhelming admiration at the actions of all the decent and honorably qualities that day brought out in so many. You are right to post and right to carry on and live life. You are also right to reflect on your life and to up the ways you can give back– this is always a good thing!

  5. Giulia says:

    I was at the dentist for a visit with my mom, and we saw it there for the first time: we came home after that and watched the news on tv for most of the day

  6. Nancy says:

    I was in first grade. My teachers were crying, I believe one of them had a brother at the World Trade Center. I was so young that I didn’t really understand what was happening, or the gravity of the events taking place, but now I try to honor the memory of all those we lost ten years ago.

  7. Ragnhild says:

    Beautiful post Katie!!
    I cant believe that the years have gone so fast! I remember being at school, and our teacher told us. But as the Norwegian kid I was, I didnt really understand how big this was! As I got older, I think it is worse than I did that actually date!
    And then, on 22 July this year, when the terror and massacre was in Oslo, I really understod what these kinds of things does to a country! It is so horrible that so many lives was taken away, both in New York and Oslo!

    1. I couldn’t believe the news from Oslo… but then again, I can’t ever believe it when I hear about these things. I just don’t know how someone could do something like that. I tried to think about his upbringing, and about the fact that this guy was obviously suffering from some mental instabilities. A normal person wouldn’t have deliberately caused so much pain. But just reading the stories from the kids oin Oslo made me cry.

  8. I was in 8th grade and found out in my first period math class. I just remember not knowing what to think – i hadn’t even heard of the towers being from kansas city and not knowing much about new york. All i knew is that i was experiencing something that i would remember forever.

  9. Jenny says:

    This is indeed a beautiful post, as Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) said. I think it was an even better idea TO post – to post this, and honour those who died by celebrating life. Their lives, and the lives of those of us who still live on.

    I was in fifth grade when it happened, but living in Singapore. It probably happened shortly before I went to bed (twelve hour time difference, I think) and I’ve no recollection of what I was doing AT THAT EXACT moment… just because no one in my house was watching the TV or anything. I learned about it when I went to school the next morning, but didn’t really understand it fully. I was a kid, had no clue what the Twin Towers were (or where, for that matter), until I moved to the States the following year. Only then onward could I actually understand the full magnitude and implications of what had happened.

    Anyway. Yes. Moni’sMeals is also right: very thoughtful post. You really do have a way with words. Today, especially, I will be even more vigilant than normal in being thankful. (I already make a point of regularly letting those close to me know how much I appreciate them.)

    I’ll start with thanking you: Thanks for your continuing to blog and bring cheer to others with your words and delicious baked treats. You teach us all how to maintain our health, which is obviously vital to all of our states of well-being, without sacrificing flavour or enjoyment. That is a wonderful way to celebrate life in and of itself. You’re awesome. 🙂

    1. Oh Jenny, YOU are the awesome one. You make me smile every day :).

  10. I was planning on flying to Chicago the next day for my first day of college…I was sitting in the dentist office for my last doctor’s appointment before leaving for school. I saw the second plane hit the tower right there in the dentist office. My whole family was stunned. We ended up driving to school rather than flying.

    I remember listening to the radio for the entire 8 hour drive as people tried to deal with the reality of what had just happened. Once I got to school, I was away from the tv and radio and caught up in orientation activities. It was almost like I retreated into that college bubble. The New Jersey and New York area people came late, due to issues with flying in. Many of them had lost friends.

    Now, living here in NY, this day has taken on a whole new meaning. It feels even closer and even more real.

  11. Michaela says:

    I am glad you posted.
    And thanks for the reminder about helping others and being grateful.
    I will never forget 9/11. I just got home from the beach with my mum and was taking a shower, when my dad (I was on vacation with my mum) rang to tell us the news and that we had to switch on the telly. I remember just not getting it, seeing the pictures and all, but thinking it must be a scene from a movie. So strange. Even today it really is hard to believe what happened back then.

  12. Its crazy how when terrible things happen your memory works so well. I can’t remember what I ate 3 days ago.. but I remember ten years ago on September 11th I was studying for my final school Biology exam… When I got to school a little bit later that day it was all anyone could talk about. This was in South Africa- September 11th 2001 sent shock waves throughout the entire world.

  13. I’m glad you decided to post. It’s important to talk about it and remember. What the families and victims would want is remembrance, celebration of life, and just for people to not forget. I’ll be going on a long hike today with friends… celebrating just being alive, having friends to enjoy a day with, and having a capable body to do so much with!

  14. What a wonderful post,Katie! I also think it was right to write it as it honours all the victims of the tragedy from 2001…
    I was eight years old at that time and I remeber me sitting in the kitchen with my sister while we waited for our mom to fix our banana sandwiches… We were talking about something funny when suddenly the phone rang. It was my aunt who told my mom to immediately switch on the TV as there were reports broadcasted on every single program… Of course,my sister and I didn’t know what had happened because we couldn’t hear what my aunt was saying,so we were very alarmed when mom ran out of the kitchen and switched on the TV – but as we saw the pictures,we directly understood…
    Wow,I just notice how detailed I remember that day!

  15. Arusa says:

    I was 6 years old when 9/11 happened. I have no memory of 9/11 except that my aunt was thankful that it didn’t hit our area. I asked my mom what we were doing on 9/11 and she said that my dad told us to watch the news on what happened.

  16. Lilly says:

    I was eleven, it was still early and I was just waking up to get ready for school. We had a tv but never really used it but the night before my mom couldn’t sleep at all and she flipped on the news in the morning for a change. Just before the coverage on the towers my dad called, super early for him, he said he got a weird feeling andbwas just checking in on us ( my parents are separated) then right then the news showed what just happened and both my parents had it on tv while on the phone. I still went to school, in CA, and remember many of the parents and teachers just talking and crying all day and many of us kids didn’t really understand the whole effect. Thenks for such a nuc post today 🙂 celebrate life!

  17. Liz says:

    I’m really glad to have read your post and seen that I’m not the only one that feels that we need to focus on other things, too. I tried to write a bit about it yesterday but I think I came off a little too strongly, so today I posted a memorial for one of the victims. Today should be about the people, not the fact that we were attacked or that we have a hole in our skyline. We should be thinking about the people, and taking it a step further and doing something to help others. I’m checking out those Africards right now. Thanks for sharing them!

  18. Amazing post, Katie! I love the part about being thankful that you HAVE people in your life to annoy you.

    I was in second grade when the attacks happened, and I remember vividly watching the towers fall in my music class. My teacher at the time has been my teacher and a great inspiration for me for 13 years now, and I remember how upset she was, and she did a wonderful job explaining to 7 and 8 year old children the severity of the attacks without scaring us.

  19. I think you were right to post this. Of course it is important to pause and remember, but it is also important to get on with life, like you say.
    I was at uni 10 years ago (still on summer break), and I had gone to the cinema. We saw the footage on a TV screen in a shop in the shopping centre, and thought it was a film. Then our cinema got evacuated and we went home and realised that what we saw was actually real.

  20. Jennifer says:

    Thanks Katie for this post. I remember that day quite well. The sky was so blue that morning. I was a senior in high school at the time and sitting in biology class. The assistant principal came over the PA system and asked that any girl (it was an all girls’ school) who had family working in the WTC or in lower Manhattan come to the chapel. Living just outside of NYC, there was a real possibility that someone’s parents could have been there (thankfully, that was not the case, though other family members were).

    Throughout the rest of the day, the teachers wouldn’t tell us much of anything, but some parents came to pick up their daughters early and even some of the school buses came early. The drive home (for me usually about 90 minutes) was really short because there was no one on the roads. It was so eerie.

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