updated 9/23/01


Washington and New York in flames, airports and borders closed and I am on the wrong side of it. South Padre Island seems very far away all of the sudden...
There are three of us here from SPI who were scheduled to fly out of Seattle to Houston this afternoon. The fact that we did quite well and are all coming home (eventually?) with medals seems pretty trivial right now. We don't know how many have died in this horrific attack but the news on CNN is very sobering. One of our first actions was to troup down to the beach and lower my new US flag to half-mast.

There are about 10 of us left here - mostly American but the Dutch Sandaholics as well. We have been building and partying together for nearly a week already and are eyeing each other, contemplating the idea that we could have one or two or several days left together. Will there be war? I had so looked forward to being home with my dogs tonight....

Harrison is quiet today - the big party associated with the grand finale of the contest is a two-day old memory, the crowds long gone. Our host has assured us we can stay as long as necessary and local restaurants continue to cover our meals. There are worse places to be stranded and worse people to be stranded with, without a doubt.

Cell phone networks being pushed to the limit, it was not easy getting through but I was finally able to reach a friendly Island voice with the message that sandy feet's beach retreat would need some attending to for the indefinite future.


Finally got through to the airline last night and learned that our first opportunity to get home will not occur until Friday afternoon out of Vancouver, which will get us into Harlingen late that night on the last flight out of Houston. And that is contingent on the airports opening later today on schedule.

When I thought I would be flying out of Seattle, I was glued to the US channels on my motel room TV for updates on that city's airport. Now that I know I will probably be flying out of Vancouver, I have switched to Canadian news stations to take full advantage of my unique opportunity to view this situation from another country's perspective, especially now that there is some indication of a "Canadian Connection" to the hijackers who boarded flights in Boston. There is a certain amount of defensiveness in the commentary I am hearing, but far more prevalent is a tremendous sadness and outpouring of support. This morning outside of Jorg's - the fine establishment which has faithfully served us our breakfasts throughout the contest and the successive ordeal - I noticed a new hand printed sign directing people to the nearest bloodbank for donations to victims in New York.

With two and a half more days of forced vacation here in lovely Harrison Hot Springs, I can only thank my lucky stars that I am enjoying my refugee status in relative luxury (if I only had a phone in my room, it would qualify as "total luxury.") My goals for today center around getting some laundry done and finding a phone line to which I can connect my laptop and send off this story. But it is hard to tear myself away from the tube and the horrified fascination I am developing with the constant replays of the world trade center falling down. I find myself watching the names of the flight victims marching across the bottom of the screen and asking the question that everyone here and everywhere keeps asking --
How could this happen?

the continuing saga...

There are five (5) ways to submit your questions/comments for future Ask Sandy columns: In person; by phone (761-6222) or fax (761-8930); the US Postal System (box 2694,spi,78597) and E-mail: (sandyfeet@unlitter.com). Visit my web-site (http://spionline.com/) for tips on sandcastling, contest info, recent Ask Sandy columns, and my reviews of local businesses.

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