From the Ashes...

March 1, 2007 is one of those days I'll always remember, like 9/11 or 2/25 (George Harrison's birthday).

We share stories about where we were (work. Rearranging my office furniture) and where our kids were (Savannah. Patrick was suspended and spending quality time with his dad as a result) when the F4 tornado struck and destroyed the high school (more photos here).

Today, I was fortunate enough to tag along with a group of engineers from my office to see the soon-to-be completed Enterprise High School.

EHS will be the largest high school in the state of Alabama, with 520,000 square feet located on 135 acres, and some helluva awesome features:
  • Three floors of classrooms, media and lecture rooms, and a chemistry lab that had me itching to pull out a lab coat and goggles

  • Multiple computer labs, hundreds of media-streaming screens, "smart boards" in every classroom and a high-tech auditorium

  • An indoor shooting range

  • An 8,000-seat football stadium, 3 full-sized basketball courts, and locker rooms galore

  • Price tag: $92 million
There may not be a specific dress code, but female students be forewarned: stick to comfortable shoes.


Life Begins At...

1978. Mary VanGordan and I closed our eyes and asked the Ouiji Board questions. "How old will I be when I die?" 4-2, wrote Mary's sister as the glass whisked around the board.

1986. On my nineteenth birthday, my dad sent a card with a pin inside that said, "Life begins at 40." Not much time I quickly realized, after doing the math.

The years I spent, with no retirement plan or financial consequences, officially passed yesterday. I can now call out the Ouiji board for being a dirty rotten liar and let the living begin.
Voicemail from my sister: "Happy birthday, flashdance sisterpants! I hope you're not working. I hope you're drunk, in a gutter somewhere, on your birthday. You don't want to talk, I understand. If you want to talk, call me back. If you're in a gutter, sleep tight. I love you. Goodbye."