Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Attacks in Brussels

I realized yesterday that I've been using my Thursday posts as a blog dump for a lot of stuff during the week, and I need to get better about not doing that.

So today I'm going to take a minute to freak out a little bit (about something that happened yesterday).

When I got in my car yestermorn, the first thing I heard about were the attacks in Brussels. First I want to say...this sucks. These attacks suck, no matter where they happen (because they haven't just been happening in Europe). They are horrible and heart wrenching and it sucks that no matter what is done they cannot be wholly stopped or prevented. And that is what makes them scary.

The Brussels attacks were talked about my entire way to work. Airports and train stations. Numbers of deceased. Stranded travelers...

...and then I realized that, since November, three of the four cities the boys and I going to later this year have been targeted by terrorist attacks.

Don't get me wrong, I am still excited about going to Europe in the fall. I'm excited about all of the things we'll see and do, and I'm excited because it's the first time Cam and Dan and Jeff will go on a trip like this.

But it's also unnerving. Every time something like this happens you hear about stranded tourists, and the thought of being one of those tourists is very scary. It does not matter how well you know a place or how prepared you think you are...when there is a terrorist attack everything goes out the window, and cities momentarily stop functioning how they normally do.

I remember talking to Hannah and our friend Vanessa about the 7/7 train attacks in London in 2005. Vanessa worked in Oxford Street and lived half an hour away by train, but after the attacks the trains shut down...and she was stuck. Just stuck at work, and ended up having to walk out of London to get home. I can't imagine having to do that and knowing where I was going, let alone not knowing.

I'm not trying to blow things out of proportion, all the 'what ifs' just hit me in a weird way yesterday. Unfortunately, it's a real fear. Not one that I'll let rule my life, but there's always gonna be that dumb little voice inside your head whispering, 'What if...?'

In case you're wondering...my little voice sounds a bit like Voldemort ;P

Anyways...

To lighten this post up a bit...
I just found out that Bayer has a program called FeedABee where they will send you free seeds to plant. The seeds are for flowers that bees (and other pollinators, like butterflies and hummingbirds!) are drawn to. I just ordered some seeds - I read it can take a while to get them, but I'll plant them when they come (and every year until I run out). Bees and other pollinators are vital to our eco and agricultural systems, but their numbers have declined in recent years due not only to pesticides, but also to the decreasing number of wildflowers. By planting the seeds from FeedABee (or any of the attractant plants below) you can help strengthen the pollinator community!*

*Please make sure you are not sowing a plant that is considered invasive in your community. You can search the US Department of Agriculture's website for you state here (or if you're outside the US you can search here), and it will provide a list of state-specific threats (plants) to avoid. You probably won't come across a problem, but cover your bases! Invasive species are a real issue!


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2 comments:

  1. Hi Christina! So, I have a lot of thoughts here... what happened in Brussels is horrible and tragic, as are all the attacks (that you mention have happened all over the world.) With the travel that I do, I very often feel the nerves and fears that you mention. It is impossible not to with these stories all over the news. However, the number of Americans that have been killed in attacks abroad are so small. More Americans are killed abroad in car accidents. I know that doesn't stop the fear, and as you mention, even without being in an attack, you can still face scary and hard side effects. Those could also happen from natural things as well - I had coworkers stranded in Europe for a week after all flights were cancelled due to a volcano in Iceland erupting. I'm not trying to diminish your fears, I just mostly want you to be excited for your Europe trip. Traveling is an amazing, eye opening, incredibly beautiful experience. The whole, "if you don't go out, the terrorists have won" mentality doesn't truly do it for me, but I tell myself that things could happen anywhere. You've got to live your life. I can e-mail you some specific tips and information and resources for travel if you are interested and as the time gets closer too! Hope you are having a great week!

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    1. I totally agree with all of this. It was just shocking to realize that 3 of the 4 cities we're going to have been the center of these attacks in the last four months! That's so insane to think about. I love travelling and have family abroad and this definitely won't stop me...but it came up in our group text super fast so I know I wasn't the only one thinking it. The world we live in, eh?

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