Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: What did you do on September 11, 2001?

What did you do on September 11, 2001?

What were you doing September 11, 2001?  Me? I had a very busy day...

september 11I woke up, and I turned the TV on.  I heard something about the World Trade Center being on fire and hit by a plane.  I'm looking at the TV half asleep, and I think to myself that I don't recognize the area so I must have misheard them.  You see, in my previous life, before real estate, I was a buyer for the largest arts and craft store in the country (world) and we would go to the "World Trade Center" and Market Center in Dallas all the time.  This is what I thought they were talking about, hence the reason why I didn't recognize the TV showing Dallas, as it was New York.

I continued to get ready to go to the office, as Tuesday mornings were office meeting days, and though they weren't mandatory, this particular broker I worked with "highly suggested" everyone always attend.  We held our office meeting, and I can't remember if we went on tour of a few houses or not.

I stayed at the office for a couple of hours as that was before I started working from home. I made a few phone calls to follow up with people, not really knowing the extent of what was going on in the world. I had a couple of buyers contact me to back out of their contracts.  There was no talking them out of it.  After the second terminated contract and a couple of more buyers answering emails saying they were no longer in the market to buy a house, I contacted my last buyer I had under contract and said, "Are you still planning on closing on your house on Friday?"  His response put a huge smile on my face. He said, "The world might be in shock right now, but I still need a place to live." Great!  We closed that Friday the 14th.

In all, I had 7 buyers back out of contracts or decide not to buy.  I had been in real estate less than a year, and I started freaking out wondering what I was going to do if I needed to get back into corporate world, but those were thoughts for another day.

Later that afternoon, I headed to my friend's restaurant and bar where we always met on Tuesdays for volleyball.  We played on a 4-player sand volleyball league in Valley Ranch, and there was no news for canceling, so we decided, as a team, to show up, as did several other teams.  We played volleyball, we won as we most always did, and we went back to the restaurant for a couple of drinks.  At this time, the TV was on, and this was my first grasp of what was going on around us.  I started thinking, "we just played volleyball while all those people are suffering?" I was kinda in shock at it all.

I went home and watched more of the news, and went to bed. I don't remember if I worked the next day or not, or what else happened past showing up for my closing on Friday.  I do know that I had 3 closings in November and 3 closings in December that year, so the buyers and sellers did come back fairly quickly, and then we found ourselves in a H-O-T market right after that.

Watching some of the 9/11 memorial programs on TV the past few days has brought tears to my eyes a few times. It's sad to see everything over and over, and it's sad to hear from the kids who grew up without moms or dads. Having two kids of my own, the most sad stories to me are the ones where the babies were born after the dad died as they never got the chance to meet.

September 11, 2001 definitely changed the world, but for me, that actual day seemed to go on almost like nothing had happened. I try to watch the news a little more so I'm more aware of what's going on around me.

**Are You Packed Yet?**

donna harris Realtor Austin TX blog

Donna Harris, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Austin Skyline

Austin TX Real Estate

and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of the way. 

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What did you do on September 11, 2001? * was first published on


Comment balloon 10 commentsDonna Harris • September 11 2011 05:11PM


I was in Costa Rica with my family studying Spanish. Quite surreal to be in another country while your homeland is under attack.

Posted by Scott Lewis, REALTOR, e-Pro,CIA,IMSD,GRI & CNE (The Bald Man Group) over 8 years ago

I was wrapping up the furniture business just before getting into Real Estate. I had two really fine employees from Afghanistan that I allowed to go home for a couple of days because they were afraid for their families. We also cancelled deliveries that day. A couple of days later, all of the employees got together and talked about what we were feeling over lunch. We will never forget! Thanks for posting.

Posted by David Burrows, No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate (Classic Realty) over 8 years ago

I woke up to the news as you did....and I didnt' work that day......I remember gettting a call that I missed a meeting for our scholarship husband had taken my car and I didn't have the keys to his I couldn't attend....they all agreed taht none were in the mood to do the meeting was a very surreal time for sure....A good friend of mine from high school was killed in teh Pentagon attack....he was working so that he could have the time to take off when his baby number 2 was to be born 2 months later...this week I really thought a lot about Meaghan and the fact that she never got to meet her wonderful man! 

Posted by Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady! (Keller Williams Realty Boise) over 8 years ago

I, personally was in the Army stationed in Korea.  My friend and I had just gotten back from watching a movie and honestly thought we were watching another movie on TV.  Very surreal and things definitely changed for us and the world after that.  

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) over 8 years ago

I flipped on the TV on my way to make breakfast and saw the coverage of the first tower being struck.  I sat down to watch and see what was going on, and was watching live as the 2nd plane struck the 2nd tower.  I will never forget the lump in my throat that came with the realization that it was deliberate and we were under attack. 

Posted by Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene) over 8 years ago

Scott, And I'm sure travel back was a little hard.

David, Good that you all talked about it.

Deborah, I'm sorry for your friend. As I said, those were the saddest stories to hear.

Brenda, Yes, it did look like a bad movie.

Janna, I remember them playing over and over again with the second plane coming in, but I don't recall seeing it actually happen.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 8 years ago

I was up early because I had a 8 a.m. doctors appointment for my daughter. Before we got to the appointment we were watching TV and went to the doctor who finished quickly. I believe I came home and saw the towers collapse. Then I took my daughter to school where she was told not to talk to her fellow students because they had not been told yet.

My daughter was all excited (not in a good way) and went to class and told all her class mates! They were all gathered shortly thereafter in the auditorium and shown SOME of what was going on.

What a sad day in America; but what got to me more was the footage of that stupid suppressed old woman dancing in the streets in the middle east because the trade center was destroyed. She was laughing and singing...and I knew she really didn't know nothing about nothing. I believe they are more in the dark than our government has us in. But I felt this intense hatred...God forgive me.

Posted by Sussie Sutton, David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers (David Tracy Real Estate) over 8 years ago

I heard and watched the second tower get hit as I was getting ready for work. I as well was in corporate world and traveled around the world. It seemed surreal. There was never enough news, not enough pictures, not enough stories. TV was our connection to New York and other Americans. These memories are forever.

Posted by Sun City Grand Homes Surprise AZ Real Estate Leolinda Bowers Designated Broker Leolinda Realty, Sun City Grand in Surprise Arizona (Leolinda Realty) over 8 years ago

I was getting ready to go to our office sales meeting.  When I got in the car the late Peter Jennings was on the radio, I thought that was a bit strange.  The details he was reporting were very sketchy.  By the time I got to the office the 2nd plane had struck.  Everyone at the office could not believe what we were hearing.  We said a prayer and the meeting ended.

Posted by Richard Weeks, REALTOR®, Broker over 8 years ago

Sussie, That's interesting how they told the students.

Leolinda, It seemed like there wasn't enough information as we stared.

Richard, You left your house without knowing? Wow!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 8 years ago