Friday, September 21, 2012

Spur of the moment

It was a spur of the moment decision. A chance to make a memory and I jumped on it. We had been hearing for days about the space shuttle Endeavor heading to LA to become part of museum. But first it was going to grace the northern California sky. It was to fly over the capitol at 930 this morning. I was literally getting Drew out the door to head to school when the enormity of the event overtook me. I sent Scott a message that we were headed down town. Called Drew's teacher and told her he would be late. So we loaded up. We got downtown about 815 and heard on the radio that the shuttle had just left Edwards AFB and was headed toward us. I managed to find some 1 hour parking and hoped I would not have a ticket when we got back. There were people scattered around the back of the capitol and Drew and I took up spots. I chatted and Drew ran off to check out the turtles and fish in a nearby pond with other kids.
Here is Drew waiting. about 915 people started coming out of office buildings and waiting. One lady was talking to her husband who was on a near by roof top. 930 We heard the shuttle was flying over Stockton 937 it was over Highway 99 in Elk Grove HERE IT COMES!!!! I was so focused on making sure Drew saw it I forgot to take pictures. OOPS. We saw it momentarily before it disappeared behind the other side of the Capitol. WHAT A GYP! Would it come back? The crowd starting disperrsing. We waited. And were rewarded. The pilot flew back over our side. It was huge - but I was shocked at how small it was. Once again I forgot to snap a picture. I was in awe of this incredible machine that had orbited the Earth 4671 times, went on 25 missions, traveled almost 123,000,000 miles, spent 296 days, 3 hours, 34 minutes, 2 seconds in space, and docked with the International Space Station 12 times and MIR once.

This is what we saw the first time it passed by  Pictures courtesy of KCRA.

We were here somewhere.

This is what we saw the second time.

It was memorable and to share it with Drew was wonderful.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


This is what i post every year on this day. May God bless and keep all those involved.

9 years ago I was driving my son to school after a dentist appointment. We were listening to the radio when the announcer announced someone with really bad direction had flown a small aircraft into the World Trade Center. WOW that is crazy I thought. We kept driving. A few minutes later the announcer came back on and said - it happened again - another plane had hit the other tower and it was a commerical aircraft carrier. WOW that is even crazier. Phil asked me what it meant. I had no idea but I assured him (with the confidence that every mother has in moments like this) that everything would be all right and he was safe.

I got him to school and walked in and told the secretary something crazy was going on and she needed to find a radio. I explained what we had heard on the radio. At that moment all of her phone lines started ringing with concerned parents. I hugged Phil good bye and said I would see him after school. I remember calling Scott on my way home and telling him he needed to find a way to get some news. This was 9 years ago before constant, instantious internet news coverage.

I went home and turned on the TV. My sister called (or maybe I called her) we sat watching the TV trying to figure out what was going on. We were 60 miles away from each other and it was one time in our life that I truly felt close to her. Our parents were on the way to DC on vacation. They were driving. My cell rang and it was mom. Amie called Dad on her cell. One most of my vivid memories is my sister yelling "OH MY GOD it is going down" as the first building fell. We watched in horror connected by that phone at what was happening before eyes. We begged them to come home. Finally they realized this was major. They were driving and only had our accounts and the radio to go by. They did turn around and head for KC.

The other day I was talking to Phil about what he remembered. He recounted what happened as the school day continued. I remember fighting the urge to go get him and bring him home (that safe haven every parent feels about their house for theirchild). As Phil and I talked the other day it hit me. For his generation, this is the first "I remember where I was when...." they will have. He was the about the same age I was when I had my first one of those moments,John Lennon being shot. Somehow, now that memory doesn't compare to his first of those memories.
I remember that day, 9 years ago wondering about the world my child was growing up in. 9 months later we adopted Andrew. He doesn't remember a world where you don't have to take your shoes off at the airport, or packing all your liquids in your checked bags. This is the first year I have exposed him to what happened that day. I wanted him to maintain his belief that the world is inherently good as long as possible.

I pray for Phil, his generation has VERY few of the "I remember where I was..." moments. I hope for all of us there is never another day that causes such fear. But like my friend Allan said... If you give into the fear, you let them win.