April 10, 2010

My Dad

I am reading today...a day spent in bed with books. This wasn't so unusual before we moved. But we moved and errands eat our weekend. My mother lives with us. My sister lives 35 min away or so. That eats up weekend too.

A day spent in bed with books is a novelty-and I appreciate the Dewey Read-a-thon for that taking place here this weekend. I am unofficially participating. Denise is officially doing so.

I started a book a bit ago- The Bones of Time. I picked it up off the shelf at the library because of the name. Kept it because it is set in HI where one of our children now lives.

In it, a mention of Hickam as a space shuttle landing site. Did I know that and forgot? Surely, I must have though I could only immediately think of Edwards and White Sands in addition to of course Kennedy. Why would I have known this? Because of my dad.

I grew up immersed in the space program. My dad worked out at Goddard. I grew up knowing I missed the first moon landing by nearly 2 months-but my parents had not. I grew up glued to the tv when there was a launch-my father nearly always at work for those. My parents bedroom was lined with certificates from various missions on his side of the bed. Above their closets on my mother's side of the bed-pictures of my sisters, me, and my sister's children. I spent a lot of time in there reading the formal language of those certificates, looking at the shiny medals and seals on some. My father told few tales of his actual work. I grew up in a home where we didn't know exactly what it was he did. We have a few photos of him taken at work-during those missions. A group of men-looking all about like him (looking at their website now-much has changed in that way)...looking at the consoles in front of them or the huge screens in the front of the room.

I wanted to be an astronaut. It seemed like the most amazing thing out there. My father hated the idea. He didn't want a daughter in the military and he didn't want a daughter in space. Why not? I couldn't imagine. The danger. While he would risk anything himself-he didn't feel the same about his children. Now that I am a mother-I understand this far more.

So, despite the fact that my memories of my father should be wrapped up tidily into car mechanics and tinkering in the garage-they instead wrap around the space program. I don't follow it very closely anymore for that reason. I don't want to want to call my dad and realize I can't anymore, yet again.

In my looking up whether Hickam really could be a landing site, I learned the last planned flight of the Shuttle program is in September. How could this be? The last flight of a program that my father helped bring into this world shouldn't have aged so fast. How could it have been so long since my father quietly explained to my high school self that no, the Challenger astronauts couldn't have ejected and no one found them yet. How can it have been so long that since I held my breath waiting through the last bits of countdown, the release of the solid rocket boosters, the flip, mission control reporting in, the shuttle no longer in sight.

It has been a long time-a long program-but a blink of an eye and a reminder that my father dies a bit more with each untold story, with each story I have forgotten, haven't shared with my children to the point that they shush me and wonder why I speak of a man who died before one of them was even conceived.

And thus here I am...on a Saturday night, typing away on a laptop that probably wouldn't be quite what it is without the shuttle, without the space program, using the Internet-something that my father helped make accessible, and thinking about a fierce, quiet, genius who grew up in middle America and wanted the moon and the stars for his girls-all three of them-just as long as we didn't dare go into them. I want him here to explain the space program and the future. I want him to tell my kids. I want them to dream of space flight-not vampires and manga.

December 08, 2009

I plan

On blogging more often...but on what? Is there something exciting happening in the world of social media or are we settling in?

Have you seen a new beta or a new take on things that made you sit up and take notice?

July 17, 2009

OpenYourself to Positive


Doodle by Lee. The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.

July 23, 2008

Blogher 08

Once again I am back from the Blogher Conference. Third time is the charm perhaps? Well, maybe.
I loved it. I love it every year for different reasons. Let's see

1. The food this year at the cocktail parties--pretty darn good
2. The food at the breakfasts-tasty but umm some cereal or eggs or something other than pastry would have been much appreciated. (Loved the unconference breakfast--but a meatless egg sandwich would have been preferred) Hated the lunches. Sorry.
3. Loved having it all under one roof...so nice to dash up to the room to drop off/grab things
4. Loved seeing Amy Gahran, Drowning In Kids, Carmen again (and you too...but I rot at names) and meeting all sorts of new people, but not enough people.
5. Got kissed by Badger. Umm yeah. I don't do kissing. really. Against the rules.
6. I spent a lot more time in sessions this year. Loved.
7. Should have spent more time talking to folk...really miss the gather in a semi quiet casual atmosphere that say San Jose had. Too easy for me to need to escape the crush of the cocktail parties and be done for the day.
8. I will feel better next year. The migraine/exhaustion that would not end combined with tummytroubles-not good for encouraging my limited social skills.
9. I missed bringing the boy child SO MUCH. Yes, it was easier in some ways to not have him there. In other ways, not so much.
10. I wanted the girl children there. Middle school girl...sigh...she loves Blogher. She would love learning about what these smart women think, do, struggle with, more.
11. Thank you to everyone who let me ramble and to everyone who let me dash off distractedly.
12. Thank you to Lisa, Jory, Elisa, the Jennys and everyone else who let me see my incredible woman in action and in context.