Archive for July, 2011
July 21st, 2011 | Comments Off | Posted in » In the News..., My Life / Family
This morning, before most of us here in the United States were even awake, the Space Shuttle Atlantis landed, bringing the space shuttle program to an end after thirty years.
It’s the end of an era. A dark day for America.
Why, you ask?
You see, millions of Americans from my generation grew up with the space shuttle program. Challenger. Columbia. Endeavor. Discovery. Atlantis. We were inspired by the brave astronauts who flew these amazing machines. We watched space walks on television with fascination. We witnessed satellites and telescopes launched from the cargo bay, and all kinds of amazing work performed in the weightless void of space. We enthusiastically awaited lessons from the Challenger with Christa McAuliffe… and were utterly devasted to see it explode 73 seconds into flight. We grew up wanting to attend Space Camp. We imagined what it would be like to experience lift-off. We dreamed about one day experiencing the weightlessness of space, and of seeing the earth from orbit high above. It was a part of who we were.
Today, that era… that era where children dreamed of growing up to become astronauts, scientists, and engineers… that era is over. Gone forever.
Don’t get me wrong. I know the program was expensive. I know the ships were getting old. And though I still am amazed by our manned space program and would love to see additional shuttle missions, I’m fine with retiring Atlantis, Discovery, and Endeavor.
But coming from a generation whose hearts were captured and whose dreams were fueled by the shuttle program? I can’t help but lament… what will take its place for the children of today and tomorrow?
Sports figures? Politicians? Hollywood? Musicians?
You get my point. There really are no worthy successors we as a nation can truly hold up as examples of the best America has to offer… nothing to capture the hearts and imaginations of the next generation.
Of course… today is a day for reflection and celebration of the past thirty years of the shuttle program. It’s been an amazing program, and has done amazing things for the United States and the world as a whole. We owe a tremendous amount of appreciation to all of the people at NASA who have made this possible.
But it’s also a very dark day as we look to the future.
July 9th, 2011 | Comments Off | Posted in » My Life / Family, Pictures
Today, we had a blast… some serious fun at the lake with the kiddos and my folks. Unfortunately, Jenna was sick today, so she had to miss out (Nancy too, since she stayed with her at the house to take care of her), but Jeffrey and Allison LOVED swimming in the lake and tubing!
This series of photos about sums up the day…
Yep. A bit of apprehension from both of them at first. Then a TON of fun. And exhaustion.
Definitely a great day.
July 5th, 2011 | 2 Comments | Posted in » My Life / Family
Tonight, I definitely had a whiny kid in my daughter, Jenna. She was busy playing before bed, and whined that she couldn’t get up to go to bed. She whined that I made her get up. She whined as I made her pick up her stuffed animals. She whined that she couldn’t carry them all. She whined that she was too tired to climb the stairs. She whined that I was carrying her blanket and she needed it. She whined that she had to go to bed. She whined that she couldn’t find everything she needed for bed. She whined that she needed a drink.
Somewhere in the middle of it all, I’d had enough.
Smart-aleck me showed up… “Would you like some cheese with that whine?”
We proceeded with her bedtime routine. After the whining had ceased, and I had her tucked in, I went back downstairs to find her missing stuffed cat.
Shortly thereafter, Nancy comes down the stairs. “Jenna says you promised her cheese.”
Yep. Should have seen that one coming.
(And yes, she did get her cheese.)