Sunday, October 4, 2015

Space Travel - Perception then and now

I was 7 years old when the astronauts landed on the moon for the first time.  I didn't care about space or world events or modern technology and so forth.  I was seven.

The oldest boy from across the street was nine, I think.  He loved the idea of space and everything that came with it.  He would ask his mom to buy tang and space food sticks and whatever other promotions that might be related to space.  He owned a telescope and spent time at the planetarium (he probably had a regular membership) and was absolutely intrigued with any current space-related discovery.  He was obsessed.  Still might be, I don't know. 

Space and astrology never did much for me.  I did like the star shows at the planetarium,  but for the most part I found the whole space obsession somewhat boring and hated having to learn about space in school and studying the names and forms of each planet.  There were nine at that time, because Pluto was considered a planet at that time - the coldest and smallest planet.  Today I think it's just a rock may or may not be circling the solar system.  Whatever.  I don't care.

Yesterday we went to the big city of Roseburg as that is where the county's only cinema is located.  It was Roland's birthday and he wanted to see "The Martian"  which I really did enjoy, and it got me to thinking about the attitude I have always carried with me about the space program - which I don't actually view as uninteresting anymore.  The adjectives I use now are: "scary", "crazy", and "mind-boggling".  I used to say I was "scared FOR astronauts" which Jenna misinterpreted and would often tell others: "My mommy's scared OF astronauts"  which isn't true.  I'm afraid for them - for the unknown.

I've seen "Mission to Mars", "Gravity", "Space Cowboys", "Planet of the Apes" and  some that really were based on actual events - like "Apollo 13".  But it always leaves me with shaking my head not disbelieving any of "what could be" and basically the unknown - unknown to me anyway.  Why would anybody willingly risk their lives like that?  Why would anyone willingly go up into space?

In 1986 NASA would send a civilian in addition to the trained astronauts.  The program was intense.    Christa McAuliffe was not the only the only  candidate in training.  There were several who tried out for that coveted position.  And as her students cheered, there were others who had been in camp with her who had wondered "Well why didn't I get picked?"

Space movie disasters always take place several years away from planet earth and not so close to take off.  I was on my mission when the Challenger Shuttle was launched. How would the investigation have been different if the explosion had taken place two days later or the following week?  Would we know what happened or would we think the communicators had gone faulty or what? 

As we sat through "the Martian", for the first time ever, I saw the entire space program with new eyes.  Certainly in 1957 or 1963 - the concept was so new, the idea was so unreal to most, that it was a dream to some to be the first to travel in space.  It was exciting!  Conquer the impossible. 

From the late 50's to late 60's - what a turn of events.  I'm now actually impressed with what was accomplished.  To think we actually had that kind of technology half a century ago.  That's actually quite amazing!

I still think those who enter the space program and willingly leave their friends and family for an adventure in space are nuts.  But I seriously do have a better appreciation - though I still don't understand all the reasoning involved and why it's important.  But I do use a GPS and am very grateful for the satellites that help guide me on the roads.  So thank you NASA and for all of you dreamers that contributed to making space travel a reality and are willing to explore the unknown so that perhaps we may enjoy other benefits that I personally may have never thought of (like the GPS)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Coffenberry Rocks!

          Jenna had once told me that she thought it would be fun to be in junior high.  I personally never believed that - especially while attending.  I think my brother, Corey, hated junior high even more than I did.  He has been a substitute teacher in both high school and elementary but has chosen not to deal with the misfits of junior high.  Too many bad memories.

          I did not choose to share my feelings about junior high - or middle school as some districts call it.  She'd find out soon enough - or hopefully not at all.  I would just smile and say, "That's great honey." while thinking, "I really hope it works out for you."

          Before school started, Jenna was apprehensive about going.  Of course I understand.  I was always apprehensive about the start of school - especially one I had not attended the year prior.
          If we were living in Salt Lake, Jenna would still be attending her last year elementary school. But here, in Oregon, she is attending her first year of middle school.  I actually hadn't heard too many positive things about the school she currently attends.  One neighbor drives her children to Canyonville, and I heard of another who makes the drive to Riddle.  But Coffenberry has a music program not offered in Canyonville.

          Jenna has made many friends and loves middle school.  She enjoys most of her classes - especially band.  I love her enthusiasm.  I have not seen her this excited since she was in kindergarten. 

          Of course the youth center helps - though she really doesn't care for the bus ride out there.  She does enjoy being active after school.  And I am happy that she gets her homework done and gets to enjoy arts and crafts and learning skills.  It's so great to have her happy again.

          Last night I took her to the middle school for a family fun night.  The theme was "Finding Nemo" and there was a scavenger hunt, a passport map, jeopardy, crafts, decorating a cookie, the book fair, playing games.  I met a few of her friends as we went from room to room and building to building and she would point to certain areas where she had this class or that.  I met a few of her teachers.  I can't wait for parent/teacher's conference. 

keep on reading

          My impression of Coffenberry has been a good one.  I am also grateful for the opportunities that Jenna has had since we have moved to Oregon.  As a whole, I am so much happier here than I was in Utah.  But then I look at pictures of family members - two that I haven't even met in person, and I get a bit homesick for my family members.  But overall I really am happy here.  I'm especially happy that Jenna is happy.  I'm so happy that she likes school. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hot Dogs and Waffles

Just what do you do when you have put the hot dogs on the stove and realize you have no bread? 

 You get creative.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

a week's worth of pictures (well, almost)

Initially I had 99 pictures - and that was not all of the ones I took.  I decided that perhaps I should  hold back just a little.

Corey arrived last Sunday just about this time.  I didn't get any pictures on Sunday.  The ones I took on Monday came out in thumbnail form as I was using my phone.  So I borrowed most of these from the ones that Corey took.

First 11 pics are of some of the animals that we saw on the Wild Safari in Winston, Oregon (who would have believed?)

The next day we went to Watson Falls and Crater Lake.  Here are some pictures that I took

North Umpqua River

on the trail to Watson Falls

Watson Falls

Sea Gulls basking at Diamond Lake

Crater Lake

it looks bluer than picture shows

Crater Lake National Park

We took it easy on Wednesday as Corey had laundry to do, posts to catch up on, and of course we played games each night that he was here.  

Our final expedition was to Tri-City where we picked up Jaime and took pictures of the city (I will not be posting the ones that I took of Corey as I don't have permission)

never had food there.  Would like to, but it's out of business.  Yet the sign and boat remain

Tri-City Fire Department

bus yard not far from youth center that Jenna attends

Corey left Thursday afternoon.  We took some final pics of him and Jenna hugging.  

Yesterday Jenna and I went to Riddle.  Took several pictures of the park and surrounding buildings.  This is just a few of them

Riddle High School

Jenna (my scavenger) found this mask