Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Apollo 13


The lecture with the Apollo 13 team was AWESOME!!!

Really there is no way to put into words how cool it was, ya had to be there.
But I'm going to try.


I LOVE the National Air and Space Museum. The perfect place for a perfect lecture.
( please know. snicker. I always use the word LOVE very carefully. I rarely use it unless I feel it intensely. But I am using the word perfect rather loosely. I don't care so much for that word myself. It's not who we are or what we do. It wasn't perfect. Sarah and Jacob were not along because we only had 4 tickets. See? Not perfect. But, had they actually been along? Still not perfect. chuckle. Because really. How perfect could a lecture be with an almost 5 year old little boy?! And, normally a trip to D.C. can take less than 2 took closer to 3 and I got real car sick in the van. We always have the requisite bickering too ~ usually in, but not limited to, the back seats.      But the place was perfect. )


I experienced something strange and completely unfamiliar almost immediately after we arrived. We got our tickets, found our seats and that's when it started.


You know that I have always loved the planets! the astronauts! the space program!

But I felt...laid back, mild and calm...

In comparison to the many people around us who were rather pleasantly n.u.t.s. and so knowledgeable about it all!


We sat next to a super-nice gentleman named Mr. Mark. He knew about all things NASA. He has actually
eyewitnessed over 40 launches from Cape Canaveral in FL, as well as some shuttle landings in California. He even recognized Bill Anders of Apollo 8, (the first manned orbit of the moon) waiting outside the museum just prior to the doors opening for the event.

I don't recognize people like that.

Mr Mark approached him and asked what he's doing waiting outside!

Bill Anders had stepped out of the museum briefly, only to find that he was locked out and security didn't recognize him. So Mark queried as to why in the world he didn't call or text his colleagues just inside?!

But, Mr. Anders said that he was fine, thank you, just waiting. He'd get back in eventually.


Somebody in 2010 choosing not to call or text and being content with "eventually."Amazing. Refreshing. And so yesterday.
I LOVE that!

            IMG_5360 IMG_5399-1
            ( ahem. nice purse and jacket there that The Farmer is holding. how cute. )

The lecture itself was a panel discussion with Apollo 13's mission commander Jim Lovell, lunar module pilot Fred Haise, Apollo 16 command pilot Ken Mattingly and lead mission controller Gene Kranz.

It was the real history from the men who lived it!

"Intended to be the third lunar landing on the moon, Apollo 13's flight plan changed dramatically when an explosion on board the service module forced them to abandon the lunar landing. The dramatic rescue plan and quick thinking fixes to life-threatening challenges that brought the three astronauts safely back to earth made Apollo 13 famous as a successful failure."

                     ( the close up snapshots were shared by Mr.Mark)

             Note...that Jack Swigert replaced Ken Mattingly just days before Apollo 13's launch because of Ken's exposure to the measles. Jack died of cancer in 1982. Mattingly first learned of the switch via his car radio. He went on to be the command module pilot of Apollo 16 as well as to fly on two space shuttle missions.

                                                       Jack Swigert

Did you know...that Apollo 13 launched at 1:13 pm...which is 13:13 military time?
                        ...that the explosion happened on April 13th ?

                     "Failure is not an option."  ~ Gene Kranz


Mr. Kranz was exactly how I pictured him to be. Exactly. The look, the voice, the mannerisms. And since I know so many Flight Directors, that makes sense, doesn't it?


Jim Lovell's book is a great read, btw.
You can borrow mine. I have two copies.
It was published under two different titles... and I didn't know that when I ordered them on Amazon.
And a little fyi to you and a note to self;  if you don't actually win tickets?
Go anyway. Learned that from a guy sitting behind us. He always gets in on "stand-by" status. oh.

We learned alot.

The Providence of God is all over this story...
regardless of who recognizes and acknowledges it.

And yours...
and mine...

Love that.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

We Are That Family

We missed church on Easter.

Note that I didn't say we weren't there.

Oh. We were. And that was the hard part.
SoMeBodY in this family thought that church started at the Special Service Start Time.
So that's when we went.

Which means that we got there...way too late for the early service. And way too early for the late service.
(and it didn't work so well with our plans for the day to stay for that one.)

So. On a really lovely Easter Sunday, we missed out on all of the beautiful music that I would have just loved and arrived in time to hear the tail end of a sermon that I felt too grumpy to listen to from the vestibule.

Sarah wore a beautiful, white hand-me-down dress that I really liked better the first spring that she wore it.
Oh say, about two or so years ago.
Jacob wore his shirt tail out, because I didn't have a belt for him. 
(not that anything tucked in this family stays that way.)
(and we found out, right before hurrying out the door, that his church shoes were suddenly too small.)
(how do these kids do that ???)
The other, older boys wore their requisite uniform of t-shirts and sneakers.
Yes. To church. And on Easter.

I would have loved to have lined up cooperative, color-coordinated children for a snapshot or two.

I know that Easter isn't about the superficial pretty stuff.
I just like to celebrate with the superficial pretty stuff! :)

Funny how the little things on the outside can bump into my junk on the inside...
Expectations that weren't bad,
disappointments that make sense,
holidays, where I can feel like as a mom I just didn't cut it...
and a snowball of "failure and defeat" starts to roll and grow,
running into the pain already in my heart, the real h.a.r.d that's on my plate...picking up speed till I have a big old pity party taking over my day.

I get to feeling...and then thinking... like...we are that family.You know. Always unraveled with loose ends flying everywhere.

            IMG_5265 IMG_5252 IMG_5268 IMG_5258

I felt that again today when the police officer who pulled me over said that my inspection sticker had expired.

In February.


And then he proceeded to ask about my boys.
Because he was the officer on duty when we had that bb gun incident.


He was so chatty.

I. was. not.

Turns out that he had gone to Sunday School with The Farmer as a kid.
And that small "be-ye-kind-seed" planted all those years ago, burst into bloom on this very day for my benefit. :)
I thought of the song,"Thank you for giving to the Lord...I am a life that was changed..." as he handed me a warning slip instead of a fine because he said he "knows us."  :)

(perhaps Ray Boltz didn't have this kind of thing in mind when he wrote those lyrics. But I thought they fit.)

But there's those feelings...and those thoughts .

We Are That Family.
We just can't get it all pulled together.

I can't get it right.

How often I allow the moment to determine my worth, success and value as a person...and mother.
Because my life and the people in it, myself included of course,
provide enough of opportunities to support an ever-lengthening buffet spread of defeat...
to add to my plate...
if that's what I continue to choose to snack on.

Those sneaky lies that try to embed in my heart...always start with something that might be a little bit true.

We Are That Family.

We are...actually, alot of things...unraveled...with loose ends...and late for church.


"Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth;
shall ye not know it?
I will make a way in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert."                               
Isaiah 43:19

We are...also...celebrating Him and the new thing that He is doing!
We Are That Family Too.