Monday, May 11, 2009

Out of This World

I just read Toni Morrison's A Mercy, set in colonial America. It gives you a sense of the dislocation, the confusion of leaving the world as you know it for a new place. The sound vibrations we felt from the launch five miles away today made me wonder what it would be like to ride the shuttle into space. I think I can safely say that the simulation at the visitor center is the closest I'll get to finding out.

We had to start waiting for a bus at 9:30 to see the launch at 2pm.
It was hot.
Here was Greta's reaction.

And here was Clem's. I packed the kids' journals and quilt pieces to fill the time.

I love how all those hots press in around the poor figure beneath the umbrella (Clem).

Greta found this pufferfish who looked as though he'd had a good deal more sun than we had and quite a bit more than was good for him.
And then, right on schedule...I should mention that the schedule includes planned holds--so the loudspeakers would blare: "It is now two minutes until the nine minute countdown begins"...but in any case, right on its own quirky schedule:
It was much more amazing than I imagined. I think it was the feeling it that mattered.

After the heat ice cream and the beach were a mercy.

Don't you think this ibis really has the bluest eye?

Two girls floating weightless.
It is nice to know that even though my astronaut dreams are over, for them, the sky's the limit.


Kat said...

What an awesome way to 'launch' your trip. I love the quilt idea too. What a keepsake. :) I can tell you are already haviing a 'blast'!

The Stone Age Techie said...

When I was a kid, we visited Kennedy Space Center and saw the Columbia, getting spruced up for its next flight... even without the excitement of an actual launch, it was still one of the great memories of my childhood.

How wonderful that your kids were there to see a launch! Their writings told the story so well.


gina said...

What a fun experience! And i love her depiction of hot! So perceptive. :) The quilt idea is a great one.

Kristin said...

They will never forget that blast off. That's totally impressive real world science!

Judith said...

You're off, Susan! Hope your trip is going fabulously. While you were watching a real launch, we spent yesterday at the Chabot Science Center watching planetarium films about going off into far-away nebulae. We miss you back here on the planet you left behind.

Susan said...

Kat, it really was a blast! Evelyn and Greta are making quilt squares every day. It should be really neat if they keep at it.

Karen, it makes me happy to hear it was a memorable childhood experience for you--I have been thinking about memory a lot and what my kids will remember.

Gina, thanks, I'll tell Clem. She has not been interested in writing up to this point but her journal has been so motivating for her. It is very exciting to see Clem becoming a writer.

Kristin, I think the launch will be burned in their memories, Clem liked seeing the huge Saturn V rocket almost as much, I think.

Judith, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! It is great to hear that all of you were on the same spacey wavelength. We miss you guys, too.

Stefaneener said...

That was about the sweetest post. Hooray for you.