First Steps

This past Friday, July 20th, marked the 49th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. However, not much was said to remember this historic event. Even in Huntsville, IMG_20170729_144116378Alabama, nicknamed The Rocket City, the local news was silent to the passing of such a historic anniversary. Huntsville is where the Saturn V rocket that launched the Apollo 11 mission into space was made. It is the home of U.S. Space and Rocket Center.   So why the radio silence?

Honestly, people just forgot and I find that incredibly sad. 49 years ago Neil Armstrong, representing us all, Neil Armstrong took a step onto a place no one from our planet had ever been. Twenty minutes later Buzz Aldrin followed him. They spent two hours exploring and gathering rocks. But today we just shrug something like that off.

We carry around more advanced tech on a daily basis than NASA had when they launched Apollo 11. Yet, we’ve not been back to the moon. I am sure there are many economic and political reasons that could be cited by those in charge. Funding, lack of significate investment return, etc.

IMG_20170729_153807269I suspect once people figure out how to make a profit of the moon, without completely messing up the Earth, then there will be trips once a week. However, I worry that one of the main reasons we have forgotten this monumental first step and have yet to repeat it is because so few of us look up any more. The stars are always there, whether we can see them or not.

Once we looked up to the stars and wondered. We looked up at the clouds during the day and dreamed. Now our view is often blocked by buildings and light pollution. Our attention is taken away by struggling through the day to day and beating that next level on Candy Crush Saga. There is so much going on in this world, but there isn’t enough dreaming. There isn’t enough looking up and letting your mind wander.space

The dreamers and the stargazers haven’t gone extinct. They are still out there or we wouldn’t be planning a mission to Mars, but they have dwindled in numbers. Maybe it is a good thing we haven’t been back to the moon. Damaging the moon could potentially destroy the Earth. Humans have made bad decisions about things in the past and will continue to do so.

Maybe leaving the moon alone is a good idea. But we should not forget we’ve been there. If everyone took just five minutes once a week to stop and look at the clouds or stars, we still might not go back to the moon, but imagine how far we could go.footsteps

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Dryer Sheets and Treasures

burning matchIf my house ever burns down (God forbid) the inspectors will probably find that the spark that initiated the blaze began on top of the dryer.  My washer and dryer are old.  I mean, it takes three strong men to carry each of them into the house, after you have removed the front door so that they will fit, old.  But they still work and that’s all that really matters to me.  (The fact that I have to use a pair of pliers to turn the washer on, only means it has character.)

And since they are so large and ancient that means that there is a large flat space on top of the dryer.  Now I assume that people once used this space to fold clothes or sit laundry dryer_maintenancebaskets on.  Not in my house.   You see there is this rule (like one of those hard to break laws, like gravity or physics)  that all flat surfaces attract random items until the surface is completely hidden.   It is true of the dining room table, the tops of book shelves, and even the top of the refrigerator.  The dryer is not immune.

1005111_555556831173903_1488065885_nThe difference is that instead of books, papers, and cereal boxes; the dryer attracts treasures.  It’s like a rectangular white dragon hiding under it’s hoard.  You have the normal assortment of loose change, the collection of chap stick, and the pile of receipts.

Then there is the magic that comes out of children’s pockets.  feathers acornsShiny rocks, odd color rocks, clumps of dirt that looked like rocks, sticks, stickers, acorns, leaves, crumpled sketches, indecipherable lists, pine cones, gum wrappers, ponies (really tiny ones), screws, rocksbolts, pieces of wire, shiny pieces of plastic, bottle caps (the plastic ones off of soda bottles), marbles, feathers,…the list goes on.

Each item represents something they found.  Something that spacecaught their interest. Something that made them go “Oooooh!”  These are things we see everyday a walk right past but to my children each item is a treasure or an idea.

roald-dahl-inspiration-quote-motivation-life-advice-believe-in-magic-glittering-eyes-childrens-author-writerAs writers it wouldn’t hurt us to be more like children. To take a look at the world around us with those wondering eyes that see magic in plastic bottle caps.  As people, I believe it would it would do us a world of good as well.