Tuesday, November 20, 2012

a holiday endeavour

Nancy's Thanksgiving e-letter focuses on her once-in-a-lifetime experiences of 2012, headlined with seeing the Space Shuttle Endeavour "up close and personal" in the air over her home and again on the ground on its way to the California Science Center at Exposition Park.

The first holiday letter of every year is always a jolt for those of us who are not as conscientious as we'd like to be about annual mailings to family and friends. Nancy's effort is exemplary. It has a theme and a positive tone. Her brevity leaves us wanting more: about her sweet peas; about her cats; but especially about her.

Nancy's letter reminds me that I still haven't written anything about the Endeavour. It's been on my mind and my list of blog topics ever since that October weekend when Steve and I took the Expo light-rail line to Exposition Park twice: once on the Saturday evening when Endeavour was scheduled to arrive, and again on Sunday morning, when we actually saw the venerable spacecraft inch through the intersection of Vermont Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Steve went on to a 'gig' but I stayed all day and watched from several vantage points including a second-floor window of the Natural History Museum.

I was surprised by my own fascination with the Endeavour, which Steve and I visited again during a 'members only' event at the Science Center. The exploration of space has never interested me much, though I remember milestones: Sputnik, landings on the moon and Mars, the Columbia disaster, etc. I had actually gone on record in May 2010 as having told Kay I wasn't interested in space.

Kay would have loved everything about the Endeavour's big retirement party, and would have wanted to talk about all of it -- including the spelling. Yes, spelling! For some reason, NASA chose to spell Endeavour in the British style, with a 'u' as in flavour and colour. I feel that I could research this issue, but I'm going to leave it alone and remember bigger things: the sheer size of the Endeavour, the spirit of the crowd that came out to cheer it on, the opulence of the Science Center's new exhibit and plans for more, the importance of Exposition Park as a focus for happy memories in my own life.

I will endeavor to write a holiday letter this year.
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POSToccupations by Frances Talbott-White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License