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Shuttle Launch

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...For you to actually grasp the entirety of this post I have to start from the very beginning and in order to do that I must press the rewind button for quite some time, to take you back several years ago ;-)

My parents had planned our yearly vacation to Florida, as they did every year, but this year, for what ever reason, my mom decided to take my brother and I through Huntsville, Al for a short visit to the space center. To do this we had to depart early leaving my dad behind, only to catch up with him in Florida when we were done.

All was fair until mom got this crazy idea to walk....5 mile through the woods....during a heat wave....with no means of re-hydration for hours, just to see a test rocket. Yea a test rocket! Mind you, that is how my brother and I remember the aspects of the journey, mom still claims to this day that it was less than a mile on a path through a tree line in 80 degree weather and we filled up on drinks before we left =0)

Regardless of the situation we were on our way to witness a test rocket launch from one of the launch pads at the Huntsville Space Center. Needless to say being it was a test launch my brother and I were not thrilled. That is until count down began; 10........9........8........7........6........5........4........3........2........1..we heard the ignition, BLAST OFF the ground began to shake, fire rolled out from under the rocket, we dropped our empty cups and grasped our ears. Mom laughed till she literally cried, she said that the look on our faces was worth every snood remark, all the groaning and every ounce of complaint that we waled on the way there. Though the rocket did not shoot into the sky, we wouldn't shut up talking about it and honestly I don't remember much of anything else about the whole trip.

Now lets come back to present day about a month or more ago; as I was getting our oldest ready for school I over heard a news broadcaster announce the final Atlantis shuttle launch. I froze in my steps and sat down to watch the story, my emotions ran rapid. You mean no more shuttles? No more missions to space? No more launches? On American soil?? That can't be! My children, they have to see one.....they have to experience what my brother and I experienced....I have to see what my mom saw!!!

I went straight to the computer to start booking this trip. I was obviously the last one to hear about this launch because there was nothing available in a 30 mile radius, nothing within our budget anyway. Yet that was not going to stop me!! I posted on my FB page my crazy and ridiculous adventure that I was going to partake in, with out giving the way any of the details until some one volunteered to venture with me ;-) My hubs was scheduled to work the day of the launch and with school I knew he wouldn't be able to make it. I rounded up some volunteers and was set,. we were going to drive down, watch the launch and then drive back home.

Well, that was the plan until 2 days before the launch =0( Truth be told, the date snuck up on me!

We had just gotten back from church camp and our 4th of July camping trip when I realized what day it was and looked at the calender, I gasped, but remained determine to go. I tried to round up my volunteers but no one was available anymore, my hubs thought I was kidding the whole time but my mom knew nothing was going to stop me ;-) I went to work that night and told my boss I would not be there the next night but due to not being able to find a sub, I would be leaving early the next day. The ladies I worked with that night I enjoy working with and was eager to tell them about my adventure. When I got home I started mapping out my trip only to see that the launch might not happen because of weather =0( I went to bed disappointed and confused about going, finally the last thing I said in my prayer was "Lord, if I am suppose to go I will go, if not please help me find serenity for not going"

The next morning I woke up with the morning show running coverage on the Atlantis and I became pumped up again. I told my hubs if I don't go and this shuttle launches I will regret not going, if I do go and this shuttle doesn't launch the boys and I will at least get to see the beach ;-)

I continued to go to work and was greeted by my friend (one of the ladies I worked with the night before) at my classroom door, I could tell she was worried about my journey and I tried to assure her we would be ok. She asked if I realized how long it takes to get to Florida, I told her yes and it was all going to be just fine. She proceeded to tell me she had a house in Titusville and insisted I stay the night to rest up for the journey back home. My eyes filled up with tears and I knew that was my sign...I AM suppose to go on this trip.

Around lunch time my mom called  to tell me she was sharing my story with her co-workers and boss. They were all amazed/astonished that either of us made such adventures spontaneously and with out our spouses. She said a few minutes later after every one went back to their areas her boss approached her with a day off. No sick pay, no vacation pay just go and be with your daughter share this journey with your grandchildren, in fact take off early today. Again eyes filled with tears!! I told her about my friend offering her home for a good nights rest and I think her eyes filled up with tears because she sighed "your suppose to go"

18 hours later we were there!! My friend had given us specific directions on where to park, where to walk and where to stand. We were directly across the river from the launch pad!! It was breath taking!!

We were 5 hours early but obviously right on time, people were already lining up the streets to view history in the making. I knew the kids were going to be aggravating and that the complaining would begin in a few hours, but it didn't. They didn't act up once, not a desperate sigh of "why are you dragging me here" or even a yelp of "why are you making me watch this". It was great!

I had contacted my friend's sister to get a time we could receive the key to her house, she was very sweet making sure we found a good spot and informed us that the house would be available for another night if we wanted to stay all weekend to let the boys play at the beach.........more tears! We gratefully accepted and the boys were even MORE excited.

THEN....the count down began, 10........9.......8........7........6........5........4........3........2........1..BLAST OFF, the fire rolled out from under the rocket, smoke began to fill the pad and the shuttle was lifted off the ground. Yes I actually saw and official shuttle launch!! Yet you want to know something? I only saw it for a split second =0) because I didn't drive 14 hours to see a shuttle launch, I drove 14 hours and waited for over 20 years to see the faces of my children. I watched the glare in their eyes, the dropping of their jaw and listened to the wow in their voice, it was absolutely breath taking. The best part of all is I got to share it with my mom and that was all God's doing ;-)

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