One small step….

Last night was a full moon and the skies were clear. B, O, and I were headed to dinner and the moon was up, yes it was late. The sun sets after 9 PM at this time of the year and we were working and playing late. Dinner was late, but its summer and we’re on a different schedule.

the moon between the trees, rising.
the moon between the trees, rising.

I stopped the car in the lane, climbed out, and captured the moon with my camera. The I got back in the car and pointed out that 47 years ago, man walked on the moon.

Except, I was wrong. The anniversary is today – July 20.

“One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.” Neil Armstrong July 20, 1969.

I recall the day forty-seven years ago clearly, or rather the evening. We were in Venezuela and it was a late summer night. My dad had taken a job working for Creole, an American Oil Company and we had moved to Venezuela in June 1969.

I was seven years old and had finished first grade. It was summer.

Saturday nights in Amuay usually meant a movie, an American movie, at the country club, but that Saturday night was different. I remember going to the movie and then returning to the Austin’s house. The kids played; running around and doing what kids do and the adults had drinks and listened and watched the news of the moon landing. It was late when – past one in the morning – when Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon and uttered those famous words.

July 20 is also an anniversary of another sort, it’s the day my dad passed away in 2009. He passed away after a fall and rapid decline. There are few days when I don’t think of him, but I had not thought of the two dates

It’s interesting how the two – the moon landing and my dad’s passing. 1969, an earthquake, and Amuay. It’s ironic.

Since dad’s passing, I have had a lot to process: Making the Days Count dot org is an indirect result of his passing and I’ve written about my dad and our relationship several times. I’ll call Julie today and my brothers.

Time has a way of healing old wounds. In the seven years since dad’s passing, we’ve lost several more family members, the kids have grown up, we’ve gotten older and a bit wiser. Or maybe, I am just older.

the moon, up close - July 19, 2016
the moon, up close – July 19, 2016

Last night, gazing at the moon took on new meaning.

Today is gonna be a great day, but not as great as that day in 1969, and certainly better than the day in 2009. But whatever happens, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. The day will be what I make of it, but it begins with a single step followed by another. Making the days Count, one day at a time, one step for (a) man, one step for mankind.

What does the moon mean to you?

Tuesday evening's sunset over the lake
Tuesday evening’s sunset over the lake

9 thoughts on “One small step….

    1. I remember watching the moon landings and splash downs on televisions at school. The very idea of sending three people into space and back is mind boggling. It makes my head hurt. I love to look at the moon in the evening and gaze at the stars. It’s pretty awesome stuff. Have a wonderful weekend. Peace.

  1. Well, that’s a great story. The only thing specific that comes to my mind regarding the moon is that crazy stuff seems to always happen on full moon. After 30 years working in the legal field, I could tell you some stories. Seems we always had some kind of crazy new client or bizarre client behavior happen on or near a full moon. Every. Single. Time.

    I love your photos. Keep ’em coming.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. We are rather small in comparison to our place in the universe….. thinking about it makes my head spin. The moon was ablaze last night again last night and I watched it set when I awoke at 5AM this morning. It always humbles me when I think of the achievement. Interesting fact, it takes 1.28 seconds for the light reflected by the moon to reach Earth. As for the photo… try uploading your photo to your blog and post the link in a reply… the photo won’t be visible in your blog. Take care and enjoy the late summer evenings.

    1. It’s interesting how our brains process memory – what it stores and how we are able to recall. The earthquake was in August 2012, I referred to it and Neil Armstrong’s passing, and the refinery explosion and fire with my 7th grade geography students in attempt to help them realize the importance of paying attention to current events. One student discovered an article my dad wrote on line in 1969-70. I was impressed. Before Venezuela, we had lived in Houston, the hub of the oil industry and NASA. Growing up in Houston we were overwhelmed with the space program. Thanks for stopping in – have a wonderful week!

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