in memoriam; in anticipation

As always around this time, I want to note that it’s NASA’s saddest week. Yesterday was the 41st anniversary of the Apollo 1 launchpad fire. Today is the 21st anniversary of the Challenger explosion. Friday is the fifth anniversary of the Columbia disaster.

Requiescat in pace: Grissom, Chafee, White, Scobee, McNair, Smith, Onizuka, Resnik, Jarvis, McAuliffe, Husband, McCool, Anderson, Chawla, Brown, Clark, and Ramon. (I hear a tolling bell as I type those names, somehow.) I believe in what you worked for; I believe that space is our greatest adventure, and I believe we *will* get there someday, out past a narrow orbit around our own little planet. And these days, thanks to Rutan, Branson and others, I can hope again that it might be soon enough for me.

While I’m remembering people, I should also note that my great aunt has just died, in her nineties. My mother and uncle told me last night that she’d fallen and proably wouldn’t make it; I learned this morning that she hadn’t, via my brother’s LiveJournal. (What with the prior warning, the lj-cut and the warning he gave me in his subject line, and the fact that I hadn’t actually seen or talked to her for a few years now, this is a rare case of getting bad news via LJ in a way that wasn’t awful.) She was a bit of a grande dame, who only started giving into age in her last few years. Well into her eighties, she was driving downtown, working in an upscale dress shop (for the employee discount!) and wear high heels. She had a large enough presence that I always remember her as being very tall, though she wasn’t particularly. Her death is a little sadder because as far as I know she’s the last: my grandmother was one of three (this great-aunt was the youngest); her mother was one of nine, a few of whom were only a few years or even months older than my grandmother, and my grandfather was one of five. All gone now. (More tolling bells.)

More personally and locally, things are more cheerful. I really am glad I skipped the work outing. Weekend accomplishments included that pot of chili, getting my new bankcard initialized and the password changed, getting us seated together on our flight to the US next week, winding two skeins of yarn (I use a nostepinne rather than a winder, so it takes a little longer but is very satisfying sort of work), knitting quite a bit on my cardigan, erging 10 km, visiting a bookstore I’ve been wanting to get to, a little food shopping, a bit of cleaning, and finishing up a reread of Gaudy Night which as usual has left me hemorrhaging comments about Proper Jobs all over the blogosphere.

Best of all I went to a party Saturday night and had a fabulous time despite not knowing anyone at all going in. I’d met the hostess less than a week before on Ravelry. A large percentage of the people were affiliated with the we-don’t-call-it-a-consulate here, though mostly they were just studying Chinese here before being sent off to China. They’d all been here longer than I have so had some great suggestions for what to see and how to get there. It’s not often I’ve had to take notes during a party! It was so nice to be able to socialize outside work, and so so nice to chat in English without having to be careful with my speed or vocabulary. (That’s the thing I’m most looking forward to in the US, too.) I think we will be planning a Stitch’n’Bitch meeting soon – at least I hope so!

Rudder comes home Wednesday, and somehow it’s been feeling like a short workweek to me because of having that in the middle to look forward to. Silly, because of course I still have to work all five days, but at least I’ll have company for the commute. And then I’m off work for two weeks, so it really is a short time until time off. Yay!

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2 Responses to in memoriam; in anticipation

  1. LA says:

    My condolences on your aunt’s death.

    The other stuff sounds great though. I didn’t know you were coming stateside so soon! Good deal. Hope you get all the pretzels you can. ~LA

  2. l'empress says:

    I was thinking of the NASA “yahrzeits” this morning myself. Despite teachers that told our class that man would never go into space, I’ve always believed that we could and would. If I were fifty years younger, I’d be planning for it… When I was in high school and college, we didn’t have a clue as to what we should be studying.

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