Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Sally Ride has been our hero and role-model in this modern world where female heroes and role-models are rare - and, all too soon, we are losing the few we have come to admire, appreciate and respect.  It was just one month since we lost Sally Ride, at age 61, to pancreatic cancer.

By June 18th 1983, we came to know and love Sally Ride as America's first female astronaut in space.  All of America watched the lift-off that day.  Observers at Cape Canaveral and those watching via television shouted, "Ride, Sally Ride" as NASA's Challenger STS-7 made its way skyward.  She was, at age 32, the youngest American astronaut to enter space.  The following year, she was again a crew member aboard the Challenger STS-47-G.

Ride was fascinated by math and science, particularly astrological physics and electron laser physics and she was atheltic, being a nationally ranked tennis player.  Sally was one of the 8,000 people who responded to an ad seeking applicants for the space program.  She helped NASA develop the Space Shuttle's robot arm and was the first to use the robot arm to retrieve a satellite in space.  After 343 hours in space, she served on several NASA review panels and advisory boards.  She wrote five books about space for adolescent children.  A song Mustang Sally, had been written years before Ride was an astyronaut but the tune became synonymous with her NASA fame, so everyone knew and sang the lyrics "...ride, Sally ride."

Sally Ride dedicated herself to encouraging young people in the study of science and math.  She established courses, curriculum and a school to this end.  She invented a camera to fly with the shuttle, taking photographs for school students: EarthKAM and MoonKAM.  She was a leader, a teacher and explorer.

She has left Earth one more time.  But, Look up and you may see her still - right there in Heaven - where she has flown before - and where her star will always shine brightly.

"Ride, Sally Ride"  

Thursday, July 12, 2012


The downpour of rain came so fast and heavy, gutters overflowed and the temperature plummeted.  It was a welcome relief.  People lost count of the times temperatures exceeded record highs during the past three weeks.  Only the old folks can recall last time it was so hot for so long.  We were cautious in our use of water and, living on the edge of the woods, appreciated the county burn ban.

It was the last week of June when thermometers on both my east porch and west patio registered more than 100 degrees each afternoon.  All activity indoors and out slowed or stopped.  The rabbits, deer and fox disappeared into woods by mid-morning.  I hid in my air-conditioned house with Daphne and Galaxy - my cats.  Even so, the oppressive heat took its physical toll as my energy and ambition melted.  My brain went foggy.  Being dull-minded may not be unusual but my awareness of it was somewhat frustrating.

So, a neighbor and I took a little movie matinee break. The weatherman predicted 'scattered showers' but we didn't put much faith in it becasuse he had offered the same expectation for several days previous - with nary a drop.  We marveled with excitement when a few raindrops splatted on the windshield as we drove to town.  We were encouraged and hopeful.  Our expectations soared when, as we watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on the screen, thunder rolling and crashing overhead.  Imagine our surprise and disappointment to walk out the door into bright, hot sunshine with not a single drop of rain anywhere in sight.

Today, ten days into July, the afternoon temperatures have cooled down to the upper-90s.  It is comfortable to sit on the porch or patio, to read the newspaper or write a letter and relax.  The grass didn't crunch underfoot when I filled the bird feeders this morning.  Sad and droopy plants are actually perked up and showing off their colorful blooms once again.  All is well with the world.  It's like the song from the movie Oklahoma:  "Oh, what a beautiful morning.  Oh, what a beautiful day." - Makes me want to sing ! 

So, how's your day?  I'd like to know....
~Nancy yTe~