“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”

The snow is heavier than it was a couple of hours ago when I woke up. It was small and light then. Now there is a fury of flakes whipped by the wind. The bird feeders are being tossed to the left and right, and the birds ride with them. The tops of all the pine trees bend one direction then the other. When I went to get the papers, the snow went up over my shoes, but the driveway was clear. I could see the blacktop. The drifts have no pattern. The wind changes all that.

My house is warm. All three animals are with me, and all three of them are asleep. I can hear Gracie’s deep breathing. She is beside me on the couch. Fern is behind me on the back of the couch curled on an afghan, and Maddie is in her chair. We are all perfectly content.

I never believed in monsters when I was a little kid. Nothing was under the bed or in the closet. My imagination led me to places rather than things. I made several trips to the moon. My rocket ships were never like the space capsules of the real astronauts. Mine stood tall, had side fins and were so big inside that the crew could walk around after I turned on the artificial gravity. The kitchen always had coffee.

I wasn’t disappointed by Alan Shepard’s short flight. I was amazed we had sent a man into space, and I figured that was the first of many dress rehearsals before the real rockets would be built, the ones with kitchens. I watched John Glenn’s capsule take off and followed his flight as he orbited the Earth. I was older then and had given up on rocket ships with kitchens.

I never saw the trip to the moon. I was still in Africa, but I was lucky enough to hear bits and pieces about the moon landing on the radio, including real transmissions. It was exciting even without the visual coverage. We were finally on the moon, but I still didn’t know what it looked like. In the imaginings of my childhood I created a stark moonscape filled with craters and rocky hills. I was pretty close.

I was sorry there were no ruins on the moon from cities deserted long ago. I always sort of hoped there would be remnants looking a bit like the Great Wall of China. That would have been the perfect touch: that and a rocket ship with a kitchen.

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12 Comments on ““The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.””


  1. And there is still so much to discover, so much to learn…

  2. Morpfy Says:

    overcast dreary morning,here in the NW

  3. Bob Says:

    When you and I were growing up in the 1950s and early 60s Hollywood and the beginning of the space program were wrapped up with the cold war. The space creatures of the cinema were stand in’s for the Commies and the good guys always won in the end. My all time favorite science fiction movie was “The Day The Earth Stood Still”. I still remember Patricia Neal repeating the space man’s words “Klaatu barada nikto” to the giant robot in order to save the Earth.

    The space race culminated in July of 1969 when men walked on the moon for the first time and were not greeted by little green creatures. It was a moral victory to our free enterprise system that we had beaten the Russians to our nearest celestial neighbor. It truly was a small step for man but a giant leap for mankind. The space program brought us many things we take for granted today like smaller computers, velcro and Tang 🙂 I love computers and velcro but I still hate Tang.

    I will be thinking of you today when I go outside into the sunshine and seventy degree temperature. It’s only a little over a month until the first day of spring and I hope you can do as our friends in UK and keep a stiff upper lip 🙂

    • Kat Says:

      Bob,
      When I was a little kid, I never saw Commies, I only saw space monsters. Good guys always won in westerns too: it was all part of the culture back then.

      That is also one of my favorites as is Forbidden Planet. Klaatu was a great looking robot.

      I remember when Kennedy vowed we’d go to the moon by the end of the decade. He never saw it, but we did exactly what he said. I never expected green men, but it would have been kind of neat if all those scifi books I’d read had gotten it right.

      I’m sad that we have no space program any more. The Chinese are trying to get to the moon, but we no longer have the capability. Everything was scrapped. It was so exciting when we kept taking bigger and bigger steps in space. By now I’d have figured Mars.

      I am okay with today and the snow. I always am if I have electricity. The last storm was an anomaly.

      I know my summers will be divine while you’ll bake. There are some trade-offs.

  4. olof1 Says:

    Snowfall here today as well but it melts away in the same speed it falls. But temperature will drop so I guess I’ll have an exiting drive to work tomorrow 🙂

    I had much the same vision of space ships like You and I blame Tintin for that 🙂 I had read the album when they travel to the moon and that rocket ship was huge, with a kitchen if I remember right 🙂 I thought it strange that they didn’t buold rockets like that, they could be used over and over again 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • Kat Says:

      Christer,
      It is really cold so the snow will be hanging around a while. Tomorrow is President’s Day and a holiday here.

      Most of the 50’s films I saw had those huge ships as did the books I read. I just expected them and their kitchens!

      Enjoy your Sunday!!

  5. Birgit Says:

    I remember the moon landing on TV news, but I wasn’t allowed to stay up late for the live broadcast 🙁 Is it a coincidence that I attended astrophysics courses in university later?

    You will like the three-room-apartment-rocket by “Ijon Tichy”, a funny German TV series based on Stanisław Lem sci-fi stories, but not yet translated. Some episodes with english subtitles are on YouTube, but the translation misses the fun of the original. The rocket is shown at the beginning and end of this IKEA parody episode Shøpping:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecTxsiSBucs

    • Kat Says:

      Birgit,
      Maybe it was missing the landing which hd you study astrophysics!

      I chuckled quite a bit at the sight gags and really wished I knew what they were saying.

  6. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat
    When I was a kid my dad got me a 78RPM recorded story about a trip to the moon. I played that thing to death and still remember the silly marching tune, ‘We Are the Men of the Space Corps. W’ere off to the Moon. Blast off! The picture on the album cover was a rocket ship with 1950’s fins. They didn’t mention a kitchen but, then again, there were no women blasting off to the Moon with them so maybe they didn’t need one. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Sideways snow for most of the day up here. I can’t tell now if the snow in the air is falling snow or fallen snow that is being blown around by the wind. I woke up at 3:30AM and didn’t see any snow at all. I was hoping they were wrong. But no. Three hours later it was nasty. Did The Weather Channel happen to give this one a name? 😀

    Enjoy the day and stay safe and warm.

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I don’t know that record but wish I did. It sounds great! I remember one of the 50’s scifi movies which had two women crew members aboard. One kept bringing the men coffee. The other just stood and looked good. The kitchen must have been on the floor below. It was a huge rocket!

      No name for this one except a snow storm. It stopped snowing here and left the most beautiful pink sky when the sun was going down. It was a dark pink.

      Thanks! You stay warm and cozy too!!


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