“I Love You to the Moon and Back”

Dear Reader:

There are few parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles who haven’t used the expression “I love you to the moon and back” while rocking babies and grand babies. And if we are lucky enough to be outside with children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces…absorbing the beautiful glow of the moon…it just rolls off our tongues automatically.

Since man has existed…the moon has lured him into a contented state of appreciation for the light it provides during the dark hours of night. Mev sent me a wonderful memory of what was happening in her life on July 20, 1969….perhaps the best memory of all! 🙂

“I missed out on the astronauts landing July 20, 1969! I was a bit more involved with the landing of our little “moon baby” as she was called by the staff at Dorchester County Hospital: Hallie Shieder landed at 7:20pm July 20, 1969!”

There was also another mother who was holding her breath that famous Sunday evening in July, 1960…Violet Armstrong, Neil Armstrong’s mother. She had a terrible fear she had shared with her son before he left…and even though Neil had reassured her that it was unfounded… she wasn’t “buying it” until she saw it with her own eyes.

“Armstrong’s mother Viola watched the historic moment at home on TV, along with 650 million other people around the world.  Her biggest fear had been that Neil would sink down and be “swallowed up” by the moon so shortly after taking his first steps,

So Armstrong purposefully commented out loud “I only go in a small fraction of an inch, maybe an eighth of an inch but I can see the footprints of my boots and the treads in the fine sandy particles.”  *That line was for her, to ease her mind. He was a good son.

By now many of you have seen one or more of the special programs commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 “Moon Walk.” You probably know how close the mission came  to having to abort…especially the critical problem…based on fuel shortage while hunting for a flat place to land among the craters and rocks.

One of the most interesting perspectives I got was off of the daily Google icon yesterday…I clicked it on and a short/short video came on…the mission story told by astronaut Mike Collins… who stayed in orbit roughly 60 miles above and behind the moon in the command module…the mode of transportation that would take all three astronauts back home.

Mike, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin felt the”weight of the world on their shoulders”…after all it had taken approximately 400,000 people-engineers, computer programmers to the people who sewed the airtight  space suits they wore… to land humankind on the moon.

The module had to keep turning around and around like a ‘chicken on a barbecue spit’ to keep the temperatures regulated inside the module…depending on whether they were on the sunny side of the moon or the dark side.

Collins remembers two beautiful sights he will always keep in his memory…the first was seeing the moon upclose…it was huge with the light of the sun behind it cascading to the front of the moon in what looked like a golden “halo.” Just when he thought he couldn’t see anything more beautiful…he turned around and saw this tiny object far off in the distance…it was Earth…it was home!

Beside the American flag being left behind…a plaque, was also left, that read:

“Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

When I read that plaque again for the first time in a long time…it really got to me…because ironically these three brave aerial pioneers would soon return home to Earth…where peace no longer existed for too many of its millions of inhabitants. My brother, Ben, didn’t say anything but being home (just a few weeks from his tour in Vietnam)…he probably felt the irony more than the rest of us.

We might have “come in peace”…but sadly man has yet to “keep the peace” on Earth. (Probably a good thing we didn’t stick around too long on the moon!)

Soon after the module landed in the Pacific Ocean On July 24, 1969..all three astronauts took a world tour and Mike Collins said that what really touched him was that no matter in what part of the world they traveled…the crowds cheered “WE DID IT!” And as inhabitants of Earth they had.

So until tomorrow…I don’t think we have to wait until Christmas to sing and talk about “Peace on Earth” …Instead perhaps we should ask the moon to send its beautiful beams to fall softly on the inhabitants of Earth…showing us the light of peace amid the darkness of destruction.

 

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Thank you Doodle for the fridge magnet!!!!

 

 

 

Have you picked up your commemorative Oreo’s yet?

 

 

Has anyone had this famous drink?

The Moon Walk – Joe Gilmore, legendary Head Barman at the Savoy Hotel’s American Bar in London, invented this cocktail in 1969 to commemorate the first moon landing. The drink—a combination of grapefruit, orange liqueur, and a hint of rosewater, topped with Champagne—was the first thing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin sipped upon returning to earth.

 

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About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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