Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Space Shuttle

When my boys were little, we would often pass by the Superior Ready-Mix Concrete Company as we would go about our chores around our little home town of Hemet in California. We had never paid much attention to the Redi-Mix location as we drove by other than noticing the occasional 18-wheeler pulling out of the yard.

One day, while watching a space shuttle prepare for launch on the news, my boys were entranced; glued to the TV.. I'm not sure how it started, really, but they came to believe that the Space Shuttle was at Redi-Mix! Did they think the high steel structures at the concrete company was the launch pad? or did I see an opportunity to put a little magic into something that I knew they would probably never have the opportunity to witness?

Regardless of how it started, the story of how the Space Shuttled was always launched from our town was a little piece of fiction that lasted for YEARS! Everytime we would see the preparation for a space shuttle lift off, the boys would scream at the top of their lungs alerting me that the space shuttle was in town !

Oh, the excitement !!! We would all grab our shoes, I'd grab the keys and pile all those little bodies into the mini van and head out towards the Redi-Mix concrete yard. Heaven help us if we hit a red light...they would wriggle in their seats begging for the light to turn green! The anticipation nearly killed them !!!
We would always, and I mean, "ALWAYS", arrive just a little too late. "We JUST missed it", I would say to the boys with a tone of disappointment and a frown. The boys would check the skies and find a con-trail from a jet overhead and were convinced that it was from the space shuttle...

We would always follow up our "near-sighting" with a trip to McDonald's or Dairy Queen for a treat and would head on back home. The boys couldn't wait to tell their dad when he'd get home from work. They would pounce on him the moment he'd walk through the door, telling him how we almost saw the space shuttle...again..."Missed it by that much !!!"

At the time, these little adventures proved to be a happy memory for the me and the boys... the adventures were always met with fun and excitement. But, now that the boys are grown, they unfortunately see the adventures as a cruel joke.

None-the-less, I know that as they become parents themselves, they will see the joy that these little adventures can bring to thier children. Much like going Snipe hunting in the dark, looking across the Wyoming prairies for Jack-A-Lopes, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy...

I'd be willing to bet that years from now, as they drive past the old cement plant, they tell their kids that was where the space shuttle launched from when they were a kid...

If this grandma were to confess, she'd admit to already planting that seed ...

The Redi-Mix plant where my boys believed the Space Shuttle launched from

Cape Canaveral - Where the Space Shuttle actually launched from

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