Splash Down

As a humanist and space enthusiast, my emotions are split over today’s headlines. America has solved the problem of being reliant on Russia for the transportation of their space cargo, but they still haven’t figured out how to increase the odds of customers being able to walk out of a Walmart alive.

On the afternoon of August 3, 2019, 20 people walked into an El Paseo Walmart and were shot. The shooting has been described as the deadliest attack on Latinos in modern American history.  Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old also from Texas, was arrested soon after the shooting and later charged with capital murder.  The FBI claim evidence confirmed the shooter is a white supremacist, anti-immigrant, and declared the incident a hate crime and domestic terrorism.

2019 was a big year for mass shootings.  According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were more than 370 mass shootings in the US in 2019, with mass shooting defined as any incident in which four or more people, not including the shooter, were shot but not necessarily killed. That’s an average of about eight mass shootings a week.

We seem to be in an age where the world takes two steps forward, and on another front, travels five steps back.  Round and round it goes.  How wonderful it is when a group of minds is focused on a scientific endeavor. Reshaping the space industry in one move–the successful splashdown yesterday in the Gulf of Mexico!  WOW!  It should feel like a great victory for us all.  Yet there is a shadow hanging over it.  It is not unlike a child sitting behind the steering wheel of the family car pretending to drive, and the parent scolds, “You’re not old enough for this yet.”

A diagram of Crew Dragon’s return to Earth.SpaceX/Twitter, 2020
PERSONAL PANDEMIC UPDATE

On the home front, starting in August I’m returning to the office for 20 hours a week.  After working from home for SIX MONTHS I am quietly entering back into a semi-regular work week.  Whatcom County is expected to go to Phase 3 of the Washington State reopening plan this month.  If you think the lockdown was tough, get ready for the bridge era of returning to work before the vaccine!

Managing foot traffic and cleaning stations throughout a 3 story building is a challenge.  It took our reopening team 3-4 months to put together a detailed plan.   There will be new etiquettes for people working or entering a compartmentalized office building.  There are so many new areas to consider that go beyond the typical janitorial maintenance, such as air quality and airflow, surface protection, body temperature reading stations, instructions of what to do if a positive COVID individual is reported, etc. This is a different challenge than what restaurants or grocery stores are dealing with.  Honestly, it’s exhausting to think about.
Well, If Space X can go into orbit and return two astronauts safely, then I guess we can do this!  *takes a deep breath*  Here we go…

Have a good day-
SPL

 

 


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_El_Paso_shooting

https://www.inverse.com/innovation/spacex-falcon-9-stunning-images

https://www.vox.com/2019/11/18/20970841/duncan-oklahoma-walmart-shooting-gun-violence

Day 21

How are you today?  How are your neighborhood and your city handling the pandemic?  Are you meeting up with friends and/or family online?  I enjoy visiting with my family. Once a week, at a scheduled time, we meet online to keep in contact with each other.  It makes me very happy to SEE they are well and adapting to this lockdown!  Honestly. Please reach out to those you love if you aren’t already.  Listening to music is also helpful.  Did you catch Andrea Bocelli’s 24-minute concert this weekend? Oh my!  Powerful music and the visuals of empty city streets in mid-day.  Amazing.  https://youtu.be/huTUOek4LgU

Here is a mood poem I am working on.  It should give you a feeling of drama and anticipation:

Dry Unwanted Parts

There is a pile
back by the fence
winters clippings cross stacked 

It waits.
     It waits–
for gas
for the snap of a match

The sky to scroll back
the dead to rise
the heavy unable to move
the thin blown like leaves


1) an observed joy- I’m feeling thankful for our city of givers.  People are generous and very helpful, they really are what a good neighbor should be.  I will not forget these months.

2) a real concern- Two of our apartments were undergoing renovations in February.  The pandemic has slowed the process as you can imagine.

3) a personal challenge- This week we are preparing packages of home cleaning supplies for our tenants that live in apartments, and expanding our shelter to house two more families while keeping to social distancing.  It is a challenge.  If we work hard we may have a total of 4 new spaces for 4 families who are experiencing homelessness available by the end of April.  We are a small non-profit, and this attempt feels BIG.  However, I have learned never to underestimate my co-worker’s abilities.  We are diverse and creative in our approach, resourceful, well connected and very focused.

4) one personal success (no matter how small)- Although there is much to do at work, I am learning to relax when it is time to relax. Guessing by the time I become a pro at this work from home thing, we will be back in the office. LOL

5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- Even though I am not considered a high-risk individual, I wish I could know if I had COVID-19 and possess the antibodies via the blood test.  Curiosity really.  However, I do not believe our local hospital or testing stations would like a body mucking around asking questions.  I’ll just stay at home.

Here is my mood today illustrated by a meme.  A visual example of how I felt entering a fresh new 2020 and (visually) how I may feel leaving it.
Take care of your beautiful self!  -Shannon


Like my writing? Want to hear me read my poetry?  Of course, you do.  Please visit https://chickadeeproductions.bandcamp.com/releases   and download some today.  Only $1.00 a poem!