Friday, October 26, 2007

I LOVE MY BLUE SKY! and Scott Parazynski

We've been very lucky that the wildfires raging throughout Southern California have not been too close to us. To watch the news and see the cover of the newspaper has been both heartbreaking and unimaginable. The smoke and ash and dangerous particles are everywhere. I've found myself wheezing a bit and I don't normally have any breathing issues. The air quality seems worse today, even though it is cooler. We live in the foothills and today you can't even see the mountains. It is a beautiful October day, but where is the blue sky?

I was lucky enough to live for several years in Beirut, Lebanon when I was a child. It shaped my life forever. We lived in an apartment on a hilltop overlooking the Mediterranean sea. The Lebanese people welcomed us into their homes and I attended a phenomenal school called the American Community School of Beirut or ACS. It was an amazing time, the 1970's, and Beirut was known as the "Paris of the Middle East." While there, I was classmates with Scott Parazynski. I wasn't a close friend, but remember him vividly - mostly for his blonde hair, friendly smile and long legs. This week Scott blasted off into space for the fifth time. He is an astronaut on the US space shuttle Discovery and today he did a space walk! How cool is THAT?! I am so incredibly proud and can only imagine how his parents, wife and children feel. So, I envision Scott looking down at the earth and wonder if he can even see California with all the haze that is in the atmosphere.

This morning on the way to take BOY & GIRL to school, I was explaining what the haze was in the sky. We've been talking about the fires a lot - how we have to conserve water to help the firefighters, how we have to stay inside because the air is bad for us to breathe, etc.

I pointed to the sky and said, "See that yellowish brown color in the sky? That is the smoke that has been blown over here."

BOY craned his head to look and screamed, "Oh, NOOOO, my blue sky! I LOVE my blue sky," and proceeded to cry.

He thought it was permanent.

Postscript: It is now Tuesday the 29th and we have BOY's beautiful blue sky back. What a glorious world we live in.

When I did the original post I completely forgot to quote Scott Parazynski's out of office reply. It said, "Gone flying... and where I'm going I (regrettably) won't have my Blackberry! Scott"

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  1. Because the civil war in Lebanon lasted the majority of my childhood, I have always associated that country with war, crisis, and political tensions. So I was quite puzzled by the words "I was lucky enough to live . . . in Beirut." For a moment I suspected sarcasm. However, I soon realized you weren't kidding and decided to Google the topic. Wow, I learned so much!

    And the association with Scott Parazynski is pretty impressive, too!

    Great topic!!!

  2. Oh, poor Boy!

    My father was a diplomat, and I was born in Tehran, Iran. Which at the time was a lovely, beautiful, peaceful country. When I tell friends that, I am met with looks of total disbelief.

  3. Wow, this was amazing to read. I love my blue sky too ...

    FYI JCK, I have a treat for you on my blog.

  4. Momtech, I'm so glad that it inspired you to google some items on Beirut. That is cool. I actually hope to blog about my life in Beirut at some point...

    Slouchingmom, I bet we could have some good conversations about living in the Middle East. Do you remember it? We'll have to "talk."

    Worksformom- Our blue sky is back! And thanks so much for my treat! It was yummy! :)

  5. After Scott left Beirut, he lived in Athens, Greece where he attended the American Community School of GREECE.

    Yes, I remember him too. Blonde boy.

    We had the our whole lives and immense possibilities ahead of us. Looks like he made his dreams come true


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