I remember one rare Texas winter when it looked like we would have actual snow. This happened once every few winters, but only rarely enough to cause a "snow day". It only took a bit of snow to cause a panic, I wasn't asking for much. So I remember one fine pre-dawn in the first week of February, waiting by the radio praying to hear school was closed on my birthday. It was a natural - 1st week of Feb is always a misery. My parents even tell me my dad had to shovel the driveway so he could get the car out to drive my mom to the hospital the day I was born. Surely if anyone could get a TX style "white" birthday, it was me. Inevitabily though, in all my 13 years of public school in Texas, it never happened.
Why do I mention (at length) this small, selfish, and childish desire long left unsatisfied and half-forgotten? My b-day is this week, and the entire Tyler Independent School District is closed ... so they can search for toxic debris from the Columbia craft and crew. Damn. Be careful what you wish for: even years later I feel guilty, and I imagine this day off will be a guilty pleasure. A bitter holiday for the kids of East TX, and an impromptu memorial day for fallen heroes.
Anyway, I'm starting to wax all sentimental and crap. National distasters do that to me I guess. I'll stop.
My bro passed on the following apropos stanza:
Out ride the sons of Terra,
Far drives the thundering jet,
Up leaps a race of Earthmen,
Out, far, and onward yet ---
We pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave us birth;
Let us rest our eyes on the friendly skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth.
-- Robert A. Heinlein