Life During Covid-19 Part 15

28 May

Waiting on the SpaceX Demo-2

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I wrote last week about my disappointment that our return to the North Carolina mountains was delayed. Within frustration comes positives, especially if we are open to accept them and one of them was being in Florida for the historic launch of the SpaceX Demo-2 launch.

Foto: NASA

Our town is on the banks of the Indian River which is directly across from Kennedy Space Center and the launch pads. Due to Covid-19 the local media advised the locals to stay home and watch the launch from their yards. I was good with that idea. Our area has a low virus rate and the thought of mingling with people from all over the country kind of freaked me out. But…our daughter writes novels about the space program and she has followed the progress of SpaceX from its infancy and was determined to be at the river.

Our usual viewing involves parking at a church near the river, then walking to a good viewing spot. Once the launch is over, we quickly move to our car and beat the traffic.

We left home around 1 pm for the 4:33 pm launch. We had packed lunches, water and chairs. We drove past the park we love (photo on left) and it was packed with cars.

We continued driving north and ended up at large park. We easily found a parking place and backed into it.

HINT if you ever have the opportunity to view a crewed launch, back into your space.

And then we sat in the car for three hours. With no internet on our phones. And it rained.

I don’t know if you have noticed but there is a huge societal battle going on. To mask or not mask. Sitting in our vehicle my first thoughts when I saw people walking past with masks, were give me a break, people. You are outside with way more than 6 ft distancing.

After thinking on the masks for a time, I reverted to my usual wear or not wear attitude. People were here from all over the country and may be following guidelines to which they are accustomed to.

An extremely heavy line of storms moved in on us. The trees were whipping and the rain was coming down in sheets. Our cell phones were not able to access data so we didn’t have any idea what was going on. Once we were back home, I saw this on Facebook.

Mims is about 5 miles from where we parked. It was a small tornado

Finally around 3 pm the rain ended although the skies remained dark, although there were patches of blue. My daughter and I decided to venture out to the river bank and stake out our viewing space. My husband stayed in the car. He’s not rain tolerant. I was impressed that few people had left during the rain. There were a lot of soggy clothes but many had come prepared with rain gear.

A brave group of kayakers paddled past. A boat is an ideal viewing spot but the hassle of getting ones boat to a dock and out of the water afterwards is not worthwhile for us. Been there, did it once. Now the kayakers are brilliant. No boat dock needed!

In Titusville we have “The Bridge” It is a lovely bridge that crosses the Indian River and connects Titusville to Merritt Island on which the space center is located. “The Bridge” replaced an ancient structure that used a bridge keeper to open and close the draw and each side of the bridge has a generous walking lane. It is a thing to walk “The Bridge” ( Yes, a local boutique sells T-shirts bragging about walking the bridge)

For the launch, the bridge is closed to traffic and is a prime viewing area.

The rain held off and patches of blue peaked through and around the clouds. As the time of launch drew close, my husband joined us. We were ready for the rumble! Then, without warning, people around us began gathering their belongings. People began streaming off the bridge. The dreaded word, scrubbed, could be heard. We couldn’t believe it. The sky was almost clear. But not clear enough. Less than 15 minutes from life off and it was over.

I was outraged! Pre smart phones we would have been listening to transistor radios, then later, boom boxes, getting updates from mission control. All I can assume is the crowd overwhelmed the cell tower capacity.

The launch is rescheduled for Saturday. Hopefully we will finally be back in the mountains. It was fun being a part of launch day, even if it didn’t launch. One thing was missing though…conversation. Usually there is an atmosphere of camaraderie, sharing stories and launch experiences. I missed that. I hope social distancing does not become the permanent normal.

Our daughter is on her own for Saturday. I wonder if she might rent a bicycle. Post launch traffic is a bear!

I love this picture Rebekah took of children enjoying the rain puddles.

Hopefully, next week I will be writing from the mountains!

4 Responses to “Life During Covid-19 Part 15”

  1. divoran09 May 29, 2020 at 9:49 am #

    This is a great post. I think you are doing a short memoir. At least we hope the Covid will be gone soon.


  2. Daniel Kemp May 28, 2020 at 9:42 am #

    I thoroughly enjoyed what was a great description of your day alongside your disappointment. As usual, I loved the photos.


    • Onisha Ellis May 28, 2020 at 11:03 pm #

      Fingers crossed, we will be back in the mountains by the weekend. We have to reclaim our house from the deer!


  3. itsrebekahlyn May 28, 2020 at 9:10 am #

    I may have to invest in a small radio for future launches. Not being in on the pre-launch discussion was a disappointment for me. Weather for Saturday is still iffy too. Praying for a safe launch whenever it happens.

    Liked by 2 people

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