I don’t know if we will ever get back to “normal,” or back to the way things used to be. It took me much longer than usual to get to work today, as the cars were backed up all down NASA Road One while security officers at the gate checked every badge on every person in every car. Random vehicles were searched. My building is the home of mission control and the most critical building onsite; the parking lots were emptied as a security precaution. In the lobby, I was stopped by security and my bag was opened and checked. On any day before Tuesday, I would have been annoyed at the inconvenience. From now on, I will be grateful for the fact that someone is trying to make my life safer.
The FAA has reopened the skies, but most airlines are keeping themselves grounded. I don’t know whether to hope that my dad is able to fly here tomorrow or hope that he isn’t allowed to get on an airplane. With all the flights that occur in this country each day, my fear that something will happen on his particular flight seems irrational…nonetheless, it is very real.
I haven’t packed anything yet. My dad would be upset with me if he knew that. Yesterday was supposed to be my last day of work, and I was going to pack today and tomorrow. When we unexpectedly had the past two days off, I should have used them to pack. But I didn’t. I just watched TV, and read magazines, and spent a lot of time just being with people.
People keep coming into my office and saying “oh, you’re here,” which is weird to me. What would they expect? Did they think I would leave town without cleaning out my desk? Without turning in my paperwork? Without giving Bini a recap of what I’ve done, and what she’ll be expected to do on the jettison design project? So yes, I’m at work, at least until early afternoon. I’ve talked to Bini, so that’s one item down, two to go.
Packing is going very well. Usually it stresses me out a lot, but today I’ve gotten myself into complete throw-away mode, and am tossing stuff into trashbags left and right. I’ve cut three boxes and maybe one laundry basket out of what I brought down here in my car. I can always buy a new laundry basket in California; it’s probably easier than trying to bring the one I have.
I got a co-op award. After five tours, I’d given up on the idea of ever getting one and resigned myself to the fact that it’s not really a matter of the work you do, but of whether you happen to be in a group that’s motivated enough to give awards. I guess the sixth time’s the charm, though I don’t think it’s purely coincidence that I got a co-op award for the tour I liked the best. I worked harder this tour than I ever have, and it’s because I liked what I was doing and was motivated to get as much done as I could. In any case, I was very flattered and happy to get the award.