I made a rocket once. It was a kit, given to me by my late grandmother. It was at our big family Christmas eve party. I have a rather large family, so we wouldn't get gifts. Just stocking filled with cookies, gum, and a few dollar store trinkets. It was a dull and awkward night as usual, filled with ham sandwiches and drunken uncles. I was eleven years of age, a school boy in the sixth grade with a "C" average. I would sit there quietly throughout the night, observing the hijinks and stupidity of my younger cousins, all while listening to my aunt playing classical Christmas melodies on a baby grand piano in the background. It was then time to open gifts. Gifts went to my grandparents and their siblings, as well as their children including my father and his siblings. Lots of cologne, sweaters, and uneasy "thank yous" were given that year. My grandfather, who was an avid sailor and Navy veteran that served in World War II, received from my father a box that looked to contain a fluorescent light fixture. My grandfather, with much regressed sarcasm, thanked my father and quickly set it aside. Upon this reaction my father swiftly intervened and informed his father to open the box, as the gift that it appears to be was rather deceiving and the box contains something different. Grandfather scurried for the fluorescent box, which had already been covered by others disposed gift wrappings. He then retrieved a knife from his pocket and began to cut the tape from the box. He removed several pieces of newspaper from the box, and at that moment my grandfathers war ridden eyes lit up. He pulled two aluminum oars from the depths of the box. They will go great with his dinghy. It was at that moment my grandmother pulled me to the side. She escorted me into the study room and exclaimed that she did not want to give this said object in her possession amidst the other children. She handed me a sizable gift, which I quickly freed from it bow and snowman paper. With shock and glee, I lifted it from its festive remains and revealed to her and myself a model rocket kit! The child within me was ecstatic and my joy could not be contained. I gracefully embraced my grandmother with a loving hug, filled with the infinite love a child can provide, and grandfully thanked her. We both returned to the party as it was coming to a close end, being towards the hour of midnight. My siblings and I soon retreated with my father, saying our goodbyes and wishful cheers to the remaining party attendees as we walked to the family suburban with handfuls of treats and crock pot left overs. It was a joyous party. The holidays ended and the normal schedule of school and everyday activities continued for the next several months. It is now summer, the time for weekend barbeques and night firework extravaganzas. Though, between the festivus weekends, were rather dull weekdays. Nothing to do, but watch tennis tournaments and "The Price is Right." One of these days I took it upon myself to clean my closet of it's overloaded capacity. Pillaging through the mounds of clothing and aged toys, I was halted by the sight of an unopened package. I was quickly reminded of where this package came from and couldn't bare the thought of my procrastination. This model rocket kit shall be built and take flight tomorrow! The next week I begin construction on this "mans free will flying device." As meticulous as it was to build, I battled through it and finished the construction of this rocket. It will take flight tomorrow. Summer was coming to an end and the days were filled, once again, with the boredom of summer restrictions of a minor. While achieving many goals on Super Mario 64, glare from the sun set in on my television set. My frustration began to set in and I quickly stopped playing the gaming device. Thinking this was a punishment from God, I soon realized it was a sign from The Lord above, as the light shined upon the rocket on my activity table. I hurried down to my second eldest brother, whom has a license, and requested he drive me to pick up my friend of many years, and then take us to the well manicured desolate field behind the school grounds to send this rocket to the final frontier to which man has the power of doing so! He agreed. After retrieving my fellow friend and lunch, we arrived at the field. It was the perfect site to take flight and after several hours of assembling the flight stand and launching device, ones eye could not tell the difference from this simple field and Cape Canaveral. I made a short speech about the achievements of man and the work and hardships of the journey to space, and the future of mankind. Several minutes later it was time. I placed the key in the launching device and we commenced count down starting at ten. As the countdown began, my mind quickly began having flashbacks of the Apollo missions, I could here "America the Beautiful" playing ever so loud, the future of space travel, life on other planets, one. I pressed to launch button with all of my loving and grateful heart. It didn't work. My grandmother died of lung cancer two years later.
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