Linenger's Letters to his Son

May 1, 1997
Made it to May"

Dear John:

Hooray! Made it to May.

May 1st is still a Russian holiday--was the old communist May Day--now I think they are trying to figure out what they are celebrating. Noticed on my schedule that Sunday (our usual “rest” day up here, which in reality, serves as a “try to catch up” day) is booked solid with work.

Mommy and I always got a kick out of the Russian holiday system when we were together in Star City. If the holiday falls on say...Thursday, you get the day off. But then you look at your training schedule and notice that you are working on Saturday. When you ask why, the response is: to make up for the time you missed on Thursday.

Two-day holidays completely wipe out your weekend, and can set you up for up to ten workdays without a break. We began preferring months like March over December, because there were fewer holidays in March.

Hope I didn’t cause you any nightmares of falling last night. Starting tonight, and for the next twelve days, I once again am doing the sleep study. Eye monitor, electrodes, body temperature, blood, surveys, dream recall--the whole shebang. I’ll let you know if I dream that the cliff is falling with me on it, okay?

To put your mind at ease: the falling was okay--it just took some getting used to. Never felt that inside the space station or in the shuttle. Part of the sensation, the flipping part, was due to the slowly changing orientation of the space station relative to the Earth during the spacewalk.

Sweet, peaceful dreams. If all goes as planned, I'll be seeing you before the end of the month. Great joy!



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