Monday, August 16, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
One of our family's favorite things to do is to lie out on the trampoline at night and look at the stars.
Yes, we do have cable, a Wii, and the internet - but still this is one of our favorite past-times.
You might say we live simply here in the woods.
Star gazing is something we have done for several years. Hope and Adam have even joined on us occasion. Kind of a rite of passage thing.
We have laid out under the stars in the dead of winter wrapped in blankets and huddled together - and like last night, we have laid out under the stars in the heat of the night fighting over who gets to lay next to Joel because the mosquitoes are drawn to his Axe body spray.
We have seen several shooting stars over the years and have had many wonderful conversations while waiting to see one. Ah, the family memories we have made.
Megan: I saw one.
Brian: That was a lightning bug.
Joel: These mosquitoes won't leave me alone.
Levi: That's because you smell like a dirty butt. Wait a minute, I think I smell like a dirty butt.
Me: You both smell like a dirty butt. Go lay next to Dad.
August is one of the best times of years to see shooting stars. The Perseids occur in August and, in fact, tonight and tomorrow night are peak nights!
This is the most famous of all meteor showers. It never fails to provide an impressive display and, due to its summertime appearance, it tends to provide the majority of meteors seen by non-astronomy enthusiasts.
This meteor shower gets the name "Perseids" because it appears to radiate from the constellation Perseus. An observer in the Northern Hemisphere can start seeing Perseid meteors as early as July 23, when one meteor every hour or so could be visible. During the next three weeks, there is a slow build-up. It is possible to spot five Perseids per hour at the beginning of August and perhaps 15 per hour by August 10. The Perseids rapidly increase to a peak of 50-80 meteors per hour by the night of August 12/13 and then rapidly decline to about 10 per hour by August 15. The last night meteors are likely to be seen from this meteor shower is August 22, when an observer might see a Perseid every hour or so.
For observers in the Southern Hemisphere, the Perseid radiant never climbs above the horizon, which will considerably reduce the number of Perseid meteors you are likely to see. Nevertheless, on the night of maximum, it is possible to see 10-15 meteors per hour coming up from the northern horizon.
There are other, weaker meteor showers going on around the same time as the Perseids, but the Perseids will generally appear to move much faster across the sky than meteors from the other showers. In fact, the Perseids are among the fastest moving meteors we see every year. Another way to know if the meteor you saw was a Perseid is to mentally trace the meteor backwards. If you end up at Perseus then you have probably seen a Perseid meteor!
Last night we saw five meteors - one large and four smaller.
Almost as exciting as seeing a meteor is seeing a satellite scoot across the sky. We even saw the space station one night. No kidding, we really did.
The plan tonight is to go to bed and set our alarms for 1 am when we will rendezvous on the trampoline in the back yard. We will then bleary-eyed stare at the sky, laugh at Dad snoring, swat mosquitoes, and enjoy being together.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Although frustrating at the time, I think it has worked out best that he didn't start last fall. By delaying the start of school to January, he was able to focus on working at FedEx for a few months before adding on college classes.
In my opinion (maybe it's because this is what I did - lol) working and commuting to school separates the wheat from the chaff so to speak. It's not easy doing both.
During his small two week break between summer and fall semesters, Levi wants to take advantage of his FedEx flight discounts and go on an adventure with Joel.
Those two crack me up.
They have worked out together at the YMCA most mornings all summer. Sweat must form bonds.
They were close before - but now they are pretty tight.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Given the fact that this apartment has housed as many as four 20-something single men at a time, I was concerned that transforming it into a home - regardless of how much estrogen influence was involved - would not be possible.
Those fears were laid aside yesterday.
A barefooted, happy, and very proud Megan met us at the entrance and welcomed us inside.
There I discovered that the shared entry hallway and stairs were brightly lit, nicely carpeted, and very homey feeling. Not at all how I had imagined (discarded cigarette butts, blood from the last homicide . . . my mind tends to gravitate to the worst).
As we entered the apartment itself I breathed another sigh of relief as I breathed in air conditioned, Clorox-laced air. Megan and Adam had spent the afternoon exerting some serious elbow grease and had the place impressively clean for its debut appearance to Brian and me, Levi and Hope, and Grandma (Joel had been there one time in its previous state).
Megan and Adam both took pride in showing us their new Ikea table and chairs that Adam built with his own hands. And I envisioned Megan putting away laundry as she showed off their more than ample walk-in bedroom closet.
Paint colors have been picked.
Curtains are being planned.
Rooms are being rearranged.
A home is being made.
This picture is going to be very cathartic for me the next few months.
I will look at it when:
I am sad Megan has grown up.
I worried she is leaving the safety of our home to start her own.
I feel selfish and want to keep her little and with me.
I get frustrated with the wedding planning.
My heart hurts and misses her being three with short, curly hair.
I worry that she is not ready to be married.
I wonder if she will be happy.
I am overwhelmed and saddened by how fast life passes.
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down,
and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep,
and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war,
and a time of peace.