Thursday, February 21, 2008


Things have improved enough on the sleep front that I'm feeling a little less whiny and shaky about it all. I think the last Pulmicort dose was given on the last truly awful night. We've subsided into a more familiar routine of Q falling asleep between 11 and midnight and waking 2-6 times to nurse. As pathetic as it sounds, this is much better. So much better that I feel all giddy contemplating heading to bed in a few minutes.

But first, let me tell you what we did earlier this evening. She says, rubbing her hands together in glee. We got out my dad's telescope and went out to the top of a local foothill and watched the lunar eclipse. We saw plenty of other features as well -- the rings on Saturn. The rings on Saturn, people! G swore he could see one of Saturn's moons. This proclamation brought on excited outbursts from S who was, while doing her best Tigger impersonation, ready to swear to seeing at least four moons around Saturn's "rainbow loops." The three pairs of lovers who had adjourned to more or less the same location were quite gracious about her bounciness. Funny girl.

We looked into Orion's nebula, the ongoing birthplace of millions of stars. We saw the Pleiedes with our naked eyes, then looked into the lens only to see truly hundreds of stars residing silently inside the same area we affectionately refer to as "the teaspoon" when casually stargazing. The moon faded into a dark, ruddy orb. Then, as the light slivers slipped off the last edge, we ate. Nothing like a handful of warm burrito in the cold dark night, atop a grassy knoll. By the time we were done with the food, the light was gaining on the opposite edge, revealing, millimeter by millimeter, craters, canyons, meteor tracks, perhaps even the Sea of Tranquility. (Begging your pardon, but I'm not up on my lunar geography.)

It was incredible. We watched carefully the lines we saw in the sky and thought that perhaps we had even had a little of the Aurora Borealis for company this evening. My dad needed the break from work, and we all snapped up the cosmic reminder of just how small we really are. The moon regained her full, round self as we drove home, her reflection bouncing and sliding on the rear window of the car we were following.

I hope you got to see some of it, wherever you are. And I hope your evening was as lovely as ours. I'm the only one still awake and that'll last about another three minutes.




Carolyn said...

Your evening sounds lovely.

We huddled in our cool kitchen (60 degrees), watching the moon (waaaay below 60 degrees) through the window, on the outside of which was sub-zero air.

No one even wanted to venture outside to take a photo. I wonder if there are more astronomers in temperate climes than the frigid tundra of the upper Midwest:

Squeaky said...

I have some photos from the earlier eclipse. Not too good, though. Down here we had the meteor event recently. My friend who was lucky enough to be heading to work at 5:30 AM said it was bright green. If you're interested, I can send you some free tracking software, which was very useful for when I wanted to view the shuttle & the space station about a year ago. It tells the viewing times and locations of whatever orbiting objects you wish to view.