Monday, March 2, 2009


I have always been fascinated by the night sky. Some of my favorite memories of college were the times we would drive out in the country, find an empty corn field, and just stare at the stars. We would lie on top of Luke's car and watch for falling stars (I think the record was 17 in one night). Western Illinois is a pretty rural area and we could easily make out the Milky Way and countless constellations. But my favorite constellation has always been Orion. Orion can actually be seen anywhere on Earth, depending on the time of year. I find it comforting that I will always be able to see Orion, no matter where I go. So it has become my nightly ritual that after dinner I stop in the courtyard and look for Orion. Today I was disappointed to only find one solitary star in the sky. I blame the dust, which has been horrible lately. Have I mentioned that I just love that gritty taste the dust leaves in my mouth? This morning a blanket of dust settled over the area and visibility was low. No wonder I can't make out much of anything tonight. Still, most nights (especially when NEPA isn't working) the sky is clear and I enjoy watching the stars. It may sound stupid to people back home but I am enjoying life's simple pleasures.

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