I'm diverting to the present for just this post to capture an immediate blessing. Actually, this morning, at the time I would have been posting this, I was without electricity, or internet.
Last night, far past the time reasonable people make this decision, we decided to go camping. Yes, it was a holiday weekend, and past dinnertime, but we tend toward spontaneity, so we packed up a tent, some elementary provisions (stuff for s'mores of course) and headed out to the foothills.
We decided beforehand that if we couldn't find a camping spot, we'd come home, rent a red-box and watch a movie. By the way, I suggest a back-up plan if you're spontaneous. It keeps you from the inevitable let-down if your plans go awry.
Well, as it turned out, we weren't the only ones with this grand idea, so as the last rays of sun set behind the hills, we found ourselves in the middle of a rather long line at the gate to the park.
It wasn't the first time we set up our tent after dark, as you might guess if you know us ;)
We had some help from neighboring campers, as the ground we were camping on seemed more like cement, at least to our tent stakes. We'd brought our tiny hammer, and as there was a nice breeze, and our stakes wouldn't pound in, the tent nearly blew away! Thanks to these kind and ready folks, in little under an hour, the tent was secured, and we were settling in around a modest campfire inside a fire pit made with rocks that the girls had gathered with the help of a small flashlight.
The s'mores were fantastic. The company was good. But nothing could rival the light show.
As the girls looked up at the sky, they gasped and I heard, "Oh, they're really there! I thought it was only in the books!"
Even though the city lights obscure them , and we are usually far too busy looking at our television or computer screens at night when they are most easily seen, they are really there. Indeed, the entire Milky Way is still there. It's been a long time since I saw it. Too long.
The red-box we did not need to rent, whose budget probably ran in the millions, could not have rivaled those beautiful stars!