Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I am watching stars

Legend has it that the monk, Dom Perignon, upon tasting his first glass of what would come to be known as "champagne," exclaimed, "I am drinking stars!"

For people like the Ward sisters, of which there are six, drinking stars is only moderately less interesting than watching them. But the light pollution in my hometown of Atlanta, means a lot of effort (staying up until all hours and making sure there are enough blankets around) for very little reward.

So this year, I am heading to my parents' home near Amelia Island, Florida, where a few sisters have gathered cots, sleeping bags and a cooler full of stars to drink, and where we will set up camp outside next to the marsh to watch the Leonids in what is still a fairly dark sky. I am desperately sorry that one sister, Cathy, the founder and hilarious voice of this blog, will not be with us, but we'll be waking her up with the occasional drunken phone call to join her in singing "Aquarius" and intoning William Shatner's introduction to Star Trek: "Space, the final frontier..."

For those few of you who may read this and not know this stuff: The Leonids are the pieces of junk thrown off of Comet Temple-Tuttle. The shooting stars they produce appear to arise out of Leo, thus the name, and appear at the ungodly hour of 4-5 am in the northeast sky.

This will be one of those rare times when we are all sitting outside and someone yells, "Oooohh. Did you see it?" And everyone else says, "You're lying," but it really will be true!

Anyway, we will be toasting Cathy and all of you who are watching with us.

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