Day 77: The Meteor Shower, Triskaidekaphobia, and …

Perseid Meteor Shower - from Macedonia

Last night, Thursday, after I posted, Ivy and I took off for a journey into the country. Earlier, I read this is the time of the astronomical year when the Perseid Meteor Shower can be seen by the naked eye and the peak viewing would be Thursday evening, especially in the late night and early morning hours. I remember making a similar trip last year with William and Olivia to look up at the sky for meteors, but we were unsuccessful. 

This year and I drove west along the old Lincoln Highway toward DeKalb, the same route as last year. It was after eleven when I left and there was hardly any traffic. I remember a time, in my youth, when I was a late night owl, but times change and in reality, nothing good takes place when it is dark and you should be sleeping. The big difference between this year and last was I did not have kids, who at times can be impatient, and this year I was much later in the night – closer to peak times. The farther I drove from Chicago and the suburbs the darker the sky became. I settled on a road off the main highway, pulled off the road, and parked. The highway parallels the old Chicago and Northwestern, now Union Pacific, rail line and I stopped near a crossing. I could see lights coming from the west. Ivy and I got out of the car. For me there was a lot to see, for Ivy there was a lot to smell. I looked up and it was amazing, I do not get to see this many stars in my backyard, too much light pollution. The information I had was to look in the northeastern sky and I trained my eyes in the direction. We were alongside a cornfield and the smells of the country intrigued Ivy, she sniffed and pulled at the leash. I was not about to let go. I kept looking up, but did not see a meteor or anything other than stars and the faint wash of the Milky Way. The train was approaching and Ivy was drawn to it, the crossing gates came down and as I turned to watch, I looked up in the middle of the sky and saw a streak flash through the sky – my first meteor. I was hooked, despite the bugs buzzing my ears, and yes, Mosquitoes do Buzz in your ears. I continued to watch the heavens and Ivy continued, well what dogs do. The train passed through the crossing blasting its horn and rumbling toward Chicago with the wheels making their clickety-clack carrying containers with goods from China and other Asian countries. Once the train passed, the sounds of the country returned, bugs chirped, and the occasional car zipping by on the road. I continued to look upward with Ivy sniffing away and tugging gently on the leash. I saw another, and another, and final I decided to head home. Ivy climbed in the car and settled in the backseat. I drove east and home, passing two cars pulled over by the sheriff. You see, nothing good happens when it is dark and you should be asleep, except maybe a sighting of a meteor. 

I slept until seven-fifteen and Ivy let me. I suppose it was because we were up so late and I took her out before I crawled into bed, but whatever it was, she was happy to see me when I came downstairs. We had another heat advisory and heat action or rather inaction days so we stayed close to home. I made sure she had water and me, too. About noon, we went for a walk and that wiped her out and she slept most of the afternoon. I laid on the couch catching up on my reading. 

Today is Friday, August 13 – Friday the thirteenth. Triskaidekaphobia or fear of the number thirteen. I am really not superstitious, but I am cautious. One of my favorite parts of Language Arts is word parts and word origins. Greek and Latin roots are wonderful and understanding them helps learning a foreign language easier. Phobia means fear and tris-ka-deka means thirteen. It is Greek and it is not Greek to me. It is very logical and interesting, that is what makes it fun. I stayed away from all sorts of things during the day and took it easy, Ivy, too.

The highlight of the day was really the beginning – the meteor shower. A repeat was not possible as thunderstorms moved through during the early evening bring much needed rain and cooling off the area. Tomorrow will be in the 90s again, with a cool front on Sunday bringing drier and cooler air to the area. But, it is August and I expect it will only be for a short time. Fall is just around the corner, and cooler days ahead. School starting also means Friday night lights and football games. Something to look forward to – see it’s not all bad! 

Tomorrow, Beth and the kids return from Michigan, and my life returns to normal. It is also Saturday, yard work day, I’ll get it done and finish odds and ends around the house. It is the last weekend of summer, it has been good and it is time to go back. Making the days count, one day at a time.

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2 thoughts on “Day 77: The Meteor Shower, Triskaidekaphobia, and …

    1. in my Language Arts class I teach a unit on folklore one of the stories is ‘Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Our Ears.’ I had never really noticed it until this summer… sometimes out learning is more acute when we become aware…

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