Shuttle Launch. 2:28 a.m.

Mercifully, the night was too cold for the no-see-ums and whatever else might have feasted on our waiting flesh. The long leaf pines stood etched black against deepest cobalt blue, and stars briefly trembled in their branches and then arced slowly past. We focused on those stars, facing southeast, as the damp air chilled hands clutching our pre-focused binoculars.Bruce saw it first: a 45 degree angled line of white light, tipped with fiery copper, so much warmer than the stars, as it arrowed toward them. I just glimpsed it, and then it passed behind the trees’ silhouettes. We shifted our sights to the east, but the arrow didn’t emerge again, having already diminished in its trajectory toward the southeastern night. We searched for the warmer, moving star, but only the cold, truly distant ones looked back.Still, we were happy. We saw it! If we hadn’t been watching the news for the weather, we wouldn’t have known. Heck, if we’d known a couple days ago, we would perhaps have changed our route to be there and feel the earth and air shake and roar. But in going with the flow, a sip from a half empty glass is still deeply refreshing, and we crawled into bed with a happy satisfaction.strawberries.jpgWe slept in until 10:00 and groggily bumbled through the day. As the sky grew darker, muggier, and buggier, we decided to shop for food and a few forgotten necessities. We found some lovely spinach/cheese ravioli, and scattered it on a big bed of raw baby spinach, then topped it with sautéed onions, red peppers, tomatoes, shrimp and fresh-grated parmesan cheese. The bed of raw baby spinach is becoming a regular thing now and easier than making a separate salad. Sprocket loved the spinach stems and became almost worshipful when Bruce gave him two of the ravioli. A box of fresh sweet strawberries made dessert: all in all, delicious, goof-proof meal, with the rain drumming overhead. Tomorrow is supposed to be perfect, but today wasn’t bad at all. And we saw it!

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