Sunday, August 12, 2007

Down Memory Lane

When I logged on the computer awhile ago and saw this news story

Click here: News - Tonight Is the Night for Fireball Gazing - AOL News

I was awash in a flood of memories of the first (and best) time I saw the Perseid meteor shower.

The year was 1974, and I was a 14 year old on a 'primitive camping' trip with the Girl Scouts, through Camp Merrie Woode out of Plainwell,MI.

Normally I went camping At   Camp Merrie Woode  (and by the way, I found pics of how the camp currently looks   here ,which I thought was way cool :) but for 'primitive camping' we campers and two counselors went out to someone's farm, on their 'back 40',so to speak, and set up a camp from scratch.....yes, dug our own latrine, set up our tents, fire pit, and I remember lashing together a table of sticks to use for our meals. I also remember using some kind of tablets to treat our water that we got from a stream on the farm, which tasted 'ew',lol.

The folks who owned the farm drove out on Aug.8,1974 to tell us that the President was resigning and they wanted to bring us in to watch it on TV, as they thought it was an historical moment that we should not miss. The counselors agreed, so we all piled into the back of their truck and went in to their big old farmhouse to sit on the floor in their living room and watch Richard Nixon's resignation speech.

Indicative of a 14 year old mind,lol, I recall nothing of the speech and I'm not sure I understood at the time what a huge deal this was. All I have is a snapshot memory in my head of the President talking on the screen of a wood floor model TV (this Was '74,guys:)

It was what We said while we were there that led to us seeing the meteor shower. Someone mentioned the mosquitoes that were at our camp, and the folks who owned the farm in the next few days after that came out and sprayed around where we were camping to try and get rid of them. (what did they spray? no idea.)

Unfortunately, their good intentions went awry, and it seemed that they only managed to drive even Moremosquitoes into our camp.So much so that, after getting bitten unmercifully all day, we decided to abandon our camp for the last night we were there, and take our sleeping bags out into the middle of a huge field that was nearby. (we were camping in the woods.)

Only we hardly slept. We just so happened to have chosen a night that the Perseid meteor shower was occurring (didn't know that was what it was Then, found out later.) We had set up our sleeping bags and were lying in them idly chatting, when we saw the first meteor shooting across the sky...and then another, and another.

33 years later (good heavens,I'm old:) all it took was me seeing the news story above, to transport me back to a Michigan summer night when I unexpectedly saw the most beautiful celestial show I've ever seen, lying in a field and gazing up at a clear sky filled with heavenly fireworks.

I've never seen the meteor shower as clearly again, and maybe the magic of that memory was that it wasn't planned, it was just a happy accident that we decided to sleep in that field on that night.

But it still remains one of my most treasured memories, and since the news story sent me 'down memory lane', I thought I'd share it :)

 

 

 

 

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