A night without meteors

Last night was supposed to be the height of the Perseid meteor shower. It’s been a long time since I’ve taken in a good shower (meteoric, not fluidic; I had had one of those earlier after pulling weeds in the garden), so I was hoping for a good show.

It may have gotten good at some point, but not when I was watching. I saw one, maybe two.

But it was still a good night: sitting on lawn chairs out in the yard, in the country, the “only” sounds being thousands or millions of insects doing their nighttime thing, some barking dogs and a pack of howling coyotes a mile or two away; the only light a neighbor’s back porch light; the occasional bat (owl?) cruising through the yard; a perfectly clear sky with thousands of visible stars shining down; temperatures in the 70s; and no mosquitoes.

The best part? My kids, in their pajamas and housecoats, sitting with me. My 8-year-old son on my lap, asking if meteors could be this color or that color or this color or that color, because if they could be, then he just saw one; my 10-year-old daughter in the chair next to me, as close as she can get, both her arms wrapped around my right arm, especially once the coyotes started their chorus, telling me she’s scared and then asking if we could stay out a few more minutes.

Nope, didn’t see many meteors. I even got up at 2 a.m. and went outside for a few minutes to see if they were really kicking up by then because I had told the kids if they were, I’d get them back up. But they weren’t, so I didn’t.

But that half hour or so in the front yard with my two middle children was better than the best meteor shower anyone would ever see.


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