Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Mission to Mars
We were delighted that the clouds held off long enough last night that we could get a glimpse at Mars. (The past few celestial events have happened on overcast nights leaving my kids with the feeling that they were being ‘ripped off.’) My in-laws said to meet them at the park across from our old house. My father-in-law was to bring a telescope.

There were quite a few people in the park. I am sure they were thrilled when 3 cars of boisterous von Huben’s (and entourage) showed up. I brought along a flashlight for the express purpose of navigating the terrain...fallen branches, dog poo etc. What the light really showed was how incredibly buggy it was. So there we were with all those other people, the bugs but no in-laws. We never did find them....

Chuck had a hand held telescope that wasn’t working quite right. It would have been nice to find that out at home, rather than try to fix it by the light of a bug attracting flashlight. The boys were impressed with Mars. The ‘big kids’ were expecting something more spectacular (like what? an alien invasion?) and wanted to go down to the beach. I wasn’t feeling up to it. I also remembered the last time we went to the beach for a lunar eclipse. And the sand that we could never remove from the Fisher-Price telescope.

When Mars became boring, the Irish Princess grabbed the flashlight and started giving a virtual tour of our old house. It appears that it is not inhabited now....rather sad and spooky. We went home right after a quick pep-talk about the fact that having lived in a house more than a decade does not give one the right to go up on the porch and look in the windows. And a plea that if they did not believe me, to please spare me the ordeal of having to bail them out of the village jail. And to stay off the beach, too, which was now closed for the night. The last time the local constabulary picked up a handful of the girls at the beach they received a stern lecture from the officer who knew they had lived across from the park for years and could not fool him into thinking that they were unaware of the beach hours.

I’m assuming my in-laws are OK. Rick was calling them when I headed off to bed. I’m sure he would have said something...

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