Saturday, December 12, 2009

Geminids Meteor Shower

If you enjoy cold sleepless nights and seeing fireworks of the natural kind, it might be worth your while to bear the cold to see a meteor shower that can be as many as 20 meteors an hour streaking across the sky. Another source says since we will have optimum conditions this year for viewing, that there may be 120 to 150 meteors per hour, granted some may be faint. Nevertheless that is significant.

The expectancy and then the surprise is worth waiting for, really. I once went to a lightless pier in Villa Taina in Boqueron one night with my kids, covered with insect repellent mind you and laid down on the splintered boards, chatted, and enjoyed looking up at the star filled sky with an occasional misty cloud passing overhead, and watched for meteors to pierce the night. If I only saw two or three, it was memorable. Imagine twenty or 120! My niece shared on Facebook information about the meteor shower and I am passing it on to you. Follow the informational link to the Geminids, since the showers are coming from this constellation. Get those star maps out!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Oh Tannenbaum, Oh Tannenbaum

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches. When I was growing up in Virginia, I loved walking home through the scenic route, where I invariably would get lost and end up taking a wrong turn, but it was always with one purpose: to see a beautiful 30 foot tall Blue Spruce that made its home on an immaculate green lawn in Little Creek, not far from Meadowbrook Elementary School. The School is now closed down, but the tree I think is still there. Tall, beautiful, and regal, with fragrance galore.

So that was when I started falling in love with fir trees. Later, when we moved to jungle surrounded Panama and tropical Puerto Rico, we never lacked a fresh cut Christmas tree every season since the Army made sure there were always some to be purchased at a reasonable price. After my children grew up, I drifted away from buying a "live" tree because they were so outrageously priced at 45 and 60 dollars. Sometimes, I would end up snatching broken branches for impromptu festive decorations. Mostly though, I bought a Christmas wreath from one of the larger food warehouse stores in order to have the scent of pine. But I stuck to the familiar artificial tree.

This Christmas, for some reason, I was rebellious. I was tired of settling for a fake tree. I wanted to splurge. For the first time in many years, I finally got a real Christmas tree and for the unbelievable price of $19.95*. I know what you are thinking and the answer is no. No, it is not missing an arm or a leg! It is a plump little tree, 5 to 6 foot, and it smells like Christmas. It is adorable and looks just right where I set it.

Tomorrow will be dedicated to decorating it with a hot cup of cocoa and marshmallows. I will take a before and after so you can see I am telling the truth. It looks so good just as it is, but a tradition isn't a tradition, if you don't do it, is it?

*Where did I get this lovely tree? At Lowe's Hardware Store, at the corner of Alafaya and Lake Underhill. Thank you!

Extravagant Christmas Lights

Do you want to see some really cool Christmas lights that are engineered to light up with music? Click on the link to see them. On this second link you can see their gallery and click on Amazing Grace. See the coolest 12 Days of Christmas here.