Karin and I got blankets and went out on the porch. We moved the two chairs together, facing each other, and then she sat in my lap and we piled the blankets on top of us and we sat and watched the storm. It rained continuously, but every few minutes the tempo would pick up and the rain would pound on the roof for several minutes before slackening again. Each time it flashed, we both said, "ooooo!"
Then we made Martin and Anders turn out all the lights in the house, because they were too distracting, reflecting off the porch glass windows. So they got blankets and came and sat with us. It was cozy and fun and exciting. We counted 1 mississippi 2 mississippi* to figure out how far away the lightning strikes were (pretty darn close!) and some of the big flashes actually had after-burn images, they were so bright.
It was the peak night for the Perseid meteor shower, which we hadn't gotten around to all week, what with birthday stuff and Karin's sudden switch to a new (GIRL's) soccer team, but there wasn't much chance of seeing anything with all the rattle-bangs & flashing.
So, last night, after we had taken Anders' parents out to a really nice, really expensive (!) restaurant (along with his sister and her family) for their golden wedding anniversary celebration, and Anders had taken Karin to her overnight soccer camp, Martin and I bundled up with sweatshirts and mukluks and broke out the blankets again and went outside to lie on the trampoline and stare up at the sky in the hopes of seeing shooting stars.
We were a little concerned because it was partly cloudy, but after only a few minutes, a huge open circle of sky formed right over our heads and we started to see shooting stars, one every few minutes! Martin kept calling them starfalls, a literal translation from the Swedish. We could see the Big Dipper right over our heads and after GOOGLING THE CONSTELLATION ON MY IPHONE FROM THE TRAMPOLINE (Whee!!) we figured out the Little Dipper, too, which was quite a bit dimmer. We even found Cassiopeia!
The sky was amazing. Deep rich black with a bazillion stars. We tracked satellites and airplanes and oohed at falling stars and verbally shooed stray clouds away. I tried to take a photo of the sky with my iPhone, but it came out like this:
Karin is making the switch from the all-boy's village soccer team she's been playing with for 2 years to the girl's team in the next village over and it's just the right time for it. The boys were starting to be...a little problematic. Anders took her over on Thursday to the practice and she was practically mobbed with welcome by all the girls and even got to see some old friends (the twins that used to live in our neighborhood that both Martin & Karin were good friends with) and came home full of smiles and the news that they were having a huge weekend soccer camp starting Friday and could she go? Of course! I'm thrilled that she feels so welcome there and that it's exciting and fun for her to be switching teams instead of traumatizing.
Anders left this morning for a 3-week business trip to Shanghai: URGH. We'll manage, though it's never fun when he's gone, and this is a LONG one. I'm going to actually have to mow the grass myself! Karin starts school on Wednesday and Martin next Monday so except for Anders being gone, we'll finally be back to our regular routine. About time!
Super Scoops of Birthday Wishes to Ice Cream Geek!
*If you've never done this, each mississippi is approximately 1 mile. You count from when the lightning flashes to when the thunder rumbles. In Swedish, you count ett tusen ett, ett tusen två.