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STARS & (ZIGZAGGY) STRIPES
Two days ago we had a rattle-bang thunderstorm come and sit on our heads right as evening was falling. Karin is scared of thunder, though I think part of it is just attention-getting, and I keep trying to coax her out of it, because thunderstorms are, mostly, awesome (in the true sense of the word), even when they're frightening. The thunder kept rumbling and the lightning kept flashing up around the house like an enormous strobe light.

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.
happy
mood: happy
music: Burning Sensations—Belly of the Whale


Comments
(Anonymous)

I am so glad you got a rip roaring thunder storm as I know how much you miss them. We have been broiling and basting here. Although it did rain alot last night.I am glad Karin is happy with the switch it is always scary to try a new team when you are so used to what you have had. Rachel had her Fun Run this morning and ran the mile in 10:04, not her best time but considering the pain she has had the past two weeks not bad!!and almost 2 minute improvement over two days ago so the Orthotics made a BIG difference already!! Miss ya
Seester

Go, Rachel! That is awesome and I'm really glad that the Orthotics are helping!

(Anonymous)

What fun to be spending the evenings outside watching the sky. I miss not having a big,clear view for such events. Love, Lizardmom

No sky-watching tonight! Cloudy again and it's a work night...bummer!

watching the sky...

Hey Mom,
check out my new phot up on Deviant art.com -
We also have had many thunderstorms here and the rainbow shot I took from the backyard yesterday.
Lots o love,lizardfamdamily.
U. Johnnie

We had clouds too so I missed it. Karin's new team sounds great, I'm glad she has something nearby that's more suitable for her.

It's not only 1 night, though...you can probably still see them for a couple of nights. It usually lasts at least a week! :)

(Anonymous)

Oh what a lovely way to watch a thunderstorm! When we had our big thunderstorm here a while ago, I looked at it through the window. I could have gone out on the balcony, but while I am fascinated and find a thunderstorm to be one of the most beautiful things nature can display, I am a bit like Karin. I sure have a lot of respect for those flashes!! And this particular thunderstorm was heavier than they usually are.

But from safety inside a concrete building with lightning conducters and all electricy and phone lines buried in the ground, it was a great show of nature!!

Mia

http://mias.blogg.se
http://www.meraord.se

I don't know that I would have gone out on the balcony either...behind screens or glass is enough for me :)

I love thunderstorms, and we've had quite a few awesome ones recently, haven't we? Sofia's a bit afraid of the thunder but she's three so she's allowed.

When I was a kid my dad would almost always get out of bed when there was a thunderstorm. He was a fire fighter and usually got called out to pump water out of someone's basement if it rained heavily - which it usually does during a thunderstorm.
We'd sit in the kitchen drinking coffee/tea/hot chocolate and watch the lightning. It was awesome.

Also
*sorry for being a besserwisser*

1 mississippi = 1 sec (roughly)
1 sec = approx 300 meters
3 sec = approx 1 km
1 mile = 1.6 km

So you should count the seconds from lightning to thunder and divide by three - then you'll get the rough distance in km.

We've had more thunderstorms this summer than I think we've had in the 13 years since we moved here! Crazy weather!

And thanks for the explanation on how to measure!

(Anonymous)
From Megsie

Even though storms are not my favorite thing...which you know...I think it sounds just lovely to sit out on the porch under a big blanket and watch. I actually like to watch storms, it is just the whole tornado thing that freaks me out. And, if anyone who live with me is not at *home*!

Love the star gazing too.

What a delightful day!

Sorry you will be losing your husband for so long :(

xoxo

Re: From Megsie

I don't think we'd see a tornado until it was right on top of us since we have trees so close to the house on the back and houses blocking the view on the other sides. Good thing they are so rare in Sweden!

Ooh, rattle-bang thunderstorms thrill me completely. I love the image of your family snuggled up together to marvel in it. I'm doing my best to convince my girls that thunderstorms are exciting rather than THE END OF CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT so that we can hopefully have storm bonding moments in the future. :) Oh, and I didn't know about the meteor shower, but I think I glimpsed some of it last weekend in Orvieto. Did you make a wish for each starfall?

My wish is only that I get to see them again next year!

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