Looking to the sky for relaxing moments amid troubles

Published 3:54 pm Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Today’s Special

There are two things we love about this house.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

There are no trees in our yard…not counting the four Bradford pears that aren’t so close to the house. We basically have no shade and that has challenged my gardening skills. But having no trees is, as it has turned out, is one of the reasons we love this place, especially at night.

Big sky country.  It’s like living in Montana but in Tennessee.  Because there are no trees to block our view of the open sky, we have a complete 360 degree view, totally unobstructed …north to south and east to west.  And no street lights.

We looked at this house twice while house hunting, but never thought about the night time sky, nor did the previous owners ever mention the beautiful, take-your-breath view of the solar system from the driveway.

Star struck. It’s showtime when the sun goes down. The stars and constellations appear in all their glory and shooting stars compete with the lightning bugs below.  We’ve learned to tune in to the local weatherman because he tells viewers what to look for in the night sky.  We’ve seen the space station, meteors and planets.

I’m even curious about airplanes and jets as they fly over…who’s up there and where are they going?  Who needs television?  This is real reality TV.

A roundtrip down our driveway to the road and back is about a quarter mile, it’s straight and runs west to east. And I love to walk it.  Some might think it’s boring just walking back and forth. The dogs don’t even walk with me, they just lie in the grass and watch.  But, that’s okay, the ever-changing view is spectacular.

Evening after supper is the best time, it’s cooler, but I also get to enjoy each glorious sunset and watch the universe unfold from both directions while getting my steps in.

Rewards.  The first summer here five planets were visible without a telescope.  The driveway took me straight towards Saturn and it always blinked back at me.  And often the big white cumulus clouds in the eastern sky reflect the soft pinks and oranges of the setting sun behind me.

I’ve walked under dark blue-gray shelf clouds hovering low, watched distant lighting dancing to the north and prepared to run as I saw the rain coming across the fields.  What a nice break from all the pandemic politics going on to see and experience the beauty in the sky at the end of the day.

Many times a late afternoon rainbow has stretched out right in front of me, complete from end to end across the eastern sky.  There I did find the pot of gold.

Love to the moon and back. DW and I both have noted that we had never heard of so many different moons until we moved up here. But now we’ve seen them…harvest, blue, blood, super and more.  And eclipses, too.

There’s so much going on in the sky that should not be missed.  Another happy circumstance about this house is the large arched window above the front door.   When we turn off the inside lights before bed the moon glows through the glass.

The first time I saw it I thought I’d left an outside light on.  Sometimes we step out onto the front porch to take it in or look for meteors.  Such a peaceful way to end the day. Reminds us that God is in his heaven and all is well.

Evening blessing. And when I make my U-turn at the end of the driveway and start back towards the house, the sunset unfolds in front of me.  We don’t need Saharan dust to have a spectacular sunset here.

The colors deepen, then fade as I make my final laps.  Sometimes the sunset is wide and stretches back towards the south, sometimes clouds block the view but make for very interesting colors, shapes, and shadows in the sky.  The more laps I make the longer I get to enjoy as the colors fade into darkness and the stars take over.  And, I imagine that Nicholas is looking back at the sunset from the other side.  It seems a moment we get to share.   

Back to earth. The other thing we like about not having trees?  No squirrels.

Recipe of the Week

BBQ Sauce #13

Why not try another BBQ recipe?

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 medium white onion, chopped 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 clove, garlic, minced ½ teaspoon dry mustard

14 ounces ketchup ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce ¼ teaspoon (or less) Cayenne pepper

¼ cup soy sauce ¼ teaspoon hot sauce

¼ cup beer

Sauté onion and garlic in saucepan in oil until soft. Add remaining ingredients. Stir, bring to boil; simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Mop over poultry, beef or pork at end of grilling time and/or serve as a sauce on the side.  Makes 2 ½ cups. Keep leftovers in the refrigerator.