Wednesday, January 18, 2006


When I was a around ten years old, one of the favorite things I had was a telescope. It was loads of fun.

You see, around that time was when the moon landing occurred. I was a big fan of the space program. Although I don't remember the Mercury program, I remember watching the Gemini launches (or holds). And I remember Project Apollo.

And having a telescope was something that allowed me to see space up close. Sort of.

It was a 200 power telescope, although I never used that power. At 200x it inverted the image. And I never could get used to seeing things upside down. And having to go left to see right. At least, that's how it seemed to me. So, I always used 100x lenses.

I'm not, and never was, an expert in telescopes or optics or anything. But I enjoyed my telescope.

I would sometimes point it at the pecan trees in the field near the house. I could see the leaves so clearly. And, since that was shortly after I first needed glasses, I wasn't used to seeing things clearly. So that was a treat for me.

Sometimes, I'd take the telescope out to the road and point it towards town. Standing beside the road, it was a straight shot of a little over a mile to the city limits of a town of 9,091. I couldn't tell much about it. I could tell the cars reached the fork in the road when most cars went to the right and downtown and most trucks went to the left for thru traffic.

But what I really liked was using the telescope at night. I'd point the telescope towards the moon. And I'd see the craters and the "oceans" and that was cool. Tycho crater was quite a sight with its rays spreading out over the lower section of the moon.

I really enjoyed my telescope, for as long a time as anything I had as a child. And I have wanted one since then.

Until last year. Actually, Christmas 2004. Yes, nearly 13 months ago.

The Wife gave me a telescope for Christmas that year. And it's something that has really meant a lot to me.

But here's the thing. I haven't used it. For a couple of reasons, actually.

One is that I'm actually afraid I wouldn't enjoy it. It was really great when I was around ten years old. But I'm pushing fifty now. And I'm scared it wouldn't be the same.

Another reason is that, well, as a ten year old, I seemed to have more time. Heck, I hardly ever did homework. Oh, I had homework. I just hardly ever did it. So, I had time.

And while I did wear glasses, being near-sighted, I was able to see things up close. I never really needed glasses for reading. Books. I needed glasses to see the chalkboard in school. But not to read a book. Or to use a telescope.

Today, I can't do anything without my glasses. Well, I can't do lots of things without my glasses, let's put it that way. But I can't read without them. I don't know how I'd do with a telescope.

But, just because I haven't used the new telescope doesn't mean I don't like the telescope. I do. I really do.

The Wife doesn't think I do though. And that's unfair to her.

I need to get off my butt and take a chance at actually using the telescope. There's a full moon. Well, we're about five days past the full moon. But still, there's a lot of moon to see.

And I want to grab that enjoyment of those days again. And maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to share them with the grandchildren.

Now there's a reason to do it, if there ever was one.

1 comment:

  1. I bought one about three years ago - my first. I used it quite a few times at first, but it's hard to get time now.

    I find that, after learning the locations of the various planets, constellations and galaxies, I actually prefer looking through binoculars most of the time now, because you get more of the 'big picture', like seeing constellations close up, but not so close that you only see one star.

    Bummer is that the area I live in is very light-polluted. I can'r see nearly as many stars as I'd like to.


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