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Once in a lifetime

I just had an experience of a lifetime!

For the past few weeks, we’ve been reading about a recently discovered comet that would fly by the earth, and, if looking in the correct area of the sky, one could see it.

What really makes it interesting is the fact the comet only comes by the earth about every 6,700 years! Well, it seems that, if one could see it, you would have a once in a lifetime experience. So, I did some research and began to seek Neowise, the comet’s name, in the night sky.

The research informed me to find the Big Dipper and look below it. Now, if the sky deities would cooperate, I was ready.

Naturally, the sky was cloudy the first few nights and, although nice to see the early night sky, the comet was not viewable. Continuing our nightly search became a habit and since it had been awhile since I went to bed so late, my sleep routine was becoming upset.

But, we forged on and kept looking because, you know, it would be a once in a lifetime experience. I don’t think I’ll be around 6,700 years from now!

As I waited for the comet to appear, I began to think about what other once in a lifetime experiences I’d encountered. Here’s a partial list:

• Seeing Sputnik as it appeared in the night sky in 1957.

• That almost terrifying first day of college classes.

• Entering the Navy and not knowing what the heck was happening.

• Seeing a new person and having that new, strange feeling called love.

• Holding our first born child for the first time.

• Tasting a German Reisling wine for the first time.

• Tasting a French Burgundy for the first time.

• Tasting an Italian Pinot Grigio for the first time.

• Tasting a Minnesota Marquette wine for the first time.

Okay, I better quit there because the list will get rather long but I think you get the idea. So, I ask you. Think back on your once in a lifetime experiences and physically or mentally make a list. Something tells me you would be surprised how long your list will grow.

But, back to Neowise. Our window of opportunity was closing because the comet would only be viewable for the next few days. Come on, clouds, be kind to us!

And it happened!

Last night, the clouds were sparse, the constellations could be seen and we waited, waited and waited. Our reading told us the comet would be hard to see — fuzzy looking and the sky is rather large even if you restrict yourself to one region of it.

Then, there it was! A fuzzy light a bit under the Big Dipper — amazing! Neowise is about 37 million miles away from us and we can see it! Awesome — a once in a lifetime experience.

We had barely returned home when our phones went wild with messages from two of our sons. They were seeing the comet at the same time we were seeing it. How’s that for a family once in a lifetime experience?

I guess we’ll never forget seeing Neowise. Just like as a young boy when I was walking through Farm Fest with my mother and grandmother and grandma’s bloomers fell to the ground! Some things are not only a once in a lifetime experience but, also, unforgettable!

As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon!

Cheers!

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