My Mother’s Day

My mother taught me to read when I was so young that I do not have a active memory of it. My memory device (I think it is referred to in medical texts as a “brain”) started to record life when I was two-and-a-half, and in my recollections of moments spent with my mom and with books, I am an active participant in the task at hand: our endless laughter at the very idea of eating green eggs and ham (the “and ham” was my favorite part), our (re-)discovery of the Cat in the Hat’s many hijinks.

Mother’s Day, the annual holiday, is one whose date I annually forget. It is perhaps because it is celebrated on different dates in different nations and I have online friends in some of those different nations that “Happy Mother’s Day” Facebook posts make a weekly appearance in the spring. I think that I have sent my own (American) mom a Happy Mother’s Day note twice in one year thanks to this phenomenon.

Today is not Mother’s Day; it is my mom’s birthday, my own Mother’s Day.
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Something’s in the Way

“You will remember nights like this,” Mom would say with a smile.

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For those aware that there is a thing called the sky, every so often those of us located on the continental United States are given the sight of a full lunar eclipse during a full moon. This last happened one year ago last September. It was not only a lunar eclipse during a full moon, but it was a “supermoon,” as online newspaper headline writers insisted.

The Moon’s orbit around the Earth is not a perfect circle; it varies from 221,000 miles away to just over 252,000 miles away. Last night, it was at perigee, or its closest point in its orbit, and that coincided with the full moon. Thus, the full moon last September looked enormous: 14% larger than the average full moon and many times brighter than average. And then the Earth’s shadow took it away in an eclipse, because that’s what the Earth does.
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