Rocket Science

Another slow start to the day here on the front porch. Mrs. 20 Prospect worked night shift last night, so I got a later start than usual, which allowed me time to sip a cup of coffee and watch the world wake up. The air outside has been like wet flannel, so I confess I spent my time on the comfy chair in the living room, instead of the rocker on the porch. Sorry, but my delicate constitution just can’t take the heat. Maggie the Wonderdog, and the Indomitable Moxie kept me company as they looked out the window waiting for Mrs. 20 P. to come home.

Is she home yet? Is she home yet? Is she home yet?

It was a long hot weekend, with not much to do. Probably the last of the lazy summer weekends before school is upon us. 20 Prospect Jr. and I spent the weekend building model rockets. On Sunday evening, we took them over to the ball fields and launched them into the air. I think me and Mrs. 20 Prospect enjoyed it as much as the kids. There’s just something thrilling about the sound they make as they FZZZTTTT!!!! off into the blue beyond.

20 P. Jr. readies the rocket for launch, while Lil' Miss 20 P. checks the horizon downrange for targets

The locusts are in full song, and at night the crickets drown out the noise of the highway. All signs point to the end of summer. On Friday night, the annual hatch of the Cul-de-sac flies took place. I have no idea what type of bugs they are, but every year at the very end of summer they hatch, crawl up out of the lawn in swarms, and take flight. The Cul-de-sac in front of the house looked like a snow globe, so thick were the bugs. By the next day they are gone. Disappeared for another year.

It’s a silly thing, but in some way the annual arrival of those bugs makes me feel tied to this place. 15 years now we have lived in this house, tended this yard, and carved out our little place in this world. As far as I know, I am the only person that has ever noticed these bugs and recognized their annual appearance. What purpose do they serve? Where do they fit into the grand ecosystem of life, and why do they only appear one day each year? Sleeping the whole year, waiting to crawl out from under the familiar green of our lawn, launch themselves skyward, then to fall back to earth. Another bright flash of life streaking across the fleeting sky. Some mornings I wonder if we are any different.


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