Monday, August 07, 2006
Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire!
At the tail end of 1994, not-yet-Mr. OmegaMom arrived in the Bay Area to load all my worldly goods (except those that had been languishing in a storage rental in Prescott, Arizona, for many years) into a moving van. The idea was to trek from the beee-you-tiful Bay Area to the booo-ring Lubbock area, with a stop in Prescott to visit the 'rents. I was nervous as hell. I had never "taken a guy home" to meet my parents. Oh, they'd met some of my previous boyfriends, but this was An Event. And then there was the Lubbock situation. Not-yet-Mr. OmegaMom was getting a graduate degree at Texas Tech; he had an assistanceship; we were going to be there another year and a half, at least. I had visited him there around Labor Day, and to say I was unimpressed with Lubbock is putting it mildly. And here I was, tossing away my old life to follow my One And Only True Love, whom I had only known for 11 months. We left in the afternoon of the 24th of December. He was driving the U-Haul, with me following in the Trusty Justy (which we still have; we think the TJ will only stop running when it rusts completely through). We headed east from San Leandro, wandered through Altamont Pass, and turned south on I-5. As the wont on I-5, we drove...and drove...and drove. It got dark. We played follow-the-leader down the highway, and the dusk turned to true night. And in our separate cars, as we were driving along, just about ready for a dinner break, we saw it. The most astounding, gorgeous, breathtaking fireball flew over our heads, heading south, breaking apart and spitting out chunks to fall to the ground behind it. When we got to the rest stop, getting out of the car and U-Haul, our first words--in chorus--were, "OHMYGOD, did you see that?! Wasn't it amazing?!" We took it as an omen of sorts, and headed eastward across the Mojave Desert in good spirits. We spent the night in Needles, and my darling hubby-to-be made sure to get a copy of the local newspaper so we could cut out the poster-sized Christmas tree on the backpage and tape it to the TV for Christmas Eve. All went well: We visited the parents, we made it to Lubbock, we settled in, and here we are eleven and a half years later. Last night, Mr. OmegaMom, driving back from the convenience store, saw another fireball. He says it was brighter than the moon. He spent the rest of the night in a daze of humorous science fiction references, muttering about "Armageddon!", claiming to be "Zero of None", and chortling about the end of the world. We tried to find any news reports about our fireball. We found a news report about a fireball the night before, in Austin, Texas, complete with video. We didn't find any reports of "our" fireball, though. We did find The International Meteor Organization, though, and a form to report fireball sightings. The data they have for download on fireball sightings only goes through the first half of the year; check back in six months, and you might find our fireball sighting in the database! In the meantime, I think I'll take it as another good omen.