My childhood and youth were spent during the 60's and 70's. Life was much simpler then. Sure, I had my share of chores to do, along with my two brothers, but much of that time was idyllic in a way which can only be appreciated from a nostalgic point of view and the passing of 5 decades. Days were passed playing baseball, designing Barbie's wardrobe and spending hours at the township swimming pool. There were no computers, video games or cell phones- your own creativity was everything.
Evenings were special family times. Often, my family members and I would stretch out flat on our backs on a summer night as dusk gave way to night and just stare up at the sky- a sky much darker than today's could ever be- and see who could be the first to pick out the Big Dipper, Orion and other constellations. Although we had lounge chairs, I preferred the coolness of the grass caressing my usually sunburned back for my viewing. Each star popping out in the ever darkening sky caused a growing excitement. Background music was the noise of crickets and song birds bedding down for the night. What peaceful and pleasurable moments!
This was my introduction to astronomy and my most memorable moment. These times served as a foundation for further interest in a hobby I love, but the greater gift was a shared moment with my family; a time in my life that has wafted into the past, existing only in my memory. Mostly my nostalgic longing to relive those times has come with growing older, but perhaps the urge to return to carefree times is tied to a past where technology took a back seat to everyday life.
Ironically, my age has brought with it the ability to enjoy my hobby in new and different ways, albeit with all the technology I sometimes resent. My husband and I are now a two-telescope family. Our curiosity to do more than observe has segued into astro-photography, necessitating a growing supply of equipment that could outfit a small observatory. I've found though that despite the complexity of the set-up or the means by which I star gaze, I am creating future nostalgic moments from doing something I love with someone I love. What could be better than that?