Dec. 28, 2016, 4 p.m.
I received a nice telescope from my father-in-law for Christmas this year. Having seen planets through a powerful telescope before, and knowing how beautiful they can look when compared with looking at them through binoculars, I was naturally interested in seeing what the planets looked like under high magnification. The previous few nights had been too cloudy, but right after sunset last night the sky was clear and Venus was there shining brightly in the Southwestern sky. I hurried into the garage, took out the telescope, and set it up on the lawn.
Just then Emily came out. I pointed out Venus, which was, she agreed, quite bright and well-defined that evening. Now my in-laws live on the coast of New Hampshire, and lobsters are a common food that sells per-pound cheaper than beef. Earlier that day I had bought two lobsters and we had already shelled them and prepared the meat for lobster rolls. As we were both hungry, Emily convinced me that we should first eat the lobster rolls and then take a look at Venus. After her insistence, I capitulated and went inside to eat the lobster rolls.
When we came back outside ten minutes later, the edge of a large cloud was just starting to loom in front of Venus. And the clouds kept on coming. I waited outside for hours to see a planet, if not Venus, then perhaps Mars. Neither did make it out from behind those clouds again that evening.
As much as you may want it to, nature won't accommodate your schedule. It just moves on--if you want to see something special you have to take advantage of it the minute it appears and not a moment too late.