The last couple of months on the job have been rather strenuous. I'm an old school mainframe COBOL DB2 EDI programmer. Not many of us left. Oracle is the wave toward the future...so they say, but when a company has virtually all of their old legacy systems written in COBOL, well they gotta keep some of us old school guys around to maintain it until it can all be converted over to Oracle. It's big job for those involved and there are times when it becomes almost overwhelming, like recently. Our staff has been depleted to the point where in our EDI group two programmers are now supporting the work that six, actually seven, programmers at one time supported, but the work load has not let up, in fact it has increased. The stress levels have been sky high, and for old timers like myself, it takes a toll. I just don't handle it as well as I did when I was younger and as a consequence, I need an escape from time to time.
My neighbor, who also works where I do, has been dropping by once a week for some porch sitting time to chill out and allow some of the stress of the week to simmer down. This evening we continued in that endeavor spending time well into the evening chatting about past experiences. As he was about to leave we spent some time looking up at the clear evening sky. The Milky Way haze stretched like a silver ribbon straight overhead, and stars shined like diamonds. After a few minutes of discussing some of the natural night sky sights, he went on his way but I stood there a few more moments gazing up at the heavens and realized it had been a while since I last tried to photograph the night sky. I gathered my camera and tripod and headed over to Sledge Road, about a quarter mile away and spent about thirty minutes capturing an old house against the royal ribbon of the Milky Way. Just what the doctor ordered...my stress level went way down...at least for now.
Sometimes we need an escape, and the night sky offers a unique way to leave behind all the stuff of life that gets us down...simply by looking up.