Life changing move!
Last summer I was contacted by the search committee of a Baptist Church in Lexington, MO. We had not even moved into our rental house in Alamogordo, NM yet. The committee wanted to know if I would be interested in being considered for the position of senior pastor. After a few moments of shock (remember I had just retired from full time ministry…I thought!) I told them we would be interested. After telling Lisa (my wife) we promptly let it move into the backs of our minds. By September, however, they continued to stay in contact and after a visit in December over winter break it was mutually decided that we would come back in January and preach “in view of a call.” So on January 22, 2017 Lisa and I flew to Kansas City where we were picked up and taken to Lexington, MO. The following week the church unanimously called me to come as senior pastor.
This is a great move professionally! Not so good for astronomy! There is a great deal of light pollution from nearby Kansas City and since there is a lot more humidity and haze than in New Mexico, most nights are not ideal for observing, even if they are clear. It doesn’t really matter though! We have only had 2 clear nights in 3 weeks of living here! There is a prediction that the next 8 days will feature clouds and rain.
Somewhere in the next month or so an observatory will be built. Right now we are settling in and getting the “routine” of my new position. This has taken most of our free time so little has been left for building a new observatory. Since I have a insulated solar cover for the 11″ I may just set it up in the backyard and cover it. The cover can go over the scope even when it is in the parked position. The trick of that methodology is getting it strapped down so that the wind doesn’t blow it to St. Louis!
We are talking about hosting a party for the coming solar eclipse. The mid line runs through the edge of Lexington and we will be in an almost ideal place for this coming event. My plan is to use my AR102, Sirius mount and the ZWO120C camera to produce live images on a computer leading up to the event as well as taking time sequenced images of the eclipse. Sometime this summer I will take out a day and do a dry run to test all of the equipment.
I will blog again when the scope is set up or something else astronomical actually happens.