Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I can see clearly now...

Nine years ago I went in for a routine eye exam and came out with a very mild prescription (+0.50 in one eye and +0.25 in the other...). They said I had very good vision, but with a slight astigmatism, and that it would probably get in the way for when I was trying to see details on things, like reading or computer work.
Initially I didn't even get the glasses made, but then I thought of my coming quarter of school (three English classes plus working as a seamstress) and decided to go ahead and get them. I picked out some slender, silver, wire-framed glasses with a "preppy" look that were as invisible as possible on my face. Sure enough, when I spent consecutive hours doing close work, I felt eye strain and the glasses really helped.

Once I was out of school, I put the glasses in their case, and rarely used them. Occasionally (when I was tired, or working at something for many hours) I'd get them out. After several years of marriage my husband came home and saw me with the glasses and stopped dead in his tracks "You have glasses?!" Mmmm, yep, got them before we even met... but that just goes to show how rarely I wore them!

Fast-forward to a few months ago when I started grad school. Textbooks and lots of papers to write led me to get out my glasses on a regular basis. And I started to notice that I needed them, not just that they helped, but that I actually couldn't read or work at the computer very well without them. I noticed that captions on movies were fuzzy, I couldn't read them from across the room. (It's a big shift from the 20/15 vision I had at 10 years old.) Wolf has braces, so every couple of months Hubby or I needs to take him into Anchorage for his next appointment. Last week was my [first] turn, and so I made an eye appointment while I was in town. When we got into town the first night, we got into the rental car and I went to pull out of the parking lot and realized I couldn't read the signs and thought "whoa, I need my glasses for driving!" so I stopped and put them on. The next morning, on the way to the appointment, I grabbed my glasses, but promptly had to stop and take them off because my depth perception was all funky with them on.

The doctor did the exam and said "well, you're farsighted with an astigmatism, so you'll probably notice most when you're looking at close range, such as reading, or when there is glare, such as a computer screen or driving at night." Oh my, this guy was good. "And if you try to wear them just walking around the house, you'll probably stumble because it'll throw off your depth perception."
I guess I wasn't crazy after all.

So I have new glasses. My prescription is up just a smidge (now +0.50 in both eyes), and this time I got hefty plastic frames with no nose pieces and scratch-resistance, so they're a little more practical for someone who routinely has children climbing on her...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lights in the Darkness

Winter in the arctic is long and dark. Actually we are coming out of it now (only a couple of weeks left until equinox), but in exchange, we get something that you in lighter parts of the world do not:

The Aurora

in spite of the variety of colors I see in other photos, ours here are pretty much just green

but I did take these photos from my living room
unfortunately the video I froze my tooshie off to get just shows darkness...
with a lot of me whispering "they're so bright!"

There is actually another thing that lights up the dark days:

and they're even multi-colored!

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