"stars" to me has always meant ten or so, a dozen or more on a good night. you live for years in the middle of houston, texas and between the light pollution and the smog, there's not a hell of a lot to see in the night sky. the moon, a few stray airplanes, lots of cloud/smoggish things, random radio towers, and a smattering of stars. that's it.

i mean, i've seen a true night sky a couple times, on excursions to big bend and such. but it's so few and far between i almost forget.

up here it's better, but there's still a lot of light generated by a campus this large.

on a road trip though... six of us were going to a friend's house, in the country, couple hours off campus. we arrived late in the evening, 9 pm or so. i step out of the too-small car, shiver at the sudden cold, and look up. there's a moment of quiet, and then a sudden exclamation of "DAMN! you can see STARS!!" as i viewed the milky way stretch its majestic self across the sky.

the rest, knowing me as the city girl i am, just laughed quietly and tugged me inside to the warmth.