If we were having coffee I’d first ask how you’ve been doing? I know that summer is winding down for many people, kids (and adults) are gearing up to head back to school. Summer vacations are coming to an end and some of us are looking forward to cooler days.
I missed our coffee last week – I was worn out preparing for the adventure of Sunday and Monday. I’d been excited for the Solar Eclipse for a while – requested the day off work a year ago – but lived just a bit outside of the totality zone. So my mom and I took a little road trip down to visit a friend of mine right in the middle of totality. Normally it’s about an hour-and-a-half to two-hour drive from my place to hers, but no one was sure just what traffic would look like, going down or coming back, so we were preparing for the worst.
The plan was to avoid the major highway altogether, taking a smaller side-road (that is a more pleasant drive anyhow). We left Sunday morning, and easily made it down in about two hours, with no real traffic to speak of. It was so much fun to get to visit with my friend and her family, hanging out and just relaxing the afternoon and evening away.
Monday, Eclipse Day, we headed outside when it was supposed to start and (using our special glasses) started looking up at the sun. Thankfully we could just watch it from their front yard because, while it was kind of cool to see a small sliver of the sun get covered, it wasn’t very exciting at the start. But we were at their house, so trips inside for bubbles, and sunscreen, and snacks, were easy enough to undertake.
It didn’t take very long for things to start getting a bit more exciting. Have you ever experienced an eclipse? Either partial or total? It was pretty fun to watch the world around us changing – not only did the sun look cool with the moon moving in front of it, but the light was also shifting and changing around us.
I love those moments when the light does spectacular things, when the colors around me shift, becoming more vivid, or muted, or generally different from “the norm.” It always makes me feel like I’m in a magical setting of some form, as though spirits or ghosts or mystical creatures could wander around the corner at any moment. The Eclipse gave that kind of light and it made me happy. Looking around in awe, as bubbles were flying far over head, it was beautiful.
And then we came to totality. I know that many have said that it’s hard to describe, the kind of thing you really have to experience to understand, and I’m just going to stick with that. When we reached totality we were able to take off our glasses and what we saw… it really was spectacular. A unique experience that I’m so glad I got to be a part of — and one I’m going to seek out again (2024, Vermont, Upstate New York or Maine, I’ve got my eye on you)! I tried to take some pictures (and figured out FAR too late that I could actually get eclipse pictures in the reflection of the camera if I didn’t use the eclipse-glasses as a filter… sigh), but none of them turned out very well and I really was trying to focus primarily on being in the moment and enjoying what I could see. It seemed a better idea than trying to fiddle with camera settings.
After the awesomeness we headed home. As I had expected, the return trip took a bit longer – but I rerouted us so that we avoided all the main roads, and therefore avoided all the traffic! It just took us three hours to get home – and judging by the traffic that I could see when we passed by the main roads (and the deep red on Google-Maps) I think we probably saved ourselves a few hours by avoiding main roads. Plus, it meant some fun gravel-road driving and getting to encounter interesting street names, like Hook and Eye Lane!
The rest of the week wasn’t terribly exciting, and this weekend doesn’t hold much in store for me. I’m trying to move myself into some good habits – more writing and things like that – but it’s slow going. I’ll keep working at it thought, because I know my life is better when I’m writing.
Do you have any exciting weekend plans?