03-17-18 – Jessica Scott

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


What were you doing during the "Eclipse of the Century" yesterday? 

For people like us who live in the band of totality (where 100% of the sun gets blocked by the moon), the solar eclipse has been a Big Deal - something we've prepared to observe and celebrate for over a year! Which explains why I totally spaced off my blog post being due today. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!) 

We had 16 people at our house, eclipse glasses in hand, ready to be awed! We live on a small acreage near Molalla, Oregon, ideal for eclipse viewing. My son and his family of six came over Sunday to avoid traffic jams. We grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, visited, and played a board game with the older kids involving intricate rules and special dice. A good time was had by all!

About 11pm Son and family spread blankets on the lawn, turned out all lights, and watched the Perseid meteor shower for an hour. Knowing we had to get up early to have breakfast and set up lawn chairs in the morning, my husband and I went to bed.

In the morning, Son and Wife set up lawn chairs - a few on the deck for us older folks and a bunch on the lawn where the sun shone on a larger area. They dragged the kids out of bed and fed them a quick breakfast of toaster waffles, then gave them blankets to wrap up in and sent them to the chairs, each with a pair of eclipse glasses and a warning not to look at the sun without their glasses.

I ate pb and j in the car on my way to pick up a friend who lives alone and doesn't drive. She's legally blind, but has some sight. Besides, in the band of totality you experience the sun's disappearance with all your senses. And who doesn't like a party?

Even out here in the sticks, traffic was almost bumper-to-bumper. plus there were groups of bicyclists under the illusion that Hwy. 211 has adequate bike lanes. Luckily, everyone was cautious and courteous and the short trip only took an extra 15 min.

Back home, we served Eclipse Cookies my granddaughter had made, coffee and soft drinks. We all periodically checked the eclipse's progress through our protective glasses. Some people listened to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" coordinated with the eclipse progress. We noticed the light dimming, birds quieting and the temperature dropping as we neared Totality.

And then, a few precious, magical moments of Pure Awe!

We took off our glasses and looked at the dark moon with the sun's corona flaring around the edges. The sky turned dark blue and a few stars peeked through what was left of the sun's powerful light. The birds and animals were silent. The air was chill without the sun's energy to warm it. The sky on the horizon turned a beautiful pale orange.

I thought about how much we take the sun for granted, and how easily we forget it's power. And I offered up a prayer of thanks for all the good things in my life.

~ Sarah Raplee

What were you doing during the "Eclipse of the Century"?


Judith Ashley said...

Being in the realm of Totality for the Solar Eclipse was an amazing experience! I was just outside and decided to watch it on the NASA live stream. They crashed a couple of times but I also had it on The Weather Channel and my local Channel 8. Watched the eclipse travel across the US with only a few interruptions. And then watched it from the ISS - not at all what I expected! An exceptionally "awesome-sauce" experience (awesome-sauce was used by Mission Control so I know it applies to the experience).

Sarah Raplee said...

Definitely Awesome-sauce, Judith! Media coverage was outstanding.

Maggie Lynch said...

Went to Salem to share the experience with family. It was so much more than I expected. Honestly, I was all for staying in Portland at 99% but my husband convinced me we had to go to where it would be totality and I am sooooo glad we did. The moment of totality, the darkness, the drop in temperature, the corona, the Bailey's beads, the moment it came out and it shown like a star--it was beyond amazing. The glory of the heavens revealed and I appreciated not only that moment but all the moments that must have happened for people from ancient times to today. I am feeling so blessed that I could experience this in my lifetime.

Sarah Raplee said...

I'm with you on that 100%, Maggie! What a gift!

Deb Noone said...

WOW - I thought of all of you as I watched OR and 5 other locations throughout the day on the weather channel from Maine, where we reached a little over 50% partial (enough to see crescents form from shadows cast through the holes of my colander. What an experience - thanks for sharing your day, Sarah!