In The Path Of History

Sky will be darkened by the moon eclipsing the sun


Tomorrow there will be a total eclipse of the sun in my backyard. Well, not really total, but 99.97%. That’s about as total as one can get. It’s also not in my backyard backyard, but scuttling across the horizon of my home town.


I’ve heard that Greenville, SC will be clogged with tourists. Every hotel room is sold out. Scalpers are selling the special glasses for exorbitant amounts of money. Roads are expected to be jammed. Some of those paying attention to the calendar took the day off to avoid the traffic and have an eclipse party instead of going to work. Also paying attention to the calendar, school officials postponed starting classes until the day after the eclipse.

One of the perks of retirement is I can be home, regardless, to watch the event. I already bought my glasses at a reasonable price. The fridge is stocked with what I think will be the makings of an eclipse drink — lemonade and pomegranate juice. A menu of cold salads for that hot day ends with moon pies for dessert. One of my grandchildren is already safely ensconced at my house and other relatives arrived late yesterday.

Though this is a rare event, NASA predicts another total eclipse crossing the US in 2024. So, if you are not in the path of this total eclipse of the sun, you may have a chance at it in the future. You can start planning your party now for 2024. After looking at past eclipse dates on the NASA site, it appears there is one every few years somewhere in the world.

I remember watching an eclipse with my mother as a child in New Jersey. There was no big hubbub that I can remember. I don’t even recall other people around us although there could have been other family and neighbors. At the time, I didn’t understand what a big event it was, so my memory of the eclipse is not very vivid. I do remember my mother being excited in the same way she was when she hauled me out of bed on a cold winter night to see the Aurora Borealis or northern lights.

Natural phenomena is always a draw for us humans. Party or no party, if you are in the path of the solar eclipse tomorrow, take a moment to watch it. Be sure you have glasses or use the pin hole method — guard your eyes. The 99.97% is expected to be a mere 2 minutes plus in my backyard. I wouldn’t miss it. Seeing it once is a once in a lifetime. Seeing it twice is a real bit of luck. Moon pies anyone?


9 comments on “In The Path Of History

  1. In Columbia, MO we’re ready to celebrate and are hoping for clear skies. I’m a teacher and our school has our safety glasses, parent permission slips, t-shirts printed, and we’e ready to make it a fun and educational day. A lot of area districts cancelled school, but we’re taking the opposite approach. Hope all goes well and we make it a memorable experience for the kids.

    P.S. Thanks for your garden step specifics. I definitely want to attempt them to change my slope to steps.


  2. Hi Kathy – We are in Oregon and live in that 99% area also. When we attended a presentation about this eclipse, we were encouraged to drive the 22 miles north on Monday morning to see the Total. That it would be a “life changing experience”. We are making our plans now. We may be viewing this eclipse from a two-lane country road at 10 in the morning. With hundreds of our best friends.



    • You are braver than I am! I thought about going to the Blue Ridge Parkway as the views are spectacular at any time, but it is supposed to be filled with viewers. I decided to just stay home and enjoy the 99.97% from here. K


  3. Dear Kathy,
    I am a retiree and an occasional responder to your blogs which I enjoy heaps. I don’t know if your rules allow this sort of thing but I will send it to you anyway and you will do what’s right.
    I am working on producing an eBook that will help retirees to improve their financial situations and their lifestyles.
    Would anyone be willing to help with my research by answering these two questions?
    1. What is your biggest frustration right now?
    2. What stands between you and a happier retirement right now?
    Send your responses to Graham,

    All the best, thanks again,


  4. I’m staying home to partake of my 91%…and watching on-line the total. I’m not sure the crowds are worth it & really don’t believe the hype of “life changing experience”. Maybe I’ll be wrong… it is a cool phenomenon to see.


  5. I’m glad to have you confirm my memory of a total eclipse in the northeast when we were children. I also don’t remember much about it, except that we made eclipse glasses from photographic negatives. (It was my father who hauled me out of bed to see the northern lights. 🙂 )


Comments are closed.