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?