There are three kinds of people in this world — those who are good with numbers, and those who aren’t. I’m glad the ones who are good with numbers decided to figure out when to expect solar eclipses. It was kind of them to let the …
There are three kinds of people in this world — those who are good with numbers, and those who aren’t. I’m glad the ones who are good with numbers decided to figure out when to expect solar eclipses. It was kind of them to let the “numerically challenged” folks know when to buy solar eclipse glasses.
We’ve been reading about the eclipse for months. Jilda and I both marked the date on our calendars back in January in pen. An entry in pen on our calendar is as good as a handshake. Back in early August, I searched for the best source for solar eclipse glasses. I ordered 10 pairs from Amazon. The glasses were slow to ship, but Amazon has never let me down so I didn’t fret. During the days leading up to the celestial event, news outlets reported a run on eclipse glasses. Many sources ran out. I just smiled because I’d been clever enough to order mine in plenty of time. Typically, Amazon guarantees shipment delivery within two working days, but this order didn’t make that promise. It took almost two weeks. Anxiety built.
Finally, UPS delivered the package. I reported to my great nephew Jordan that the viewing party was ON. He did a happy eclipse dance.
Then, the next morning I got an email from Amazon saying the glasses weren’t certified. They instructed me to dispose of them. They stated they would refund my money. WHAT?????
I whined about it on Facebook. A lot of people told me where to get the glasses, but every place I tried said they were out. I was desperate because this was Jordan’s first opportunity to see a solar eclipse. He was depending on me to get the glasses.
A friend who graduated with me in 1968 saw my Facebook post and volunteered to send two pairs overnight. Like me, she’d purchased several pairs, but hers were from a good batch. True to her word, the FedEx guy delivered the glasses the next day.
On eclipse day, I checked Jordan out of school at 11 a.m., and we headed toward the farm. Jilda whipped up eclipse chicken and a sun baked potato. She actually baked it in the oven, but we had a theme going. We washed it down with solar Kool-Aid. If I’d been clever, we would have had Moon Pies for dessert, but that was an afterthought and it didn’t happen.
When the moon began taking its first bite from the sun, we strapped on our eclipse glasses and watched for a few seconds. Then we proceeded to construct a pinhole device to view the event another way. One of the weather channels reported that a colander bowl would work. We couldn’t make that look as good so we watched the eclipse progress on the old pinhole device.
As the time approached, Jordan, his grandpa, Jilda and I stood out on the porch and observed the quality of light. It looked almost as if the Good Lord put a dimmer switch on the sun.
We heard crickets chirping like they do late in the evenings. The chickens in our back yard began heading toward their roost. Domino, the rooster, began to crow, signaling that it was nearing bedtime. For a brief time, we enjoyed a respite from the crazy world around us. We stood silently looking up in awe.
Rick Watson is a columnist and author. His latest book “Life Goes On” is available on Amazon.com. You can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org