How We Eclipse


When it’s Eclipse weekend and we live in the path of totality…

…and your home parish’s feast day falls on Eclipse day…

…you go to an Eclipse party where you introduce your kids to a teeter totter (the real kind)…

Eclipse 1

…and tug of war… (they lost, if you didn’t catch that)…

Eclipse 2 tug of war

…and Mom gives herself a concussion on the slip ‘n slide. (I’m only sort of kidding about that. I went down hard and banged the back of my head on the ground but the pain was all in the front, and it was hard to focus the rest of the day.)…

Eclipse 3 slip n slide

…and merry-go-rounds. (Nicholas’ reaction: hold out a shaking hand and say, “Grandma, can you help me off?” Michael’s reaction: <giggle giggle> “That was AWESOME!”)

Eclipse 4 merry go round

A short night, spent worrying about whether it will be cloudy and we’ll see nothing at all, and my company arrives: my uncle and my cousin whom I used to babysit when I was Alex’s age.

Eclipse 5 compadres

We spend the morning putting together a picnic and then head out to the park.

Total Eclipse 14 food

And the SLR takes a bow before taking center stage:


Eclipse 7Eclipse 8

It is cloudy and getting cloudier all the time, but the sun is strong enough to overcome it. Most of the time. Still, with the glasses on sometimes it fades unexpectedly as heavier clouds drift across.

Eclipse 9 clouds

Two minutes before totality, it’s finally feeling darker. Thirty seconds out, the light becomes pale and cold, without the warm tones, almost fluorescent. And then…totality.

Eclipse 10 totality

Everyone whoops. No picture can quite capture the moment, the clarity, the wonder.

Eclipse 11 totality

Yes, the streetlights come on, and the sky around the thunderheads surrounding us is yellow. I’m fiddling with the camera, trying to catch the right setting, and then I see it: the diamond. “It’s coming, guys, it’s coming!” I shout.

Eclipse 12 diamond

…and just like that, there’s light again.

Eclipse 13 emergence

Within 5 minutes, an enormous, heavy cloud rolls over the sun, obscuring the eclipse for the next 15 minutes. “Wow, was that ever a close call,” we say. But we saw what we came for, and it was amazing. I always thought it would be cool, but not worth traveling for. Now, I understand.



8 thoughts on “How We Eclipse

  1. Mary Therese

    Nice photos! We had original plans, which got scuttled by outside events just days ago. So we made alternate plans–which as it turns out were MUCH better than the original location (which got rained/clouded out). And yes, I agree–now I understand, very much worth traveling for. So glad to know we have one in 7 years we can maybe travel to as well.

  2. Your write-up gave me goosebumps! How fortunate you were to live right in the path. We drove down to MO from MN and didn’t get the full picture but still had a great experience…until the horrendous eclipse traffic jam heading north on I-35 back home. Oy!

    • πŸ™‚ I probably won’t be a crazy eclipse chaser, but I’d consider going out of my way for the one in 2024 that’s within a day of home.

      On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 5:41 PM, Kathleen M. Basi wrote:


  3. ProfeJMarie (Janet Rundquist)

    We planned our family vacation around the ability to see totality. Absolutely worth it. You aren’t the first person I’ve seen that kind of shrugged at first about the eclipse and then flipped to “WOW”. This makes me happy. πŸ™‚

    • I wasn’t exactly shrugging, but I certainly would never have considered driving INTO a crowded location for it. In fact I spent several weeks pondering what would be the best place for me to go where I didn’t have to drive and didn’t have to mess with anyone else at all. πŸ™‚ In the end there were probably about 20 people at the neighborhood park, which turned out to be perfect. Even in our out-of-the-way corner of town we had a family from Iowa and a woman from Texas.

      On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 9:26 PM, Kathleen M. Basi wrote:


    • I know, right? That’s why I had to take pictures. Actually those were moved from my elementary school playground out to the K of C park, along with a metal slide (!), but it still blows my mind that they’re there. The kids were all having a blast on the traditional play equipment.

      On Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 11:55 AM, Kathleen M. Basi wrote:


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