Steve and I were invited to join my brother John and wife Liz, who live in the path of totality, near Nashville, Tennessee. We debated it, and Steve encouraged the trip. “This is what retired people are supposed to do—just take off to special things like this!” So we did.
Wow! Seeing the moon slowly take those bites out of the sun was amazing. For some reason, I’d expected it to be directly from right to left, but from where we were watching, the moon started across from about a one o’clock position. That first little bite was so exciting! We watched every few minutes until finally the sun was a sliver like a crescent moon. That sweet little moon eating up that big, hot sun was astonishing.
During that time, we went with John and Liz to Memorial Park in Hendersonville, where a couple of city councilmen were sponsoring a get-together. We had hot dogs, chips, water, eclipse cupcakes, and popsicles, but the best part was sharing our watching with the others.
I saw cars from 12 states and was told that visitors from Italy and Denmark were also there. It seems folks had looked online to see where to go and found out about this locally sponsored event. Lots of fun. They supplied glasses and a great poster about it. Many people wanted to know where we got our shirts.
Back at John’s, he and seven others got on a pontoon boat to watch from Old Hickory Lake, where their house is. We could see them on the lake, but I preferred to watch from the yard. My picture-taking failed, but great ones are everywhere.
Mainly I like to focus on the picture in my mind—that lovely corona of light around that bold moon that dared to cross the path of that big old sun.
I can think of all kinds of analogies about still shining for the Son of God even when clouded by darkness, but I won’t. I’ll just tell, as Paul Harvey used to say, “…the rest of the story.”
We left soon and took familiar back roads to get to I-65 about 30 miles north of Nashville. Several miles were on Highway 31-W, an area where I grew up. Ever since the interstate highway was built, 31-W, which parallels it, is just a local road, used by those who live nearby. But Monday! Oh, my! Traffic was bumper to bumper winding toward I-65. Took us an hour to drive that eight miles to the next interstate access, and then a state trooper wouldn’t let us get on there. We drove a few more miles to the next one.
We stopped for gas, restrooms, and snacks, and easily got on I-65. From then on, traffic was stopped or moving about 7 mph the rest of the trip. I called the Kentucky State Police and the lady there said that “every road in Kentucky is clogged, ma’am. Even the secondary roads are at a standstill.” So we stuck to our usual route: I-65 to Louisville, I-71 to Cincinnati. As we passed under or over secondary roads, we could see the cars packed in, unmoving.
Finally we were home. We made our usual 4-5 hour trip in 10 hours, 45 minutes, arriving home at 1:45 a.m.
During the day and in the car, we avoided good nutrition at all costs: granola bar, banana, Krystal Sunrisers, sausage-biscuits, and waffled potatoes, donuts, chips and salsa, mimosas, hot dogs, chips, cupcake, popsicle, apple, cherries, Cheetos, nuts, Triscuit Thins, Werther’s caramel hard candies, and various soft drinks, juices, and water. Nary a vegetable in sight. (The deep-fried potatoes from Krystal definitely don’t count.) But do notice—fruit (apple, banana, cherries) and protein (sausage, hot dogs, and nuts.) Not a day to make my mama’s heart proud on the food front, but we were in survival mode and it worked.
Our trip was great because the eclipse was an amazing manifestation of God’s greatness and power and creativity. We are not letting our lengthy trip eclipse The Eclipse. How could a bunch of people in cars ever beat out God’s big show?