By now, you have probably heard every possible story about the “Great American Eclipse of 2017”; but not mine! We were parked about 20 miles outside the line of totality and felt that we just HAD to drive down to experience the eclipse in totality. We were parked in Greenwood, Nebraska at Pine Grove RV Park, just off I-80, and in-between Lincoln & Omaha.
So, about 9:00 AM on Monday, August 21, we drove into the little town of Waverly to have breakfast at Honey Creek restaurant. After a filling breakfast, we set our sights south and started driving. I followed a line of cars down a country highway until we came to a gravel road with a Lutheran church sign pointing east. I turned onto that little road, bumped about a mile and then came to South 162nd Street (out in the middle of nowhere and that’s the best name they could come up with?), turned and drove south another bumpy mile before pulling into the parking lot at Trinity Lutheran Church at 10:45. No one else was there, except the lovely old cemetery souls behind the church.
I parked the car for the best angle at the sun, opened the sunroof, laid our seats back, and tried out the eclipse glasses……
It was fun to just sit there, windows down, wind blowing steadily, talking and waiting. About noon, we started to notice a change along the edge of the sun…..just like a little notch on the western edge…….another car pulled into the parking lot, a mom and three teenaged daughters. They got out folding chairs, a small cooler, put on their eclipse glasses, and waited. The girls decided they would throw frisbee around while they waited; the only sound now was a few birds and shrieking girls. A look up showed that more of the sun was notched out now, but you really could not tell that something big was about to happen. A third car pulled up and parked behind us, a man got out, leaned on the hood and donned his eclipse glasses and looked up. By 12:56, the sun was now a definite crescent shape and we all kept our eyes toward the sky.
At precisely 13:03, the moon completely passed in front of the sun. And the clouds tried to cover it, drat!!!! But, noticeably, the birds had stopped singing (as well as the teenagers!)…….and the earth, though not dark as night, was definitely darker.
All too soon, it was over……..the sun returned to it’s shiny self, the new moon was invisible in the sky. But, we had witnessed a Total Solar Eclipse! It was not a life-changing moment; I think those are reserved for the birth of a child or something that certainly marks a moment in time that was not the same the moment before. But this moment was such an unbelievable experience, it made me reflect on the glory of God. And now the birds began to fly and sing again, the teenagers started the frisbee again, and Barry started looking at emails. But for about 5 minutes in time, everyone joined together and just looked up……no fighting or arguing or working or playing…….just looking up at the sun…….magical.