Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Our Eclipse Adventure - Solar Eclipse 2017

What an incredible day!  We woke at 5:30am and headed down the coast of OR after staying the night with a friend in Northern Oregon.  I learned a new term "socked in", it means 'nothing but fog', which is what we saw as we drove down the coast to the totality zone.  Due to the unpredictable weather, there was no traffic at all.  For miles and miles, we were the only cars on the road all the way to the totality zone. We were about to turn inland to try and get up out of the fog when the sun broke through and we saw a road-side pie stand, at about the same time.

We saw this little pull-off area just after that, so I made The Man turn around, I bought two large pies, and we went back to the pull-off just as the eclipse got started.  For over an hour we sat on blankets, threw rocks into a nearby stream, and ate pie with plastic forks while watching the sun disappear.  What an incredible experience!

As the light disappeared and the sun was covered, the temperature dropped dramatically.  A kingfisher, who had been screaming warning about so many people in their remote space (us) quieted and perched in the trees along the stream.  I watched the totality come about and at the same moment, I saw two confused bats fly across the sky picking off confused bugs, just as if it was really dusk!  It was magical!

After the eclipse was over, I got to talking with a gentleman and his wife who shared our epic viewing spot.  They were kind enough to share some of their camera shots with us (above picture) before we headed back into town. 

Here is the nature study pages that came from the trip:
Our family has spent the last two weeks talking about the eclipse.  I am SO glad we took the chance and actually went to totality.  It was truly impressive and all of the kids will remember it for their entire lives!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

16 and 4 days

I was 16 and 4 days when my father picked me up outside my high school with all my stuff packed into their VW van and sent me to live in a temporary home. At that time it had been 8 years of court. 8 years of my parents absolutely hating each other. 8 years of sitting near the dining room window, waiting for a parent that never came. 8 years of seeing the very worst in those people.  Both had won at least twice under the worst possible tactics. I had been shipped back and forth 4 times. I was the one who had lost. I was the casualty of that war.  The real relationships with my parents ended there. At 16 and 4 days. 

I had an intense flashback to that moment two weeks ago when picking up my daughter's birthday gift 4 days after her 16th birthday. 

On the way home I tried to rationalize why I would give my daughter a piece of expensive jewelry...  I heard all the stories of "purity rings" but I've never been one to harp on that. We all live life. And nobody lives it perfectly. I don't need her to make me any promises or worry about my support or reaction during those mistakes.  I knew that I didn't want this gift connected to that...  but what could I say as I hand her this thing?  It wasn't just a gift. Not to me. Not that day. It was an omen of support. Unwavering, crushing, life-altering support, from me. Forever. In the end, all I could come up with was that I valued her very much. So stumbling over my words and my memories, I told her: "This is not for 'purity'. This is not conditional. This is to show you how much my heart values everything you are. And when you see it, I want you to remember your own value, and never give away any of you lightly."

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