Is This You? Share during an eclipse |

Is This You? Share during an eclipse

Trina Machacek

Do you know the story of Chicken Little? She ran around in the rain hollering “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” Oh, what shall we all do if the sky is falling? Moreover, what shall we do if, say, an eclipse is coming?

Well, we’re about to find out because “a solar eclipse is coming! A solar eclipse is coming!” Now, if you’re under the age of majority, you have not seen a solar eclipse in your life. So, get ready; it’s pretty cool. (If you have to look up what the “age of majority” is, you’re not there yet!) Depending on where you are on Aug. 21 from around 9 a.m. on the northwest coast throughout the day until around 4 p.m. on the southeast coast, you’re in for an amazing sight. The sun will disappear. There will be a quiet that will form around you. Then it will be over and you will say one of two things. Either, “Wow!” or “Eh.”

I hope you will be in awe of the fact the sunshine beamed to the earth by the sun will be blocked out by the moon. Sound pretty iffy to you? The logistics of a solar eclipse seem to be askew. I mean, the moon is a lot smaller than the earth and the earth and the moon are way smaller than the sun, so how could the moon block out the sun on the earth? OK, to put it in more useful terms: Just stand behind a skinny person in the ice cream line at the local Dairy Queen and try … just try … to read the menu. That’s how the moon blocks out the sun on the earth during a solar eclipse.

Apparently there are those who feel the need to go into readiness mode with the upcoming celestial event. I read in some areas states of emergency may be declared so steps can be taken to protect us when we are being shaded by the moon. Rest assured things will happen like, well, you know, the things that happen when emergencies are declared. All toilet paper, batteries, bottled water and boxed wine will be bought off of store shelves as fast as you can say, “A solar eclipse is coming! A solar eclipse is coming!”

Why, in some places children will be taught how to take cover under their desks to save them from any fallout from the eclipse. No, wait, that was supposed to keep us safe from nuclear attacks. Yeah, that will work like a charm.

I’m pretty stoked about seeing the eclipse. Although I will be on the edge of all the hullabaloo, I should still be able to get a glimpse. But just a glimpse. Because as we all know, you can’t look directly into the sun or your eyes will melt. But I think with a solar eclipse you can watch it during the totality of coverage that will last like two minutes. Watch carefully enough to save your eyes from becoming puddles on the sidewalk. Be sure to learn the safe way to watch. Google has more than enough information to be sure your eyes are protected while you watch. As a kid I remember learning something about taking a cardboard box turning it somehow, cutting a hole in it and maybe a mirror was used and then you could see the eclipse on the sidewalk. It looked like a little round black dot on the sidewalk that became half-mooned shaped on the left, then half-moon shaped on the right, and then it was over.

At the time it didn’t seem to be too cool. But since I still remember it and it was more years ago than a quarter of a century, it must have made some impression. Now, though, I’m married to a welder and I can use his welding helmet to watch the doings.

After the solar eclipse comes and goes you might just be one of those who say, “Eh.” But you will have seen it. It will, sometime in your future, be remembered as a pretty cool event. Probably not like prom or your first job or even your first kiss, but it will be there. In your gray matter with all of your life events, just waiting to be drawn upon. Talked about with other eclipse watchers who at some point in time may use that memory to reference where they were and what they were doing when it happened. Like asking, where were you when man landed on the moon? What were you doing when Elvis got his buzz cut for the Army? Did you know there was a huge surge of babies being born nine months after a blackout in New York City? All the important life events!

Make enough popcorn to share and enjoy the show.

Trina lives in Eureka, Nev. Share with her at Really!