Chasing the Sun's Shadow

We view the solar eclipse in Franklin, Kentucky. Next week, the story behind the glasses.

All this talk about the solar eclipse calls to my inner stargazer. How could I possibly stay behind this weekend when millions of Americans are chasing the sun’s shadow from coast-to-coast?
It all began two weeks ago after my husband and I returned from my annual pilgrimage to Kentucky. A friend and fellow writer called to discuss some business. Afterward, knowing my southern ties, she said, “We’ve planned our vacation to view the solar eclipse in North Carolina.”
“I’ve not heard about it,” I confessed.
“Oh? Well, it’s been 99 years since the last total eclipse across the United States,” she said. “We’re excited to see it.”
We said good-bye, and I dismissed this remarkable event and any hope that Mel and I could leave our harvest another August weekend.
           Then yesterday while cooking peach, ginger, lavender jelly, I received an email. “I’ll be in Nebraska watching the solar eclipse with the kids and grandkids Saturday through Tuesday.”
           Now, that was my tipping point. If an overworked editor has sense enough to capture this heavenly miracle with his family, I’d better rethink opportunity versus responsibility. After all, we won’t be around for the next solar eclipse that hovers over America.
I returned to peeling peaches. Mel stood to my left, slicing them into a measuring bowl.
Blessed be the wise counsel of the kitchen sink! Running water. Sweeping vistas outside the window. The scent of tomatoes, green bell peppers, and cucumbers awaiting my TLC.  
Sweetie, my long-departed Cocker Spaniel and fellow stargazer, came to mind. When i was a teen and our small home grew loud and crowded, Sweetie would follow me out the front door to our small, grassy patch.  We cuddled and studied the constellations.
“How many tomatoes are ripe for harvest?” I asked Mel.
“A lot.”
“Would you pick them so I can put them up after the peaches?”
Turned out that many tomatoes needed to ripen. So, like Uncle Tab does, I spread newspaper on the kitchen counter and arranged the tomatoes green side up. “Are there any beans to pick?”
“No, they need a few more days to fill out.”
“Enough time to see the totality of the solar eclipse?”
He smiled. “I guess. You’ll have to call Sue for the hens and Mo.”
“But you probably won’t find a room,” Sue said.
It's Saturday, 2:15 p.m. There's no time to track down eclipse glasses, so I've packed a slotted spoon and white paper for our journey into the path of totality, that one spot in Franklin, Kentucky where we will watch the Great American Solar Eclipse with our back to the sun.
Today, my side of the family gathers before sunset for a wedding, the last of my nieces and nephews to marry their beloved. I will dance with my sisters and husband.
Dear Reader, tomorrow morning two senior stargazers will rise early with a cooler of food, just in case Cracker Barrel has no vacant tables.
Please stay tuned for the rest of the story.