A day of wonder to be remembered


What a day to be remembered! When I first heard about the eclipse, I pictured something like the one we had seven years ago. As the days came close I thought of the nearby towns flooded with thousands and even millions of people. Though I knew better, I imagined what it would be like, should there have been a mistake and no eclipse would come to capture the attention of spectators across the line of fire.

We as a church planned a fish fry in the evening, after watching the rare event of total alignment of sun, moon, and earth. Monday morning dawned beautiful and sunny, I couldn’t help but feel for those in neighboring states where the weather proved to be cloudy, thus less informative of the precise process of the events at hand.

By 1:00 in the afternoon we all gathered on the school playground with our camp chairs and eclipse sunglasses. Taking a seat I borrowed one of the children’s glasses. Sure enough, it was coming to reality, it was no scheme. A gentleman from the large Amish community in Arthur Illinois demonstrated the function of the sun, moon, and earth, and exactly what was about to happen. Two lower graders were summoned to carry the ‘moon’ and ‘sun’ as they walked in circles, creating patterns similar to the sun and moon.

At about that moment I glanced down toward the schoolhouse. What should I see but Mr. Strutter? I hesitated for a moment, then instructing the children to stay where they were, I headed toward our intruding pet which had obviously trailed us. I scooped up the big black strutting turkey and carried him off to our pasture in the woods on the other side of schoolhouse.

Relieved, I joined the others watching the moon/ sun demo. By now the eclipse was half covering the sun and it was getting cooler and slightly darker across the country side.

Intrigued we watched the half moons shining through the perfect circles of the stainless steel colander. Using a pin, Cousin Judith poked holes into her handout with eclipse info. Even these tiny round holes had teeny slivers of sunbeams shining through. What a mighty God we serve!

Totality was getting closer. We were only minutes away, soon it was down to seconds. Elijah, who was sitting on my lap snuggled up close; the 16 degree drop in temperature certainly made a difference!

And then it happened. A deeper level of darkness settled over the countryside as the last bit of light from the sun was covered by the moon; a silver ring flashed. Exclamations of awe and delight were sounded on all sides, the splendor being too rich for mere description.

Seven years ago gave us a good taste of the earlier stages, now the totality blew my expectations. The diamond ring caught me off guard. The wonder of our Creator and Provider went to the deeper parts of my being.

Surely hearing about it is one thing, seeing it is altogether different. Amazing. Simply super amazing. The diamond ring, lasting only a few seconds, was faded by flaming gasses of the sun shining around it.

Someone started the old familiar hymn, How great thou art. I wanted to help, and I did, still the moment was almost too precious for words.

“There are the two planets,” someone pointed out. “And look at that star!” pointed another. By now Baily’s Beads were forming on the lower edge of the eclipse, marking the evidence of the valleys along the moon’s horizon.

Someone from the back corner suggested, “Let’s all be quiet for 30 seconds.”

We did. I loved it. A nearby rooster crowed his early morning call; we smiled, it was obvious that his instincts were setting in.

In a couple short minutes the diamond ring flashed, and the first glimmer of the sun could be seen on the bottom.

Even after the initial darkness had lifted it took some time until the lighting was back to normal. As one of my friends had stated, “The lighting made you feel funny, as if it could affect even your balance.”

Soon the ball players were ready to have the ball diamond cleared and wind out with soft ball. Us mothers shuffled to the side with the children as we chatted with out of state guests and watched ball games. Though our ball games are not professional, we have lots of fun. The second time the teams numbered off the lower graders even got to help.

At one point Mr. Strutter was summoned back to school where he entertained the children for a while.

By 5:30 supper aromas were sweeping across the yard as Uncle Vernon and Cousin Josh, along with the help of a couple other men in church, deep fried hush puppies, fish, and french fries. The taste and quality of the food proved to match the smell. Vernon’s wife makes the most amazing hush puppies, these were no exception. Homemade bread, potato salad, fresh veggies, and frozen cheese cakes finished off the meal. Yummy. Yummy memories, too.

It was 7:30 when we walked into the house. Tired and dirty children marked the reality of a good day of hard play.

At 9:20 they are now all sound asleep. Good night to one and all!


1 cup corn meal

1/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 cup creamed corn

2 tablespoons milk (more milk may added if mixture seems to thick)

Mix altogether and drop onto a cookie sheet with a small cookie scoop.

Heat oil to 300 degrees.

Place hush puppies in hot oil and fry until golden.

Serve with ketchup, barbecue sauce, or any dips of your choice.

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