They’re Back

After an interminably long and dry summer the rain and clouds have returned to the Pacific Northwest just in time to welcome fall. Though we desperately needed the rain, the change was rather abrupt and will take some getting used to.  Still, I love the clouds.

~ Susanne

Red Sun Gray Ash

Today we woke up to hazy skies through which a red sun glowed.  Though eerily beautiful it is not normal and attests only to raging fires everywhere in the Northwest; ironically at the same time that flooding engulfs the Southeast.

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Other evidence of the fires can be found in the ash floating in the air and landing on our cars.

A strange end to summer to be sure.

Praying and eagerly awaiting rain in the Northwest and sun in the Southeast!

~ Susanne

The Shared Experience of the Solar Eclipse

Greetings from Alki Beach in Seattle where we experienced the 2017 Solar Eclipse. Yes, it was awesome.  And no, I didn’t plan to watch it from here. I woke up this morning bright and early to clear blue skies and a brightly shining sun (did he know what was coming?), ready for the big day.

We planned to go to the Boeing Museum of Flight where they were handing out 1,000 pairs of solar glasses to watch the eclipse; inside it would be live streamed from around the country. Perfect!  I thought.  What better place to watch an eclipse than with the sky experts?  Certainly 1,000 pairs is a lot, is it not?  And so we arrived at 8:30 a.m., early enough to obtain the glasses we thought, and if not, at least early enough to watch it on the big screen inside (stifle your laughter right now.)  But ten minutes from the Museum the traffic slowed considerably and it wasn’t long after that we saw the line which seemed to go on for miles and miles and miles and it was then that we realized we were very late to the dance, unlike these people near the front.

So then dear, where shall we go now? I asked the driver.

And that is how we ended up at Alki Beach in West Seattle where we found great views of the City (periodically shrouded in fog), plenty of free parking, and lots of fellow eclipse watchers, many equipped with the coveted glasses and many, very happy to share them.  As twilight descended almost imperceptibly upon us, there was quiet, friendly, chatter, a passing of the solar approved glasses and a marveling at what we were witnessing.

No, we were not in the path of totality so we didn’t have complete darkness.  But we did experience a mysterious dimming of the lights that’s hard to describe.  Kind of like you were wearing sunglasses, someone said.  And when I was offered the solar glasses at various stages, I had those few seconds to peer into another realm, where I saw a waning orange sun and a dark moon creeping across its face, until the sun became a slim crescent.

When the time of peak darkness was over, we said goodbye and went for a walk on the beach.  The tide was as far out as we’d ever seen it; coincidence or not, we don’t know.

As the sun slowly reemerged, ‘Here Comes the Sun’ played on the radio nearby. An awesome experience.  I hope I live long enough to see another.

~ Susanne

The Work Continues

This morning I woke up to the usual noises of destruction (I mean construction) behind my house in what was once called the Tiffany Park Woods and went to take a look.

This is what I saw.

Which is all fine and good but I certainly hope the brakes are in good working order.

~ Susanne

Solar Eclipse – Will You Watch it?

Yes, I knew it was coming; they’ve been talking about it for months. That once in a lifetime event on Monday August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse coming to a neighborhood near you!  Once in a lifetime, counting from when the last total solar eclipse crossed the contiguous USA in 1918.  But those from the Northwest may recall the eclipse in 1979, something of a non-event in the Seattle area because of cloudy skies. Clear skies are in the forecast for Monday, so this will be something to see.  Or not, read on.

No, Seattle is not in the path of totality;  for that we’d have to travel to Oregon, along with the other billions so headed, resulting in unprecedented traffic, which for this area is saying a lot. Honestly, I’m not that desperate.

Still, according to those in the know, we will experience 93% totality here, that time when the moon will almost completely block out the sun, starting at 9:08 am and bringing darkness at 10:20 a.m.  Silly girl, don’t you want to see that??  Of course I do!  Oh why then did I wait so long to get those eclipse glasses?  The event of a lifetime overhead but I can’t look up!

There are still a few places this weekend where they will be handing out the coveted glasses until supplies run out. I will head to one of them and hope for the best.  We shall see (no pun intended.)  If I’m not one of the lucky ones, I guess I could build my own viewing device no matter how hokey it may appear; instructions abound on the internet. But is watching a shadow on a piece of cardboard really the same? I think not.

For a planner like me, I sure blew this one.  How about the rest of you?  Do you have plans to watch the solar eclipse?

~ Susanne