Totality: Unlikely Events

As I told you Monday, Brent and I drove to Missouri to see the solar eclipse.

A solar eclipse is an unlikely event requiring three objects moving through space to be lined up just so. This is why we don’t see them very often.

But it was a different series of unlikely events that made the experience truly memorable.

Clouds threatened in Sedalia, where we were staying, so everyone scrambled to figure out where to watch from. Brent and I set out east along MO Hwy 50, where the sky was clearer, and finally decided to park in Tipton, Missouri. Tipton, at one time home to a billiard-ball factory, is best known now for its water tower…

Surely Tipton was the most random possible place, but several other out-of-state cars parked in the same lot, at the edge of a golf course. We introduced ourselves around. At least two others were from Texas. One man works in Ft. Worth just blocks from Brent’s office. Another had driven from Austin with his son and a buddy. They would have to leave right after totality passed, because the boys had to start school the next morning.

Everyone tried to get photos of the partially-eclipsed sun. Try as I might, all mine looked like I’d turned on a floodlight and photographed it through a translucent shower curtain. Only the little reflection below the sun shows the crescent shape…

At last the sunlight became noticeably more dim. The moment the moon completely blocked the sun was memorable; the sight lovely and amazing.


Olaf, the man from Austin, got a wonderful photo of the corona.

Photo courtesy of Olaf Roepke, Austin, TX

As everyone congratulated Olaf, he offered to share the photo, and took time to get people’s contact information.

I’m so very glad we got to make this “bucket-list” trip and see the celestial choreography that is a total solar eclipse.

But you know… I’d seen photos before, and had some idea what to expect. What really made the eclipse memorable was experiencing it with a group of strangers, a most unlikely ad hoc “family” that formed in a most unlikely place.

Thank you, Olaf, for your kindness and generosity.

And thanks, everyone, for reading!

About Jan C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
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9 Responses to Totality: Unlikely Events

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great story! I enjoyed sharing the experience with so many folks out there! Now waiting for the next one 🙂 Olaf.


  2. Jeannine Johnson says:

    thank you for sharing your solar eclipse story, and that great picture,
    Jan what a beautiful sight. Love you Mom


  3. DONNA PRICE says:

    My nephew in Jackson Hole, WY said it cooled down 20 degrees after the eclipse! Isn’t that strange.


  4. Beautiful story, Jan. What a memorable occasion.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Road Trip! | Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story

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