The other week I went on a fancy date with the Man. In order to celebrate the occasion of getting all dressed on, I slipped on a pair of heels I haven’t worn in years. That was a mistake. They’re the highest heels I own, the remnants from my brother’s wedding. They are a pair of wedges, so more stable than the average pair of stiletto heels. It felt fun to wear, but oh goodness, the next day I paid for it!
I pretty much swore off heels after my second concussion and have only started wearing them this past year as I started going out on dates. However, I’ve only worn a lower pair of heels (1 1/2″) that have an ankle strap and it’s been mostly okay. BUT, after wearing these heels, that are about 2 1/2-3″ I was DIZZY THE WHOLE NEXT DAY. Eeks.
It was like my MDDS was back in full force. Which was a little scary, but I spent the day resting, faithfully doing my new exercises and thankfully by the next day it was significantly better. Although I was definitely eager to get in to see Dr Z that week.
SO what are these new exercise you ask? At some point last summer/fall Dr Z had me start using little vibrating massagers to activate the proprioceptors on my ankles while I performed my traditional MDDS exercises. It’s made my exercises so much more effective! And I’ve been able to cut down my visits to once a month. My next goal is to buy an actual vibrating platform as that’s even more effective and it’s what I use at Dr Z’s now.
So yes. The GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE WAS THE MOST AMAZING THING I’VE EVER SEEN.
I’ve summed up most of my thoughts on the subject in a letter I wrote to relatives in California – I have shared most of it below.
The Man and I, along with a few friends—and a 100 or so more “friends” who had the same idea as us—hiked 3.5 miles up 2000 feet to the top of Table Rock (elev. 4000ft) to be able to witness the eclipse from there. We were on the Eastern edge which overlooks the whole Cascade Range (Mt Hood, Mt St Helens, Mt Adams, although it was too smoky to see The Sisters or Mt Bachelor). On a good day they say you can see Mt Shasta! So we got to see the eclipse and 360* sunset over the Cascades. It was truly incredible. Overwhelming. Breathtaking. And all too short.
The corona was gorgeous and made you think about how it must be a small glimpse of what God’s throne must be like.
The difference between 99.9% coverage and 100% was incredible. As long as there was a bit of the sun showing, it was neat, but not spectacular. Once the black disc of the moon completely covered the sun, it was like looking at a black hole in the sky, with pure white tendrils of light shooting out from around it. Spectacular. The sky turned a metallic dusky dark blue/purple with an orange band all around the horizon showing where the moon’s shadow wasn’t reaching. We could see a few stars and Venus. And the dim lighting meant that people took on what I would call a platinum hue. Very metallically feeling. The mountains also appeared crisper and more in focus. It’s not something you can truly describe. It felt very otherworldly and unreal. None of the pictures I’ve seen can do it justice.
It was fun watching it with a group of people along the ridge—there was a lot of clapping and cheering when totality happened, and someone was playing Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon. After the two minutes were up, there was a lot of chatting about how it was hard to believe that we had just witnessed it. You instantly wanted a replay as there was not enough time to soak it in.
The rest of the family stayed home…as we were in the path of totality. We invited anyone who wanted to come to come over, so there was a small crowd. At home we got about 30 seconds of totality I believe. The distance between us and where we know people got 99.9% coverage was less than half a mile, so we feel very fortunate to have been in that narrow band!
The crescent shadows were cool, and I know that some people saw white shadow ripples on the ground. The temps definitely got cooler.
There was a lot of media panic about the traffic on the eclipse day, but so many people were panicked about it, there was no traffic going south towards the center of totality that morning as so many people went down beforehand. But no one really thought ahead about the traffic afterwards as everyone tried to head home. That was apparently horrendous!
Anyways, I hope this was interesting. I would definitely recommend the experience. It felt like such a cool privilege to have been able to witness it in our back yard. And if you ever travel to see an eclipse, don’t settle for 99.9%!
Well, if that wasn’t enough for you, here are a few more notes:
This is The Man and me, eagerly awaiting the eclipse. We had been at the top for awhile now, and the moon was slowly making it’s way across. We had the perfect ledge to sit on, which despite there being a hundred people around us, somehow no one knew about this perfect sitting spot. It’s also hard for you to tell just how excited I was. Seriously guys, the whole hike up, it felt like Christmas morning. But better. I kept saying, “I can’t believe it’s today!” I was totally psyched.
At about this point, the light was definitely feeling different and things were sharper.
& 4. These pictures by a friend who came with us do not do it justice. It wasn’t possible to capture it for reals. The Man and I had a slight advantage in that we didn’t have any trees in our line of sight where we were sitting, but you can get some idea of the metallic-y sunset sort of lighting that we experienced.
Anyway, it was a spectacular day, and all thanks to The Man having the brilliant idea that we should take our favorite hike for it!
It’s a little surreal to realize that in a few weeks it will be 1 year since our 100 foot tall Oak tree split in half and fell on our house. Last year, we had no idea how long or stressful the process of recovery would be. This picture was taken a few days after, when a crew with a crane took it off our house and then felled the remaining half. That was just the beginning of water damage and structural issues with the house. Long story short: we froze our way through the snowiest winter in a long time with a partially tarped roof; we moved out for months, living in one place after another; our house got a new roof and new windows; and 7 or 8 or 9 rooms got new floors, walls and ceilings. Construction pretty much took over the first half of this year and settling back in has taken months. I’m only just finishing cleaning the construction dust out of the last remaining closet. And then there are still a couple boxes to unpack.
A proper summer recap will be happening soon. I spotted this glorious bloom on Wednesday. One joy this summer has been our roses. They must like upheaval and construction dust.
A woodpecker was a fun sighting on a walk earlier this week.
And last but not least, I have a man in my life. I can’t imagine him not being in my life. Or how I lasted this long without him. We both like to dance and went to Bridgetown Swing last weekend. We also both really like eclipses. Seeing the eclipse with him this summer was probably my favorite thing ever.
Also, you know my last blog post? In January? That was the weekend he asked me to be his friend on Facebook and pretty soon after we started dating (we had met a month earlier). Apparently I can either date or blog.
We had a surprise snowfall this week. A 10 mile wide band came through our area and dumped 2-6 inches of snow. We were right in the middle, so it was a lovely surprise. It came on so suddenly that friends visiting us Sunday afternoon ended up staying the night. I had been scheming as to how to visit Mt Hood this week and instead Mt Hood came to me!
Nephews have been sick, so I spent a bit of time hanging out with them. It also helped with my cabin fever from being snowed in.
And then I escaped the freezing temperatures and went to Astoria. It was cold and clear and beautiful.
We spent a lot of time at a coffee shop at the end of this pier watching the boats go by and playing dutch blitz. It was heavenly.
And I managed to squeeze in reading this heartstring-tugging book. So good.
And then I came back home and promptly got snowed in at a friend’s house with another friend. I saw Jurassic Park (for the first time!) and we watched Far Away from the Madding Crowd and Austenland. We also played lots of Canasta and I managed to fit in another book, Virtuous Minds. It was one of my best weekends ever.
It started off with the little kids Nativity play after church. My nephew is the confused little sheep.
Speaking of sheep, they looked so cozy and content when I went down to the barn to let them out one morning.
Happy boys play twister before dinner.
We celebrated three birthdays two days before Christmas. Fate had thwarted us from the family getting together earlier.
In reality, most of the week felt like this. Bleary and a little blurry, thanks to a cold that affected my hydrops ear giving me balance issues and Christmas shopping that desperately needed to happen. Thankfully, Christmas Eve was cozy-like and made up for it.
I’ve been quiet on this space thanks to a hydrops flareup last week. The past week has involved lots of pillows to help prop my head up at a comfortable angle and has meant that my computer time has been precious. Things are better than last week, but it’s been slow progress.
Actually, today wasn’t sheepish at all. But it sounded like a fun title and I did take a picture of the sheep this morning. They just looked all cozy-like as I came down to let them out of their pen.
In other words, we finally got the Christmas tree decorated. We have never been early Christmas tree decorators, but we aren’t usually quite this late. The snowfall last week postponed it, (I’m not sure why, as our neighbors give us one every year from their field!) and it took a while for everyone to be together so it could happen. And even then it was impossible to get a picture without someone walking through the picture!
Other notable happenings today included facetiming with a best friend and seeing her new house, and going Christmas shopping with Jacob.
This poor barn is slowly sinking into the hill side.
One of my best friends lives 3 miles away from me down the hill. We’ve always dreamt and joked about being snowed in and walking to each other’s house, and last week it happened. Her little kiddos and husband were stranded by the snow in town and ended up staying at his parents house, so she was home alone. Thursday morning, she and I started walking at the same time and met each other halfway. We then hiked back up to my house and spent a lovely day sledding, talking and wrapping presents. She ended up spending the night and headed back on Friday after lunch. It was so sweet to have long talks with no time restraints!
We walked through a winter wonderland!
I have also dreamt of looking out my window with my wintry red and white curtains framing the snow covered tree tops. It has been fulfilled. Thank you Jesus.
This morning I sat on the couch and watched the sunrise while I wrote and ate breakfast.
This afternoon, was the children’s nativity at church. It was actually scheduled for Saturday evening, but got postponed due to the icy weather. I’ve had so many younger brothers participate (and myself at one point) in this tradition, so it was a turning point this year to have no brothers involved (they are getting old!) and a nephew playing a sheep (he’s the little confused-looking sheep).
Other notable events include knitting for the first time during the sermon. It helped me stay focused, so I think I will be doing it again. I also got a lovely succulent as a Christmas gift from a dear friend at church and had a good chat with my cousin on her birthday. I’ve also picked up Call the Midwife again and am watching some old seasons, so overall it’s been a good day.