21 August 2014

August 21st, 2017

On August 21st, 2017, a Total Solar Eclipse shall occur above Casper, Wyoming.
Right over my house!

My brother Brandel and I have been waiting with eyes a' squintin'!
We used to watch eclipses quite often together. We would track partial solar eclipses with makeshift pinhole cameras, tracing the progressive crescents of light in an old notebook. We also filmed quite a few lunar eclipses on our  parents' Hitachi video recorder--remember, the kind that takes full-sized vhs tapes.
I remember finding out a couple decades ago about a total eclipse on its way in 2017. We were astounded. Yet, it seemed so marvelously distant. Now, we only have three years to go. My brother and I will be watching side-by-side, now with our kids.
Should you find yourself in Casper that day, you're welcome to watch with us.
Until then, be sure to stock up on eclipse glasses. (We had a partial solar eclipse a few years ago on Christmas Day. The kids just happened to find eclipse glasses in all their stockings that morning.) I'll soon be getting a few extra pairs.

Here's a bit more information on the impending event:


17 August 2014


An eleven-year-old boy drowned in the North Platte River this past week. He and an eight-year-old friend were playing in the water when the current swept them away. The older boy helped push the younger boy toward shore but then fell under. After an exhaustive search, rescue crews found him four days later just a few dozen yards down the river.

I knew that eleven-year-old boy. I taught him at school. He was part of my fifth-grade tutor group. Enthusiastic, engaging, eager to learn, and always willing to help out, he was a great student, and I enjoyed working with him. His heroic sacrifice stands as testament to his enduring character.

After such a harrowing week for so many, here and across the world, I was moved to write this verse. Please feel free to share your thoughts.



The River flows on,
Its waters wandering always beyond,
Shimmering in the sunlight
Of another passing day,
While across tomorrow
Yesterday is swept away.
The River flows on,
Its breadths and depths all endlessly drawn
Along a course made more sacred for each sacrifice
As it flows ever forward, even unto paradise
Whence await the waters
Of stillness and peace,
Welling with wonders
Which will never cease.
Yet the River flows on,
Each moment a memorial eternally yearning.
The River flows on,
And drifting with it, in spirit we journey.
The River flows on,
Carrying away our hopes and our fears.
The River flows on,
Now flowing ever fuller with all our tears.