“So I got to see the solar eclipse today.”

So I got to see the solar eclipse today. It was pretty awesome. I came down to see family in Ohio, in the Cleveland area, which just by sheer luck is in the path of totality and that was, that was really cool. I hadn't experienced that before. When I was -- I was thinking back to the eclipse in 2017. I think it was '17. And I remember just looking through the glasses and seeing the moon block part of the sun. But, but yeah, I guess I forgot or just didn't think about it that we didn't have totality at that time, I'm pretty sure. 'Cause I don't remember seeing the sun, like, that with the corona and everything. And it getting, like, significantly darker. It was just really cool. It was really fun. Um, so yeah, I was, I was hanging out with my, my mom and stepdad. There was a, a sort of solar fest here. So we went to that and that was fun. There was, like, food trucks and, like, science activities for kids that my mom organized 'cause my mom teaches science to kids. But uh, but yeah. It was a really good time.

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“I had very mixed feelings watching this eclipse.”

I'd like to talk about the eclipse this past week. I watched the spectacle in my backyard with my eclipse glasses that I saved from 2017. And it was spectacular. It, it was really amazing to watch that. Unfortunately, I wasn't in the path of totality, but it was still amazing to watch this beautiful force of nature, to -- that we could, we could see this. However, I was by myself, and I was sad, and I was sad because my husband wasn't here to experience this with me. He passed away in 2016, and he was, he was interested in everything. He was a real science geek. As a matter of fact, he took a weather class in college, partly because he was a sailor and weather was interesting to him. But as I continued to watch the eclipse and thinking about him, I became really pissed. Really pissed off that he wasn't here to experience this with me. I know that if he had been here, we would have driven somewhere in the path of totality to be able to see this. So I- -- I had very mixed feelings watching this, this eclipse. I was amazed at how beautiful it was and how God's creation could unfold so beautifully. I was sad that my husband wasn't here and I was pissed that death had taken away our future.

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“We were all just looking at the sun, slowly watching it get eaten up and it was great.”

So, today's prompt is, "Did you see the eclipse last Monday, and if you did, what was your experience like?" So, it was actually really, really fun. There hasn't been an eclipse since when I lived in -- somewhere else, so it felt really great to see it again. And last time it was fun, but not nearly as enjoyable as this time. Last time, we had these little boxes. Little shadow boxes that you could use to see a reflection of the sun or whatever. And then if you were lucky, there'd be like one pair of glasses per little classroom. Uh, and then we would have, like, one pair of glasses for each class. So I got to see through it for like two seconds, twice maybe, during the whole lunar eclipse, or solar eclipse, whatever it was last time. I think it was a lunar eclipse last time. Like, two, two years ago in 2019, I believe?  Something like that. And so it was pretty -- it obviously was 2019, what am I saying? Two thousand -- eh, well, hey, 2019. I don't know. It's been a while, man. And so this time, I was really lucky. We -- I go to a pretty small school, but we get no funding what- whatsoever. But somehow we had enough money to buy every student in the school a pair of solar glasses. And I thought that that was incredible. Very, very nice of them to do that for us. And so it was really great, and we each got a pair, and we got to go outside for the last 20 minutes of class to look at the solar eclipse to see how it was faring. So, the whole school was out in the front or in the back, and we were all just looking at the sun, slowly watching it get eaten up and it was great. It was really, really fun. But it got even more fun when I asked the teacher if I could keep the glasses over -- over the -- over -- if I could keep the glasses overnight because by the time we left the school, it -- the moon -- it wouldn't be at its, like, totality yet. And so I wanted to see it at its totality, and so I asked if I could keep the glasses for a few…

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“That was not a smart move by me to take ’em off when I’m still looking at the sun.”

So, I did get to see the eclipse on Monday at school. Uh, they passed out the eclipse glasses, which is nice ‘cause then I could look at the eclipse. Um, but you know, I had quite a bit of an experience with the eclipse… not necessarily a good one, but it happened to a lot of people. So, I put the eclipse glasses on. It was kind of hard cuz I had to take my glasses off to put the eclipse glasses on, because I heard that you're not supposed to put them on over your glasses. But so, I put 'em on, and I was staring at the sun, and it was really, really cool. And I, and I, like, went to turn away, but then I stopped and continued looking at the sun and then I took the glasses off and I'm still looking at the sun for another half a second, but I don't think it did any damage to my retina. It was just because I did it for a half a second. I don't think it did that much damage, but it was really bright. But I'm just fortunate that, you know, it didn't burn my retina. That was not a smart move by me to take 'em off when I'm still looking at the sun. I don't know what was going through my brain, huh? But that's what happens. It happened to a lot of other people at our school too. But yeah, I thought the eclipse was quite cool, but it was also kind of annoying how bright the sun was.

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“I’m not happy in this relationship, but I felt like I couldn’t break up with him.”

"What's been particularly difficult this week?" Ever since I broke up with my last boyfriend in May last year -- so almost a year, I realized I had a really hard time being alone. That was one of the things it's like I was like, I'm not happy in this relationship, but I felt like I couldn't break up with him. Our friends were interconnected, it had been three years, and I realized I was like -- things were just headed south and at the time when I felt like we were rebuilding our relationship, he started talking marriage and I -- we had different timelines. Sometimes I wonder if he brought that up intentionally. I don't know. But all it took was one, one argument where he was like, "Oh some friends of mine just got engaged in Paris. Gives me some ideas." And I had said, "Well, sometimes you're not really that nice to me. I feel like we need to be working on that." And that exploded into an argument. He said some pretty cruel things and I was willing to try to work through it I guess, but I felt like I had told him this so many times. So then the next day, like, it was the weirdest feeling. I felt like my soul -- like a butterfly flapped its wings, or it should've and it didn't, and I ended things. He lives in Boston, so I didn't have the money to go and visit him for a weekend to break up. I knew that it wouldn't -- I couldn't do that in person. And maybe that's not fair to him. But I agreed to see him multiple times after he'd come to Michigan. And that just started feeling like bad ideas. They felt like dates like it, it was hard.

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“He didn’t allow that to stop him from doing anything, sometimes to his detriment.”

My grandfather was born blind. He had a little bit of vision, but he was, he was legally blind. He liked to push the envelope a little bit. He didn't allow that to stop him from doing anything, sometimes to his detriment. You know, he -- as a young man, when he was in high school, he really really wanted to play basketball. I mean, my grandfather absolutely loved sports. Sports fanatic. And because he was legally blind, the school wouldn't allow him to even try out. And so he convinced the coach to at least unlock, you know, the gymnasium for him after school so he could, you know -- he could just th- you know, shoot hoops on his own. He wasn't gonna try out. Knowing that the coach was gonna see him play. And through that, my grandfather got on the, the basketball team and he was able to, to play like he wanted, knowing that he was gonna be able to do it, and I, I think that's really fantastic and also just kind of a theme in his life. When he was 17, I remember -- not I remember, but I remember the story -- he was on the ice with some friends on Rainbow Lake and he actually fell through the ice and broke his neck. And he was in the hospital and he was paralyzed from the neck down. And they didn't think that he was ever going to walk again or be able to do anything, and he actually ended up making a full recovery. I have the news clipping from, from the accident and the picture that they chose of him was a photograph from a basketball game, and just talked about everything that had happened and where he was in his recovery. It's kind of incredible that he was able to come back from that, especially back then.

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“What kind of puzzle is a pepperoni?”

A time I felt playful... Hmm... Well, I guess we could go with Easter, where I brought games. And Anomia was the game we played where my friend, bless his heart, somehow managed to read "type of puzzle" as "type of pizza," and was very sure of his answer being pepperoni. And we're just sitting there looking at him going, "What?" He's like, "Yeah, pepperoni!" It was like, "What kind of puzzle is a pepperoni? I mean, I guess you have to arrange it on the pizza." But anyways, so my friend answers and she takes his card instead, and he's like, "Oh, puzzle!" He's like, "I thought it said pizza." And we're sitting there going, "How? How did -- that's not even the same number of letters. And also, when we pointed it out, you could have changed your answer to sudoku or crossword!"

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“So, one of us had to clean this up while the other person was watching six kids outside by themselves.”

So my sister and I would babysit together. There were these two little girls down the street and they were probably four and six. Yeah, I'll say four and six. So one time we went over to their house to babysit them, and their parents told them that they could invite friends over. So they invited literally every single kid that lived in this cul-de-sac over to their house, so we were watching like six kids at once. And one of the little girls needed to go inside and use the bathroom, so we took her inside. And they had a dog also, and the dog like didn't recognize her, so he was, like -- got really excited and hit the table and a vase fell down. It was glass but it didn't shatter, but sunflowers, like, spilt everywhere. So, one of us had to clean this up while the other person was watching six kids outside by themselves. It was kind of a bit of a mess, but it was -- it was okay in the end.

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“The next time that she went there, there was a sign on the window.”

One of them was, "Have you ever created a rule based on something that you did?" It wasn't me. It was my mother. She was a kindergarten teacher and there were certain things that she had her students bring in cash for. One of them was the book sale. She would send home book order with them and they were like on this really thin paper. It was like two pages front and back and you could order books for a pretty reasonable price and the kids would come in with their envelope full of, full of money, you know with what they -- and their order sheet and they would get, they would get these -- they would get the books and she would have popcorn sales. So it was like 50 cents for a bag of popcorn and the kids would bring in their money and that money then went back to the classroom so that they could purchase things for the classrooms and things. So she sometimes had all of this change that she would have to figure out what to do with, and so she usually would just take it to the bank and get it in bills, and, you know, instead of all of this, you know, just, just all kinds of, all kinds of change.  So she went to the bank and was in the outer lane. So not the lane that's up against the building where you can set your transaction into the slot that you know is directly into the building but rather at one of the terminals where y- -- it shoots up through the like the vacuum packed -- the vacuum sucker thing. Well, she just had coins and coins and coins and coins that she shoved into that, um, canister that went into the vacuum, um, chamber and apparently that did not go over well that there were all those coins in that, um, in that canister. The next time that she went there, there was a sign on the window that said, "Please do not put coins in this, in this canister," you know, "if you have coins you need to basically come inside or, you know, use the other window" or whatever. And I think that sign is, like, still up there. Like I'm pretty sure -- I mean this was -- I mean, my mom hasn't…

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“This doggone little spider got six of us women laughing so hard…”

My mother, my cousin, her daughter, my sister, and my sister-in-law all went to Shipshewana in Indiana. And, Shipshewana, there's booths and it's a big flea market. And then the town -- you can walk through and see all the different little shops that they have in town. But they're selling a lot of stuff so we had wandered in to get a drink. There was a little sit down area and we wandered in to get a drink and we were in a store, obviously, attached to the little soda fountain, soda fountain and, um, we were walking around. And the gals all -- their sodas came up so we all went and sat down and I had brought from what I was looking at to the table to show them. It was a little box and you just moved the top. But when you move the top, a spider jumped out and touched your finger and you’d scream and you’d laugh. Well, this doggone little spider got six of us women laughing so hard we were peeing ourselves, we were crying, we had stitches in our side, we hurt from, from laughing. And then somebody would do it again and it would set us off again and we would just laugh. We laughed for about 45 minutes. That silly little box with the spider attached to it had us, not giggling, but full out ugly laughing. It was so much fun.

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