~a month in the life of a lifelong learner~ in the path of totality

we got to keep grammy and grampy for the longest period surrounding the wedding, which enabled quinn to have some one-on-one time with them after the rest of the crowd had ebbed. grampy and quinn played several games, including risk, the game of paleontology, and parcheesi.

this also meant that grammy and grampy got to see the dress rehearsal of quinn’s performance near the end of his two-week theatre camp, and i know that they and he were all thrilled about that. it was nice that their departure coincided with the high of performing, somewhat mitigating the more difficult parts of the transition back to normal.

the theme of this year’s theatre camp performances centered around the upcoming solar eclipse. some of the storylines (each of the 5 groups of kids wrote and performed a separate skit) were set in different geographic locations, and some incorporated historical eclipse events through devices such as time travel. quinn’s group’s setting was present-day oregon, so they were up first!

a few tourists arrived in oregon for the eclipse event, and were treated to a tour of the small coastal town of newlincolnwaldport, including introductions to the local blueberry farmer, boxed water seller, tree vendor, and salmon farmer. soon, they were settling in for the main event, but the skies were full of clouds, rain, and fog. everyone wished on the solar eclipse for it to stop raining and be sunny instead!

they got their wish! and had wonderful viewing opportunities for the eclipse. however, the next day they were so parched (the blueberries looked like raisins, the boxed water had all evaporated, the salmon had cooked) that they wanted to figure out how to get the rain back. it’s not oregon without the rain. they wondered if there was anything they could do.

“well…” one character said. “i might know. my brother’s girlfriend’s sister’s cousin’s step-dad’s mom knows this guru temple guy who lives on the shore of the lighthouse.”

(and that, my friends, is rural coastal oregon in a nutshell! kudos to the young counselors who wrote these plays and their wit!)

enter quinn, aka voss-not-the-water, aka guru temple guy. “hello children!” who gave the desperate oregonians the secret to bringing back the rain. after he demonstrated the rain dance and taught them the mantra “rain my one my own,” they all joined in with the guru temple guy and then they got the “rain people” (the audience!) to snap along to help generate more rain dance energy. it worked, thanks to the unified power of the oregonians!

quinn did not do a lot of gardening this summer, but he listened to me talk about whatever flowers were blooming in my rainbow terrace garden, and is seen here contemplating a gladiolus. he also became a certified trampoline sweeping technician.


he spent some time with the family of camp boss (aka wedding boss) during the days when i made my re-entry into the world of employment, including a little time at the lake.

there always seems to be a dance party going on whenever i arrive at the house of camp boss, and in this case, some air guitar and quinn beating a drumbeat on a rubbermaid tote. his little flower jars from the wedding are pictured here holding a zinnia and a bachelor button.

while he was with his dad this summer, quinn climbed up to the summit of south sister in the cascade range! he is standing at 10,363 feet in this picture.

he brought back a game they had made together; a role play game with ships on a board that is basically a big nautical chart, with lots of strategy. always making games, playing games, and loving games, this boy.

he was also with his dad for the day of the solar eclipse on august 21, and lucky for us, our geographic location coincided with the path of totality. i was home alone playing with my makeshift camera setup (with taped-on solar filter courtesy of the free newspaper insert), rich was looking at it through his welding hood (actually his employers provided the filter glasses for him to use) and quinn was watching it all happen through his filtered eclipse glasses.

since i’m a lifelong learner, too, i’m sharing my snazzy camera situation, my accidental eclipse rainbow picture (shot with my phone) and my favorite of the crescent-shaped eclipse shadows. i was rather ho-hum leading up to the day of the eclipse, and unconcerned whether it would be cloudy and impossible to view, but my mind was completely blown, and i would now make some effort to be in the path of totality if i could make it happen. in 7 more years, i believe a total solar eclipse will be visible from upstate new york. i realize it’s a little early to plan a trip for when quinn is 17, but i think it would be fun!

the eclipse, in sequential order! after the first few shots, i think i got the settings worked out pretty well. it was a great day for viewing celestial phenomena on the oregon coast, to top off a month full of summer learning.


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