Preparing for the Eclipse in 40 Easy Steps

Just in case you haven’t heard, there’s an eclipse coming our way. On August 21, we Portlanders will experience a 99-point-something eclipse of the sun. But apparently that remaining .01 to totality is pretty important. Something about coronas and stars coming out? Anyway, it’s a big deal.

However, because we are parents and are busy with other things, perhaps we (okay, okay – I) didn’t realize quite how big a deal it is until recently. In which case, this post is for you. Here’s all you need to do to get ready. Really, it’s not that hard. Just follow these steps.

  1. Realize you are completely behind on the whole total eclipse thing  (already done, check).
  2. Try to find a campsite so you can be in the path of totality.
  3. Realize there are no campsites available. At all.
  4. Except for that one that costs 600 dollars, what?!
  5. Go back to thinking 99 percent is fine.
  6. Remember once in a lifetime! Can’t be missed! And get back to searching.
  7. Call around to your better-organized friends to see if they’ve found something so you can tag along.
  8. Strike pay dirt. Hooray for organized friends!
  9. Start reading about the traffic. The traffic!
  10. Freak out that maybe 99 percent is fine.
  11. Remember once in a lifetime and so forth.
  12. Decide to go a day earlier.
  13. Dust off hands, feeling good.
  14. Realize wait – you still have to come back from the eclipse.
  15. Freak out about the traffic again.
  16. Realize there’s nothing to be done about it. Once in a lifetime. Right?
  17. Glasses! Where do you get those glasses?
  18. Look online to find that the only ones remaining won’t be shipped until the end of September.
  19. Head to library to get your free pair, while choking on the forest fire haze.
  20. Wait, forest fires. What if we can’t even see it?
  21. Try to check forecast, but it’s too early.
  22. Worry about there being a run on sales of gasoline.
  23. Worry about there being a run on sales of wine.
  24. Decide to stock up on both.
  25. Don’t actually buy either though because, disorganized.
  26. Wonder again about just staying put.
  27. In. A. Lifetime.
  28. Get out solar glasses for encouragement. You can’t see anything through these things. Seriously what is the point?
  29. Contemplate going north instead.
  30. Stick with plan.
  31. Psych up kids.
  32. Wonder if psyching up kids is a bad idea since with traffic, no gas, forest fires and no ability to see through glasses, they probably won’t see anything anyway.
  33. Once in a life. Once in a lifetime. Once in a lifetime.
  34. Talk to other friends about the eclipse. Obsessively.
  35. Realize that the words “eclipse,” “traffic” and “end of days” have been uttered far more than you’re comfortable with in the past few weeks.
  36. Psych yourself up.
  37. Tell yourself it will be worth it.
  38. It will be worth it.
  39. Once in a lifetime.
  40. Now time to get packing….
Ali Wilkinson
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