A couple of nights ago there was an eclipse…creating a “blood moon.” Even though it was a once in a lifetime event, I had decided to just enjoy the photographs from friends and those posting on the internet…and sleep right through it. I felt, around mid-afternoon, justified in this thinking: It was cloudy. It had been decided for me—no moon tonight. However, the clouds blew away, the stars came out—and then the moon. Still, bed beckoned…
(Quick side note of explanation: My husband and I manage a retirement community that includes the amenity of having “live in managers” who respond to emergency calls by the residents. This is one of the main reasons we do this work—we believe in being there for our residents and having someone that “knows” them be the person that responds to their emergencies. Last night Dan & I were “on call” or “on duty”…we would be responding to any emergencies).
By 10:30 p.m. I was literally asleep in the bathtub…stumbled into bed and was having the best dream when the alarm sounded around 1:30 a.m. A call to 9-1-1 brought the firemen and EMT’s to assist a resident and transport him to the hospital (luckily nothing very serious). This call was followed by another alarm—a burned bag of popcorn set off a smoke detector.
Two minor emergencies right at the time of the eclipse. Seemed like a sign from God that I should go outside (Dan just took it as a sign to stumble back to bed). “Do you want to go see the eclipse, Dan?” “Not really.” You get the pic.
(Quick side note again: On nights that we are “on duty” I keep clothes to pull on in a flash to respond to the e-call. These are not fashion statements: my Crocs for shoes, an oversized t-shirt, and crop leggings. Sometimes colorful socks, sometimes not. Hopefully I have time to run my fingers through my hair & remember my glasses. I should come with a warning—I could frighten someone with a heart condition. I don’t think the firemen would recognize me during the day time with makeup, hair done & real, coordinated, nice clothing).
So, this is the garb I decide to go “check out the moon” in…plus my winter coat because the temperature has dipped to freezing.
Have you ever tried to put together a project at 2 a.m.? Your brain isn’t clacking on all the tracks. First, I can’t find my tripod (discovered it hidden behind the exercise stick to make my arms skinnier that I never use). Discover that the little base thingy that screws into the base of my camera which then hooks into/locks the camera in place on the tripod is the wrong one for this particular tripod. Race around the house looking for the other tripod. Must be in the back of the Jeep. Debate going to dark parking lot to dig round in the back of the Jeep—cancel that idea. Find a mini tripod that isn’t very secure, but it is 2:15 a.m. and it now makes sense to use it. Grab the paparazzi lens (500 mm super-duper-makes-me-look-like-I-know-what-I-am-doing [fake out] lens. Screw the monopod into paparazzi lens. Figure out how to adjust monopod and tripod to work together. Decide I shouldn’t say cuss words and wake up Dan. He isn’t known for his understanding of my projects in the middle of the night. Head out to the back “yard” of our community.
In order to make the wrong tripod/monopod combo work, I had to set the camera contraption up on a round cement table. By this time the moon is high in the sky. To get the camera to focus, I ended up having to stabilize the monopod in a flower pot and lay down on the cement bench to get the camera pointed “up” enough. Remember I’m in my Crocs, crops and pea green winter coat with the fur around the hood.
Needless to say, my photographs were less than spectacular. But you know what? I didn’t care. The eclipse was simply breathtaking.
As I sat there, freezing, wondering what that noise was coming from the dark bushes, I also thought of all of my friends who were as crazy as me and up in the middle of the night “shooting the moon.” I was pretty sure Mark Jackson would be (turns out he was in the dessert getting a good dark sky), Karen Sparks stayed up for some good shots, too. Who else was looking at the moon? I started thinking of my friends around the world and it seemed as if they were there with me watching the moon.
“I see the moon, the moon sees me. God bless the moon, God bless me.” May the moon shine bright wherever you are and God bless you!