Inform, Entertain, Inspire
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Michiana Chronicles writers bring portraits of our life and times to the 88.1 WVPE airwaves every Friday at 7:45 am during Morning Edition and over the noon hour at 12:30 pm during Here and Now. Michiana Chronicles was first broadcast in October 2001. Contact the writers through their individual e-mails and thanks for listening!

Michiana Chronicles: Eclipse Humbug

The path of the 2024 total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.
The path of the 2024 total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

Apparently, there's going to be some sort of celestial something or other in a few days. I don't really care about it and I know that's an unpopular opinion. Maybe not? Maybe you don't care about it either. Maybe with all the daily tug and stress and running hither and thither and making meals for people's mouths and all that sort of thing, you don't have any energy left for natural world wonders either.

At first, I thought it was a cool thing and my dad was campaigning that we take the kids out of school and drive further south to observe four plus minutes of complete darkness. This is a once in a lifetime experience, he says. The next one is in ninety-nine years, he says. I am tired from working and being a member of a family and reading the news. I don't want a trip to rural Indiana this weekend.

My friends kept talking about it and they are traveling south to get closer to ‘totality’. I started to wonder if maybe I was wrong. I asked my husband who feels the same way about the eclipse, if maybe we were wrong? I asked my children if they wanted to make a big deal out of it and it was an underwhelming response of ‘meh’.

The newspaper covered the pending eclipse and talked about where the optimal locations were. People chatted online about travelers from all around the world coming to the middle of America for the best view of the longest total dark eclipse. I started to think maybe I did care. I talked to the family again. My husband and I agreed it was, in fact, worth it to make a big deal out of this.

John got online and found some unremarkable hotel room in Muncie, Indiana that we could all squeeze into. It was dog friendly because of course our dog needs to see the eclipse too. We figured it would cost us around $400 with hotel and gas and good eating for the whirlwind trip.

A day or two went by and we felt tired again from daily life. John and I talked again about whether it was worth the cost to go see this eclipse in a better location? The truth is, we expect our local area to get a pretty good eclipse experience. Perhaps not complete totality, but pretty close. We decided it might be close enough. The kids were ambivalent, we were ambivalent and so we canceled the hotel reservation. We decided that the kids could either stay home from school or we would pick them up after lunch and then go to the local downtown event.

Oh wait! I have a job! There's going to be an eclipse event at my job and I may not be able to get the day off of work. I asked my family if they would be willing to come to my work for this once in a lifetime event. Mutiny! The kids would much rather go downtown where there is live music and food trucks and chaos.

So we have a loose plan: Maybe we'll be together and maybe we won't. Maybe we'll go downtown, maybe we'll be at my work eating moon pies and talking to senior citizens. I don't know what will happen. For all we know it could be cloudy and be really close to a non event.

If you know me at all, you know I love to make a celebration out of nothing. I dress up and speak out and sparkle like a five-year-old girl. I was really curious why my whole soul wasn't into this moment in history that is primed and ready for celebration, whimsy, and magic? Honestly, I still don't know why I'm not more into it. I love full and new moons. I put moon water jars out and sometimes I charge my crystals in moonlight. The spiritualist in me should be all over this.

Sometimes what is magical in the world is magical enough without pomp and circumstance. I expect that come the day I'll be counting down the hours to total eclipse. I will not be surprised if I am moved emotionally by the experience with or without my family. I deeply honor the smallness of myself as a human. Perhaps the confluence of aging and working with an aging population, seeing something that only happens once in a lifetime, maybe the pain and sorrow in that is deflating my excitement?

I will celebrate. I will wear the glasses. I will eat the moon pie or taco truck food or what have you wherever I am during the eclipse. Perhaps I will also have a total eclipse of the heart. Celestial bodies will move with or without me. Eclipses occurred both before my lifetime, during my lifetime and once I am only dust and stars again. Wonder happens and even if I am not excited, I remain grateful.

Music: "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler

Heather Novak's professional history includes sales and customer service training and troubleshooting for businesses, but she loves motivational speaking best. Heather leads church events for youth, singles and women, has spoken for Chicago Apartment Association and many organizations throughout Indiana. Nowadays Heather is just another stay at home wild mama trying to loose some weight, keep some sanity and enjoy her life. She is being raised by two little girls named Portia and Libby and is indulged by a guy named John who was gracious enough to marry her. Heather blogs about F Words: Feisty Faith, Fumbling Family, Fairly Healthy Food, Failed Fashion and Fabulous Friendships. You can find her at