My husband is never bored. I have friends who complain about their spouse permanently being underfoot and, because he has nothing to do. he is always trying to reorganise the kitchen or change the way that household chores are done.
Not my Dave! Dave has a hobby for all seasons, his main one being astronomy. This is not to be confused with astrology, which involves the Zodiac and predicting the future. He has been interested in Astronomy since he was a young boy and has always kept track of all eclipses, be they total or partial, solar or moonlight, he has read about them talked about them, dreamed about them and, in recent years, travelled to them. Until we moved to the Okanagan, 28 years ago, we could never afford for Dave to fulfill his dreams of eclipse watching.
Once we were established here, with no children to take care of, money was a little more available for us to spend on ourselves. This is when Dave started to travel. Having a motel to look after meant I had to stay home, which wasn’t too much of a disappointment as star gazing and related hobbies were not my thing. His first journey to an eclipse he did with his brother who lived in California. The two of them flew to Mexico for one day, watched the event and flew back. The rest of his time they visited various observatories in California.
Roll on a couple of years and Turkey was the desired spot, Dave was in contact with astronomers in England so he joined a group of them for that trip. France was next on the list, he took one of our daughters with him and met up with another daughter, and husband, in England for the trip to France.
Since then he has been all over the place to see this event and never tires of the celestial wonders. One year he, with other similar minded people, wanted to watch an event over the North sea near Iceland. Since it would be March, they were pretty sure that it would be clouded out, so the group of them hired a plane to watch from above the clouds. Only half the plane could be used as the other half would not have the view. Because eclipses only have about three minutes of totality, I reckon that I paid a thousand dollars a minute for Dave’s seat on the plane.
Of course, the entire eclipse takes much longer but it is the vital minutes of totality that the boys want to see. I once went along with him as it was to be near to New Zealand and we went on a cruise for three weeks to view this event. I must admit the eclipse was thrilling, worthy of goosebumps and definitely awe inspiring, however the twenty other days being cosseted and pampered, on the cruise, were not too bad either.
Dave attends an astronomy group that meets monthly and they have built a kind of small Stonehenge, up Munson Mountain in Penticton, they call it Penhenge! Several of them spent quite a few months finding the right stones and hauling them into place with trucks and manpower. On June 21 and Dec. 21, they meet up there to watch the sun set over the main stone. Never mind how cold it is in the middle of December, off they go with snow shovels, if necessary, to watch the event. About seventy of them go to cheer on the sun’s demise.
What about me, what do I do? Well someone has to keep the home fire burning for the wanderer’s return , and I manage to do that very well indeed!
Not being too adventurous, I get my reward each winter when I spend two weeks doing nothing but laze around by the pool, in a nice resort in Mexico. I always go with at least one other friend, lately husbands have been going along too but they know the rules, no exploring anything except what the tide brings in and any stargazing has to be done from the beach. It works well for both of us.