Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Herbert Hoover and The Solar Eclipse

I rarely use prompts for my blog, but today's NaBloPoMo prompt brought a smile to my face.

"Talk about a surprise that made you happy."

Sunday, on the way home from a Thanksgiving visit to my mother in law, my son made a surprise announcement.

He wants to see a total eclipse of the sun in August of 2017.  It will be his first total solar eclipse. It will be my spouse's second.  It will be my third.  And, he wants to see it with Mom and Dad.

It will be the first time we take a vacation together since he was 16, if this trip comes to pass.

And it is all Herbert Hoover's fault.

When my son was twelve, we took a driving trip out to South Dakota from our home in upstate New York.  Over the Memorial Day weekend, we found ourselves in Iowa City, Iowa, visiting a dear aunt of mine who has since left this world.  We were having a great time, until I got the Bright Idea.

Herbert Hoover's' birthplace is near Iowa City, in a small town called West Branch.

What better way, I thought, to celebrate Memorial Day but to visit a presidential birthplace?

On the other hand, my son, who was not a fan of history to begin with, did not want anything to do with this plan.  But Mom prevailed, and off we went. 

My son, to put it mildly, was not impressed by the Herbert Hoover birthplace.  Perhaps, if it had been a mansion, he might have been more impressed.  But, it turns out, Herbert Hoover had humble beginnings - a tiny two room cottage, to be exact. Borrrr-ing. And, when Mom (me) wanted to visit the Presidential Library, which was free that day, my son had had enough.  With a capital E. And, ahem, he made quite a scene.

We left.

The ironic part was, my son ended up taking AP History and loved it.

The rest of the trip was interesting.  It was boiling hot (yes, Nebraska and South Dakota can get boiling hot in early June.) And our car was not air conditioned.  And, by the time we reached the Black Hills, we were literally screaming at each other.  I do not do well in heat.

I'm a Badddd Mother.  True confession.

I keep telling son that he owes me a trip back to West Branch.

Well, my son is in his mid 20's now.  And recently, he admitted that he was glad that I took him to the Hoover birthplace.

And now, he wants to see a total solar eclipse.  With me.  And his Dad.  

At least this time, the car will have air conditioning.


  1. Cute story. I was born on Herbert Hoover's birthday. I've been to the Black Hills in the summer. Yes, HOT, but thank God for air conditioning. Enjoy the next eclipse!

    1. I will enjoy it, Penny. We are starting to plan the trip. If we take some extra time, we can start out on Herbert Hoover's birthday.

  2. I recall watching an solar eclipse when I was a junior in high school. Actual I thought it was sort of eerie.
    Coffee is on

    1. Watching my first eclipse (in 1970) was profound in a way I have never experienced before or since. Perhaps I should blog about it .

  3. Sounds like an eventful trip :) And it'll be a great trip to see the solar eclipse as a family. I've seen it once before in high school.

    1. My first experience with a total solar eclipse was in high school. I had the opportunity to join in on a high school/college trip down to North Carolina (the eclipse was not total where I lived) and it was amazing. I am looking forward to this. I hope we get to do it.

  4. I'm not sure if I have seen a solar eclipse though I bet it would be fun and fascinatng to do so. Enjoy your next trip with your husband and son to view it! ;) <3

    1. I so hope we get to do it. I didn't even know there was going to be an eclipse. It would be amazing to see a total solar eclipse three times in my life.


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