By Ralphine Major

A trip to the Knoxville Zoo sounded like fun—especially on the day of the much publicized eclipse!  Driving to the sweet spot of Sweetwater, Tennessee, would involve too much traffic.  Besides, Charlie and Barbara wanted to observe the animals’ behavior under unusual circumstances.

But, the Lovells’ close-knit family turned the historic day into a family event.  On Sunday afternoon, Charlie’s stepdaughter, Carrie, called to see if they would like to go out of town for the eclipse.  Her husband, Steve, had a cousin who owned a farm in Madisonville, which is nearly next door to Sweetwater.  “Absolutely!” Charlie told them.  “If you are doing the driving,” he added.  Charlie’s other stepdaughter, Carla, did the driving for them.

Grandson Matthew loaded his truck, and the three vehicles headed for Madisonville early Monday morning.  The oldest grandson came from Columbia, South Carolina; and the youngest grandson—a senior in the University of Tennessee’s School of Nursing came later with his girlfriend Emily, who is from Lewisburg, Tennessee, and two of her friends, UT students Leslie and Gabby.

Upon arriving, the group set up their tent and lawn chairs, got out the coolers, and took food into the house.  Carrie, Carla, and Gabby—all avid photographers—set up their tripods and cameras with the special filters they had to purchase for the event.  With special eyeglasses in hand, everyone was ready for the historic event to begin.  Steve ventured outside the tent every five minutes to check on the sky.  “I’m not getting in that hot sun,” Charlie told him.  “You can give me a report.”  The three avid photographers sat on the ground with cameras pointed skyward.  “What an awesome sight it was!” Charlie exclaimed.

“When the eclipse finally happened, it was unbelievable; but I believed it because it simply revealed God in the universe of creation.  When the moon blotted out the light and heat from the sun and it got very dark and the temperature dropped several degrees, the most amazing thing happened.”  Charlie paused for a moment.  “The cows in the meadow began to bellow—not moo,” he said.  “They were making a different sound.  Then, the sounds stopped.  In the eeriness of the moment, another amazing thing happened.”  Charlie’s pause was longer this time, almost as if he were reliving the moment.  “The cock crowed!”  Charlie said.  “I thought that was God telling us as a nation to turn from our wicked ways and believe in Him,” he continued.

Pictured above: The most beautiful sight of the moon with the light wrapped around it is captured in a photo for Focus readers to enjoy.  I have learned that it is called the diamond ring.  Of all the priceless photos Carla took that day, this one is her favorite—and mine!