Chalk it up to participation apathy

Chalk it up to participation apathy.

A lot of people like the idea of experiencing moments in history up front and personal — the solar eclipse this past Monday is certainly testimony to that.

I mean, it doesn’t happen all the time, so there’s some motivation there to be a part of a big moment in time, right?

Depending on where you live in this great country of ours, you could have seen a total solar eclipse or a partial one.

I probably saw more “red” than anything else, though, because I ultimately was mad at myself for not getting a pair of those special glasses, making me a classic case of knowing something was going to happen but then not making the effort to be prepared enough to follow through.

I guess that makes me a classic example of, yeah, I knew about it, but, no, I wasn’t on board with solar eclipse enthusiasts.

Oh well. I already had a kink in my neck anyway so no need to aggravate that and look skyward.

Actually, my concern was more about making sure the Kiaski animals were safe and sound, because I’d neglected to get them special glasses, too.

Knowing I was going to be at work when the solar eclipse occurred meant I had to add a few extra items to Better Half’s honey-do list for Monday.

We’d already discussed how to handle Herald the cat. That’s spelled correctly, given she’s black and white like a newspaper.

We decided we’d lure her into the house even though she was an outdoor cat long before we ever claimed her as our own. 

Herald doesn’t show a lot of interest in what goes on inside the Kiaski house, which makes her pretty smart. She’s content with affection and a bowl of Friskies, not a tour or invitation.

But Herald slept through the eclipse and then some, dreaming away on the back porch, comfy on a chair cushion.

What to do with the horses involved more discussion.

One thing we agreed on was let’s not bring them in to the house.

We don’t want them in the good living room, especially since we don’t have slip covers on the furniture.

We did spar a bit over putting them in the stalls or leaving them out in the field.

Outside, horses always have their heads down, eating. If their head is up, they’re sleeping. Seems safe enough.

We agreed, though, on a little stall time being in order.

And we flipped a coin to see who got to clean up the post-eclipse stall “souvenirs.”

Truthfully, I felt a little scared of the eclipse.

When you’re told not to do something — i.e. don’t look at the sky — that’s when you’re inclined to do it — look right at the sky.

So I stayed indoors, noticed the darkening afternoon, felt a little weird, wondered if I’d howl or grow hair on my legs.

Everything was OK, though.

But I’ve remained an example of participation apathy.

All the interest in the growing Mega Millions jackpot, for example, hasn’t moved me to move into any store and buy a ticket or two.

I was asked if I had, though, assured that it was the thing to do.

After all, somebody has to win. And that somebody could be me,

If I were to win big bucks, I know one thing — I’d be buying everybody special glasses for the next solar eclipse.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at