There is an afterglow to a solar eclipse that mirrors a good vacation. A feeling of warmth. Well being.

Complete or partial, eclipse experiences were memorable across the board.

This country was ripe for something that could bring us together, if only for a moment. Sometimes a moment is all we need. It can be as restorative as a moment of rest during vigorous exercise.

•••

I had a great ice experience during the eclipse.

I tried to buy a block of ice at the Albertsons store in Rexburg, Idaho.

“We’re out of ice, but we have frozen gallon bottles of Crystal Geyser for 99 cents,” said a checker. “After they thaw, you can drink the water.”

That was a revelation. Freeze the jugs, use them instead of block ice and then drink the water. Who would have thunk it? I bought three, took two home and put them in the outside freezer at home and drank the other.

***

We stayed at sweet Aunt Alice’s house in Salt Lake City the night before pushing onto Rexburg for the eclipse. On her fridge she had a quote from Gordon Hinckley, the 15th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

“It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry. I say that to myself every morning.”

Hinckley’s quote echoed something I felt at the end of the eclipse: “Everything is going to be OK, even when it’s not.”

When Hinckley was in his last days, the Deseret News, which is owned by the church, gave updates on Hinckley’s health. In order to be upbeat and positive, the reports were that “Hinckley was making steady improvement.”

One day he died whereby somebody, somebody with a sense of humor, wrote, “Hinckley died of steady improvement.”

•••

Who doesn’t love to sing? Singing is celebrating. Singing makes you feel good. Singing is what service clubs do to start their meetings because it whips their members into a service mode. I’ll bet Gordon Hinckley liked to sing.

I know that all you people have good voices, like to sing, but might be afraid to do so in public. For that reason, choirs are great because you have people to the right of you, people to the left and people front and back who provide comfort and sustenance for the modest and shy.

The Bakersfield Master Chorale is holding tryouts this week. I’m not exactly Andrea Bocelli and I’ve been singing with the Chorale for four years. If you have a decent voice and want to have some major fun, try out. Contact Sarah Fields at srfields61@gmail.com for information.

•••

More response about column on fighting nutgrass from Jim Stuart:

“I have battled nutgrass for years and have done so successfully with a product I get from Gardener's Supply on Landco.

"I use a sprayer that I got there years ago that has a horizontal spray head which allows for more uniform application than the regular head.

"Dale Edwards of Old River Sod on the Saturday morning Garden Party radio show has said for years that you should apply it as early in the morning as possible (before 7 a.m. if possible) and then not water the area for 24 hours.”

•••

Response to recent column about my sister Pam’s 65th birthday and remembering her father from Patti Bruce:

“I have a friend who recently lost his wife. He was sitting on his patio and along comes this lovely butterfly. He immediately knew it was his wife letting him know she loved him and was well now.

“I lost my father in 1972 and when I I bought my first home as a single woman I could smell cigarettes in a particular place in the home (I have never smoked) and when I smelled it I always said, 'Hi Daddy I miss you!' That experience lasted over five years.”

Herb Benham is a columnist for the Bakersfield Californian and can be reached at hbenham@bakersfield.com or (661) 395-7279.

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