HAMPTON, Iowa -- She may seem like your typical ninety-year-old with a fondness for gardening but while the world is anticipating Monday's total solar eclipse, it will be the fifth for Hampton Iowa's Joyce Blum. "I'm an oddity because they haven't found anyone in Iowa that has seen more," said Blum.
She's chased darkness across the globe for moments lasting a few minutes. "The way the light is hitting it, it looks like a big bunch of diamonds just flashing. It is just gorgeous and other times there are red flames."
Her first came in 1994 in the Chilean Andes mountains, next came in the South China Sea in 1995. She journeyed off the coast of Aruba in 1998 and then the Black Sea in 1999. "I've been terribly lucky to be at the right place, at the right time with the right people that loved to travel," said Blum.
The opportunities came because her brother, Bill Boehmler who has since passed away, served as project managing engineer for the moon landing in 1969.
Joyce's new seven person mission begins Monday morning. She said, "I immediately called and I was the first one that said here's my money I'm going with you." She's the veteran among six first timers that will depart from Clear Lake for St. Joseph, Missouri. "The temperature will drop twenty-five degrees so at seventy that day it will cool down to forty-five. You can feel it. I was always too excited to feel it I don't even remember it dropping," said Blum. Adding priceless experience ahead of Monday's event. "You gotta see it, that's my attitude. It's too interesting to miss"
From the garden to the skies, a total eclipse giving her one more chance to thank her brother. "I'm going to hope he sees it up there somehow from heaven."
Blum says the seven passenger plane has a backup plan if the skies become too cloudy and visibility is poor for the total eclipse. They will fly to Kansas City.