Friday, October 7, 2011

My Beloved Kite

Today I saw a tumbleweed (like this one.) An actual real rolling tumbleweed. I had to do a double take because I was driving in the heart of the city, over a 6 lane highway on a bridge. And there it was - just blowing down the road like it was on a wide open road somewhere in rural Oklahoma.

Today, was a gusty day. Winds near 50 mph. We have a gazillion leaves all over the yard and excited girls who want to rake them, so I am not complaining.

Anyway, today reminds me of a day in early September which I started to write about but didn't finish.

Here's what I wrote then with my ending tacked on.

This was me yesterday. Relaxing. Out with the family flying our arsenal of kites and enjoying the best cool breeze of the summer. The last one, I imagine.
It was all my idea.  "Let's go fly kites," I suggested.

And it was a great idea if I do say so myself.

We had just come off of three and a half days of hard labor playing musical  bedrooms. Each one of us got a new room. The dust pile ups, the junk pileups, the clothing we just don't wear pileups were all large and looming. But, we stayed focused and had some unexpected and wonderful help from Nana and Pops and we went to work cleaning, organizing, pitching, and polishing.

I must say, the rooms look great.  Everyone is happy. We each have more room. We all gained a couple square feet at most, but that is improvement.

Anyway, after all of this I thought it would be a good idea to finally enjoy the decent weather as a family. Just the five of us.

We headed to a huge open area near our home and let the kites do their thing. No effort needed on our part. They were on their own.   Literally, unfortunately.

So, here I am resting in the sun and attempting to keep my eye on the tiny dot of a kite almost 500 feet off in the distance.

Let me just say, I love my kite. It is the easiest thing to fly, packs into a tiny bag, and can reach the heavens.

Yesterday was no exception.

Here it is on that fateful day perhaps a little too close to another.
As you can see the sky was beautiful, the clouds crisp and white and the wind was suuuuuuuuuper gusty.

I was peacefully holding the end of the string when the youngest kite flyer in the family asked me to help wind hers back up.  We switched lines and I started to roll hers around the small cardboard tube it came with.

As I did this, it somehow escaped from my hands. I honestly can't remember how it did, but it did.  I yelled and immediately chased after the tube which was now rolling across the field and gaining speed.  I had my camera around my neck too, so my speed was more jogging like than full out running.

If only I cn step on it, I thought. I reached, I yelled, I laughed. It was all too funny.

About a nanosecond later, my little one is behind me yelling and I turn to see that she lost the grip on my kite and it is now making for free-er places.  I've caught up to her kite, stomped on it, but now have another mission.  Run faster, yell louder (because kites listen to their owners) and laugh and reach like a maniac before I totally lose this thing to the heavens.

Ben races ahead of me, across the street, and into a yard and nearly catches the end of the string.


We both watch, out of breath, as it raises higher into the air and the end of the string catches onto the top of a 30+ foot enormous tree.  It's in the back yard of someone's home.

What to do now?

Ben knocks. No one home.  What were they going to do anyway?  Bring out their 20 foot tall ladder and climbing gear?

We ponder our options - which are minimal. Wait for the wind to just take it and watch it leave our little neighborhood.  Wait for the wind to die down, estimate where the kite would land and try to retrieve it.  Or, and this was my thought, watch in horror as a plane flies into it, blows up and dives to earth and I am now a news item. Thirty-Seven Year Old Responsible for the Deaths of 180 Passengers Returning From a Pilgrimage to Rome.  Or, Rare Eagle Collides With Kite and Lands in Pre-school Yard - Mom Takes the Heat.

Options one and two were most appealing to me even though it meant probably losing my kite. "It will land in the river", Ben says. How does he know?  Now I worry about a fish or bird tangling with it. I was in a bit of a quandary. The kite was over 530 feet in the air, darting back and forth, and it looked really cool. I have never seen a kite fly so high. It was truly awesome.  But, I couldn't shake the thought of a tragedy unfolding, maybe a horrific one, at my doing.

We watched for awhile longer, got into the car and headed home. Ben then rolled the tandem out of the garage and with one of our kids, he went searching.  

He came back with a story. Not the happy ending that would have made for a good children's book, but a story. The kite had fallen and landed across several yards. He even saw the string across the yard of a certain local radio talk show host. The kite was caught in an electric wire and he phoned it in to the electric company.

That's it.

I lost my kite and my voice that day.

The End.

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