Thursday, September 28, 2006

Until the day dawns...2 Peter 1:19

The hot air balloon fair came to town. In previous years I have found out about it as I see the balloons up in the air, but this year I saw the announcement in the paper a few weeks ahead of time. The kids were excited and wanted to go see the balloons lifting off at dawn. Great. Dawn comes kind of early in the morning.

Since the paper didn't give an exact time and I didn't know how long it would take for the balloons to be set up prior to lift off, we left early last Friday morning. By 4:30 a.m. the kids and I were on our way to the field 40 minutes away. We followed the signs and found the launch site. It seemed rather empty, so I asked the older couple coming out of their RV if I was at the right place. Yes, I was, but they were in charge of parking the cars, and they weren't going to start doing that until 5:30. At 5:30 we parked and walked over to listen in on the pilots' briefing. About 6:30 the crews started laying out the tarps and unrolling the balloons.

It was cold, but exciting as the kids watched the process of the balloons being set up, filled with air (J got to help one of the crews with this), be rolled back up, and put away. Huh? As the sun was coming up the wind picked up, and the mass launch was scratched.

Disappointed, we piled back in the truck and returned home to take care of the critters and have a mandatory nap time since everyone was a bit cold and cranky.

Sunday morning we tried again. This time we dressed in many layers that included winter coats and mittens, opened the chicken coop before we left, fixed some breakfast sandwiches to eat on the way, and didn't pull out of the driveway until 5:40 a.m. Sunday morning was quite a bit more eventful and happy since the launch actually happened and the kids were fed and warm. By 8:00 we were on our way home. The boys spent the rest of the day with plastic groceries bags and hair dryers.

Yesterday morning we again got up early to visit the Sheep Dog Finals. It was fascinating to watch a dog herd four sheep through a series of gates with the master simply blowing on a whistle. We met up with some friends from med school who live in the area and went to their house for lunch. They have 2 little girls, so A was thrilled to play girl stuff for the afternoon. The Dog was also thrilled to have a few doggie playmates for the afternoon. The Dog got to attend the competition with us, leashed, of course. But he was able to run around and play in the afternoon. We decided to make a side trip on the way home to visit Costco and the discount grocery store, so after 13 hours, 298 miles, and half a tank a fuel, we returned home. Whew.

On a sad note, the friend who celebrated her 100th birthday a few weeks ago died this week. S still sleeps with the huge stuffed bear she gave him last year. He was pretty sad about it even though, at 100, it wasn't a huge shock. We are all looking forward to that new day dawning.

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