Saturday I heard peculiar noises out back. Peeking out the window I saw, I kid you not, a hot air balloon taking off from the vacant lot that adjoins our back yard.
Ah, ha, says I, I've heard those sounds many times before, on television, on footage showing hot air balloons. I've even heard those noises in person a time or two, while watching hot air balloons getting filled or replenished with hot air at one event or another. Silly me, that I couldn't figure out I had a hot air balloon in my back yard without seeing it. Those distinctive bursts of whooshing could have told me, all by themselves - if I'd merely been able to imagine that I'd have a hot air balloon out back.
Which I couldn't. Not without seeing it.
That sort of thing has simply never happened around here. The old brain couldn't make the leap, I guess. (At any rate, it didn't.)
The balloon was tethered, and was giving rides as part of some celebration associated with the opening of the new Chamber of Commerce office, or so I'm told. Somehow I'd missed the PR run-up to it. (On the whole, the small town grapevine is highly overrated, folks.)
I didn't go for a ride. I saved my money and stayed on the ground, enjoying the spectacle for free, and laughing over the fact that a birds-eye view of our little ramshackle house was temporarily part of a tourist attraction.
I took some short walks, too, going up and down the way to give myself the good fun of seeing other people noticing the balloon for the first time. For my small trouble, I was treated to kids jumping up and down. Balloons seem to do that to kids. OK, I saw some mighty cheerful and delighted adults. Balloons seem to turn a goodly percentage of adults into kids, somehow. Me included. Ahem.
They gave rides Sunday, too. So I had two mornings full of unexpected fun brought practically to my doorstep. Such a deal.
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