I took this picture almost nine years ago, one summer evening when my daughter-in-law Kathleen and I were out running errands with my two then-very-little grandchildren.
It all happened as we were driving along a country road a few miles from my house. We rounded a curve and started up a small hill when we were suddenly greeted by this wondrous sight. That is not something you see every day when you are out driving around, at least not where I live!
We quickly saw that there was another hot air balloon floating very close to this gorgeous yellow one, and we just had to stop to look at them! There happened to be a gravel patch by the side of the road on the other side of the little hill, so we hurriedly pulled over and hopped out of the car. A man and a woman, who were out in their yard across the road from where we parked, looked suspiciously at my daughter-in-law and I as we jumped out, looked up, and started taking pictures....But as soon the couple stopped staring at us long enough to look up, they understood.
By then it was obvious that both hot air balloons were rapidly descending and looking for a spot to land. As they swiftly drifted across the road and over a small patch of woods, Kathleen and I jumped back into the car to follow them. We drove a short distance to an intersecting road, turned onto it and went past the woods, and there, just off the side of the road, were both freshly-landed balloons. We once again pulled off onto the side of the road. Also pulling over right then were several other cars that had observed the goings-on... including the couple who had been regarding us with such suspicion just a few minutes before. They had also hopped into their car to follow the balloons.
This time when Kathleen and I climbed out of our car, we got Kathleen's two little ones out as well. What an amazing sight lay before all of us! The balloons had missed the trees, and a couple of houses, but not by much. We watched, fascinated, as the balloon pilots slowly deflated their balloons and prepared to pack them up. It was a fascinating, I-can't-believe-this-awesome-thing-is-happening kind of evening.
For much of my life I had thought about how fun it would be to ride in a hot air balloon over the countryside. I suppose that thought started when I was a little girl and had seen "The Wizard of Oz"? I don't know. But I still to this day like the idea of quietly floating high in the air, watching over everything down below. I think it sounds so peaceful, so serene...and yet so exciting at the same time.
I don't remember where Kathleen and I had been going that summer evening so long ago. Wherever we had been going, we never got there. Instead, we were unexpectedly given the opportunity to put normal life on hold for a little while and just be in awe of something beautiful, and we grabbed the opportunity and enjoyed it.
I recommend that more people do that more often.
JudyK April 4, 2017