childhood memories of balloons:

crying over this every single time they made us watch it in elementary school:

At least annually wanting to be a balloon wrangler when I grew up thanks to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. My favorite was always Snoopy.

young adult memories of balloons:

Discovering the joy–and also the sting–of water balloons

Probably destroying brain cells at least once or twice inhaling helium gas so I could talk like Daffy Duck.

Appreciating balloons in theory more than in application, because they always smell bleh as they deflate.

young mom memories of balloons:

Learning the hard way why you pay a little extra for high float.

Discovering mylar. Shiny!

Realizing my heart might be just a little too soft as watching a child let go of a balloon and wail as it sails into the great blue yonder or startle when it inadvertently pops can bring tears to my eyes.

Waking up one morning to a mysterious and loud intermittent roar only to realize a hot air balloon was unexpectedly landing on a nearby lawn.

Watching my husband go up in a hot air balloon at his elementary school one year. And praying all the way he would land softly and gently at the appropriate time, because by then I’d already read too many runaway balloon horror stories.

Getting up way too early on what was inevitably the longest day of the year by the time you had to get up early to get a good place at the balloon fest, then make your way to (hopefully) snag a decent place to sit along the parade and then hit the arts festival, fit in a BBQ, and stay up late to watch the fireworks–all part of America’s Freedom Festival (which, by the way, I’m boycotting until they let Encircle have a float in the parade).

Loving how bothmy mother and also my kids enjoyed the giant colorful billowing balloons, and the way you can really get up close and personal with them at the balloon festival.

[Day 193 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]

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