Monday, November 19, 2007

You Never Know What Will Land in Your Backyard


The sound filtered through my study window and simmered in my brain. Sounds like... gas escaping... my brain finally told me. GAS ESCAPING!!! NOT AGAIN!!! (the last bit because the previous Saturday workers installing a sprinkler system for our neighbor struck the gas line, causing all sorts of excitement). I rushed out the front door to see what new disaster had come.

The sound was indeed of gas rushing (score 1 for my brain), but not from a new leak. The sound came from the propane burner of a hot air balloon. It drifted down our street, just over housetop level, bringing with it excitement of its own. Kids and adults ran down the street chasing it; cars pulled into our neighborhood. One dad hopped out of an SUV with his teenage daughters and said to me, "I'm forty-one, and I'm more excited than they are!"

Hey, I'm forty-two, and I'm with you, buddy!

The balloon passed over a neighbor's house with about ten feet to spare, and then settled gently into the field that backs up to our houses. We were gathered around like villagers in 17th century France, chattering about the visitor from the skies. (Fortunately for the passengers, we opted not to bring pitchforks to slay the monster.) The operators allowed the balloon to deflate, jumping up and down on the bag to force the remaining air out, to the cheers of gathered boys and adults. In a short while it was packed, loaded in the trailer of a chase vehicle, and we were all left with a story to share with each other.

And now I have shared that story with you!

The moral? Keep your ears and eyes open: you never know what story my sail gently down and land in your own backyard.

--- Howard Shirley

STORY CHALLENGE: Imagine a balloon lands in your backyard. Where did it come from? Who is riding in it? Why are they there? And What will happen next?!?

1 comment:

Carol Collett said...

Fun story starter there, Howard. Thanks for sharing.