The pilots emerge and return to their parking spaces. Suddenly teams spring to action. Baskets are unloaded, fans and burners primed, and balloons stretched out across the field. The sound of the fans revving up and air whooshing into the colorful flying machines drowns out the excited hum of the crowd. Giants who once lay sleepily on the grass begin to awaken as the air lifts their brilliant panels and designs and the balloons take form.
Our team goes into action as the balloon next to us finally stands off the ground and leaves us room to inflate. While the basket is attached and the burner blasts the warm air into the balloon, waivers are signed and instructions given on what to take and what to expect. Quicker than what my senses can take in, I'm trying to climb into the basket without looking awkward (unsuccessful with an arthritic hip!) and my dear friend Debbie is doing the same. Mike looks at me with an "I told you so" smile and the earth flies away beneath us. We are airborne and it is magical!
As the balloon glides over She-ga-hun-da (the name the Seneca gave this beautiful gorge) a long-ago dream has finally become a reality. As a little girl I was fascinated by a mural painted on the closet door in my grandmother's bedroom. Pictured there floating over rolling hills was a hot air balloon stylized in the fashion of the one in Around the World in Eighty Days. I wondered and dreamed what it might be like to fly above the earth in such a fascinating contraption. And now it was happening!
Life can often be like that. Dreams, hopes, curiosity and fascination should never be left behind in childhood. Whenever I've wanted to give up or things haven't worked out as I've planned, I've determined to try another route, change my direction, or rethink the way I can accomplish my goal. Life does not always go smoothly, but if you're willing to adapt to whatever comes your way, it will always been exciting.
I never expected to be launched into the air in a hot air balloon, even though I dreamed of it as a child. I never expected to launch a website either! But here I am and here it is- launched! Let's see where the wind takes me now!