Monday, June 23, 2008

Flying kites

What kid hasn't flown a kite?

Many years ago, when Dad and stepmom were here for a visit, third husband and I took them far out on the east side of town near the San Jacinto Monument. (For those of you who are not familiar with Texas history, THAT is where Santa Anna was -- quite literally, according to legend -- caught 'with his pants down', so to speak, dilly-dallying with his sweet young thing while the vast majority of his troops were taking a siesta.)

[By the way, they don't pronounce it "Sahn Haseento" here. They say "San Jacinta". Try rhyming that with "San Francisca" and you're good to go.]

It was a gorgeous day! High puffy clouds, bright sun (This was in the years before I started to get concerned about the possibility of skin cancer!), and a pretty good-sized wind. Just a perfect day for kite-flying!

As hubby was getting all of the kite paraphernalia out of the trunk, GG (Grandma Gladys, as I affectionately called her) seemed to be getting a little excited. She whispered to me that my dad had NEVER flown a kite. (!!??!!) Not in his whole life? Not even when he was a kid??

I had to think back to whatall my dad and I had done together when I was a child. He had taken me for lots of rides in our wagon, I remembered. Those were neat! (I was being pulled along the sidewalk around our block by my daddy!!)

We went fishing, he and I. He loved to fish! He particularly enjoyed wading out into the icy cold streams and fly casting. He hardly ever caught anything. (In other words, Mom always had supper all prepared, 'just in case'. If he accidentally DID catch something, she could always freeze it, right?) He just liked being there and trying!

When the two of us were together (and, to the best of my knowledge, I was the only one of us three kids who ever went fishing with him), we were usually in a rowboat. Daddy would row for a bit while I trolled, and then we would sit in quiet waters, jiggling our bait (I got really good at impaling those big garden worms on a hook) in hopes of attracting an unsuspecting trout or bass.

All right now, where was I? Oh yeah, hubby was removing kite paraphernalia from the trunk. Well!! Let me tell ya, that was one successful afternoon.

How the heck did I get onto THIS subject, anyway? I mean, it's going on towards July, for crying out loud! Don't people usually think of flying kites in March? April, maybe?

Well, I'm going to tell you. I was cruising the net earlier, feeling the most huMONgous sense of relief at finally finishing and then posting the third segment of my "all time favorites", when I came across this picture.

Now, I ask you. Does that kite look like a dragonfly, or does that kite look like a dragonfly?

My first thought, as my mind immediately began to wander, was of a canoe trip my first husband and I had taken many years ago, vividly described here, where we had the unique opportunity of observing dragonflies 'hatching'.

But then my mind turned to another memory, that of even further years back, when DD was perhaps just two or three years old.

We were out on Montauk Point (NY), and were really having a good time. The wind was kicking up pretty good-sized waves, and kites were flying just EVERYwhere! HUGE ones!! Ones that, upon first glance, looked like they would take four or five hefty men to initially lift, run along the beach with, and then let go so that the kites could finally majestically -- perhaps even threateningly --'soar' into the skies.

Well, he decided that he absolutely just HAD to have one! I questioned how, just between the two of us, we could hope to get it up. Hubby assured me that these other people didn't really know what they were doing ... that, between the two of us (and actually, I was pretty physically fit at the time), we could easily accomplish the task.

OK. I bought into his argument and away we went. We ran and ran and ran and ran and ran some more. All of a sudden, the thing rose into the air!! My husband shouted triumphantly. It was kind of exciting, actually! There it went, higher -- ever higher -- until, with no warning at all the 'thing' took just a terrible nosedive and went crashing into this pretty good-sized tent that had been erected in the campgrounds.

The tent was still shaking when hubby and I arrived. We certainly hoped no one was injured! Heavens!! Out of the tent came this extremely gracious woman who understood completely, she said. She'd seen lots of these enormous kites before, and had even thought of purchasing one for herself. We parted laughing and smiling.

Some time later, after many successful forays into the stratosphere and about to call it a day, actually, our UFO all of a sudden decided that it'd like to dive-bomb the ladies' latrine!

Down, down it went. It didn't collapse the latrine, having been built of sturdier stuff than the tents, but nevertheless hubby and I ran at full speed, hoping against hope that no one had been hurt. He didn't accompany me inside. It was the ladies' latrine, after all!

You'll never believe who came out of a stall, infuriated ... yes, it was the same very gracious lady whose tent our 'beast' had tried to collapse only a short while back.


Chuck said...

Does lightning strike the same people twice there, too?

Goldenrod said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Goldenrod said...

How weird was THAT, huh, Chuck?

By the way, we didn't stick around long enuf to see if it would happen a third time. "Twice bitten, thrice shy", or some such.

(I'd have done well to remember that before going into my 3rd marriage, wouldn't I?)

By the way, did you check out that kite? Does that look like a dragonfly, or does that look like a dragonfly?!?

Tammy said...

Oh that is funny. What are the odds it would be the same lady???