Breakfast on the Connecticut

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Archive for May, 2017

Post Mills Balloon Meet

May 25th, 2017 by donnanandersen

What a wonderful time.  We had some guests call for a last minute stay, they were already on their way up from Boston.  We were, of course, happy to oblige.  Little did we know that they were going to tip us off to one of the most wonderous things a human could witness….the Post Mills Experimental Balloon Meet.  Our guests were long time Balloonies (my word, not theirs), and although their particular hot air balloon wasn’t experimental and, thus,  unable to fly at this meet, they assured us that it was worth the trip for them.  In turn, it must be worth the 20 minute drive for us!  The balloons were scheduled to take flight at 6pm on Saturday night.  Of course we would want to see the preparations that must be needed for such a science as this.  So we grabbed our dog and a blanket, picked up a pizza on the way, and headed for the Post Mills airport around 5pm.  We arrived with the crowd, and were soon having a picnic with a few hundred new friends.  It is pretty easy to make friends when you travel with your friendly four-legged fur ball, and when everyone else in the area either has their children, baby-bump, or dog with them as well.  Seriously though…so many babys!!  There was a nice breeze, which I was grateful for as it was keeping the bugs at bay…. until I started hearing the rumblings of the crowd.  Rumors started swirling that it was too windy, the balloons couldn’t take off.  So we gave it a little time, and around 7 decided that it wasn’t going to happen and started to pack our things.  As we stood to leave, we heard one brave balloonie start the fans to air up.  It was pretty dicey in the wind, and they got a good rise out of the crowd as it tipped this way and that, but I’m pretty sure he had it mostly under control.  It didn’t take long, 15 minutes and he had it hot and took off like a rocket, and as he did the winds died right off and we could see everyone else start to unpack the experimental rigs that they had brought as well.  Let us explore this “experimental” aspect for a second.  That pretty much means home-made.  Some had the normal baskets hanging underneath, some had what appeared to be sturdy lawn chairs, with the pilot’s legs dangling down to the earth below.  All were beautiful.  Back to the point.  It was amazing.  We were right in the thick of it, nobody was roped off from the staging zone.  As you watched one with envy and wonderment, you would be surprised by another popping up right behind you, close enough to touch.  They grew seemingly from the ground, and away they went…racing the dark to get in just a little bit of time in the air above the wonderful Upper Valley before finding a suitable landing zone.  The wind was pointing SE, which is the direction of the Breakfast on the Connecticut.  As we drove home and could see balloons that had landed here and there, we crossed our fingers hoping some had seen our fields lining the Connecticut river and decided on one for a landing.  Alas, maybe next year.  I assure you, we’ll be going again.  Come along, we can carpool.  

In Flanders Fields ……

May 24th, 2017 by donnanandersen

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend when we remember all the men and women who died while serving in our country’s armed forces. For most individuals, Memorial Day represents no more than a three day weekend with an extra day off from work. But for most Americans, it should be so much more. It was conceived shortly after our nation’s bloodiest conflict, the Civil War. As a nation, we lost over 600,000 lives in that terrible time and until just recently those numbers were greater than the total of all lives lost in all America’s other wars. What was lost and what should be remembered is that these lives were fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, sons, daughters and living relatives loved by many. What was lost and should be remembered were friends and lovers. What was lost and should be remembered was maybe another Albert Einstein, Ernest Hemingway, Dr. Jonas Salk, John Glenn, Muhammed Ali, Dr. Martin Luther King or Mother Theresa. When I was in grade school in Canada, I memorized a poem written by John McCrae who penned these words in 1915 after he presided over the burial of Canadian Lieutenant, Alexis Helmer:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow,

Between the crosses, row on row

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

we are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

So when you are enjoying this weekend’s many recreational activities with family and friends, take some time to remember and reflect on those who helped to make this weekend possible. Put a flag or a flower on a vet’s grave and say thank you.