We had just finished breakfast and were clearing the dishes from the dining room table.  The girls were excited about getting their bathing suits on and heading down to the apartment complex’s pool downstairs.  We spent many early mornings or late afternoons there during the hot summer months.

Suddenly one of them called to me.  What’s that sound, Mom?  I stopped what I was doing and listened.  A loud “whooshing” sound met my ears.  The sound came closer–I had no clue as to what could be causing it.

I followed the noise from the kitchen and looked out through the sliding glass door that led down to our back stairway.  To my amazement, I saw a hot air balloon gliding slowly over our rooftop!  That “whooshing” sound was the burner that heated the air and kept the thing afloat.  As I watched it slowly (and lowly) go overhead, I saw another one go by following in the other’s path.

I shouted to the girls to come look.  We stepped out onto the small balcony and watched in wonder and delight as they passed by, barely skimming the treetops.  It seemed as if we could almost reach out and touch them they were so low.  They were the typical brightly colored balloons and we could see the people standing inside the wicker baskets as they drifted past.  We exchanged waves.

We ended up watching several of them go soaring over our heads and later found out there was a festival in town where several hundred balloon aficionados had gathered to go flying that weekend.  I never did find out why they were so incredibly low but perhaps they were nearing their landing places nearby.

What a thrill to see them so close, floating soundlessly by (except for when those burners kicked on).  I’ve never forgotten it.

This is a true story.

Entry for Bluebell Books Short Story Slam:   http://bluebellbooks.blogspot.com/2011/05/short-story-slam.html

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  1. A very Good Morning Rose..

    Enjoyed this one Gayle!
    Thrilling indeed.. have never sat in one- just who knows..?

    This is a detailed and a very interesting write.
    Hugs xoxox


    • Good morning, Olivia. A fun, true story and experience that I had with my daughters. Thanks for enjoying. Yeah, maybe one day you’ll go up sailing in a hot air balloon!

      Hugs… xoxo


  2. jgavinallan

     /  May 12, 2011

    Gayle, there is such innocent wonder in your words. I feel so joyful now—hehehe—really. I can remember times when something brought me the same pure feeling of excitement.

    Have you though about expanding this story? It has potential, in that the atmosphere is vibrant and just plain chuck full of EXCITEMENT!—excuse me for shouting, but this was a lovely piece.

    with love


    • This was one of those very thrilling times where something really cool happened right “over” our noses! I’m so glad you like this, Jaye.

      No, I didn’t think of expanding it because that was the entire experience. I wished there had been more to say but…

      Thanks, Jaye.

      Gayle xoxo


  3. superb tale, thanks for sharing.


  4. Excellent. This was actually taken at a Wine Festival in Oklahoma, It was so awesome to see them up close and personal.

    I bet your girls loved their experience of watching those balloons go over!

    I enjoyed reading this very much.


    • Thanks, Melissa. It must have been very cool to see them up close–it was for us too as they sailed over our heads.

      The girls were very excited–me too! I’m so glad you enjoyed this.


  5. And a wonderfully amazing true story it is, thanks!


  6. i am yet to see one.

    blogspot has been unavailable here since morning today, (13th), is it working properly there?


    • You would love to see them–so beautifully colored and floating through the sky.

      I have just gone to Shashi’s Blogspot site to check and it is working fine today (13th). But when I was on Dom’s a bit earlier today–there was something fishy going on with it but checked his too just now and it seems to be working.


      • here the duration was longer i guess but everyone had problem it seems.

        may be google may have blocked blogspot on 13th in kolkata because our vote counting was on that day.

        my prayers were fulfilled 🙂


      • Are you saying that the voting was towards a more positive step for Kolkata? Tell me about it.


      • oh the communist govt was washed away by mamata banerjee’s party. the lady i have mentioned to you earlier, she falls among the handcounted politicians i like.

        it was just a fabulous greenwash!!!!!

        but the economists are saying she will have to rule a graveyard with sky high expectations from her.

        she has handled one earlier- she is right now railway minister of india and she succeeded a person who just looted it with one thousand hands and left a nightmare as legacy for her. no big catastrophe till now. so i have my full support and prayers with her.


      • I am happy for this turnabout. I hope and pray she will be successful in making some positive changes for all–I know it will not happen overnight though.


      • she has more obstacles than you will be able to assume. the real workforce of this state has bolted the state in last thirty years, so has the investors and the money.

        factories are closed, and people are scared to open them. no one dares to open a new factory or atleast a substantial new factory/industry….

        she will have to first bring back the investors and revive the work culture.

        wish her luck (lots and lots of it). 🙂


      • I wish her lots and lots of luck and support for all her endeavors.


      • she is going to need it. 🙂
        a lot.


      • Hi Trisha, I got your message today and will make sure it gets to the proper party.

        Lots of love 🙂


      • i think blogspot is working very properly here, not till now.


      • read the above comment as “not working properly”


      • Dom wanted me to reassure you that all is well–he received your message and was able to moderate it securely–as was I. 🙂


      • Sorry to hear that blogspot is not working properly for you. What is this continual problem about–your service provider?


      • no i think there is something wrong with blogspot. its taking me to weirdest places and offering me help in unknown languages- apparently chinese.


      • Is there some way you can report this to Blogspot?


  7. Gary

     /  May 13, 2011

    Greetings Bodhirose!

    Have entered my own Trio of Balloon’s story….(tightly condensed version)

    I really like your story, it’s extremely similar to the experience I had while camping as a four family group at Lake Tahoe a few years ago. One colorful, glorious Balloon floated just above the pines and over our camp tables, just as we were all popping out of our tents to make coffee and start a morning camp fire.
    At the time we could not imagine what that odd noise was as we lay snuggled inside of our sleeping bags. We were contemplating our rising and dealing with a briskly cool morning routine, then curiosity got the best of us….there it was, people in a basket, waving at our group of sleepy-eyed campers.

    Best Regards 🙂


    • Yes, my experience was very similar to yours, Gary. What a way for you to wake up that morning–and what a beautiful, and surprising sight it must have been. Thanks for sharing!

      And I’m happy you liked my story too.


  8. I had been to a balloon festival in New Mexico. They have it every year. The balloons are so colorful and huge. I am fascinated by how brave people are to go up in something that is being held up by fire. I am not that daring. It was very nice to watch, though. GREAT description of a very beautiful event.
    Namaste, Izzy


    • I don’t think I could go up in one either. I wish I wasn’t such a chicken! But I guess the world needs some chickens, doesn’t it?

      Happy you enjoyed my story–it’s a nice memory.



  9. Really wish I was there..I can imagine the thrill of it all!!


  10. It sounds like an amazing experience ~ especially for the kiddies … I can just imagine the excitement and wonder shining on their little faces … and the memory will remain with them for a long , long time …
    I’ve never been in a hot air balloon , nor have I seen one up close …
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience .


    • You know, I thought to myself after writing this that I should ask those now grown up kiddies if they remember that day. They’re now in their 30s! I hope they remember.

      That was my only personal experience with a hot air balloon–I’m glad you enjoyed it, Mish. You’re welcome.


  11. Alive aLwaYs

     /  May 14, 2011

    Very exciting,
    hot air balloon is a thrill!


  12. A beautifully shared moment, vibrant and filled with fascination.


  13. Very charming and well-written. Magical


  14. In general, we write a poem, find an image to illustrate or reflect our work, Now, let’s go reverse, we provide you an image,

    Invite you to contribute a poem or a short story based on the image you see,

    Be creative,
    Have fun!

    Hope to see you in…

    Bluebell Books!


  15. Androgoth

     /  October 4, 2011

    Yes these hot air balloons look absolutely brilliant and many have intricate designs that are truly amazing, I too have seen these at close range and they are indeed a wonderful sight to behold 🙂 This is a very nice posting Gayle and as it is a truism, it adds to the delight and flavour of the moment…

    Have a beautiful rest of evening
    my wickedly fine great friend 🙂

    Androgoth XXx


    • So happy you enjoyed my true life sharing here, Androgoth. It was a surprising and fun experience. They were so low! Yikes!

      Hehe… 🙂


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