Sunday, March 04, 2007

When Trees Fly

Our girl A loves pigs. She has a collection of pig toys, figurines, plush, pillows, pictures, and much much more. While her sisters want pets like horses and dogs, she wants a pig. Yesterday was a big day for her.

My mom and dad found a place near their home that sells fresh sausage. So fresh, they raise the pigs right there on their farm. My mom noticed they had a new litter of piglets and asked the owner if she could ‘borrow’ one of the piglets for a day. They agreed and mom and dad planned on bringing him to our house on Saturday afternoon for our kids to play with.

Saturday dawned cloudless and incredibly windy. Mom planned on stopping by later in the day with the piglet and so after breakfast I figured there would be time to go get a new kite and take it for a run with the girls as we waited outside for the piglet to arrive.

I had kites on my mind as the day before I took one of our two old (as in 10+ years old and falling apart) kites from the garage out for a quick fly, and struggled to keep it aloft. Shortly after getting it a few hundred feet in the air the string broke and it sailed off into the distance. I decided then if we flew a kite again soon we needed to get a new one that wasn’t about to fall apart or was permanently attached to tangled dry-rotted string.

Michelle and I headed out to Target, only to find they didn’t have kites in stock yet. We stopped by our local toy store on the way back- no kites either. We left and got home a few minutes after the piglet arrived. Mom had very uncharacteristically arrived early.

A was ecstatic, and I was a little weirded out. I mean, I dug having the pig over, but knowing he was on the only field trip of his life and a short time from being sausage links on someone's breakfast table was just a little unsettling. After spending some time with the shaking frightened little pig, we decided to get our last remaining old kite from the garage for a fly. The wind was still strong and it was too much to resist on the gloriously sunny day.

I fancied myself a good kite flyer, despite the disaster the day before, so I walked A through the basic steps of kiteology, with just a hint of that fatherly know-it-all tone. We started off with about 30 or so feet of lead, waited for the right wind coming from the right direction, threw the kite up above her head, and got tension and altitude quick by running into the wind.

It took 3 or 4 tries to get it aloft to the point it didn’t break right or left and crash to the ground. In a few minutes we had it up a couple hundred feet when the wooden dowel spine of the kite broke. We retrieved it from the top of a tree (miracle) and took it into the garage to fix. A few minutes later we were at it again.

The kite kept swooping low in the strong wind, and I was talking A through all the rules of kite flying- pulling it in when the line goes slack, letting string out as it pulls hard, when to let the string flow out quickly to gain altitude- all that stuff. I thought I was good at it until I dropped the string spool and lost my second kite.

The spool shot up in the air and lodged in the top of a large tree some 40 tall. The string extended its full length beyond the tree, and the kite soared more perfectly that it had the entire time I was flying it. A mentioned that the tree was doing a really good job of flying the kite. Ouch.

So, in a matter of 24 hours I had lost two kites, crash landed them a total of 4 or 5 times, broke one of them, and got a nasty string burn on my left hand. Total flying time of both kites combined when DigitalRich was flying them? 15 minutes. I lost the second kite to the 40 foot tree at about 1:30PM…the last time I checked at 8:30PM last night it was still being flown flawlessly by the top branches of that tree. At least 7 hours- it was gone this morning.

A great lesson. We make so many simple things hard. We over think them, over analyze them, over complicate and manage them. The trick, sometimes, is to just let go.

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Liza on Maui said...

Great reminder!

And I love the pig story too. I found it very funny how you described the "unsettling" situation that later that cute little piggy will be a sausage link.

Cute photo of A!

Christa said...

I must say that I too, have always wanted a pig. Not sure why, but as soon as I get that house out in the country. . .it is a pig for me. :)

Better luck next time with the kite flying!

Stephanie Appleton said...

My nephew also wants a pet pig. You may not want to hear this, but they are supposed to be very good pets. :)

Anonymous said...

Now I'm sad. Poor little Wilbur!

Here from Carnival of Family Life

Anonymous said...

How thoughtful of the pig farmer and grandparents to bring your daughter that day of joy. And I'm sure a tree could fly a kite at least as well as I could. We do try to complicate rather simple things, don't we?

Visiting from the Carnival of Familu Life.