Balloon Ascension Day

Interesting fact:  Today is both National Static Electricity Day and Balloon Ascension Day.  What does that mean to me?  Nothing, really.  Every day stands for something.  Every day means something.  Only I can determine what today means to me.  National Static Electricity Day?  What is that?  Is it a day when people go around with their hair standing on end, and you static shock people?  If it is, then no thank you.  And Balloon Ascension Day?  No balloons here.  Even if I had balloons to blow up , I wouldn’t and couldn’t.  My lungs are not strong enough to blow a balloon up.  And releasing it outside for the wind to carry away – no.  It’s a nice thought and everything, but what goes up must come down and maybe my hypothetical balloon will harm something out there – like a bird or another animal.  I don’t need that kind of karma.

And hot air balloons?  Are you kidding me?  I am afraid of heights.  I would be terrified!  Petrified!  I don’t need any hot air balloon rides.  Or sky-diving (my grandpa actually did this last year – kudos to him).  Or bungee-jumping.   I’ll fly on an airplane but I won’t sit by a window.  I like my feet firmly planted on the ground.  Oh, I’ll go on rides at theme parks and such, for the thrill of the adrenaline rush, but that is as adventurous as I get.  I remember that ride at Sea World last spring…  my body was about as rigid as it gets.  Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy.  I am doing something I rarely do.  I am not safe, but I am.  Nothing happens.  The ride ends.  I ride again.  I feel my body go back in the seat when we ascend, and then we drop, we… drop, and my stomach drops with me.

If I were Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and Buffy was my Toto, it wouldn’t have been a cat that makes Buffy jump out of the hot air balloon at the end.  It would have been fear.  She would have panicked, been struggling to get out of my arms, and she would have jumped out and gone to hide. Buffy likes her paws firmly planted on the ground too.  Or the bed.  She likes to feel safe.  We all do, I think.  But sometimes, it’s a thrill to feel unsafe, knowing that we can get back to our safety zone anytime we want, to control the danger, so to speak.  My little dog was brave enough to cross the highway once. I don’t know how she got brave enough to do that.  It could have gone the other way so easily.  A little boy on the other side found her.  If if hadn’t been for him, the unspeakable would have happened and I wouldn’t have her today.

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