On Sunday, Sept 21, we left Seattle, and drove to Graham, WA. This was the best part of our whole trip! Ronnie is my older brother, and I hardly ever, ever get to see him (as in years). I can't tell you what a treat and delight it was to get to spend Sunday day and night with him, and see 3 of his 4 children, and 6 of his now 9 grandchildren. (And boy does he ever make pretty grandchildren!) The 9th was born two days after we left!
My big brother, Ronnie. This most wonderful of guys cooked lasagna for Doug, Scott and I, and cooked the sauce for 2 1/2 days in a really large pot that used to be my mother's.
Everett, showing off his super-cool bandaid. Everett is married to my niece, Amanda.
Sweet, wonderful Amanda.
Amanda and Everett's son, little Mr. Tony. Tony is quite the character. . . and absolutely loves to eat!
Scott torturing his little 2nd cousin, Ronnie, who is the brother of Tony.
Who doesn't love Scott? Libby (one of Kim's daughter, who had no brother until Ethan Frank was born 3 days later) and Lana (one of Mike and Jenn's daughters) certainly seemed to kind of like him.
Ronnie and Kim, his oldest daughter.
Kim, her brother Mike, and Ronnie.
Kaitlyn Kim's daughter) and Tea (Mike's daughter), two more little sweeties to add to the liveliness. I wish I could have stayed a lot longer . . . Even now, remembering the visit, my eyes tear up thinking about wonderful and welcoming they all were. There's just way too many miles between us, but I'm never successful in talking anyone into moving to ND :(.
Installment #3: The Balloon launches!!!
As in actually rises some 1700 feet into the air! With us in it! I truly expected it to be scary, but it wasn't at all! It's the most amazing thing; one minute you're climbing into the basket, and the next you're gently gliding upward, more smoothly than in most elevators!
This is what it look like if you look up into the balloon when the propane is being fired.
Section by section, we climbed into the basket. I liked that the basket came up to above waist-level; I got to let go of my fear that I'd somehow fall out of the basket. 13 of us got in the balloon along with our pilot, and Scott, Doug and I were in our quarter of the basket. I was paying attention taking this little guy's photo, disappointed I'd just missed this beaming smile he showed next, when suddenly I realized he'd let go, and . . . folks. . . we weren't on the ground anymore! I hadn't noticed, but could see he couldn't reach those handles anymore!
I look at these photos, seeing people come out of their houses to watch us go up, and I just wish you could feel some of the same exhilaration I felt! I still feel it now when I look at these and see how gradually everyone got. . . .smaller! And it was fun to entertain the neighborhood.
And in tomorrow's installment, I'll include more shots from the air.