Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hot Air

  1. While up in Kapiti for Christmas, I went with my two dear sisters to the Waikanae op-shop (one of my favourites). I found some real treasures. Among them, a T-shirt I seized from the rack in surprise. I spun the hanger so my sisters could read its print; "It's Fun - All-Ohio Balloon Rally."Astounding! My dad used to pilot his very own hot hair balloon. No joke. And we lived in Ohio. And judging by the age of the print, he was probably at that very same rally. What are the chances of some other hot air balloon Ohio rally-goer being in those parts? I mean, Waikanae? I had to buy it to show him how small the world was. What an incredible, impossibly rare find!
  2. When I held up the Balloon-shirt, back at my parents', my mother whispered she had taken a bag of dad's old clothes down to the Waikanae op shop during his last business trip. I had just bought one of my dad's old shirts.
  3. Growing up, we used to feed the missionaries every other Sunday at our place. Sunday was Spaghetti day. Every Sunday. And I loved it. What made this tradition even sweeter, was that my father cooked the meal, insisting he was home, and it was my mother's day to have a rest from cooking (my mother was a SAHM the entire time I lived at home). Back to those missionaries, eh? Because Spaghetti is infamous for its spatter-properties...and the majority of LDS missionaries are renowned for their suit-uniform, my parents would retrieve two of my dad's extra-large balloon rally T-shirts from his room (usually in red or orange), and the Elders would pull them on over their white shirts and ties. That's right, when the missionaries came to our place we routinely served the same meal and put bibs on them.
  4. Understandably, our home became a place of legend within the mission as a result of the spaghetti tradition (with all its trappings) and us being ex-pats - since many of the missionaries were too. They liked that we had root beer extract, served pumpkin pie on occasion, and that my parents sounded like home.
  5. I once asked my dad to tell me of a moment he was was really embarrassed. He concisely recounted one time he was in his hot air balloon at a televised balloon rally when he ran into a water tower. He finished with, "That was pretty embarrassing." Now that's what I call a decent answer. Oh, hi Dad, you don't mind me telling, do you? At least this didn't happen in the age of YouTube, right - else I'd be showing - count yourself lucky.
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