It was a conversation-starter. Words turned from jets to rockets, sky-streaks to clouds of various kinds, the curve of the earth and what the horizon line really is, and finally landed on a memory of mine of the hot air balloons that used to appear surprisingly low over our house just north of Orlando each Saturday in the winters of the mid 1980s. We'd walk outside on a crisp, clear day and hear the distinct Ffffffffffff-sh! of the pilots reheating the gas to raise the balloons. I'm guessing we were on the path of a commercial outfit's regular tour, or maybe a ballooning club used a nearby field as their base.
I wish I had a picture, though that would only give you a little bit of an idea of what it was like. The early morning, the blue sky, the brief beauty of Central Florida winter, that terrifically unusual sound, you'll just have to imagine. But when looking for the picture of my favorite sunset clouds over the lake at the end of the street, taken when I was maybe 17 or 18, I also found a sweet card that my mom sent me at college around that same time. I'll share them, too.
Yep. She's a pretty terrific mom and grandmother.