Finding Jeb’s cabin took us through the fall, into the high plateau winter.
On ice-crack nights, over-head starblanket snapping, I could hear Jeb’s Chinese lantern balloon pulling against the ropes that held it down. “Fly now,” it said. “Freedom,” it said.
“Soon,” I whispered so not to wake Jackson, “Soon,” I promised.
When Chinooks swept through, worked in warmed air, repairing gondola and re-rigging. By the vernal equinox, I and the balloon were ready. Jackson grew increasingly hesitant; an incessant weather check on launch day was his latest stall tactic.
“Spill,” I demanded in frustration.
Looking at his feet, Jackson mumbled, “Not ready.”
“Fine,” I spat, throwing him the truck keys. “Just finish getting me off on my solo flight.”
Stowed my gear and did final pre-flight checks. Gave him a tepid embrace and kiss; climbed into the gondola. Jackson handed me a bag – Snoopy WW1 flying ace regalia.
He undid the grounding ropes.
“Freedom” sang the balloon as we ascended. White silk scarf flapping, I waved at down at Jackson until he was a period at the end of my sentence.
FFfAW: July 19, 2016. Thanks TJ for the intriguing photograph.
The building in my photo, kindly chosen by PJ last week, (July 12, 2016), took on several different lives in people’s response to it. The slide slow below helps to reveal it’s true nature: a train station lovingly restored, inside and out, over the last 10 years by train enthusiasts. The single track is used for freight – though future transit/commuter plans could see it become an active station again with the implementation of light rail transportation.
copyright on all photographs in slide show: taleweavering phylor 2016