Virginia and I were just finishing up at the barn one evening, having just put the chickens in the coop, when I heard my husband yelling from up at the house. He seemed to be pointing right at us and I couldn’t understand what he was saying. Then I heard him yell “LOOK, LOOK!” and realized he was pointing just above our heads. I turned around to see a GIANT hot air balloon coming over the chicken coop.
It was so fantastic; I could almost reach up and touch it. All I could think to do was yell “Hello!” and started laughing and screaming with excitement. The chickens were going crazy in the coop and the dogs were losing it up at the house. It was getting lower and heading for the house when I finally realized that the pilot was asking for permission to land. I yelled back “Of course!” and then heard him say something about sheep. I looked into the pasture by the house where the balloon was headed and the sheep were scampering about in one direction then another. I called them to the barn and then realized that I had a camera in my phone and should take some pictures.
Fortunately, Virginia was ahead of me.
The pilot missed the pasture he has headed for because, as he later explained. he was worried about landing on the sheep. The balloon looked like it was headed straight for the house but as it got lower, I saw it go through the ruin onto the back yard.
And there it was, towering over the house and cider house. Without any control over this massive blob, the pilot had managed to just barely miss the fence, the stone ruin, the house and the cider house. I just stood there in disbelief.
We all introduced ourselves and the pilot asked for our address so he could give it to the driver of the truck that was trying to keep up with the balloon. But now what? There’s no room in the yard to deflate it. They needed to get it back over the fence and into the pasture. While the pilot raised the basket off of the ground, Virginia and one of the passengers tugged the basket toward the fence, which was unfortunately going back against the wind.
Once the balloon is in the pasture, the pilot let the hot air cool and the balloon starts to deflate. The basket is then tipped over and the crew laid it out and folded it up.
In all the excitement, I barely heard my husband looking for one of the dogs. Red didn’t seem to be anywhere. We started to worry that she had gotten out of the yard when we opened the gate for the truck. So we missed the final loading of the balloon while we searched for Red. But we waved goodby and I thanked them for the most exciting day I had had in years. They left us a bottle of champagne.
I went down to the barn to check on the sheep and found them huddled up against the barn. They were very happy to go in. We finally found Red under the porch. She refused to come out until adequately bribed. The next morning, when I let the dogs out, they looked up at the sky to see if the monster was still there.