Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

“You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.”

– Dr. Seuss

Wait until you see the video at the end of this blog. It is amazing!

What began as a wish and a dream turned into a reality when my amazing husband put a plan in place to get us up in a hot air balloon. Dr. Seuss’ beautiful story, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! presents a wonderful metaphor for life. Everything from, ‘you can create the life you want’ to ‘things don’t always happen on your time line.’ In my experience, they usually happen on God’s time which turns out better than I could ever imagine.

“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away.”

Denis woke me up one October morning at 6:00am and told me to get ready in 5 minutes and dress “fall cute.” I asked for a few extra minutes and got dressed as quick as I could. I came rushing downstairs and was shocked to see our babysitter, Stephanie, there so early in the morning. My mind started to really race noticing all the steps Denis had taken to get us on our way. I hopped into the car and Denis handed me the book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and an anniversary card. It gave me all the hints I needed to figure out we were actually going on a hot air balloon ride. We arrived at the Beaver Creek Nature Area and waited for our balloon to get ready. It was a pretty foggy drive to the nature area so I was already starting to wonder how this could happen today. We soon found out that it would not be happening. The foggy weather was not going to cooperate and allow for a safe ride. I was very disappointed and bummed that Denis’ grand plan was not coming to fruition. We decided to make the most of our early morning date and a baby-sitter at the house and went out to breakfast at Josiah’s. We had a lovely time and were anticipating when our hot air balloon ride would happen.

“I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you. You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch. You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be a Slump. And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.”

Denis worked with 605 Balloon Ride to find a new day for our ride. It was a long month of date set-ups and let-downs because of the weather not looking good for ballooning. We started to wonder if this was ever going to happen.

“The Waiting Place…for people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No… …Everyone is just waiting.”

However, on November 21st our dream became reality. The messages from John at 605 Balloon Rides said, “Weather looked perfect.” We were very much anticipating our ride but I was cautious to get my hopes too high. Pun intended. Again we woke up very early, got dressed for the cold weather and drove to the Beaver Creek Nature Area. As soon as we got there, they were setting up the balloon and I started to get very excited. This was happening!

“With banner flip-flapping once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of guy!”

When it was time to step into the basket, I wasn’t even nervous. I was just excited to be on our way up. Denis, the pilot John, and another fun couple celebrating their anniversary completed our group. After a few pictures and instructions, we were quickly off the ground. Ready to see great sights and soar to high heights.

“It’s opener there in the wide open air.”

The ride was truly majestic and shockingly peaceful. There were no sounds of engines or motors. The periodic roar of a five-foot flame of burning propane just above our heads kept the balloon aloft and us toasty warm on a crisp fall morning. The silence of riding the air current and surrendering to its direction instilled a deep sense of freedom and gratitude. There was a moment on the ride when I looked at the sun coming up and hugged Denis and truly couldn’t believe how lucky we were. Our pilot flew us up and down, over golf courses, fields, and homes. We saw wild life, livestock, and even people in their robes picking up their newspapers. It was a glorious experiences. The process of landing was calculated and gentle. We watched the very experienced crew do their jobs, get us on the ground safely, and pack up the balloon. It was so much fun to watch the detailed process.

After a short car ride back to the Beaver Creek Nature Area, our pilot John told us a story about the history of ballooning and even popped some champagne. As we celebrated the majestic ride together, the pilot toasted to our successful flight, “The winds have welcomed you with softness. The sun has blessed you with its warm hands. You have flown so high and so well that God has joined you in your laughter and set you gently back into the loving arms of Mother Earth.” It was a beautiful ending to the morning. Today was our day!

“You’re off to great places, today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.”

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