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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

Yesterday morning, I walked into my office around 7:20 AM and when I looked out the window towards the Plaza, I could see an odd red bubble shape poking up above the trees. I squinted and looked harder. I thought "Is that a hot air balloon?!?" and then I saw the flames shoot up out of one of those burners and I knew that it was indeed a hot air balloon. In fact, there were three hot air balloons taking shape out there. I grabbed my phone and headed outside. Before I knew it I was full on into a morning photo walk. The temperatures where just right with just the hint of the crispness of Fall. Brightly colored leaves littered the sidewalk and swished as cars passed by. A flock of geese flew over head as I walked across the creek. It was ideal and then I reached the open space in the park where the three hot air balloons stood, gently swaying in the breeze and I couldn't help but smile. 

I remember racing my bicycle down back country roads after hot air balloons. I remember jumping into the back of Dad's truck to go chase down hot air balloons. I remember the few times we actually caught up with the balloons as they were landing in pasture or field and how we got to help them roll up the balloon. I also remember the times I sat in my tree on the corner of my parent's lot, gazing out across the plains. Sometimes I would see hot air balloons way off in the distance. They would be tiny dots in the sky, but if I sat and waited long enough, I could watch them drift closer and closer into view until I not only saw their bright colors but could also hear the roar of the burners. Those where the days when things like hot air balloons seemed mysterious and almost mythical. Yet there were times when they seemed to dot the sky as frequently as the clouds. 

Today I am thankful for those hot air balloons that were just hanging out in that park yesterday. They never took flight and were only aired up for a couple of hours. I think they were promoting a balloon festival taking place this weekend. But it doesn't matter. The flames from those balloon burners reignited my child like wonder which caused me to step outside and walk over to chase down balloons. I didn't realize how much I needed that morning walk or that time outside to really see things. I thankful for the time spent enjoying the sun just as it was peaking up into view. 

Talaura had a birthday yesterday. I'm pretty thankful for Talaura and I may not tell her enough. She's a very good person to have in my life. I am thankful for good visits with good friends even though they may have been short visits. I am thankful that I have not caught Michael's cold/flu thing (fingers crossed) that he's been fighting with all week. I am thankful for those trees that have turned a shocking red and how they make me gasp a little every time I see one. I am thankful for my new toasted oat bran hot cereal that reminds me of Malt-o-Meal. And...I am thankful for you.

Have a lovely weekend and an even more lovely Thankful Friday!