You and I and 99 red balloons

The wind was coming out of the Northeast when we released the  balloons.  Within 30 seconds, 80 of them were tangled  up in a pine tree, and that is as far as they went.  

The rest of them got away.

My  original thought was to fill 99 red balloons (just like the song) with helium, attach a little message to each one with my e-mail , and if someone would happen to find a balloon, shoot me a message to let me know and see how far they went.

The balloon release was part of a bigger event on our property.

In 2002  when we planted our first 40 apple trees, as I was standing there looking down the rows of the little 3 ft twigs baby apple trees , (they are called whips),in my mind’s eye,  I could see full-sized trees, loaded with red and yellow apples.

Children running up and down the rows playing hide and seek.


I could hear live music and laughter coming from a stage planted in the middle of the orchard.

Keep in mind, this was all in my head at this point.

The trees would not start producing apples for another 5 to 7 years.  But from that idea was born  a series of music festivals we hosted starting the Fall of  2002 until just a couple of years ago.   I am currently taking a break from the whole thing, cause I’m still slightly burnt out from the 7 concert series we hosted in 2009….

I think I’m starting to run down a bunny trail right now….


We had our first musical event the Fall of 2002.  It was everything and more I could have hoped for.  I wasn’t even sure who would want to come, or what sort of musical talent I could scare up.  Turned out, there is a lot of musical talent all around me, just waiting for a chance to take the stage.


So back to the balloon release….

Next morning  less than 12 hours later after the balloon release,  I got an e-mail. Someone had found  balloon # 51.   445 miles to the east.  It had crossed Lake Michigan and wound up in a fence near Parma Michigan. One month later, I got a second e-mail. Balloon #42 was found in Alfords Park Kenosha Wisconsin. 242 miles from home. That one had decided not to cross Lake Michigan 🙂

Now that was interesting because the wind was blowing from the East when it left…How in the world did it wind up traveling East?   Apparently the wind in the upper atmosphere was blowing in the opposite direction.

Blogging is like that for me.

I release my thoughts in the form of a blog post and sometimes, in the most random fashion, someone will stumble across one, and once in a while,

wonder of wonders,

they decide to leave a comment.

Some sort of connection takes place.

If you’re a blogger then you  know the feeling I’m describing.  That connection you experience with random people, from all over the world.  And sometimes, those people become a friend.

There are good people scattered all over this globe.

Last time I counted,  out of all these hundreds of random connections I’ve made via blogging,  My wife and I have met 7 of you in person, in the flesh, a couple of you multiple times.

If you don’t mind me asking, where in the world are you as you are reading this?  Be as general or detailed as you like. 

  Just so you know, this blog is originating from the United States of Merica. 😉

PS, this post was originally posted May of 2015  if you’re a long time reader, you may remember it. 🙂 DM


This entry was posted in apple orchard, enjoying life, Iowa, life in the country, orchard, random, relationships, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to You and I and 99 red balloons

  1. emjayandthem says:

    I can feel the whimsical longing in this post .. it takes me back to a summer night in Saskatchewan, out in the tent, tuning the AM radio just so and pulling in a broadcast from WFAB Omaha Nebraska. Sounded so dramatic and far-away to a 9 year old in a tent on a Canadian summer’s night.

    Love that people responded.

    And I’m (not from here) but am in Michigan … how I would have loved to have caught one of your balloons?

    🙂 MJ

    • DM says:

      love that this triggered that memory from when you were 9…can still name the radio station call letters. Talk about living in the moment. Stirs good thoughts in me too. DM

      • emjayandthem says:

        very impactful, then and now! It triggered in me a desire to know the big wide world out there beyond my Canadian prairie life 🙂 I knew at a very young age that, as much as I treasured my childhood home, I would head off to other adventures, near and far. And I did! Oh – and the show I listened to? Sally Jesse Raphael was the radio host – long before her red glasses and shocking TV competing with Dr. Phil! ~fun post, MJ

  2. Cool story about the balloons. To bad more didn’t get to fly.
    We are back in Ajo Arizona for the winter. Too warm still. I’m waiting for 70 degree days. I know I know, be quiet.

  3. Deb says:

    Don’t believe that I’ve read this one Doug, but I love it!

  4. We’re on the Lincolnshire East coast of the UK Doug. I like the idea of releasing balloons, and would have loved to find one.
    I know exactly what you mean about connection………… the support I’ve had recently and in 2016 has been amazing. It makes me feel quite humble for all these good wishes and wonderful messages from people who only know me through my blog. They are like family.

  5. chickenfarmerx1 says:

    Hello from the Northwest corner of Washington State! Would love to attempt a visit someday after the husband retires. He works from home, tho, so I can’t be sure when that is going to happen. He is so lucky to be able to work in his jammies! I had to make a rule about getting dressed by lunchtime! Sorry, I cannot claim I got a balloon. Cool idea!

    • DM says:

      Lucky duck…gets to work from home in his pj’s! We made the trip to Washington State in about 2010 via Amtrak..remember thinking how beautiful your state is.

  6. pgraysurvival says:

    SWMBO has answered where so no need for me to.
    The meeting bit we’d love to do although you’ve got a little bit of a wait until we are officially retired. Unless things change (politically) that should be in 2 years time.
    There, that’s given you plenty of time to evacuate or string more wire!!

  7. David says:

    Hello from Fort Morgan Colorado.

  8. barnraised says:

    Hey there! Your balloon landed a LONG TIME ago in….Prescott, Arizona 💕🎈🎈

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