Monday, April 28, 2008

Go Fly a Kite

In our 7 months of living in San Francisco, one of the real constants that we have found is that every day sometime around 2:00 in the afternoon the wind will start blowing in off of the Pacific. If you happen to be near the bay in the Marina District or at Fisherman's Wharf, the wind is quite obvious and sometimes down right cold, even in the summer. Given the consistency of this daily occurrence, it creates an ideal time to fly a kite. And since the Marina has an open area with no trees that is about the size of about 6 football fields, it becomes a great place to fly a kite. So with an ideal time and a great place, how could we not go fly our own kite?

I was supposed to find a kite that I wanted and order it on line. Unfortunately, I just never got around to it. I was getting down right naggy about the kite. When I first thought of it I was just thinking it would be a fun outing when Reeder comes to visit (I love planning outings for grandchildren that are only a thin excuse for doing something I want to do- but wouldn't because I'm "not a kid anymore"), but the more I thought about the kite the more excited I became- so I'd bring it up- and bring it up- and bring it up. But somehow I couldn't get a fire lit under Don's butt to actually order the kite! So Max planned our Saturday to include a drive in the Smart Car (so we could find a place to park) down to Chinatown where there is a kite store.

Max had already staked it out during one of her trips to Chinatown to visit one of her patients. I am absolutely all over this city visiting patients. So I couldn't help just "driving by" the kite store. So by now I was so obsessed (Marianne thinks Clint "inherited" this "determination" from me- Clint is now "obsessed" or "determined" to watch a ballgame in every ball park in the country- a much harder task than lighting a fire under Don to buy a kite- Clint is just more ambitious than me.)

This place was packed with kites. They were hanging from the ceiling, stacked on shelves and covering the walls.

I didn't want a trick kite, the kind with several strings that you can make fly in figure 8's. But then again, I also didn't want the old diamond shaped kite that we used to make out of newspaper when I was young. So I picked out a colorful butterfly kite and 500 feet of string on a winder. These new kites are made out of light weight ripstop nylon with flexible plastic rods to provide the vertical and horizontal supports. They are so much better than the thin balsa wood cross with paper stapled to it that we used to use. I cared not a bit which kite we got- though I do love the butterfly- I just wanted a kite- And this was definitely the place to buy a kite!

We were late getting down to the Marina and didn't arrive there until about 4:30. The wind was moving at a pretty stiff clip by then and there were at least 12 other kites already in the air. But this is a big grassy area and has plenty of room for kite flying.

At first I didn't have it put together right and the wind just blew it to the ground. Once I figured it out and had the rods in the right place, it almost flew by itself.

So Max and I spent nearly an hour flying this kite against an absolutely clear blue sky.

I had sooooooooo much fun! I think the last time I even tried to fly a kite was probably with Clint and Brandy in Norman- I can't remember now if there was enough wind to catch the kite in the sky. But our butterfly floated in the clear blue sky above us on this lazy Sunday afternoon. I had thought we might fly the kite for 15 or so minutes- I think we stared up into the beautiful sky and our kite for close to 60!

Who would have thought that flying a kite could still be so much fun. The answer is Max, the person who planned and executed this whole afternoon.


Anonymous said...

Grama and Grampa-
I am so excited! I've never flown a kite! And I LOVE butterflies! Did you know that butterflies start as caterpillars and go into cocoons to change? I can't wait! Love you! -Reeder

Lucas said...

First, you guys look great! Who says you AREN'T kids? You look like young little whippersnappers to me! Second, what a lovely way to spend an hour and what fabulous images you got. UD, I especially like the one of the back of Max with the kite in the distance. Nice eye!

Love you guys!

Anonymous said...

I think that looks like so much fun! WIsh I were there too!
Love you,