My Mom, the Balloonist

The Blue Max is why I took up boogie-boarding at age 50. Let me explain . . .

My mom Helen wanted a “flying belt” since she was a kid.  When she turned 50 she figured the closest she would get was hot air ballooning.  So when she and her husband Andy were offered a ride in a hot air balloon there was no hesitation.

They loved the experience and as soon as the balloon landed, Mom announced, “I want one”.   Her “flying belt” balloon was blue and white and she named it The Blue Max.
However, there’s more than just strapping on a flying belt to piloting a balloon.  Mom had to get a balloon piloting license which she couldn’t pass because her right arm was too weak to pull the rip cord. (She had had a mastectomy for cancer),  Andy became the pilot.
The family ballooning soon ballooned.  My sister Sally, her husband and their son all took up hot air ballooning, and became pilots.  Mom’s 2 great grandsons are now learning how to fly.  Sally named their first balloon (she is on her 3rd or 4th) after mom. She called it “Helen’s Fault”.

In the family tradition, to celebrate my 50th birthday I thought I should do something “equally” as adventurous . . . I took up boogie-boarding.

Mom is 98, no longer balloons, but knowing her when she hits 100 I have to wonder what she will take up then . . .  and if I will feel that I should follow suit . . . in some way.

Peggy