“Dear Balloon”*

Writing 101 – Day 14 (Open a book and choose a word on page 29)

images-4Dear Balloon,

I’ve always liked the way you look…. You know, the two l’s followed by the double o’s. There’s something quite rounded about you. And I love all of your colors – they make me so happy that I could fill these pages with pictures of your beauty. Well, that is if you’re a noun like a regular balloon on a string – a birthday balloon, an  anniversary balloon, a get- well balloon.    There’s also a trial balloon, a weather balloon, a lead balloon. And the barrage balloon (World War II blimp.)

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But then when you’re a verb, things change. I mean, “to balloon” always means to increase in size, in fact, usually it means to increase “greatly” in size, to inflate, to puff out,  to fly, to rapidly increase — like  a balloon mortgage (horrors!) , and that can be bad.

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I never thought about all of these things before but when you’re a verb …. well, class size can balloon, a medical instrument can balloon to expand your vein and check things out, the market can balloon, real estate can balloon, even your mother-in-law can balloon.  And if she steps on your foot, it can balloon too!

As an adjective though, you can be so much more creative: balloon sleeves, balloon wine glasses, a  a speech balloon.

This is fun. I’ve looked you up on the dictionary and found so many entries – wow! You are quite the word. Looks as if you come from France and Italy: in 1570 you were a game called “ballon” which was played with a large leather ball. Hmmm, wonder what the rules were. And before that your great, great grandparents were Old High German (balla) meaning ball. I wonder if they were the great grandfathers of soccer.

What I’ve saved for last is my absolute favorite balloon — more fun, more beautiful than any other thing I can imagine — the hot air balloon, a ballon a air chaud in French. I took a ballon a air chaud ride over the Dordogne countryside, above the fields, the beautiful cliffside village of Montpazier, and over the magnificent Hautfort Chateau.

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There is no way to describe the peace …. the silence between the bursts of hot air …. the serenity of the ride.  Balloon dear, you are fabulous !!

*Found on page 29 of Paris  by Edward Rutherford

 

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One Response to “Dear Balloon”*

  1. Lisa M says:

    Thank you for this lovely post. I laughed out loud and the mother-in-law and foot part. Hysterical! I think I would enjoy a hot air balloon ride. Especially the peaceful part. And, yes please, over the Dordogne countryside!

    Like

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