Wednesday, April 27, 2011
K is for...
K is for...kites
I have three kites hanging in the big room (part of the studio part of the house), two dragon kites and a butterfly kite. They are very cool and I won't fly them because I don't seem able to hang on to a kite. I get them airborne and then hand the string over to one grandkid or another and the next thing I know the kite is in the top of a tree across the street.
We flew kites sometimes when I was a kid down at the beach. The wind is constant there and if you get it aloft then it will pretty much stay there until you haul it down. Not much challenge.
Not much wind available to you when you live in the middle of a big city though. I think I probably took my kids down to the park at the end of our street in the city, to the open field where they play baseball and soccer and tried to loft a kite or two with little success.
Soon after the kids were born, I saw an article in National Geographic about the kite fights in Japan. One image in particular of a tangle of kites in the air really appealed to me and I did a full lite panel for our front door using that photograph as a design. I loved that piece of glass. It was very simple, done in the days before we really started to explore the possibilities, just etched and clear, but it always remained one of my favorite things. Our son broke it during his teenage years, quite by accident, but broken nonetheless. I don't care for the hurry up replacement that has stood in it's place all these years and never have. A moot point by now since we don't live there any longer.
“Granny, the string broke.”
That's how we lost the last kite. I paid a whopping two bucks for it at the grocery store. I already don't remember what it's picture was. Cheap kite, cheap string.
The kite before that one got lost because the string was not tied onto the handle. A different g'kid let all the string out and away it went. It was shaped like a white owl. Still, a cheap plastic kite bought at the grocery store.
They wanted to fly one of my kites. No, no, I don't think so. The butterfly kite, at least, is very fragile. It's made of heavy painted tissue paper (or close enough) and is starting to tear with the least tug. I've had it the longest, about 12 or 15 years.
Out here at the country house, we get a nice south wind off the 13 acre field and we have that handy empty half acre right next to us. Perfect for wind powered entertainment. I think we will try our hand at making our own kites this summer when the g'kids come visit, one at a time.
In the meantime, the grocery store has a large display of kites ranging from $2 to $9. I was tempted by another dragon kite the other day, this one for the g'kids to fly but in the end I couldn't make up my mind and Marc was gesturing to me wildly in the check out stand so I didn't get one.
That was a couple of weeks ago. I imagine the selection is now somewhat slim.