May 4, 2013

Oh The Places You'll Go!

Hello, weekend!  I've been sharing kite stories all week, and I'm excited today to share my final kite memories here and also on Favorite Things Saturday, located here.  You might recall my father started the family kite fever, rekindling his childhood fun into an adult passion.  Here's a great blast from the past with my dad and his younger brother, Wally, flying kites on our family vacation to the state of Washington.
I wrote yesterday about the beautiful family kite my dad designed for us, with the tongue-in-cheek reference to our performance faux-pas of playing the song Born Free at a reception, the one song my mother had specifically requested we not play.  We pack this kite and take it with us everywhere we go--on picnics, camping trips, and vacations.
When we lived in South Dakota, it flew over the Indian burial mounds of Oakwood State Park and the wide open prairie skies of Custer State Park.  And now that we spend much of our summer camping in Door County, Wisconsin, the kite flies high over Lake Michigan.
Our whole family enjoys watching my husband fly the kite.  You can  see the excitement on their faces!
"Gee, we love camping with our parents.  It's a lot of fun."
"Hey, look, it's a bird, it's a plane,'s Dad flying his kite!"
When vacationed in Maine a few years ago, my husband flew it on Sand Beach at Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, and also on the windy hill at the beautiful lighthouse commissioned by George Washington in Portland. 
My husband treasures this kite, and feels close to my dad every time he lets out the string a little at a time, coaxing the kite to take flight and soar.  We like to think my dad is with us, enjoying watching us honor his memory.
We are leaving on vacation in a couple of weeks, and along with my husband's golf clubs I know the kite will be tucked away, ready for it's next adventure.  And that makes it a very favorite thing!  This selection from Dr. Seuss' Oh the Places You'll Go sums up our kite flying memories perfectly and also reminds me of my amazing husband, who always manages to bounce back from discouraging times to fly high himself.  I hope you enjoy it, and I also wish you the happiest of weekends!

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.
I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.
You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.
You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.
And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.
You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.
No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!


  1. Kite flying is really fun when you get it right!

  2. Martha, I loved this. What a great way to honor your dad, and I have to laugh that he put "Born Free" on the kite. LOL I love that you played that despite your mother's protests. Your family sounds like it loves to laugh.

    I'm "flying" over from Claudia's. Here's hoping you have a wonderful weekend. We are grounded here... rain, rain, and more rain.



  3. That is the best story, Martha! First of all, it was designed by your Dad, which makes it priceless, and it travels with you! Love the picture of the kids looking bored. That's how I looked when I went on family camping trips. I usually had my head buried in a book!

    Thanks so much for joining in this week, my friend.