99 Red Balloons

The wind was coming out of the Northeast when we released the  balloons.  Within 30 seconds, 80 of them were tangled  up in a pine tree, and that is as far as they went.   The rest of them got away.

My  original thought was to fill 99 red balloons (just like the song) with helium, attach a little message to each one with my e-mail , and if someone would happen to find a balloon, shoot me a message to let me know and see how far they went.

The balloon release was part of a bigger event on our property.

In 2002  when we planted our first 40 apple trees, as I was standing there looking down the rows of the little 3 ft twigs baby apple trees , (they are called whips),in my mind’s eye, I could see full-sized trees, loaded with red and yellow apples.  Children running up and down the rows playing hide and seek.


I could hear live music and laughter coming from a stage planted in the middle of the orchard.

Keep in mind, this was all in my head at this point.

The trees would not start producing apples for another 5 to 7 years.  But from that idea was born  a series of music festivals we hosted starting the Fall of  2002 until just a couple of years ago.   I am currently taking a break from the whole thing, cause I’m still slightly burnt out from the 7 concert series we hosted in 2009….

I think I’m starting to run down a bunny trail right now….


Anyway, we had our first musical event the Fall of 2002.  It was everything and more I could have hoped for.  I wasn’t even sure who would want to come, or what sort of musical talent I could scare up.  Turned out, there is a lot of musical talent all around me, just waiting for a chance to take the stage.

So back to the balloon release….

Next morning  less than 12 hours later after the balloon release,  I got an e-mail. Someone had found  balloon # 51.   445 miles to the east.  It had crossed Lake Michigan and wound up in a fence near Parma Michigan. One month later, I got a second e-mail.Balloon #42 was found in Alfords Park Kenosha Wisconsin. 242 miles from home. That one had decided not to cross Lake Michigan 🙂

Now that was interesting because the wind was blowing from the East when it left…How in the world did it wind up traveling East?   Apparently the wind in the upper atmosphere was blowing in the opposite direction.

Blogging is like that for me.

I release my thoughts in the form of a blog post and sometimes, in the most random fashion, someone will stumble across one of them…And once in a while, wonder of wonders,someone will leave a comment.

Some sort of connection takes place.

If you’re a blogger then you probably know exactly the feeling I’m trying to describe.  That connection you experience with random people, from all over the world.  And sometimes, those people become a friend.

There are good people scattered all over this globe.

Last time I counted,  out of all these hundreds of random connections I’ve made via blogging,  My wife and I have met 7 of you in person, in the flesh, a couple of you multiple times.

If you don’t mind me asking, where in the world are you as you are reading this?  Be as general or detailed as you like. 

  Just so you know, this blog is originating from the United States of Merica. 😉



17 thoughts on “99 Red Balloons

  1. I remember driving around in my little Toyota with “99 Red Balloons go by …” blaring on the radio. I always reached over and cranked up the volume for that one 🙂

    I’m glad I found your blog, DM, and count you as a blogger-friend 🙂

    Writing is good for the soul .. many times, situations or feelings I’ve written about come up later – and I’m able to easily articulate my thoughts because .. I’ve already written on the topic!

    Cheers~ MJ

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So much to like about this post…the balloon messages, the outdoor concerts, and the words about blogging, which are so true. I’ve never met anyone who follows me or that I follow, although I have a few who I would love to meet in person. I always wonder if folks are truly who they seem to be in their writing, or have they created an alter ego, and how those two personas merge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deb! Several of the people I’ve met in person I first got to know a little better via Facebook. over time it is possible to get a better sense of the person, just by what they comment and post on…Everyone whom I’ve ever met has been the real deal. Glad you liked the post. I was trying to capture the fun and excitement I felt when I really did hear from someone who found a balloon. DM


  3. Tiptoes in to say… I love your story about the balloons, but I hope you’ll consider before ever doing it again. The damage to birds, turtles, and other forms of wildlife from balloons is considerable. There are websites galore that detail the reasons to avoid balloon releases. Even the so-called biodegradable cause a lot of problems. We see it around here more frequently than I like: dead fish, turtles, tangled birds, and so on. One of the other big problems are those plastic “thingies” that keep six-packs of soft drinks together. People take out the drinks, toss the rings, and birds get strangled.

    All that aside, the serendipity of it is wonderful. I posted back and forth with a woman for a good year or more, until we found out we lived about a mile apart, and started meeting for coffee. 🙂


    • that happened to me w/ one of the bloggers..turned out she was only a little more than an hour from us. We went to their home and watched a superbowl game…then she moved to the west coast and haven’t seen or heard from her since.


  4. Hi DM, No balloon yet. Shucks!
    51.7519° N, 1.2578° W still waiting!
    We only know a few personally from blogging.
    Those few turned out to be “not very nice”.
    Ho hum, good job we went to meet them not them to us.
    Still there is always Skype.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Enjoyed your story DM. I’m in south central Virginia, as you know. 🙂

    I love the idea of hosting music events on the farm. We’ve thought about doing it. But then we remember how full our plates already are. Still, maybe one of these days…

    As for the community that forms from blogging, I find it amazing. I never would have guessed it would happen. My life has been enriched by the folks I’ve met this way (including you). Peace.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep, I would suspect you have plenty on your plate already w/o adding a music festival. I kind of go through seasons…the older I get the less energy I have to work with, so I have to pick where I invest it.


  6. I admire your courage to so easily make connections DM. I have seen several of my favorite bloggers ripped apart by the animosity people seem happy to express freely via the internet…and it frightens me a little. My heart is more sensitive than I care to admit, so I tend to be more cautious.

    But of course, there are many loving people that have shared and done so much for perfect strangers, so perhaps I need to stay focused on that aspect of the world of internet connections.

    Your balloon experiment reminds me of a balloon I found in a field as a child – it had a note attached to it, requesting confirmation if the balloon was found. I eagerly wrote, expecting to have a pen-pal relationship, but sadly never heard back.

    I thought of this quote reading your words today:

    “The best portion of a good man’s life. His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.”

    —William Wordsworth

    Liked by 2 people

    • I too have a sensitive heart, which is why I never comment on other blogs where I think I might get ripped 🙂 On my blogs, on the other hand, I am more than ready to delete anything that smacks of snark. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! Our computer was in the shop for a week, so I have been playing catch up this afternoon. DM

      Liked by 1 person

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