Sunday, May 16, 2004

What Goes Up...

Ages ago, must have been when I was in grade school or /maybe/ middle school, it was a wonderfully-windy day at my grandparents' house, and I managed to have a kite. I'm still not sure what the appeal of flying a kite is (in the general case anyway.. the trick kite I later got was an incredible challenge, and flying a kite in the rain is _always_ a blast), but somehow that doesn't make it any /less/ fun, just makes the fun more confusing.

The wind that day was good enough that no running was required to get the kite up and flying. Nice and constant, and I was able to keep letting out "just a little more" string. I've played with rolls of kite string before, but never before had I actually realized just how far "just a little more" will stretch.

So, some rather lengthy period of time after getting the kite aloft, it's time to go home. Apparently, "just a little more" stretches far enough that my (at least then) rather good eyesight had problems seeing the little speck in the sky. Not only is a lot of winding required to get that much string back on the spool, but the wind at that altitude is apparently much stronger than the wind some twenty feet above the ground, so it takes /work/ for every inch of string that has to get pulled back in.

My parents should have known that it takes me a while to do anything, so I'd guess that they allotted time for me to get ready to go. But as they'd been inside talking (on such a lovely day!), I doubt they had any clue what I was really up to, or how long it was going to take before we could leave.

Of course, if I were doing the same today, it'd probably be cheaper to just let the kite fly away. In today's wages, it's one expensive job, rolling in a high-flying kite. However, in that case, it'd probably end up landing in some endangered species of bird's nest, killing off the last remaining incredibly rare purple-spotted green-bird. So while maybe cheaper for me to just let the kite free, the nicer option for everyone involved is to pull the kite in. Which just goes to show that while what goes up must come down, it sure can take a lot of work to be any more specific about where.

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