Tuesday, March 24, 2009

99 Red Balloons

Saturday morning when I went out to get the newspaper, I found a red balloon in the side yard.

Obviously it had drifted down from the heavens after being a decoration at a party.

Maybe the party was 50 miles away or next door. I had no way to know.

Other balloons were tied to the string and the lone survivor vainly attempted to hoist its deflated companions back into the sky.

I really wanted to release the red balloon from its tether and send it back out from whence it came. But I didn't because released balloons, particularly ones with strings on them, are bad for the environment. Animals can get caught in the strings and the plastic certainly doesn't degrade well.

So I carried the balloon into the garage, where I left it to deflate on its own.

Balloons make me sad because they yearn so much to be free and to fly off. They don't want to stay trapped on the earth, bound to a string. They want to visit the clouds and float above the ground, seeing trees, houses and cars from a totally different vantage point.

So I could not pop the balloon and throw it in the trash. Instead I left it and found it completely deflated the next morning.

Now I keep thinking of the words to the song 99 Red Balloons.


  1. That is the first thing I thought of when I saw the title of your post- the 99 red balloons song. Now I'll have it going through my head the rest of the day!

  2. Cool! I'm glad you didn't release it back out there though, just being the environmentalist that i am :o) And i like that song!

  3. We are clearly 80's girls, I love that song!
    Do you remember releasing balloons as a kid with your name and address on them and when found, someone would write and tell you where they found it? We did it at our parks dept (they were always doing fun things over the summer for us kids) and I remember getting my card from my balloon mailed back to me. Someone had found it way out in the desert while they were hiking. The card was smudged with dirt stains and torn, it had gone through alot!

  4. When I was little, I used to tie messages to balloons. I thought it would be cool if someone wrote back. Although, I never figured out how the balloon would find its way back to me!

  5. I love a red balloon but lost balloons make me feel sad too for the same reasons you mentioned and because I think of the plastic litter. How many are out there? I couldn't beleive how many strings with old balloons I found on the beach last week when I was walking.

  6. I had to refresh my memory on that song so went to Imeem to listen to it.... what a head banger it was. LOL

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  7. We found a balloon in our yard once. It had floated all the way from Ohio to New York! It was a promotional for a hair salon and said to phone the number on the tag if you found the balloon and you'd get a free haircut. Wasn't worth the drive from NY : )

  8. Whenever it's my kids' birthday the next day we cut off the string and release the "Happy Birthday" balloon up towards the heavens. We say a prayer and send it upwards in honor of any of the children who are celebrating their birthday in heaven. It's just a thing we've always done...

  9. I immediately thought of the song too...and then...the wondering about its story.

  10. Balloons, GRRRRR! Balloons really mess up bales of hay after they go through the haybine. Once someone's dying balloon was hanging from a tree along the trail and spooked my horse, but I miraculously stayed on.

    And I always fear one will come down in the pasture and my horses will eat it and I'll be out $$$$ for colic surgery.

    Even more frightening is that a balloon might come down in someone's yard, a toddler might pop the bright balloon into his mouth and choke. The Heimlich maneuver doesn't work for swallowed balloons because they mold to the shape of the esophagus. There's a reason a warning is on bags of balloons.

    Sorry to be a killjoy, but a released balloon is nothing but long-distance littering.

    OK. Rant over. As you were.

  11. the song was in my head too!! i love the post and never thought about the balloons wanting to be free!! i love even more that us bloggers don't just see a red balloon, rather we see a post on our blog!!!!


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