it's only Tuesday, updated

I'm off work tomorrow, though I have some things to tend to via email.
It's a countdown now, until 4:15am on Thursday, when a co-worker will pick me up and we'll ride into town. We'll park and proceed to a hotel to change into our parade costumes. From there, we (with 15 other office-mates) board a bus and are taken to our balloon.
We've had some prep = the rehearsal a couple of weeks ago and a letter with specific instructions last weekend, and we've spent weeks speculating at the office.
We've become a close-knit group, the balloon handlers. We send each other emails, we frantically check the weather reports, we talk in the halls, about what we'll wear under our jumpsuits and how we'll refrain from drinking.
We are about 20% of the workforce. Some members of the team are unlikely candidates, but we have the same concerns and anticipations.
Will it rain? What shoes might be best? Will we be exhausted?
I half think I'll be exhausted from the excitement. It's a grand performance we'll be doing. I don't know that I've done anything like this before.
I don't think any of us care if we are on television or not. I haven't given that part of it much thought at all.
We'll be walking/marching/holding a giant balloon for over two miles on a cold, and likely rainy, holiday, past thousands of people. What will that be like?
By chance, my boss rode the train next to a 15 year veteran balloon captain yesterday. She had invaluable information which only served to whet our appetites:
Don't overdress. The costume can be warm - jeans and a sweater may be enough.
Follow the clowns to the buses - there are lots of clowns.
Watch the pilots, intersections can be difficult.
The people working the front and back of the balloon have more work...

I'm at the back of the balloon but I'm not put off by this warning. KT and I were told that there would be spotters available to take our place if we became tired or concerned.
I have new sneakers and I'll put together of bag of things to have K bring into town for me (we leave from town for Thanksgiving at MFAOA's house) to change into in the event of wet weather.
I'm so excited.


It's Wednesday morning - family members are calling to wish me luck!
Some notes for those concerned:
My "new sneakers" were purchased in September and are well broken in. But are they warm?
It has taken a turn toward winter here with temperatures in the 30's last night, and it's breezy too!
Fear not, I have been trained to handle the right foot in some wind.
Here's a great piece on balloon handling.

Finally, aside from being thankful (we, over here, speak of such things on this holiday) for this terrific opportunity to fly a balloon, I am mostly thankful to be spending the afternoon portion of the day with MFAOA, who is in fine form.
Thank you to everyone who prayed with me and asked about her all this past year.
She is well.
I am thankful.


smalltownme said…
Wow! Balloon wrangling is surely a bucket list experience. Will you give a hint as to which balloon it is?
Badger said…
I am SO FREAKING EXCITED for you. I am recording the parade! On more than one TV! I will be crossing my fingers for good weather, and an excellent after-party. Or before-party. Or whatever works FOR YOU.
Crazy Mom! said…
How is the FAOA doing anyhow?

Good luck! Are you sure you want to wear NEW shoes?

I hope it's a blast!
The Coffee Lady said…
I am incredibly confused, but I'm excited too.
--V said…
I'm recording the parade too. I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year, and it's pretty likely that my Dad is gonna park himself in front of the TC and commandeer the remote, so if I don't record the parade I won't see it at all. I'll look for black/white/red balloons with funny tails and see if I can spot you. Maybe I can enlist my sister's help--she met you too at the Volstead this past August.

Have a great time!
Hilary said…
Everytime I hear the weather report, I think of you.... I so hope it stays dry until you are done. You are a brave lady wearing new sneakers!
I'm sharing my concerns with Crazy Mom and Hilary... I hope that your new sneakers are broken in.
RW said…
off work?
how lovely.
yep. I gotta say I am concerned about the new sneakers too.

I am excited for you.
Paola said…
The adrenaline is rising ...
I am so excited for you and awfully WISH I could be there and watch it all.
Lots of Thankful Hugs adn Kisses to you all, FAOA first of course!
Anonymous said…
Have fun! And Happy Thanksgiving.
Anonymous said…
I am thinking that I may not try to spot you on TV after all. It would be crazy if the talk of the announcers turned to the inherent difficulties involved in balloon steering, and then if the cameras zoomed in on you and KT as you navigate a corner--I'd sort of hate to have the mystery of who IS this bb be solved in that manner. So I shall respect your privacy. I prefer my bb partially obscured or cropped. (And as much as we all think this is a splendid opportunity for you, the balloons themselves are the star of the show during the parade, I think, not their worthy handlers.)

This was a heartwarming post, by the way. Your excitement for the event is genuine and contagious, and your appreciation for the important things in life (warm shoes, healthy family) is lovely. You are a gifted writer.

Happy TG, bb!

Scot said…
I think you and your team will kick ass and show that wimpy kid who's boss! And besides, way down deep, if it all goes terribly wrong, I admit, I've always wanted to see one of those big balloons go rogue and attack the U.N. I'd pay to see Underdog do that! Most of all HAVE fun and keep in mind that Letterman will be making fun of you all on friday night!
Tracey said…
I hope you have a blast today. And enjoy a nice tall drink at the end of the day - you'll deserve it.

I have to admit I'm exhausted from excitement on your behalf already.