Better late than never

Charlie the pup flying at Kites Over Lake Michigan 2020 at the Manitowoc Highschool

So my last post I had left you wondering IF we would get to fly in the pandemic, at all. Well, the answer is, yes, and while it was only one day, (We will get into that in a few minutes) it was great to get out and just fly. Saturday was a good day on Labor Day weekend, decent temperatures,  and well the wind was good, but not great. If, and I say IF the wind would have chosen to blow out of the north, or the east, or the west or even the south, then it would have been great… But instead, it blew out of the North, no the East, no, the Northwest, no, now its back to the North, no, it moved again. Well, in a huge field, with no fences, poles, and space to better distance from other kites, THAT scenario would be no big deal. But we were making due. Chow (The organizer of the annual event) made due the best he could, since the high water levels of Lake Michigan have washed out the beach at Two Rivers state park, and the High School in Manitowoc was very nice to allow the festival to proceed on it’s property. But due to this, the space was a bit tight, and the amount of flyers were quite good. In fact, they were great. So back to my story of the travelling kite. Since Charlie is very big he takes up a lot of space, and has a ton of pull, or drag, whatever you want to call it. So when the wind would shift, I was busy, usually with a friend or two helping corral Charlie, and physically moving the stake to better line up with the new wind direction. This took a toll on my back struggling all day Saturday, so much so, it was one of the main reasons I chose not to go back Sunday.

Now first off, the most fantastic thing about Saturday? I got to see old friends from Iowa, North Dakota, and Nebraska that I had not seen for years in some cases. So it was a pleasant surprise to run into so many familiar faces I had not seen. It’s amazing how small the kiting community is, but it is fantastic that you never lose touch, no matter how long it had been since we had seen each other. Without these friends, I would have never been able to direct the pup where it needed to go. More than once, they saw me struggling, and more than once, they came to my aid which was more than welcome. Lesson number one for the day – Never lose touch with friends, you never know when you may need them, or run into them again.

Secondly, the festival was two days, but as Chow and I discussed, it had a couple of issues going against it for the next day; 1) It was supposed to storm in Manitowoc, not rain, yes, storm. 2) With the limitation of space, I was going to need to figure out something different to fly, to not hog the field like I did on Saturday. 3) Even with a mask order in effect in Wisconsin, it was incredibly HARD to effectively distance while working on the kite in the sky, and quite honestly, when you are running across a field to gather kite, you do not have time to put on a mask. But as well, the crowd seemed to forget that it would be a good thing to distance at least 6 feet from one another, and that the WHO and CDC suggested to keep masks on, while with people that were not part of your home, whether inside, or outside.

The final straw though: my back – if you know me, you know I have a very bad back due to an injury in high school that leaves me to visit a specialist every 9 months to work on it via permanently numbing the nerves. Due to the Pandemic, until yesterday (October 12, 2020) it had been since June 2019 since I had my last procedure and when we got out of the car Saturday night, my back told me, you are NOT going to do this all over again tomorrow. I have to be careful with my back, as when it gets really bad, it is debilitating, and since I was unsure in early September how soon my next procedure actually would be, I had to do anything I could to baby it.

So we stayed home on Sunday, it never rained, and the wind behaved itself much better than the prior day. Who knew? Since it will be the only time this year I will get out and fly, I have to be appreciative that I at least got out and was able to fly then. Since the event, the pandemic has gotten much worse in the Midwest as a whole, and I doubt any additional events will take place as long as the numbers are at the levels they currently are. But the bright side is, and always will be, I got a fantastic opportunity to fly with old friends, for even, just a day. I will take a day like that any time, and any place I can get it. You can never have too many friends, and you can never spend enough time with them.

So as this pandemic rages on, do your best to stay healthy, do your best not speak ill of officials trying to keep us safe, and look forward to the days when all of this will only be a, “Remember When” topic of conversation.