Friday, March 23, 2007

Go Fly a Kite!

With the recent onset of spring, I have been unexpectedly gripped with kite mania. My first attempt this year was made from some rather thinnish dowel rods, christmas wrapping paper (gold with big red balls on it), lots of clear packing tape and some 12# fishing line, and a cut up garbage bag for the tail. It worked. We flew that kite (we have the perfect spot at the park about half a block from our house) for a good long while several days ago before it was ruined in the rain. When it got wet and came down, it hit a fence and one of the thin dowel rods snapped.

I thought the kids would be more demanding about getting time to hold the line, and they were to some extent, but ultimately they found more joy in running around under the kite yelling things like "code yellow" or "code red" whenever the kite dips and swayed below certain landmarks they had determined amongst themselves to be significant. They called themselves the Kite Tracking Squad. It's nice they had fun, and I didn't have to share as much as I might have....he he he.

Kite attempt number two was yesterday. I rummaged around to see if we had any more dowel rods lying about and found one. I re-used the previously used thinner one as the cross piece and the bigger, slightly heavier one was the long part. This was a much bigger kite. I called it the monster. Consequently, it snapped the 12# fishing line as soon as I attempted lift off. Home again, disappointed.

So, last night I went and got some 30# line. Also found, some dollar-a-yard fabric and I'm going to do THE MONSTER up right. She will be fabric. She will FLY! And she will be PINK with RED FLOWERS! Aaaaack! Only me. I know. It will be a very nerdy looking kite. But how COOL is that?

I briefly considered wearing the Amelia Earhart hat while flying the public. My kids thought that was a great idea, but I don't really want social services mistaking me for a crazy person and getting involved in my life in unpleasant ways. And besides, my daughter took that hat to school for "crazy hat day", today. This will help me control my weirdo urges.

Well, once MONSTER is done, I'll try to post a picture. She won't be THAT big, but the fabric looks like something I would wear if left to my own un-fashion devices. Hope the 30# line is strong enough.


Mimi said...

Bwahahahahahahha! The Amelia Earheart hat WOULD be perfect!

Enjoy the kite flying.

Abouna said...

Many years ago, when I was a missionary with a group of 8 Orthodox Monks in Vietnam during the war,we got a to take a week long break (our one and only during the four and a half years in Vietnam) in Thailand. There was a Kite flying contest going on at the time, so we decided to join. We had to make our own kites out of colorful rice paper and thin strips of bamboo. The fun part was that we had to coat the kite string with glue, almost the entire length, then dip it into finely crushed glass.

The point to the contest was to get your kite in the air, then using a sawing motion you had to try and cut some other guy's kite string with yours. The last man standing was the winner and there was a huge celebration afterward. I managed to beat out five contestants, but then I lost to the sixth. Man that was a blast.

Tabitha said...

When I was a kid we lived in a very windy area. Store-bought kites were worthless. We made our kites out of dowel rods, a string perimeter, layers of colored tissue paper and a glue made from flour and water. Remnants of fabric were cut up for the tail and we used some sort of heavy-duty cord for the string. Flying our kites was a group effort. We tied them to fence posts once our arms got tired. We took turns hauling on the kites because it took all of us to bring one in. Sometimes we had to get a dad to help. Those were the days! I loved kite-flying. Enjoy your "wings".