Tuesday, July 12, 2011

D is for Dirigible

This afternoon the air cleared up, the clouds began to part, the drizzle came to an end, and the day was transformed into a perfect evening for a motorcycle ride. I hopped on my trusty WeedHopper (1974 Yamaha Enduro 250) and Dale straddled his Barney Bike (Purple Kawasaki Concourse 1100) to head for the Uffda Shop in Red Wing to acquire our traditional Danish Wedding Gift for my Most Perfect Male Cousin, Adam, who will be wed to his beloved Jen on 23 July.

It was a perfectly harmless and purposeful mission on a cool, windless, sunny summer evening before dinner with our rural friends, Tom and Beth. As we were clearing Miesville and gaining speed Dale kept pointing ahead, so I sped up to come alongside and see what he wanted. I used the best left-hand signalling as I could, while keeping my right hand fast to the throttle, to indicate that I wanted to take the scenic, curvy route to Red Wing through Welch Village. He nodded affirmation but kept pointing ahead. I was puzzled.

Then what to my wondering eyes did appear?!?!

A big dirigible!

I have since learned from the folks at KARE 11 News that we witnessed the world's largest Zeppelin coming into a local airport for a weekend of aerial sight-seeing tours. I flagged Dale over to a side road so we could stop and take a picture. We called our friends in the flight path and they were already on to it. It simply isn't a sight one sees every day.

It also caused me to wonder; blimp, zeppelin, or dirigible. Following is what I learned from a quick Google search on dirigibles at Airships:

What is a Dirigible?  

A dirigible is any lighter-than-air craft that is both powered and steerable (as opposed to free floating, like a balloon).  Blimps like the Goodyear blimp, rigid airships like the Hindenburg, and semi-rigid airships like the Zeppelin NT are all dirigibles. The word “dirigible” is often associated with large rigid airships, but the term does not come from the word “rigid,” but rather the French verb “diriger” (“to steer”). 


Needless to say this opportunity presented itself as the Vacation Day #5 POTD (Picture of the Day) post on FaceBook. I love when random things like this happen in the countryside.


Now on with vacation with two days to the Harry Potter midnight finale and three days to departure for New York and New England!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Has Started!

For me it didn't feel like summer truly started until the Independence Day weekend. Spring and early summer were full of cool, rainy days and I was preoccupied with a pretty heavy workload preparing for the Episcopal Youth Event held in the latter part of June. I enjoy hard work and the event was a great success. I snuck in my days away from the job and managed to get some gardening and camping in as mental health days in my work-a-holic weeks. But it just didn't feel like summer yet.

I don't know about you but I really loved those lazy summer days when my kids were little and we had nothing to do but play all day. Ah, to be so young again.

This Minnesota family does still take summer very seriously. We've added two motorcycles to the fleet this year. Arthur purchased a used Kawasaki Ninja 250. I bought a more familiar 1974 Yamaha Enduro 250. It's fully restored and feels just like the two Enduro's I learned on when I was a teenager in the 70's.

As soon as EYE was over I got us started on some projects. The holiday weekend weather cooperated and last week we started all manner of things. I have a new clothesline tree in the backyard that has already provided me with sheets that smell of sunshine. I LOVE that. And we scraped all the weedy pea gravel from between the house and garage to create space for a new patio. It looks great. (Pictured as Blog Background)

During a summer in which I have no boat for the river I will require some creative distractions to avoid being Mrs. Crankypants. Motorcycling, camping, and my backyard will have to serve to keep me distracted. Although Capt. Steve and Princess Kathy have already provided some excellent boating. And last weekend on the river with my hometown River Rats in Galena, Illinois, was a fantastic time.

As I type I'm on Day Four of my three week vacation and am attempting to post a Picture of the Day for the entire vacation on FaceBook. Here's today's POTD.

Go Cubbies!!!!!

Have a great Summer and I hope you enjoy your backyard as much as I treasure mine.