Part I (School is fun, even out of session)
This morning we went up to what is now Princess's "old" school; because district boundary lines are being re-drawn, she will be attending a different school in the fall.
The trip was her idea; and she eagerly expected to meet a friend from church and school there. But neither of them planned well enough with their parents; although they had talked by telephone, I only found out about it hours before going. The family, including Princess's friend, include children that are on average older than ours, even though both of our eldest are about the same age. So while Jak Jr. was raring to go at about 07:30, the other household was not taking calls before 9, and planned to get chores and housework done before going out. Cimmy had to break it to the little friend that plans would have to be another day, and that we were not about to go home and return at noon when he would be there.
We stopped at a grocery store along the way to get picnic fixings. Cimmy adores the place, as the interior is gorgeous and it is relatively close to where we live, although I frequently point out that beauty results in much higher prices. We managed to duck some of the cost by avoiding deli preparation– we bought rolls, some Italian-seasoned beef luncheon meat slices, some colby jack cheese presliced, and the house brand squeezable mustard. We did spring for bottled drinks and bakery cookies.
The school is nestled between a mixture of slightly affluent suburbanish housing and the beginning of the countryside. This meant that the road in front of it was quiet and relatively free of traffic, and there were miles of fields in the back. This made it much easier to allow the children to roam undisturbed, although Cimmy often got upset if they wandered out of sight. I insisted the odds were much more in favor of them getting rather lost than kidnapped.
I was tired. My sleep is still very unsettled. Cimmy said her knee and ankle hurt– either it was thanks to the recent injury, or thanks to the old injury, the high pressure and humidity in the air, and/or all of those things. But we made the best of it, and we had a fold-out blanket that had handles and vinyl fabric on one side, which was perfect as the grass was still wet. We set up our picnic breakfast… lunch… brunch… errr, whatever… and rested in the shade of a planter box. Cimmy read more to me from a D&D 4th edition player's supplement; audio-visual as she is, she retains information better being able to read it out loud.
Jak Jr. finally wore himself out shortly after Cimmy really started complaining. We knew it was time to go when he laid down to rest on the folded up blanket. Poor guy. Cimmy thinks he might be getting sick as he was out of commission (asleep, that is) for the rest of the day. Princess was not ready to go, but I promised if the wind cooperated, we'd be back out at the middle school field for kite flying that afternoon.
Part II (Flight time June 13, 2010)
After falling asleep for a nap for an hour or two, Princess and I went back out to the field. The weather was really more of the same, really– summertime had finally arrived with sunshine and some heat. The wind was rather breezy and came in spurts, and I genuinely did not have a kite light enough to take advantage of it.
Every kiteflier needs a delta for the days when the wind is barely breathing… the delta is everyone's choice for light-to-no wind days… I live in delta country, in an area with little or no wind much of the time…
(Margaret "The Kite Lady" Greger, Kites for Everyone, 3rd edition, p. 71-72)
She's right. She really is. Don't get me wrong; occasionally the winds here get strong enough to bring dust storms, and every handful of years, they are powerful enough to fell trees, even ripping them up from the roots. But most days, especially in the summer, the wind is light and gusty. After flying the koi (fish) design stunt kite, even after breaking my last replacement upper spreader made of 3/16" wood dowel, and then coaxing the last from the Snapshot 1.2 parafoil, it was obvious it was going to be a day for the delta.
I wish I could put a picture of the yellow tube tail I tried out today, but I did not take a picture, and VOX does not seem to like it when I grab images off the Web anymore. Click here if you are interested; it's Into The Wind's stock photo for the item.
I quickly realized putting it together with the existing two-streamered tail (also made of polyethelene plastic, probably) added too much weight to the kite. This tail would be a much better choice for days when the wind is stronger. I also thought that perhaps I should cut some more wooden dowels to substitute for the fiberglass rods in the kite, to lessen its weight on breezy days. The cross spar will be easy since it was obviously designed to be taken out, but the rods at the edges of the kite are sewn in, and will be harder. It's quite possible that I will probably opt to make a delta from scratch.
I thought about coming home to make a quick paper kite of some sort, which would probably fare much better in the light wind. The Conover Eddy in the picture in the left just didn't last– we need to make something that will fold up and store easily next time (and possibly made of better materials).
But Princess and I were both quite thirsty, and it was about 18:16 when we got home. I needed to fix dinner soon. She was asking to go to the Starcade game room at the gym next, but I said we just didn't have the time today.
The adventures will continue soon enough. Our last one, Flight time June 9th, 2010: Princess and jak get soaked is a much more interesting read anyways. If you're glossing over this boring account, go, go click and read if you haven't already. Please.