After a good night’s sleep, I awoke just before 6:00 a.m. and brought my computer down to work in the dining room so Roland could continue sleeping. Fifteen year-old Alijaz was in the kitchen getting ready to go to school with his sister, Manca.
The sky was heavy with dark rain-filled clouds hanging over the forest. Before I started typing I needed to soak my hand in hot water to supple it and get the circulation going. I stood out on the balcony with my hand in a pot of hot water and watched the horses in the meadow below the house. Three grey mares were lying in a circle, surrounded by three pitch-black horses, like in a painting. But when they heard us, they got up and began to graze. Bonnie, the lovely Lipizzaner mare I was photographed with yesterday for a woman’s magazine, came up the hill and began eating apples off the ground. She is pregnant with a foal by the Lipizzaner stallion Maj.
As I began to write, a clap of thunder shook the house, the sky opened and a deluge of rain pounded down on the tile roof. My Mother used to say that under is the sound of angels with bowling balls.
I felt I was witnessing a miracle! Rain and wind had been predicted for every one of the past four days, but we had only sun and slight breeze. Friday, Saturday and Sunday it was hot – in the 80’s but still pleasant with a breeze. Andre said he ordered the rain to start Sunday evening around 8 p.m. so the guests would not stay too late after dinner and accordion music.
5:00 p.m. The Hot Air Balloon Ride right from the ranch took place on schedule.
The clouds that had darkened the sky all day blew by, the sun came out and suddenly the day was sparkling for our balloon ride.
It was fascinating to learn that two French brothers whose business was silk and papermaking had the idea that a flame inside a bag would cause it to rise up into the sky. Their first liftoff was 600 meters over Paris in the late 1700’s. I didn’t realize that ballooning has a tradition of graduation. After first flight, one receives a beautiful certificate hand scribed and sealed with a flourish of hot wax. Because ballooning was originally a sport for royals, Roland and I were given the titles of Baron and Baroness Vojnika (from the village closest to the ranch). We were asked to kneel on a rug and were “officially knighted” by our pilot and then drank champagne together. Since I did not receive a certificate for my flight in Kenya over 18 years ago, this was counted as my first official flight!
© Linda Tellington-Jones 2008