A light breeze blew Ellie’s hair as she watched Frank coaxing the bird shaped kite into the blue sky. Her smile broadened as their bird climbed higher and higher shining against the pale blue sky. She bemoan the fact that she could never get one high enough to catch the wind and soar, but thankful Frank could.
Ellie lay back against the soft flannel back of an old blue jean picnic quilt made from their old jeans to have a better view of the sky. She found their kite amid a surfeit of multicolored dots. This little hill was the best spot ever for kite flying.
Around her quilt was a sea of soft bright green grass with one little path meandering through the field. The grass was cool to the touch of her fingers on this warm spring day. Bulb flowers of tulips and daffodils were starting to show bright colors in contrast to the green of the stems.
Her attention returned skyward where their kite was so tiny she almost missed it as she scanned the sky. Frank caught her attention waving for her to come over. She didn’t want to because she knew the kite would come crashing to the ground if she was nearby, however eventually gave into his insistence.
Ellie watched the kite as she approached. If it dipped the least bit, she halted her steps only the ease forward once it settled back in its spot. Occasionally, she would come close to bumping into another kite flyer from not watching where she was going. When she finally reached Frank, he was laughing which irritated her for a moment. She knew she was silly about it, but she couldn’t seem to help herself.
He lifted her hands to the handle holding the string wrapping his arms around to place his hands over hers. She leaned against his chest letting him move her hands as he guided the kite.
All was fine until the wind died suddenly. They dodged the kites crashing down around them while trying to keep an eye out for where their little bird landed. Ellie slipped her hands from under Frank’s so he could take full control. He wound the string as quickly as his hands would go to take up the slack. He wasn’t fast enough and bird landed with a thud barely missing a ten-year-old girl with her dad. Frank and Ellie ran to make sure no one was injured.
The kite flyers gathered their precious kites checking them for damage. A collective sigh of relief swept across the field as none had serious injury or damage. The scattering only took moments. Some left; while some walked down the pathway searching for treasures lying around.
Ellie reached the quilt before Frank. He was helping others on the field as they collected their various accessories: lawn chairs, ice chest, and snack bags. She flicked the quilt in the air removing loose dirt that covering it while she was gone. It was dusted and smoothed by the time Frank arrived.
Lunch of hand-held meat pies, apple slices, cheese cubes, cookies, and lemonade was pulled from the picnic basket. The light-hearted conversation during the meal combined with the warm sun filtered through the tree leaves relaxed them. Once leftovers were packed away in the basket, the couple lay on the quilt holding hands and talking about the future until they both drifted off into a deep restful sleep.
The shade no longer covered them due to the sun’s westward movement. The bright sunlight woke Ellie and she turned to watch Frank sleep. She was alarmed when she saw his bright red skin and even more so when she hurt as she moved. A glance at her watch told her they had been sleeping for an hour. The sunscreen they had used couldn’t protect the skin that long. The sun must have moved from the tree soon after they fell asleep.
Frank woke at her squeals of pain.
“What in the world?” he exclaimed when he saw her.
The couple moved slowly while gathering their kite, basket, and quilt. Every inch of sun-exposed skin was bright red. They forced every painful maneuver until they sat in the car with cold air-conditioned blowing their skin.
Frank managed to get out and rummage around in trunk for the first aid kit hoping something would be in there to help. The aloe vera cream he found provided enough relief to get home.
After cold showers and another application of cream, Frank and Ellie sat with a fan blowing on them. Ellie caught Frank’s eye when he turned and they irrupted into laughter at the sight they each saw
Days later they were finally able to wear clothes without wincing in pain. It’s good they were on vacation, but what a way to spend the last days of wonderful trip. This was one for the memory book.