Spring is Here, Time to Go Fly a Kite
Launching a Kite
When I was a kid every spring was kite flying season. Some time between late March to early April my brother and I would start building our kites. We worked in the garage with my dad taking thin strips of wood and cutting them into 4 foot and 2 foot lengths to make the ribs of the kites, then the ends of each stick was notched. My dad held the ribs together while my brother and I took turns wrapping string around the center of the crossed sticks making a large cross. String was then pulled tightly from the tip of each stick through the notches to form the familiar diamond shape most of our kites had. Earlier we had gotten large sheets of paper from the butcher shop (am I dating myself or what) which we had drawn and painted figures on. We cut the paper into a diamond shape slightly larger than the frame we had built. We then carefully folded and glued the edges of the paper around the string that stretched around the ribs. Taking a second piece of string we bent the shorter rib into a bow by pulling the string from one tip to the other on the smaller rib. Using old rags tied together or sometimes an old neck tie as a tail we were ready to go.
The first Saturday with warmer weather and we were off to the park. Just about every kid in the neighborhood would be at the park with their kites sometime through the day. I remember running back and forth with the kite trailing behind letting more and more string out until the kite was caught by a breeze and up it went. Two balls of twine wound onto a dowel spun in my hands as the kite flew higher joining about 20 to 25 other kites that were already aloft. It was a sight to see, different color diamond kites, and box kites bobbing and weaving moving up and down as the air currents changed and the kites pulled at the twine trying to break free and fly away. We would spend the whole day trying to see who could get their kite the highest. Using two 500 foot rolls of kite twine, our kites looked like small dots in the sky.
I’ve always enjoyed kite flying and as I got older I realized there were other ways to enjoy it. In the Caribbean, having a ski boat tow you while flying on a large kite. At the Warren Dunes in Michigan Para- sailing, this is nothing more than flying a large kite while you’re on board.
When I had children and they got to be 10 or 11 years old I took them kite flying. The kites were store bought but still made of paper. There weren’t as many kids at the park flying kites, but the goal was always the same. How high can we get them to go. I also helped my kids send messages to the kites. Messages were sent by taking a piece of paper approximately 5 to 6 inches square and making a cut to the center of the paper, then rounding the cut at the center of the paper into a small hole. Write a message, slide the paper onto the kite string and watch the message soar up the string to the kite. The kids always got a kick out of that.
I now have grandchildren and I enjoy taking them kite flying. There are even fewer kids flying kites. The kites are still store bought. Their made of polyester or plastic and many don’t need tails, but the goal is still the same and the messages still soar up the string to the kites.
If you’re looking for something to do with your kids that’s outside and not on a computer try taking them kite flying. All you need is a kite, string, an open field away from power lines and a breeze. Give it a try and go fly a kite.
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Recipes Squared is a food blog that posts cooking tips and recipes. Recipes that we have developed. Recipes that have been shared with us, and recipes that have been passed down through our families, just like your family favorites.
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