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Safe in Fingon's StrongHold

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lol. I've been wanting to do this for a long time.


When I was three, I overheard my parents discussing an event that occurred near Vancouver, where we were living. A weather balloon had come down in the Rocky Mountains to the east and I thought that people had been hurt. Listening to my parents talking about it affected me. When you are so young and hear such an event being discussed in hushed tones of gravity, you are struck with a sense that something is dire. For some reason, I decided that I had to try to make everything alright again.

I left home to try to go and find this balloon and perhaps save some people. But mostly to make my parents happy again and thus align the planets so that my world would again be the happy and serene place that I knew and loved. My parents thought I had run away. I never told them about my feelings prompting my decision to leave. They launched a search party for me.

Family friends found me wandering the streets of Vancouver, where I refused any attempt of theirs to coerce me into their car. Eventually my father arrived to take me home. I'm not sure my parents ever knew precisely why I had "run away".

In the late 1970s I worked for a man who was a friend and business associate of Maxie Anderson, the mining engineer, vineyard-owner and hot air balloonist. This is a link to the Wikipedia entry on Maxie:


During the transatlantic flight of his 'double Eagle II' balloon in August 1978, Maxie phoned us in Toronto from the balloon. I was thrilled to be able to speak to him during such an historic event and was touched that he had even thought to call us. It was a moment I will never forget. I had "known" Maxie for a couple of years and liked him very much. He was a man with a great appreciation for humour. He was one of the nicest businessmen I ever dealt with, and was an adventurer and a true free spirit. To this day I admire those qualities most in people.

Years later in 1983, I was horrified to find out that Maxie had been killed in his balloon 'Jules Verne' in Germany. My balloon fear became imbedded in my psyche. To this day I am terrified of balloons popping at children's birthday parties. I have been known to run from rooms, my hands clapped over my ears in terror. I cannot be present when clowns are twisting balloons into animal shapes. I have a complete inability to blow up balloons for children.



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That was very interesting to read.
Little girl wandering the streets of a big town wants to rescue people...
They Maxie storie is sad, but adverturers have to live with the risk. (stupid phrase but true)
I can understand your fear of popping ballons very good.

Yeah, even thinking about balloons I get cold shivers.
The little girl going out on her own to help people is sort of my central theme in my life story and probably the reason I ended up working in the medical profession.
Poor Maxie. When JFK Jr. died in that plane crash I understood that he took risks because that's the type of person he was. And Maxie was the same. But the horror of dying in an accident like that has always stayed with me and I believe it contributed to my irrational fear of balloons.

To help people is a great mission! And sometimes there are 'little' incidences show us the way we take.

We all have our irrational fears.

Awww...those are lovely words and thank you for them.

It's true. We all have our fears. But it's funny how most of them are from our childhoods.


When I was a little child a BIG black dog wanted to know what I'm doing in my kinderwagen.... I was dreaming all the time of that dog and was always running to my parents. Now I'm afraid of dogs. I get panic...

OMG the same thing happened to my sister. Our mother was walking her in her stroller when a BIG dog came up and was threatening to her. Ever since she has been terrified of dogs and other animals. And when my mother herself was about 10 years old a horse bit her in the stomach when she was feeding it sugar cubes. Ever since she has been scared of horses. It is what happens!

ALL what happened in our childhood will influence our life. There are good things and not so good thing like the experiences your sister and your mother had have.

Sometimes I'm sad because I'm very afraid of dogs because I love animals.

Wow I love how you are writing this around a central theme! I can't blow up balloons either!

Balloons (like clowns) are very scary for some people!

I was freaked out as a kid by all those Bigfoot stories that seemed to be popular in the late 70s. They always seemed to have one on TV. They terrified me because we lived in the woods, especially the stories about people claiming Bigfoot was peering into their windows. To this day I cannot walk close by a window at night because that irrational kid in me thinks that Bigfoot (or something) is going to crash through the window and grab her! XD

That is so cool you knew the balloonist! I remember articles about them in National Geographic.

Isn't it funny how childhood experiences can affect us so much more profoundly than things that happen to us as adults. Or at least they seem to stick in our memories so much more vividly. Your story about Bigfoot is exactly like what happened to me with the balloons.

Sounds like you were one very brave three-year-old! When I was three, or thereabouts, I was terrified of the TV - particularly sesame street and the Big Bird!

There haven't been so many people trying to do daft things in a hot air balloon lately, I think, but perhaps that's because it's all been done before, and those free-thinking explorer-types have moved on to some new, even more dangerous method of transport.

Oh my, I think we all have terrifying images from when we were three that have stayed with us! Big Bird? I can understand that! I always thought he was too huge to be kid-friendly!

I know at least that I would never, ever do anything as daft as go up in the air in a flimsy vehicle like a hot air balloon!

Jenni, we haven't talked in ages, and I missed you and wanted to see how you were doing! :)

As a kid, I loathed that birthday party game where the objective is to see who can pop the most balloons by sitting on them. Not only did it snap one's backside uncomfortably, but I always thought that if I were a balloon, I would not want to be popped! Probably sounds silly, but I have a problem to this day with personifying objects and getting really attached. (I also disliked the carnival game where you throw darts at balloons. *shudderrrr*)

So no balloon phobia here, but I totally empathize with you!

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

Happy Birthday! I miss you!

Still miss you - Happy Birthday!

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