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A kid in Kansas released balloons with a note. A Cree man in Quebec found them 1,800 miles away.

Reid Habberts note traveled by balloon 1,800+ miles, from Kansas to Quebec.

Stories of people tossing a message in a bottle into the ocean and having it found by some stranger on a distant shore have always intrigued us. The questions of chance vs. providence in who receives the message and the possible perils that could impede it from reaching anyone at all make the whole idea intriguing. A simple story beginning—throwing a message haphazardly out to the big, wide world—can have so many endings.

When 10-year-old Reid Habbart from Manhattan, Kansas attached a note to a bunch of helium-filled balloons and sent them off into the sky, he had no idea where it would end up. He certainly didn't expect them to travel more than 1,800 miles north, to traditional First Nations lands in Quebec, where a Cree hunter would find them while out hunting geese.

"I found them on the water … about a kilometer from my camp," 51-year-old David Bertie Longchap told CBC. "I thought 'Oh what is this?'"


The way the balloons were found on the water highlights the environmental reasons not to release balloons, but thankfully this story has a happy ending.

Longchap tied the balloons to his pickup truck, and after they dried out he was able to make out the note attached to them: "Hi, my name is Reid. I'm 10-years-old and I live in Manhattan, Kansas …These are my sister's balloons. If you find these, please write me."

Longchap's sister Hattie posted about the find on her Facebook page on April 26, with photos of her brother with the balloons and the note and maps showing how far they had traveled.

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Hattie connected with Reid's family through Facebook, and they were amazed at where his balloons had ended up.

"The wind was out of the north that day blowing hard," Reid's father told Hattie, according to CBC. "I figured they would end up in Texas. Not north."

Others in the Quebec Cree community have been delighted by the story, sharing comments on Hattie's Facebook posts and extending an invitation for Reid to come visit.

"That is so cool," Amanda Miansum wrote. "Tell him all of us Crees said 'Hi' back too!"

"This little guy just made so many friends in CREE NATION,💙 hope you get a chance to visit CN and where your balloon journey ended," wrote Delana Gunner-Blackned.

"Hey there Reid, you touched the Cree Nation," wrote Harriet Petawabano. "You are really popular here now, hugs and love to you ❤️❤️."

According to CBC, the Longchaps are planning to send Reid a beaded rainbow keychain in honor of their mother, Emma Trapper Longchap, who was the first of the Quebec Cree to die of COVID-19 in 2020. They will also send a photo and some information about Eeyou Istchee, the traditional Cree lands in the Quebec area.

Reid's parents shared the video of the balloon release in Kansas. You can hear his father saying, "Off to Nebraska," which is hilarious considering how much farther they went.

And in an additional bit of serendipitous coincidence, check out the truck in the video. Reid's balloons began their journey with a red pickup and ended their journey with a red pickup over 1,800 miles away.

No storyteller could have scripted it more perfectly.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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