- Associated Press - Sunday, September 11, 2016

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) - Linda Williams’ eyes sparkle as she sits on the front porch of her home in Saginaw and talks about the dozens of balloons that cover the porch. The trail of balloons tied to string follows the curve of the porch across and wraps up the pillars supporting the roof.

From the street, it appears to be someone’s birthday celebration, and to Williams it is, MLive (https://bit.ly/2c82k2J ) reported.

“If the good Lord bless you and open up your eyes the next morning - it’s your birthday. Celebrate in it. Do something positive in that day,” Williams explained.

“I’m not just celebrating my birthday - I’m celebrating your birthday, even the ones not here.”

Sixty year old Williams has lived in Saginaw since she was seven and has been crafting her balloon arrangements since her kids were born - nearly thirty-seven years ago.

“I love to put up the balloons… this gives me something to do every day.”

The balloons on the porch typically last a week and William routinely changes the balloons out and puts up more. The process to blow up the balloons on the porch takes about four hours as Williams blows up each individual balloon by mouth.

The balloons provide William’s grandkids entertainment when they come over and coax smiles from passersby. She shared that people come by to take pictures and often leave with balloons that she gives to them.

Williams takes pride in her creations. “I sit back sometimes and say, ‘Look at what I created. Look at something I did all by myself,’ and that’s a beautiful thing to do.”

Williams has an assortment of places where she purchases balloons, such as local dollar stores and specialty stores. As she shops, she looks for colors that she likes and then creates her own mixtures of colors, sizes and themes.

“I love them all,” she commented as she looked around at the collection of balloons surrounding her.

The balloons are more than colored pieces of rubber to Williams. They are a means of expression for her. “They bring out everything - the expression of how you feel, the enjoyment, the health of blowing (them) up,” she explained.

The finished product of William’s efforts is a mystery, even to her. “I don’t have no idea what it will turn out to be until I step back from it. I’m going to be just as surprised as you (are).”

Bringing out the color of her home onto the porch is William’s favorite part. She flips through photos of past arrangements and smiles as she remembers each one. Each one is unique in color and placement and they are never repeated.

“I tell people to come and take pictures (of each arrangement) because it’s one of a kind - I can never do it over.” Williams said.

As William reflects on her past and present balloon creations, her piece of advice for others is to try their hand at balloons.

“It’s amazing what you can do. If you don’t got nothing to do at home, get yourself some balloons.”

___

Information from: The Saginaw News, https://www.mlive.com/saginaw

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