This week I experience a “small world” moment that reminds me of my many friends who pilot Young Eagle flights. Storm and I spent many fun hours with this group offering free airplane rides to youngsters. I am thrilled to be reminded of those times. Here is what happened.
On the drive down from Wyoming to Arizona, I notice that my right eye is awfully blurry. I learn when I get to Arizona, that my defective vision is caused by a sudden and intense case of cataracts in one eye. After enduring 2 months of out of whack vision and wearing glasses (ugh), the day of my corrective surgery finally arrives.
When my surgical nurse, Judy, calls to tele-prep me for the next day’s procedure she casually asks me where I had lived in North Carolina. Of course I tell her “near Raleigh” and she exclaims that she attended the Math and Science School in Durham. I am very impressed! We chat and compare other local places we have in common finally arriving at this bizarre coincidence.
When I mention that Storm and I flew small planes from the Smithfield airport, she shrieks with joy. Turns out she was given her first plane ride at that airport in the early 80’s. Although not registered with the Young Eagle program, she still fondly remembers that ride with one of her Dad’s pilot friends. She did not become a pilot herself, but she did join the Air Force. And now here we both are Southern Arizona reminiscing about fun flights in North Carolina. Pretty cool, huh?
Some Mild Adventures
Prior to my surgery which went extremely well, I sort of isolate myself to avoid any Covaid complications. However, I do take the Jeep out with a small group for my second trip to Empire Ranch.
Also Carol and Rob lead me on a very peaceful, crowd-free hike through Ramsey Canyon. Carol kindly allows me to enjoy the easy trail rather than the more vertical one that she conquered on a previous visit. I appreciate the opportunity to leisurely hike a level, relatively low altitude path. Pics from both adventures are showcased below.
Ramsey Canyon Nature Preserve and Return to Empire Ranch
To everyone who kept checking with me through the surgery and after. I am touched by your concern. To the wonderful folks here in my RV park who offered their help with everything from rides to laundry. Thanks to Jane for chauffeuring me back and forth to the doctor’s office. I am so grateful to all!! So kind of everyone here to take care of me far away from home!
For those who are making plans to meet up with me next year – AWESOME!! I am so looking forward to seeing more friends this year! Below is a list of my 2021 itinerary so far.