Marianne is an adventure seeker! For years, she traveled the world with her best friend. Their husbands weren’t interested in traveling, so they went together! In between Marianne’s travels, she dedicated 54 years as a hairdresser and raised her seven children. Now, after 54 years of marriage to her husband, Wayne, they have 19 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Although Marianne checked many items off her bucket list, she still has one wish; ride in a hot-air balloon. Her best friend rode a few years ago and raved about the experience. Due to health complications, Marianne’s dream was pushed to the side while she focused on strengthening her health. Now in a wheelchair, riding in a hot-air balloon seems like an impossible task. That was until Tammy, Activities Director, at Hooper Care Center, a Vetter Health Services facility, stumbled across a blog post on Dreamweaver Foundation’s website about fulfilling a dream with Serna’s Song, a wheelchair-accessible ballooning organization.
For this special balloon to fly it needs 250 square feet of open, grassy land and the most perfect weather; winds must be less than 7MPH. Typically, winds calm down about two hours before sunset. Marianne was getting a bit discouraged because the date had been rescheduled twice due to rainy days and high winds. This fall has been one of the rainiest and windiest Phill Gray from National Ballooning and Serena’s Song has seen. But, Dreamweaver Dream Coordinator received a call from Phill on a Thursday, saying Saturday’s forecast is predicting clear weather and less than 7MPH winds. Plans came together quickly anticipating the dream day!
When Serena’s Song and Dream Coordinator arrived on site a few hours before take-off, the forecast had changed, the forecast was now predicating 9MPH winds until 6PM, the sunset was at 6:26PM. But, plans were still ago, even if we had to wait until 6PM for Marianne to fly. Just as the family was finishing a delicious meal by Baby Huey’s BBQ, the winds calmed! It was just a little after 5PM…and Marianne with Wayne were flying high above a field South of Hooper. “It was great, I wasn’t scared at all”, said Marianne.
For the next 90 minutes, Marianne’s family took turns riding the balloon and creating memories with their mom, grandma, and great-grandma. Finally, as the sun was setting Marianne and Tammy received the final ride. It was a very special day.
Thank you Vetter Health Services, Hooper Care, National Ballooning, Baby Huey’s BBQ, Fremont Rentals, and Harmon Photography.