A Dream Flight

Being a registered nurse, Becky Anderson, of Buffalo, knew how to broach the subject of bringing her 91-year-old mother, Ruth (McDonald) Zeidler, on an airplane flight over her childhood family farm. What started as an idea, grew into a dream flight for mother and daughter. Becky stated that it was all about “presentation and delivery,” in regard to how she convinced her mother to take the astonishing flight that brought back such fond and precious memories. 

Ruth Zeidler graduated from Annandale High School and grew up on a 120-acre farm located near French Lake, a property that’s been in the family since the time of the Civil War, an acreage that Becky describes as “an Old MacDonald-type farm,” equipped with a picturesque barn, pond, numerous outbuildings, and an Eighteenth-Century-styled farmhouse. 

Becky took the time to raise the subject little-by-little to ease her mother and get her on board with the prospect of flying over the old family farm. Once Ruth warmed to the idea, she was all in and enthusiastic about the flight. Now, Becky needed to find a pilot. Not knowing of any in the area, she reached out to Buffalo City Hall who gave her the name of a pilot at the Maple Lake Municipal Airport. That pilot was Greg Thomes, whom Becky described as “a wonderful pilot.” 

Thomes, who was the former owner of Thomes Insurance Group in Buffalo, stated that he has been flying since 2007 and has since logged around 1500 flight hours, often working with the Young Eagles, an introductory flight program that offers youth the opportunity to fly in general aviation aircraft. The plane that Thomes used to fly Ruth and Becky was a Cessna 177 Cardinal, a light utility single-engine plane, that took off from the Maple Lake Municipal airport on Sunday, February 4. 

Every detail was planned in advance, from picking Ruth up at her residence, down to how she would be wheeled from the car and brought into the airplane. Only a small step stool was needed to help Ruth enter and get situated into her seat. Becky said that Greg took great care during the flight, explaining all facets and phases from takeoff to landing, making sure that Ruth was comfortable, and no detail was overlooked. She stated that Thomes “even took the time to make sure her ear protection was comfortable and fit just right.” 

Sunday, February 4, was described as a beautiful, sunny day without a cloud in the sky, which Becky said, “couldn’t have been more perfect.” The flight was a dream come true for Becky and Ruth. “Mom smiled from ear to ear. She had the biggest smile.” Afterward, Ruth was appreciative of the flight and spoke about the experience with great pride to friends at her assisted living residence.

The breathtaking flight adds to the many precious memories that Becky and Ruth share, a capstone to a lifetime of experiences that mother and daughter will cherish forever.



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313


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