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Life Here

September 5, 2017 By Liz Wildberger

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s Superdrone!

Friday morning dawns bright, sunny and clear — a perfect summer day at Paradise Valley Estates. Activity is centered close to the DeLong Pavilion. Teams intent on their bocce games, horseshoe-pitching enthusiasts and a tai chi class devotes time to form and slow movements on the terrace as dogs and their owners relax on the lush green lawn.

Recent rains have made the hills pale green and live oaks offer shade to grazing cattle. The air is redolent with the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee, there are pastries, scones and fruit trays, juices and water available in the Pavilion, and all is right in this community of friends.

Suddenly, something overhead is noticed. Residents turn eyes heavenward into the brilliant and cloudless blue sky. It is like an old superhero comic book as watchers shield their eyes to observe the phenomenon. Excitedly, voices shout: It’s an unidentified flying object! We’re right next to Travis AFB! Is it a secret missile?

The object swoops over the crowd and takes off into the distance. Smartphone cameras capture the flying object and photos are shared with those unlucky enough to have been blinded by the sun. The Object has turned an everyday Friday morning into an exhilarating experience for everyone on the lawn. Theories as to the object’s origins are exchanged. Stories about secret reconnaissance missions are shared. The recalling and sharing of so many memories and adventures transforms the surprise into a bonding moment — an exercise that PVE residents relish.

Later that day, marketing director Jane Walker is overheard conversing with a colleague. “Well, the day was perfect, the weather was cooperative, and that drone we hired to film a typical morning at Paradise Valley Estates was great. Too bad the footage shows everyone craning their necks and looking up just like a Superman comic book!” Just like that, the mystery is solved.

After acclimating to the kryptonite of our overhead visitor, we are now more sophisticated observers of unfamiliar happenings and certain that whatever happens to distract bocce players can’t be too dangerous.

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