Hawn: It could only happen in Sun City West

Posted 1/23/23

It was a gray, cold, rainy morning — a rare day in sunny Sun City West — when we arrived a few minutes late for an 8 a.m. doctor’s appointment.

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Hawn: It could only happen in Sun City West


It was a gray, cold, rainy morning — a rare day in sunny Sun City West — when we arrived a few minutes late for an 8 a.m. doctor’s appointment.

Only a 10-minute drive from our house, the clinic was difficult to find, even though we had been there before. Virtually hidden off Granite Valley Drive across from Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, the facility looked like a maintenance storage unit with no entrance visible from the parking lot. Having located it previously, I pulled up to get Mary Beth, my wife, as close as possible, but while holding an umbrella in one hand and gripping her walker with the other, she still had to slosh through a couple of puddles before disappearing.

Guess she made it okay. Now it’s my turn.

I found an empty space several rows away from the designated handicap stalls, parked, grabbed my umbrella and walker and followed MB inside as the rain continued to flood the area. A hand-written sign posted on a stucco wall a few steps around a corner was the same one we had seen before. It said AZ ENT (Arizona Ear Nose Throat) with an arrow pointing to the glass-door entrance. Following a recent head-first dive on a large front door carpet while hurrying to a bathroom, Mary Beth was there to have her broken nose re-examined by the surgeon.

The waiting room was crowded. My wife had checked in and found seats together away from a wall where a young woman was sitting alone, near enough to overhear our chit-chat.

“You didn’t bring your book,” Mary Beth said.

“I don’t have a third hand,” I should have replied. Instead, I played it straight. “I didn’t want to risk dropping it.” I was deep into a James Patterson novel and sorry I had left it in the car. It seemed there might be a long wait to be called.

“I’ll get it,” a loud voice volunteered.

I turned to see a woman seated against the wall, still bundled in a heavy rain-splattered jacket. I would have guessed her to be in the mid-40s or so, no walker, no crutches. I almost laughed, a good laugh, of course.

“Oh no, but thanks so much,” I said. “It probably won’t be long,” I lied.

“It could be an hour,” she said while rising and offering me her car keys. “Here, so you won’t think I’m taking your car.” I grinned and waved her off. “Where’s yours parked?”

I looked at MB, smiled, lifted my eyebrows, shrugged my shoulders, handed Tina my keys and described the car.

“Okay, if you don’t mind getting drenched. It’s really coming down.” “Be right back.” And she was gone.

She must have run. In a matter of minutes, she was back with Patterson’s novel and soon I was mid-way into a 4-page chapter.

“Mary Beth… Mary Beth Hawn,” a doctor’s assistant bellowed, chart in hand, door wide open.

As we rose and grabbed our walkers, we waved at Tina and exchanged a “wouldn’t you know it” expression. We never saw her again. 

Only in Sun City West…

Editor’s note:  The Independent welcomes all points of view.  Email your opinions, pro or con, to AzOpinions@iniusa.org.