Martin and I met Ted in a roundabout way. Friends we knew in Sedona shared his photo site with us.  He is a phenomenal photographer. Ted and I got to be email pen pals and our next time in Sedona I invited him over for scones. That is our tradition now whenever we are back in Sedona: scones, great coffee and delightful conversations.

Renaissance man doesn’t even begin to describe where Ted has taken his life for eight plus decades.  Attorney, gemologist, writer, lecturer, inventor, pilot, photographer, devoted caregiver to the love of his life, his wife Corky. Corky developed MS when she was 28. Their daughters were one and two.  Ted is one of the most alive people I know, thankful for each breath, eager to meet each moment.

I’m grateful to Ted for his friendship, for welcoming Martin and me to his monthly photography reviews with his camera buddies (who are all incredible as well), and for modeling what it means to be engaged with life no matter what. And one more thing: I’ll never forget the afternoon Ted took me up in his two-seater plane. I didn’t know it at the time but Mariah would soon be sold to a new owner. I was Ted’s last passenger.

It was an incredible flight. Not till I was strapped in did Ted mention that some of his passengers threw up on their first flight. I didn’t. When Ted made that first turn over the valley,        I lost all sense of proportion. If my heart had had a jaw, it would have dropped in astonishment at the view. It was thrilling t to look down on the trails I’d hiked so many times. Ted pointed out extinct volcanoes, rock formations and valleys. From above, the area was so green. This is high desert and heavily treed. It was a relief to see that the madness of development down below was still dwarfed by junipers and pines.  Too soon, Ted began turning toward the airport. A perfect landing and we were back on earth. I understood why Ted went up every afternoon and I am eternally glad for the experience of riding shot-gun with him that late December afternoon.

Who is Ted Grussing? A really great guy who makes me smile whenever I think of him.

Visit Ted’s photo site and sign up to recieve his photos  (4x/week.)