Through Eager Eyes - Chapter 1: Chasing Adventures

11:37 PM

Full of Wonder and Innocence, a Young Girl Romances the Sky 

By Dan Pimentel,
Airplanista Blog Editor

(Note: This is the first of six chapters in a short story about my granddaughter's first airplane ride. Stay tuned to Airplanista for the next five chapters or download the complete PDF e-book here - dan)

Chapter 1: Chasing Adventures

The sun was shining bright through the windshield, washing my mother's golden hair with elaborate streaks of bronze, rust and other hues from a most dramatic palette. The one single cloud I can see as the car pulls from the driveway seems almost lonely in the sea of blue that surrounds it. This day was shaping up to be full of bliss and wonder, as are all the days of my young life. That wonder, that sense of what is out there waiting for me, makes me the luckiest girl in the world.

And that girl part? Must have been the pink blankets from my past, because to me, the splendors of my universe are gender neutral. New things are seen and must be learned, new concepts discovered and must be explored. Girl? Whatever, I see nothing in that word that prevents me from reaching glorious heights of personal expression and success.

Maybe it was the smooth, genuine and predictable taste of my morning banana, but things really seemed like they are going my way on this special day. It was sure to be special, because my DooDah – my Daddy's Stepdaddy, whatever that is – was involved. Everything is better with DooDah, and while I have no idea what is going to happen today, with DooDah, it will be fun, this I know.

But what has intrigued me is this endless talk about something else on today's agenda. Apparently DooDah has something called an airplane, and while the adventure in learning about this new concept of "going flying" might open up new horizons and teach me today's lesson, I have no idea what an airplane is. That is the thrill of my life, new doors are opening every minute, incredible paths unfold before me demanding to be walked. As a human, I am fearless, no danger lurks in my world. Glee surrounds my every waking hour, and adventure unfolds before me with every tick of the clock. So this flying stuff – whatever it may be – can only be one more excursion into the new, the unexplored.

"Bring it on!" I feel like shouting, but do not.

The familiar surroundings of my home, my room, my wonderful yard filled with butterflies and strawberries are distant memories today, and the journey we are on is foreign. New vistas slide by the car window, as well they should on any legitimate adventure. With DooDah leading our car on a road I've never traveled, it is encouraging to be out of touch with familiarity. Unlike any other road I have been down before, the beautiful flowers, trees and the occasional dog, dog, dog have been replaced with, well, nothing. Where are we going? Where are the other people, the cars, the houses?

Desolation lives here, and desolation unnerves me, it always has. What could this large, flat area be used for, certainly not chasing puppies through the park, where swings and slides would make this place at least somewhat inhabitable.

As we slow to a stop, DooDah is standing outside our car. Before him is the most technologically-advanced gate I have ever seen, a sentry that protects something important, I am not sure what. The magic of life is everywhere today, and around DooDah's neck is a slice of that magic, a card of some sort, I see his smiling face on it. This card is important, this I know because with one wave of DooDah's strong hand in front of a cute little metal box perched atop a pole, the gate magically begins a leisurely movement away from us. As we drive through, Daddy is giddy with anticipation when he declares that "we are in", as if somewhere between the banana and DooDah's magic card, we became secret agents. Everyone in my car is pleased to be "on the airport" and it is clear that the excitement of the day seems poised to reach yet unattained heights. My expectations of what is to come next are increasing with every breath, I am elated to be part of this new, mysterious adventure.

As the car eases into this strange complex of non-descript buildings, my mind races to discover what this is, where we are, why I am here. As one who loves the brightly-colored neighborhoods of my hometown, these buildings look odd, they are windowless shells devoid of all personality.

But down one drive between the buildings, I glimpse something that is familiar. Do not ask me for the official name, but I have ridden on one of those long, slender vehicles before, way back in the days of my youth. Mommy and me rode for long hours inside one of these metal tubes, which I found to be a very interesting place, with the view out the tiny oval windows changing as we appeared to rise high into the sky as if on some sort of Magic Carpet. From the security of my mommy's arms, I gazed out the window and watched the houses get smaller and the clouds reach out to me, so close I was eager to touch them! Around me, people appeared mystified about my opinion that this odd contraption is indeed a comforting place to sleep, if not to also dream.

Back in the car, it starts to come together as dots get connected in today's riddle. Maybe what I did with mommy before in that pressurized tube was this thing called "flying" and so, quite possibly, that flying machine was an airplane. And since everyone this morning – as well as last night – have been talking non-stop about "DooDah's airplane", could it be that we are at this desolate place with the odd, boring buildings, to fly? My summation of the situation remains unsettled, but if that is the outcome of this adventure, I'll welcome it as I welcome any opportunity to soar with birds in their sky.

From the lap of my mother as she works at her home office, I often gaze out the window at our bird feeder and am in complete wonder and amazement how these tiny creatures defy gravity and flutter about effortlessly. Oh how I want to join them! To be free of the surly bonds that hold me onto this fragile planet, to effortlessly glide unabated through that glorious, unexplored space that resides above my head.

Our car comes to a stop at one of these lifeless structures, and in a blur or motion, I find myself standing before a large set of metal doors. DooDah greets us, and welcomes me as usual with a gentle finger to the tip of my nose and a quick "beep!" What's up with that? DooDah is forever pushing the tip of my nose, I cannot know why. But his funny voice makes me laugh once again. He again mentions this thing called flying, and again, I struggle to comprehend all that is going on around me.

In an instant, DooDah and Daddy slide open the huge metal doors, and the value of this day goes up sharply as a beautiful little flying machine comes into full view. While it looks similar to the large tubes mommy and me flew in, this is a much smaller version, intimate in design and very, very intriguing in personality. As DooDah walks with me around this machine, I am introduced formally to "Katy", a name I was born to immediately love. As I view Katy, she looks strong, capable and I must learn more. With each step, I am drawn towards Katy, her spell being cast on my stream of consciousness. While it makes sense that Katy cannot talk, if she could, I believe I would be invited to take part in a celebration of freedom with her that would take me on endless aerial adventures to places I cannot even comprehend today.

DooDah soon moves me, mommy and Daddy away from Katy, and with a tug of his strong arms, pulls her from this building into the bright sunlight, where the light glistens off her sleek wings, her streamlined physique. This day is getting better by the second, I am eager to see what comes next as I learn more about and become better acquainted with my new BFF, Katy.

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