Lily's First Flight
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 by Frank Shortt
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Liliana Chavez was very excited! This was to be her first airplane flight. The flight would be from San Francisco to Seattle, then a long drive to Chelan, Washington to visit close friends of the family of Chavez. Arturo Gonzalez and his family work on a large apple orchard in Chelan caring for, picking, and shipping the many varieties of apples.

The three members of the Chavez family from Los Banos stayed the night in San Jose. This was so they would be closer to San Francisco for the airplane ride. “Get up, get up! Guido their friend cried. We must prepare for the trip to San Francisco!” Guido was taking the trip with the Chavez family

“I can’t get up, Liliana replied, It’s still the middle of the night.” It was 3am on this eventful day when Lily was first to fly. Eventually, Lily forced herself out of bed, visited the bathroom, and got dressed. When all the Chavez family was ready, they got into their friend Guido’s car and headed for San Francisco International Airport. Time crawled by as Lily watched the passing lights of early morning. She tried counting cars to pass the time. Finally, they arrived at the airport.

“Oh Mama, Mama, look at all the people here. Where must they all be going?” Lily saw people of every nationality, dressed in their native garbs. She thought, “how many people must there be on this earth?” Lily sat and watched as all the people passed while they waited for their flight to Seattle. Her little heart beat with great excitement as she tried to count all the pieces of luggage that passed her. Soon, she heard, “flight 218 for Seattle, boarding at gate 3.” Lily and her family lined up to board the flight.

After being seated in the Jumbo Jet, Lily felt very small and was amazed at all the instructions the stewardesses gave to the passengers. She wondered if she would remember everything if she needed to do anything the lady had told them. Soon the huge jet roared to life and began to taxi toward the long take-off runway. Lily’s heart began to flutter and she felt butterflies in her stomach! As the huge wheels left the runway, her beat double time as she whispered a short prayer for a good flight.

The flight to Seattle was without incident. As Lily left the airplane, she said a hurried prayer of thanks for a good flight. Soon they had rented a car and were on their way to Chelan and the apple orchards. As they arrived at their friend’s place of employment, Lily was very excited to see all the trees with beautiful apples of every variety hanging from the sturdy limbs. She thought, “So, this is where all the apples we see in the store come from!”

The orchard where their friend worked was above a beautiful lake! Lily loved the blue water and when the families decided to have a picnic by the lake, Lily was elated! The children played in the water and soon decided to find driftwood that had been pushed to shore by the waves at windy times. All in all, the picnic was a great success and was a highlight of the visit.
The time of parting was a sad time for Lily as she had made some new friends. The grownups were also sad to part from their friends. As all good things must end sometime, they resolved to make the best of it and go their separate ways. Lily had really gotten a hands-on education about fruit farming. She felt she would be able to tell all her friends at home all about apple farming. The trip back to Seattle, though sad, went by quickly as Lily was suddenly very tired and took a long nap on her mom’s shoulder. Next thing Lily knew, they were getting ready for the flight to San Jose.

When Lily went back to school in Los Banos, all her friends wanted to know how her first flight was. Lily had told them that she was going on her first airplane ride to Washington. Lily held her head up high, and proudly announced to all her friends, “It was just a piece of cake!” She walked off very proudly and began to comb her beautiful hair!

The butterflies and fluttering heart were all forgotten in her victory over the first flight!