The mood here in the office today is sad for sure. A lot is being said without a word uttered. You can see it in our eyes, and in her eyes too. Disbelief, sadness…trying to imagine what it’s going to be like in the office without her. We are saying goodbye to Diane today. She is retiring, and today is her last day here at Sports Leisure Vacations. I know. Shocking. For those of you unfamiliar, Diane Nowlan is our “travel agent” (we sometimes affectionately call her our “air head”). That means she books all of the air (and trains and cruises) for the company, plus takes your reservations, plus helps at the airport when a trip departs, plus makes sure no one’s birthday is ever forgotten here, plus, plus… *sigh*
I admire her, and to be totally honest, was a bit envious of her. You see, she was a stewardess back in the day. When they wore skirts and nylons and hats, and when they were all beautiful women. They weren’t called ‘flight attendants’ like they are now. Back then they were called stewardesses, and it was a dream of mine to be one. So much so that sometimes when I’m a tour director on the motorcoach, I do the “flight attendant safety hand motions” when Greg is on the mike talking about the exit rows on Supercoach. Yeah, I really do. I stand there and point and try to look important too. I loved hearing her tell her stories of when she was flying.
She’s been at Sports for five years. You will be missed Diane, more that I think you realize. It’s been great working with you. I will miss you here at the office, but look forward to having lunch with you…often. Aloha my friend and a hui ho’u…
Mark shouted across the hall to me, “Wanna escort the Giants vs Dodgers baseball group on Wednesday?” “Sure!” I reply, wanting to take advantage of every opportunity to get out on the coach I can. Then he adds: “If the Dodgers win the game don’t bother to come back…” I cringe slightly because I sense a hint of seriousness in his voice. He is a baseball fan after all, and though the team he holds dear to his heart are the Cards, he naturally supports the Giants, doesn’t everybody in this town? “Please God, let the Giants win on Wednesday…”
It’s no secret that Sacramento in the summer is my least favorite place to be. I don’t do hot. Strange for a girl raised in Honolulu, but that’s another blog. So even though I’m not a “real” baseball fan, I did consider myself blessed to take a group of our clients to “The City” to see their beloved Giants play the rival Dodgers. When the motor coach pulled up alongside AT&T Park to drop us off, the temperature outside was 69 degrees… I smile because I know that Sacramento will be 90ish hot today.
By the time the scoreboard tells us we are in the bottom of the fifth, I realize that there has been a steady stream of people walking by my seat in section 130 and I laugh to myself because they are almost always holding two cups of beer in their hands. You could have told me it was “Ocktoberfest” and I would have believed you. Somewhere between yet another homerun by the, ahem, Dodgers and the umpteenth hundredth two fisted beer drinking fan walking by, I take it all in…the perfect weather, the fans flying their team colors, McCovey Cove, the right field upper deck, the ML pennants flapping in the breeze, the beautiful blue skies…and realize that I am genuinely enjoying this moment!
People often ask me why an Island Girl like myself would want to live anywhere else. It’s not for lack of love of my Island heritage or appreciation for its beauty. I love and appreciate it all, even more since I moved to Sacramento in ‘96. But for days like this, and I’ve had many here on the “mainland”, the Islands simply can’t compete.
God didn’t answer my prayer for a Giants win this time, and Mark graciously lifted his ban to banish me and told me I could come back (he must have realized he needed the extra body in the office). I understand now why some people just love baseball…it was (almost) a perfect day!