Thursday, October 31, 2013

GUEST BLOGGER: Maggie Maguire

Hi everyone. I'm so pleased to be here today filling in for Joan. She told me I could write about anything I wanted, so I thought I'd tell you about my early days - before I met Jake. Let's consider it a prologue to Summer Rain.

Most girls in my day were either geared toward learning how to be a homemaker or working as a secretary, unless you were lucky enough to go to college. I didn't have that option, but I was well trained to be a secretary (what they call Admin or Executive Assistants these days). I got a job with the Defense Department where I worked for several years, until the Washington big shots decided to shut down and consolidate some of the bases. We had the option of moving with the job to a big city on the east coast or finding a new job on our own.

They gave us a year's notice to make the decision, but it didn't take me that long to decide what I wanted to do. I had my sites set on Hawaii - ever since I'd been there on vacation a year earlier. I wasn't at a high enough pay grade to get a transfer, but I made out all right anyway. After sending my application to every military base on the Island of Oahu announcing when I was going to arrive, I took a chance and moved there not knowing if I was going to find a job or not.

Fortunately, I didn't have to go alone. One of the gals from work decided to go with me. From the moment we arrived on the island, wonderful things started to happen. We were greeted with flower leis and a warm welcome by a local gal I met through the mail (snail mail). She was working at one of the bases that was also being affected by the shut downs. She and her friends gave us a tour of Waikiki before dropping us off at our hotel. They even invited us to a Fourth of July bash on a yacht in the harbor. That was the first time I had been on a yacht, but not my last.

The following Monday I rented one of those island jeeps (the ones with the fringe around the roof) and my roommate and I headed over to the army base. Then the strangest thing happened. When I walked into the personnel office and mentioned my name, everyone in the room held up a copy of my application. I learned that even though I had mailed my apps out to different bases, they all ended up back at this one office. Guess it paid to do my homework as I got the last available permanent secretarial position. My roommate was hired as a temp but eventually got a permanent position too.

With a guaranteed pay check in the picture, we then started apartment hunting. We found a furnished place on the second floor of what had once been a hotel, so it came complete with a concierge working the front desk. All utilities were included with our rent, even phone service. We were told that when we came home all we had to do was check at the front desk for our messages. That was so cool - and they said there was usually a cab waiting at the entrance. Everything was falling into place. We were riding high until. . .the first night in our new apartment.

We were out on the lanai having a drink and enjoying the sights and sounds of living right on the main drag into Waikiki. The sun had set while we were out there, and when we went back inside and turned on the lights, we realized we weren't alone. . .

Oops - Joan says I'm way over my word limit, so looks like I'll have to give you the ending on my Facebook page - bookseries

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