When I met Ed, he was looking into emigrating from the U.S. to Australia, but after we met, he changed his mind. I had never traveled that much back then … I was only 19, remember … so I got interested in that part of the world. Yes, I was very curious about everything, even back then, but I came to prefer New Zealand. From the north island to the south island, the scenery is beautiful, from the beaches to the mountains. Being from Texas, I’d never seen both beaches AND mountains at the same time. Everything is so far part and so big here. NZ seemed like such a small and adorable country, with only about 104,000 square miles. Texas is almost 3 times that size. And it was SO FAR AWAY from Texas!!!
New Zealand is part of the British Commonwealth with HM Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. It has a Governor and a Prime Minister and I believe it is called a “Parliamentary Democracy.” The population was small so I figured the government had to work better and more efficiently there than it does here in the US! They were looking for people to emigrate, at that time, and there was a shortage of librarians, of all things. I seriously considered a career in library sciences, but obviously, we never immigrated to NZ.
I heard last year about the big earthquake they had but everything seemed just fine, with very little damage and no deaths. This time, however, old historic buildings in Christchurch have collapsed, the city is in disarray with few working utilities, and my former boss was there in downtown Christchurch on business. He has been going to NZ for a while, managing a project, and I envied him getting to spend weeks there, to see the countryside, to experience the culture, and to make friends. Even now, after the earthquake in Christchurch, I still envy him being there and living through the experience. I know that if I had been there, I would’ve been petrified and probably in tears, but I also know that after you live through something like that, you deeply appreciate your friends and family and you realize just how much you enjoy your life in general. It is good for all of us to have that experience at least once in our lifetimes and to appreciate life.
I do know that I already appreciated my former boss. He taught me a lot about managing people and customers, and about enjoying a project and having pride in your work, no matter how frustrating it may seem at the time. Now, I also know that I appreciate him as a friend. I sure would’ve missed tossing barbs back and forth with him. I would’ve missed his confidence in me as an employee, as a singer, and as an opinionated woman! I just would’ve missed him in my life, even if I don’t see him very often. So, come back to all of your former employees and friends in the metroplex, NZ, safe and sound. We’ll set up a team meeting at Ernie’s with the whole gang and celebrate your return. But this time, you’re buying!