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My Career Search Part Six

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Lela is a certified medical laboratory scientist (ASCP) with 38 years of experience in the medical industry and blood banking.

The Maui Years

On top of the world at Haleakala, watching the sunrise. A must do activity for tourists!

On top of the world at Haleakala, watching the sunrise. A must do activity for tourists!

1989, A Life Changing Event!

Several things happened about this time. My son had reached the age of 18. He had some decisions to make. I made it clear that when it was time for him to go off to college, I would be leaving Corsicana for good.

Bill was in a quandary. He had to choose between moving with me to Maui, or staying behind to be with his sick and dying father, his sisters, his friends, his entire life! I knew it was probably an impossible choice for him to make, but I could not thrive in the town. I could stomach no more of the narrow mindset that Corsicanans have.

After I had done as much as I could to broaden his view of the world, it seemed stubbornness was a permanent fixture in his psyche.

It truly was an impossible decision for Bill to make, but I just had to leave. I couldn't stand stagnation. He was 18, I could no longer make decisions for him. I think he most expressed a fear of flying, and a 10-hour flight over the Pacific was just too much to contemplate. He decided to stay in Corsicana and go to junior college there. I think he began his angst at me for my decision to move so very far away.

The Pacific Ocean meets Maui

The Pacific Ocean meets Maui

Strange Things Happen in This World

Bill's father did die, and Bill was at a total loss. He called me, angry that I had moved away. Bill was the sole heir of whatever his dad had left behind. There was an acre of land, with no house on it, fifteen or so Studebaker cars, some valuable, most were not. I encouraged him to sell the Studebakers to have money for college. Not only that, but I had also given him a motorcycle, and another car, which he sold.

He kept the Studebaker pick-up for his personal use. He did go off to college and graduated. I didn't see or hear from him again until my return to Texas. I felt sure he was going to be alright financially.

Anger and stubbornness on both our parts separated the two of us. It was about two years later, after moving back to Texas, before we reconnected again. He retained the angst he had developed toward me. It is only in the past few years that he has come around and talks to me via e-mail. He now lives in Oregon, has a wife and stepchildren, a home, and his own career. He looks great!

Touring And Working On Maui

Bob at one of the "rocks meet water" on Maui

Bob at one of the "rocks meet water" on Maui

My Life Partner Entered While on a Blind Date

After getting adjusted to "Maui time", I spent about 3 months going to as many tourist locations as I could during my off hours. Maui is extremely beautiful! The weather is perfect. The local news does not have a weatherman! The local newscaster just takes about five minutes to say, "Highs in the 70s, with mauka1 showers on and off", then a brief surf report. Very few times does he announce heavy rain or surf.

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My job at Maui Memorial Hospital was eight hours a night for seven nights, then off for seven nights. Remember, I once said that lab technicians work very strange hours. The night shifts pay more, are less busy, no supervisor present, less phone calls, less stress, and it always felt just right to me.

Some of the girls I worked with became friends with me. One of them set me up with a blind date. That was the night I met Bob. We hit it off right away and haven't dated anyone else since we met. We got "Mauied" in 1991 and have been together ever since. Bob and I are literally living "happily ever after"!

With Bob, near the Banyon trees in Lahaina

With Bob, near the Banyon trees in Lahaina

Maui is Expensive! I Considered Other Part Time "Careers"

To make even more money than what my job as a lab tech paid, plus what Bob did at his job as a rental car employee and mechanic, we both had to explore some part-time work.

Photography was natural for me. Bob was a good photographer too! We set up a small photography business. This was also a natural for our location because who doesn't want their Hawaiian memories saved in living color?

Surprisingly, we ended up with more local business. The professionals took most of the tourist trade. They could afford to advertise. I did most of my photography from "word of mouth", and the local Jaycees organization. I did their "Healthiest Baby" competition, plus novelty photos at the JC's fair every year. Also, we worked at the local "flea market" on my weekends off.

We offered novelty keychains, small standing frames, and pin backs with Maui themed backgrounds using instant Polaroid photos. The local folks loved them!

Professional Photography as a Career?

  • What does a photographer do?
  • What is their work environment like?
  • How can you become a pro-photographer?
  • What is the pay scale?
  • What is the job outlook?
  • State and area data...

I won't copy over the details, but follow the reference link2 below for detailed answers to these and other questions about this career.


  1. Mauka means "on the mountain side". (Makai means toward the ocean side) Google will translate this if you need it.
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - Photographers: Occupational page

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Lela

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