For today’s “Meet Us Monday” post, we will be chatting with and learning more about a woman with whom you have likely interacted if you’ve been in Paddington or come to a special event sometime in the last fifteen years. Introducing- Stefanie Nagata!
- Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a little town called Kāne’ohe in Hawaii and lived there throughout my childhood.
- What is something about you that would surprise people?
I’m a hula dancer and danced from the ages of 5 through 17! I tried to pick it up and start dancing again a few years ago and was really surprised that I struggled with how tired I always was. I found out soon after that I was pregnant! I’d love to find some time for it again someday.
- What is the best meal you ever had?
That’s really hard because I like all food and I’ve had a lot of really good meals in my life! I think my favorite was during my dad’s first tour of duty abroad. He was in the foreign service and we lived in this tiny town in the Netherlands called Noordwijkerhout. One of the very first restaurants we ever ate at was this shawarma restaurant in Lisse, and they would serve it to you with this onion that had a candle in it. It was the simplest of meals but it is one of the things I’ll always remember.
- What is your favorite time of year?
I love the Spring and the flowers when they bloom. I love the trees when they are beginning to leaf out and you see snow on the mountains still and the daffodils start to bloom. It makes my allergies go crazy, but it also makes my kids so happy so it’s my favorite time.
- Where is your favorite spot in Ashland?
Lithia Park! I like parks and trees and knowing that there’s always someplace new that I hadn’t seen there yet. I remember taking my kids to play in the park when they were trying to learn to walk and my daughter would chase the ducks.
- What are some of your hobbies?
I love little craft projects, I’ve got a million different projects half-started in various places in my house! I see videos of other people creating things and think, “I can do that!” so I buy all the stuff and then realize I have no idea what I’m doing. But it sure is fun!
- Tell me about your favorite pet you’ve ever had.
We had a cat named Booterz and he was a little gray kitty with green eyes. He passed away last year, but he was a perpetual toddler and all he ever wanted you to do was hold him until he stuck his claws in you.
- Who has been the most influential person in your life?
My parents. Growing up, they made sure I understood who I was and what I could do and who I came from. They made me believe I could be anything I wanted because of the people who came before me. I always want to make them proud.
- What is a mantra you like to live by?
Every day is new and I can make that day whatever I want it to be.
- What is your favorite thing about working at Paddington Station?
These people are my family and I feel like I’ve grown up with them! I love that customers walk in and I can ask them how their kids are doing in college because I met them when they were little! People in their twenties come back in and talk to me about the American Girl events we used to have and they are such precious memories.
- Anything else you’d like to add?
I’ve traveled all over the world and this is where I ended up, and I think that says something. I grew up in paradise in Hawaii and of all the places, this is where I am and what I’m doing. I’m so happy to be here.