Posted by: Lisa Pampuch | July 17, 2002

Note the addition of the word ‘former’

Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed a change to the endline at the bottom of this column – the word ‘former’ has been inserted before the words ‘city editor.’ Friday, July 12, was my last day as city editor at the Gilroy Dispatch.

It was time for a change. Time for less stress, at least for the several weeks of what’s left of the summer (which always rockets by faster than any other season) until the kids are back in school. Then I’ll probably look around for gainful employment again.

I pictured these weeks as idyllic, lazy days spent lounging in or near the pool, attempting to turn my pasty white skin a few hues closer to bronze than its current newsroom pale. I envisioned long, leisurely walks with the kids through the grounds of Bonfante Gardens, taking in beautiful plants and breathtaking rides.

Ha.

My first clue that things would be different was when my mother – who watches Andrew, 11, and Katie, 7, when I’m at work and they’re not in school – immediately booked a plane for halfway across the continent when I announced my plans to quit. Don’t get me wrong; she loves the kids, and they adore her, but I’m sure the prospect of two weeks of childlessness in the middle of summer vacation was irresistible. She’ll be visiting her siblings in Michigan and attending a family reunion with far-flung cousins.

Me? I spent my first two weekdays of my allegedly stress-free new lifestyle making eight trips to Live Oak High School to get Andrew and a friend to Science Camp and Katie to Cheer Camp. Monday featured long lines at the beginning of each camp to sign in each child. Because science camp is an all-day affair, we also get a morning flashback to school days – packing lunches – as an added bonus to not sleeping in.

Not to mention that I had a telephone receiver stuck to my ear for much of Monday, dealing with an insurance company – and when I was unable to get a satisfactory resolution, with its replacement. Now there’s a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. I know accountants and CEOs are the current business-scandal rage, but I wonder when it will be insurance companies’ turn? None too soon for me.

Right around the time I submitted my resignation, relatives also called to announce they were planning visits to the Pampuch Resort in Morgan Hill. My father, stepmother and paternal grandmother will be here in a few days. So instead of lounging by the pool, I’m scouring my house, trying to get it as clean as possible and trying to look at it with fresh eyes, so I can spot the flaws I’m so used to walking right by that I don’t even notice them any more.

A few days after my relatives leave, John’s sister and her family will be dropping by from Ohio. Wonder what I’ll be doing in between prepping for guest set number one, playing tour guide, and the arrival of guest set number two? You got it, more prepping.

We’re really looking forward to all of the visits, and quite frankly I don’t know what I’d do if I were still working full-time with all of this company coming. Some of them we haven’t seen in a few years, and we’re looking forward to spending lots of time with them. Elisabeth, Sue’s daughter, was the flower girl in our wedding when she was the ripe old age of 2 1/2; she’s now almost 17. Her brother Tommy was born two weeks after our wedding; He’s now 14. Just looking at them is sure to remind me of how old I really am.

But after the Ohio relatives leave, I’m sure hoping for some of that longed-for lounging and leisure with the kids before the start of school in late August.

At which point, I might be ready for the seemingly stress-free environment of a newsroom again. We’ll see.

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