Saying a partial good-bye

Sunday, June 11, 2006

SHE SAID: For the first time in four years -- since I've known Bob -- we no longer work for the same company.

Now don't panic.

We'll still be here every Sunday morning for your daily dose of marital disaster.

But Bob won't be here, in the Southeast Missourian, the other six days of the week (unless he happens to get arrested and lands in the police report.)

Beginning Monday, he'll be making the 1.5-hour commute each day to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he's taken a job as a designer.

It's a good job, no doubt about it. But anyone who has spent years working side by side with their spouse probably understands the downside as well.

For four years, we have lived, breathed, argued, laughed, cried and competed at this newspaper.

People have recently asked me, "Is this a step up for you guys?"

In most ways, yes. But not being able to catch my husband's eye across the newsroom and share a smile seems a high price to pay.

Oh, I know lots -- the majority in fact -- of marriages survive just fine with husbands and wives working at different places, most of the time in different professions even.

But ours was sort of based around this newspaper. So I can see the changes extending beyond the workplace, into our home too.

HE SAID: I don't want this to become a farewell column for two reasons.

One, because I'll continue to write this column with my cute and talented wife.

And two, because I don't think readers will care much about me saying good-bye.

But as I look back at my run here at the Missourian, it's been a good one, starting back in November of 1998.

Since I've been here, I've gotten to take a dip into a frigid lake in fire department gear.

I watched a Notre Dame kid smash a game-winning double in a state playoff game only days after learning his father was dying of cancer.

I got to see how police bust into homes and catch bad guys.

I watched a community donate thousands of dollars to buy a service dog for a disabled child I wrote about.

I got cussed out by a mayor. And a commissioner. Make that two commissioners.

I rode a horse and rounded up cattle. Well, I didn't do too much rounding, to be honest.

I watched a town, my town, come together and rebuild its homes and businesses following a tornado.

I was introduced to a woman who got stuck in a tree while trying to save her parrot.

I met two men, neither of whom smelled very good, who decided to build a raft and float down the Mississippi River.

I watched the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge open.

I saw how hard it is for drug addicts to recover.

I saw police apprehend a bank robber in front of my office.

I met a high school football player who refused to accept the same fate as his dropout brother.

I listened to a mother tell her story of infertility and losing a newborn.

I saw tears of joy as an autistic kid won a wrestling tournament.

My tenure here was spent mostly as a reporter. On most days, I would crank out a daily story about some government-approved project, a meeting or local politics. But it was the people, the everyday Joes who I enjoyed writing about the most.

I also met a lot of good people here at the Missourian. It's been a joy working with all of them.

And, let's see, it seems like something else important happened here.

Why yes, I believe this is the place I met a cute and talented girl named Callie.

cmiller@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 128

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