More than a few times over the last four days, I had to remind myself to just take a deep breath and exhale slowly — everything’s gonna be all right.
From Friday afternoon through Monday noon, I logged 262 work miles on my car. It began with the search for storm damage after numerous funnel clouds were reported across Nobles County Friday and ended with a trip to the newly expanded AGCO facility in Jackson Monday morning to tour the tractor assembly line (that was really awesome, by the way!)
Sandwiched between those two adventures were a trip to Windom Saturday to cover the Wings on the Prairie event and the release of five trumpeter swans; and then to Luverne on Sunday morning to capture the images and emotions of a wonderful reunion between our National Guard soldiers and their families after nearly a year apart.
I can’t even tell you how many people I interviewed during that span of days —I just know it was a lot.
It’s funny how, in the movies, the life of a reporter is often depicted to be a glamorous profession. Never are they shown eating fast food lunch in their car (I’m rather embarrassed to admit I did that three times in the last four days), frantically scribbling notes, and then, trying to decipher those same frantic notes back at the office.
By the end of the day Monday, that span of four days produced half a dozen stories, two photo galleries, more than 100 photos and this blog. Uff da.
After all of that, I must say these past four days have been an exciting, exhilarating whirlwind of work for this reporter, and nearly everything I wrote about fell into the “good news” column.
Topping the list, of course, was the troop welcome home. If I could have been in two places at the same time, I would have been at both Jackson and Luverne to cover the parades and reunions.
Sunday marked the third time in the last eight years that I’ve had the honor of covering soldiers returning home, and it’s an experience that leaves me teary-eyed every time. I’m so thankful that most of our troops are now safely home and reunited with their families. Thanks troops for the sacrifices you’ve made, for your dedication and service to a country that allows so many freedoms, including freedom of the press.
As long as we have that freedom, we will continue to bring you the news —the good and the bad —day after day.
I’ll be back at it in a couple of weeks, after taking a much needed stretch of vacation days.
I’m not sure yet how I’m going to spend my days off, but with the Minnesota fishing opener on Saturday, you can be sure I’ll get to the lake a time or two.
Mostly, I plan to sit at home, with my feet up and my overhead needlework light shining on my latest stitching project. There’s a little Godson in my life who adores John Deere tractors, and my Auction Day pattern is slowly starting to take shape.
I’d really like to have it completed by Christmas, but I refuse to set a deadline on my stitching hobby. Deadlines are for the newsroom, after all.