As I took my 3-mile walk last night, the sirens I heard as I neared Snelling Avenue brought my thoughts to Colorado Springs and the raging wildfires that have claimed one life and more than 300 homes.
My youngest brother Pat lives there with his wife Kara and four daughters, the youngest of whom is recovering from open heart surgery. As I turned around on Snelling to walk back home, I said a prayer for them. This morning, I followed up with a phone call to Pat, who assured me everything was OK for him, Kara and the girls.
That was nice to hear. I was able to respond with some good news of my own: I won two first-place awards at the annual Catholic Press Association convention, which took place last week in Indianapolis. The highlight is the awards banquet on Friday night. This is only the third time in 16 years I have made it to the convention, so it was nice to be able to make it this year.
Believe it or not, both of my firsts were in writing categories – best feature story and best sports story. The feature was about the Gross family and the loss of Michael and Anne’s teenage daughter, Teresa, to suicide. The other was a sports story about former NFL (and Vikings) quarterback Brooks Bollinger, who took over as head football coach at Hill-Murray High School in Maplewood.
I know it may come as a surprise to some folks that I won two writing awards, but I actually have been a writer longer than I have been a photographer. I will continue doing both in my new role as senior content specialist in the archdiocese communications department, which officially begins next week. I enjoy my role of telling stories with words and pictures, and I’m very thankful that it will continue. May God continue to bless my work – and keep my brother and his family safe in Colorado Springs!