Aunt Julie and I had spent at least 20 minutes daring each other to do stupid things when we decided shoving things up our noses was not only cool, but funny. Julie was six years older than me, so she picked things that were relatively easy, like Q-tips and pencils. Not to be outdone, I went a step too far.
When I was a child, I called her Grammy. All of my cousins did, too. As we grew older, she became Gram. All of our friends called her Gram. She is and will always be the biggest influence on my character.
Although I don’t produce the volumes of writing I did when I was a daily reporter, I am still quite pleased with the recognition of my writing from Nebraska Press Women. I entered 13 articles this year, about half what I used to enter. I received 10 awards. All first place awards go on to the National Federation of Press Women contest. I will know those results mid-June.