There was a popular game show several years ago that even made it big on prime time TV. I think the title was “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” or something like that.

I remember that each contestant had several options when he or she was stumped on questions that got more difficult on the way up to a possible grand prize of $1 million. The contestant could poll the audience and hope that only smart people came that day, call an expert or phone a friend.

I didn’t watch the show much, but whenever I heard someone use the phone a friend option, I assumed the friend was in a computer lab with a dozen other friends who were searching the Internet like crazy once the question was asked and the timer started ticking.

I had a phone a friend moment Thursday night that was worth about a million bucks. I had a very tough workday on Thursday – won’t go into the details – plus a stress-fatigue headache that had been hanging on for several days.

Just before I was going to call it an early night, my phone rang. I heard, “Howdy,” and knew it was longtime Nebraska Press Woman friend Mary Pat Finn-Hoag who does about the same job at the Norfolk Daily News as I do at the Kearney Hub.

No only does she know about work stress, headaches and issues with editors in general, she also was having a bad Thursday.

She mostly was calling to tell me she couldn’t make her usual Kearney visit in late February for the Nebraska Women in Ag Conference. She also has too much work to do and the ag women from Northeast Community College who usually come to Kearney by the van load were down to just a couple who were traveling at odd hours this year.

Mary Pat and I will see each other in Grand Island March 7 for the annual NPW Winter Board meeting, so there will be some visiting time then.

On Thursday night, we mostly were sounding boards for each other. In a competition for who sounded the most wore out, I think it was a tie. As my mom would say, we both sounded like we’d been dragged through a knot hole.

But, you know, by the time we were ready to say good night, my headache seemed to be gone and we both had decided that Friday would be better.

No, we did not sing “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow,” but it was a little bit of that kind of feeling.

I already knew I would head southwest of Kearney about 50 miles to the Elwood area early Friday. I left in the dark and the sunrise was starting just as I crossed the Platte River bridge south of Overton. A few miles later, I was able to photograph the sun behind an old barn.


My destination was a ranch to interview of the Women in Ag keynote speaker ahead of the conference. It so happened that she and other ranch workers were moving 220 pregnant Red Angus heifers from a harvested cornfield, across Highway 23, through a pasture canyon and on to the corral that morning.


It was a great photo op for the profile, and I wished while I was taking photos that Mary Pat could be there to enjoy it too.

That’s one of the many great things about being an NFPW member – to wish I could share moments I enjoy with some of my best friends.

Another is to get a phone a friend call or email or handwritten note at the very time I need it most.