Christmas 2016 -Wyoming, Colorado, Surprises and FISH

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It’s been another fun year at the Gurnetts – travel, Tall Ships, giant rubber ducks, Duluth, Wyoming, Colorado, outlaws, a couple of surprises – and yes, even some FISH! We decided that we would visit Tim and Sanaz in Wyoming this year.  Since he lives in the Big Horn National Forest and is the Forest Ranger there, we figured he could show us some great sights – and hopefully not lead any of us off a cliff!  We were not disappointed.  Tim’s home sits next to a creek – where Liam and I wanted to spend all of our time.  However, Tim didn’t want any of us sitting still too long – so we went hiking up Crazy Woman Canyon – which my family said must have been named after me!  We went on to explore the Hole in the Wall Gang’s hideout – and it really is a hole in the wall.  The ghosts of outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid watched as the Wild Bunch (also known as Pat, Jenny, Tim, Sanaz, Lizzie and Liam) climbed, explored and enjoyed their old hideout.  You will notice that I was not one of the Wild Bunch – mainly because I was pretty sure they would leave me there if I couldn’t get back up the cliff!  Then we would have Crazy Woman Canyon and Wild Nutty Woman Cliff!  After our adventures in Wyoming we traveled to Duluth, Minnesota so we could see the Tall Ships (or pirate ships as Lizzie and Liam called them) – and the most important sight to behold – the World’s Biggest Rubber Duck!  Nothing better than seeing a giant rubber ducky bobbing around on Lake Superior!  Then just to round out this year’s travels, Pat and I took a short trip back to my hometown of Gunnison, Colorado.  I was feeling a little homesick for my mountains – and Pat had yet to catch his yearly fish – so off we went to my mountain streams to try his luck.  Unfortunately, the closest Pat came to catching an elusive fish was in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison when a salmon came dangerously near his lure.  Alas – no fish for Pat this year!  During all of these travels, we had not one but TWO surprises this year!  Pat is getting some new playmates!  Yes, we are having two more grandbabies.  Becky, our youngest is due on Christmas day and Sanaz, Tim’s wife is due the end of February.  Both of them are having boys – Wesley Emmet Jizba and Walter Patrick Gurnett – which means Lizzie still is the princess in charge.  We are so excited for them and look forward to lots of fun with them!

Jenny is working at JC Penney’s in the salon – which gives her the flexible time she needs with the kids.  Lizzie is in 4th grade – but she thinks she is smart enough to have a Ph.D.  She is still singing in the church choir – and is now learning to play the piano – which she loves!  Jenny is lucky enough to have a friend who has a piano she wanted to get rid of – and so now it is in Jenny’s basement.  Lizzie likes to practice – and I’m sure will soon be able to sing and play the piano at the same time!  Liam is in 2nd grade and getting ready for his First Communion in the spring.  He is in Boy Scouts and can hardly wait to go camping.  He likes to take Grandpa on adventures – while Grandma spends her time yelling at them to be careful!

Bob is still in New York City – and is becoming more of a New Yorker every day.  He is performing at comedy venues every night – and I’m hoping he becomes famous before I retire so I can get my house on a beach in Hawaii!  Unfortunately, he will have to start getting paid for his comedy for that to happen – and right now his paying job is working on computers, which is barely enough to live in pricey New York!

Tim loves being a Forest Ranger in the Big Horn National Forest – and now Sanaz is there with him working at the hospital in Buffalo Wyoming.  They are very excited about welcoming little Walter to their paradise in February.  Sanaz’s mother is living with them for a few months which has been very nice for Sanaz while Tim is in Italy completing his reserve duty for the Navy.  I’m pretty sure Walter will be like his Mom and Dad – always ready for adventure – whether Mom and Dad are ready or not!

Becky is a service leader at Methodist Hospital as well as an officer in the Navy Reserve.  She is still working on her Masters – and as if that isn’t enough, she will now have little Wesley arriving before the end of the year!  Her hubby, Pete is still with Godfather’s Pizza – and is preparing the nursery for Wes.  Since Wes has decided to be a Christmas baby, we will have lots of extra celebrating to do this year – and every year from now on!

Pat and I are muddling through.  We are both very excited about the new babies – as is everyone in the family!  I don’t think Tim or Becky are prepared for how much Pat will be coming over to ‘play’ – even if he has to drive all the way to Wyoming for Walter!  Wes is just across town and I’m sure Grandpa will be dragging Lizzie and Liam along so he can have his own gaggle of kidlets to play with!  It is always good to have lots of little guys to spoil rotten – and of course, one big guy in the form of Pat!

May YOUR year be full of exploration, pirate ships, rubber duckies, surprises – and FISH – don’t forget the fish – even if it is just the adventure of teaching a new little one how to bait that hook and visit with you while you watch the fish swim by!