Christmas 2005 – I talk to the trees

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Tara River, 2006.

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WOW – It’s that time of year once more!  I’m so glad Christmas is almost here – now I won’t have to put away those Christmas decorations and cards which have been sitting on my bedroom dresser all year.  It just proves that good things come to those who wait!  Speaking of good things – the Gurnett clan had a great year!  We had excitement, travel, graduations, and new jobs – all without being sent to jail or to the funny farm!  Tim and I both graduated from school this year – Tim from his Navy boot camp and his military police school, and me from Creighton’s MBA program.  We are still debating who had the tougher program (at least I didn’t have to run until I threw up – but then Tim didn’t have to write 30 page term papers!).  Jenny and Bob have new jobs — which should mean that we won’t have to shell out quite so much money for them – yea right!  We did take our family vacation this year and went back to Gunnison, Colorado for my high school class reunion.  It was very strange because we didn’t have any kids with us for part of the trip.  Grandma came along as chaperone so we would behave ourselves and not get wild and crazy.  Pat was a little lost without his fishing buddy, Tim, and could be found talking to trees along the side of the river and showing the fish he had caught to the large nearby boulders.   At least this year, Pat won the fishing/lying contest – he even brought a couple of the “real” fish back and forced me to cook them.  Mostly, we sat around the campfire and ate a lot of marshmallows and s’mores – my kind of vacation.  Becky and Bob came up for part of the vacation – they had run out of money and food at home.  Becky and I went river rafting and horseback riding while Bob sat in the cabin and read.  Becky and I were in a raft with a family from New York who had more experience rafting than we did – which wouldn’t have been so bad except the kids were 6 and 8 years old!  We definitely need to get out more.  Horseback riding was a little better – especially since Becky bonded immediately with the cute cowboy who was our guide – always pays to take a beautiful girl along on these kinds of things!

Jenny is 23 years old and is working at a local salon full-time.  She is also attending college part-time and working on a business degree.  We don’t see her that often, but she claims she still is living at home – at least all of her clothes and makeup still live at the house.  It appears that now that she has her own money, we have been demoted from bank to storage facility – not necessarily a bad thing!

Bob, 21 years old, is working at Best Buy in their computer area.  He really loves the new job – where people truly appreciate an e-athlete’s skills and expertise.  He is also attending University of Nebraska at Omaha and working on his degree.  Bob still spends a lot of time at his computer down in his room in the basement.   We usually don’t hear him too much – other than when he is yelling at his e-troops to e-bomb and e-destroy the e-enemy.  The best conversation this year has been between Tim and Bob arguing over how guns work.  Strange conversation since Tim is the only one of the pair to actually shoot a real gun!

 Tim, 19 years old, is a Navy Master at Arms (military police).  He is stationed in Kevlavik, Iceland and is loving every minute of it.  He is exploring Iceland and has found the best camping spot on the island – it is next to a river, a forest and at the base of a live volcano.  I voiced my concerns over this spot – but Tim informed me that since the whole island was a volcano, this was really not an issue.  I don’t know – when I think of a campfire – a volcano is not exactly what I have in mind.  Tim is also working on his degree while in the Navy – he said there isn’t much to do except read and explore – so apparently, he is not telling his mother about the beautiful Icelandic girls – which is probably a good thing!

Becky, 17 years old, is a senior in high school.  As usual, she is involved in everything – plays, band, chorus – and still trying to find time to decide on a college.  She has applied to numerous colleges and is already been accepted to some.  She hasn’t quite decided if she wants to go into nursing or education.   It seems like only yesterday she was trying to decide between being a princess and a ballerina – and decided that being a princess had more perks – and has basically been one ever since!  

Pat is trying to get Tim’s jeep put back together before he comes home on leave in January.  Actually, I think it is more for him than Tim – since he really wants to drive that jeep around.  I just want the thing out of my garage – it’s just a little crowded in the one-car garage – which has two jeeps, three lawnmowers, four bikes, … and a partridge in a pear tree – no, I take that back – the partridge died – it got stuck under one of the lawnmowers and we forgot it was there!

I finished school and graduated with my MBA in August – so apparently, people now think I have all of this extra time and so I get volunteered for all kinds of crazy stuff.  Worse, yet – sometimes I actually do the volunteering myself!  So, when I graduated, my family thought the laundry and housework would get caught up – HA! No such luck.  I’ve found all kinds of new ways to avoid that stuff!

We hope your holidays are as exciting and full of joy as our year has been!  And remember – if you wait long enough, the Christmas decorations come back in season, the dirty clothes will go out of fashion and you will have to buy new ones anyway, and someone else will finally do the dishes — so spend your precious time doing more important things like river rafting and horseback riding!

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