It is time for your annual report from those crazy people in Nebraska – the Gurnetts! Yes – we always feel the need to share our craziness with the world – it makes everyone else feel so normal. At least we know our place in the world! As usual we had a fun-packed year – vacations, time with our granddaughter and clearing out the house. Wait – did you read that right – we cleared out the house? Yes – we are now officially empty-nesters – although the only thing that actually left were the children – all their stuff is still in the nest! I thought when people said they were empty-nesters, they meant the rooms were empty and ready for remodeling – no one ever told me that I still have sort through all of the ‘nestees’ junk and get rid of it too! This may take a lot longer than I thought! Anyway, Becky and Bob moved out this summer – within a couple of months of each other. I’m okay with this – Pat is NOT a happy man. He misses his ‘playmates’ – it’s a good thing Elizabeth is around to keep him busy. We did take our annual vacation – this time we went to Duluth, Minnesota for a week and had a great time. Now, don’t laugh – but Duluth has lots of stuff to do! We went on a train ride along the edge of Lake Superior (on that trip, we found a wonderful little place for breakfast), we took a boat ride around the harbor of Duluth and saw the HUGE ships (on that trip, we found a great restaurant right on the water’s edge), we watched the aerial bridge go up and down for the big tankers (where we found a great restaurant where we could sit outside and watch the bridge), we visited the aquarium and went shopping (where we found a great coffee shop with wonderful scones). Can you tell what our real focus of the vacation was? Yes – you guessed it – FOOD! Now, why would that surprise you – it’s all about the FOOD. We did get some fishing in – Pat caught a huge fish , which he actually brought back and it is in my freezer right now. Just so you know – I don’t consider fish to be food – so it will probably sit in the freezer for a while! We also visited great-grandma’s alma mater – College of St. Scholastica and impressed the people there with having four generations all in one place (Kathleen, Pat, Jennifer and Elizabeth). It was a GREAT trip!
Jenny’s family is doing great. Jenny, age 26, is still at Penney’s salon and Mike was promoted to a manager at Ace Hardware. Elizabeth is walking, talking, singing, yelling, laughing – and of course, learning the ropes of being Queen of the Castle. She is a natural! Jenny did get a taste of things to come – she had to buy Elizabeth a pair of pink sparkling shoes because she fell in love with them at the store and threw a huge fit until mom bought them. I was smiling a lot at that story when Jenny told me – I do so love paybacks! The other good news for Jenny and Mike is that they are expecting another little person to join their family in early April – so Pat will have another playmate!
Bob, age 24, is a team leader for the Geek Squad at Best Buy and attending University of Nebraska at Omaha full time. He is studying American Literature and is really enjoying it. Bob moved in with some friends in September, but of course, comes home to do laundry and be treated to the occasional meal. Although Bob is gone from the house – he did leave us lots of stuff in the basement – I’m not quite sure what do with the comic books, old CDs or old computer games – but I’m thinking of renting a dumpster. It might be easier to move into the dumpster and let them haul off the house – definitely a lot less work!
Tim, age 22 is still in the Navy and stationed in Kauai (an island of Hawaii). He is engaged to be married early next year and we will be traveling to Hawaii for the wedding. We will have a reception for the newlyweds later in the summer when Tim comes home on leave. His fiancé is a lovely young woman named Sanaz Rashidi-Ramani and we are very excited that she is joining our family. I don’t think Tim has told her exactly how dysfunctional we are – which is why she is still willing to marry Tim!
Becky, age 20, is a junior in nursing school at Creighton University. She started her clinical training this year and has even helped deliver a baby! She is excited because she has been accepted to a program which will allow her to go to the Creighton’s mission in the Dominican Republic next summer. Becky moved in with some girlfriends this summer and also felt the need to leave most of her ‘junk’ with us. I have noticed that as I go through the junk and remind her what is there, all of a sudden she feels the need to have it! Now, if I could only get her to actually come get the stuff instead of being a delivery service for her!
Pat and I are doing great. Pat is a little lonely – especially since the house is a lot quieter now! It is amazing how you get used to all of the racket or maybe we have just gone very deaf from all those years of very loud, rambunctious children! In some ways I miss those days of trying to guess what is being said on television – my version was usually a lot more interesting than what is actually being said!
We hope you have a joyous holiday season and that you get to enjoy a lot of loud, crazy and loving people around you. Make sure to laugh, sing, dance and celebrate this season with the ones you love.