A Very Merry Fishy Christmas

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The next generation

The next generation

It’s been another crazy year at the Gurnett’s – full of accomplishments, challenges – and of course, we couldn’t go a year without FISH!  We started out the year with a HUGE accomplishment – Jenny graduated from Peru State College with her degree in Business!  I told her that she had ‘walk’ in the ceremony and get that diploma – I need those pictures!  She thought she would be the oldest one in the group (since when is 29 old?!?) – but it turned out that she sat next to people who had been in her on-line courses – and all of their mothers were making them ‘walk’ too – even the lady who was in her fifties did not tell her 80-year-old mother ‘NO’.  It was worth sitting through the heat and speeches to see Lizzie and Liam cheer for their mother as she crossed the stage.  They were so PROUD!  Not to be outdone – Lizzie also graduated – from pre-school.  She insisted on wearing the pearls Jenny had worn at her graduation because this was an IMPORTANT THING and pearls were required!  After all of that excitement, we decided it was time to take everyone to the mountains – so off we went to Lake City, Colorado.  My kids spent their time hiking a couple of Fourteeners (for those of you who don’t know mountain lingo – those are peaks which are over 14,000 feet) – needless to say I did not go along – between the heights and my natural aversion to exercise, it was not happening!   As for the fishing – well this was the year that Grandpa taught Lizzie and Liam how to fish with their own fishing poles!  There was great excitement on the part of Lizzie and Liam and actually, Grandpa was pretty excited too – but that was because his memory had faded concerning teaching his own children how to fish.  Lizzie had a pretty pink fishing rod and Liam had a Spiderman fishing rod – and they had been practicing casting in the backyard so they could now be considered experts for their age-class.  Now for the real thing!  Lizzie had the first cast and she did AWESOME!  Her cast went clear across the river (about 10 feet!) and she started reeling in her worm which was ‘riding’ on the hook for fun.  She didn’t like the thought of Grandpa skewering her worm – so we told her he was taking a ride.  Liam didn’t really care, he liked seeing the worm stuck on that hook (I’m pretty sure this isn’t the first sign of a serial killer) – however Liam’s cast landed right at his feet – in the water, but right at his feet. After that first cast, the sight of all of those rocks and that clear water was just too much – and the fishing poles were laid on the ground and the rocks started going in.  Unfortunately, the only fish caught on vacation (or fortunately for the fish) was a small rainbow trout which Grandpa hooked one evening.  After each child petted the fish, gave him a name, the fish was thrown back into the river to live another day.  So, Grandpa was happy because he was passing on his fishing expertise (such as it is), Lizzie and Liam were happy because they went fishing with Grandpa, and Grandma (me) was happy because I didn’t have to cook any fish!

Jenny has her hands full with Lizzie (5 years old) and Liam (3 years old)!  Lizzie is in kindergarten and having a great time!  She has a whole new crowd of people to entertain.  Everyone is her friend and she is doing quite well in school – there is one thing she does have to work on though – she apparently hugs too much.  Wow, if that is her only problem, I think I can live with that.  Liam is in preschool and he is also a serial hugger – which is much better than a serial slugger!  Lizzie is still in dance – she has now added tap to her ballet skills.  Liam is busy keeping everyone else busy.  Jenny – who apparently doesn’t have enough chaos in her life, has decided to go back to school and get her paralegal certificate – probably so she can defend the kids against those ‘hugging’ complaints which will surely be coming soon.

Bob is working full time for First Data Resources as a techie for their computer help desk.  In defiance of all of the stereotypes about techies and geeks – Bob has embarked on a new endeavor.  Bob has become a stand-up comedian – he figured with our family, he had enough material to make him a very wealthy man – eventually.  He performs at local venues and has even gone up to the ‘big city’ of Chicago!  I have offered to become his writer – but he told me that is just a little too weird and would probably cause him to become the topic of many jokes by other comedians – and he doesn’t want to make someone else rich at his expense.

Tim and Sanaz have been very busy this year.  Sanaz finished her training as an emergency medical technician (EMT) and is now working for a local ambulance service.  She especially likes driving the ambulance because people get out of her way when that light and siren are going!  She is working on her paramedic degree – then she can work with the fire departments and the rescue squads – bigger lights, louder sirens!  Tim spent the summer in Sioux Falls, South Dakota training a team of veterans to be forest fire fighters.  Tim had such a good time doing that, he will probably go back next summer.  He is spending the month of December in Naples, Italy with his Navy Reserve Unit – lucky devil!

Becky and Pete bought a house this summer – so that must mean the honeymoon is over and I can start bugging them about grandkids.  Pat has already started the nagging – he needs some new playmates!  Becky is still working as an RN at Methodist Hospital and recently received an award because of her superb patient care.  Pete is still at ConAgra and is now going to culinary school here in town.  He is learning how to make eggs 100 different ways and how to slice & dice.  They both keep busy with their jobs, their dog Hank and their new house – but I still think they need a baby just so I can say “I told you so” at least once a day.  I have my needs too.

Pat is facing a new challenge in his life – after 32 years at Methodist Hospital, his job was eliminated at the beginning of November.  He has some promising leads and did get some severance pay.  However, it is important that he get a job soon because I don’t have a long enough ‘honey do’ list to keep him busy – one of the drawbacks of having a new home – not much fixin’ to be done.  If he gets too bored, I’m afraid he will team up with Tim and they will start taking apart things that can’t be put back together – and since Pat is too old for the military, I can’t ship him off to break things on behalf of our government like we did with Tim!  I might just hire him out to the neighbors to do odd jobs – and if that doesn’t work, I’ll bring him to work with me in the morning and make him walk home – he should get there about the same time I get off work.

Enjoy the Holidays with the ones you love – treasure their company, their bickering and their quirks.  Life is full of surprises, challenges, accomplishments – and should always include at least one FISH!

MERRY CHRISTMAS

The Gurnetts

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