Christmas 2014 – Explorations, Teeth and FISH!

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Fish?  What Fish?

Fish? What Fish?

It’s been another wild ride on the Gurnett raft this year – a little turbulence, some water up our noses but mostly lots of laughter. We had a year involving graduations, explorations, teeth – and what kind of year would it have been without FISH! We started our year by traveling to Newport, Rhode Island to celebrate our youngest daughter becoming an officer in the Navy Reserves. She had been there for a while and we decided it was great opportunity to explore and celebrate with her! We saw the ocean, some great houses from the Gilded Age (that’s back when people had money, servants & apparently a need for fireplaces which are as big as my living room!), and even walked on the “cliff walk” along the ocean – which was beautiful and scary all at the same time! As if all of that wasn’t enough fun, we spent our “real” vacation in a cabin on the shore of Lake Superior. We were just a little north of Duluth, Minnesota so we were able to go see the ships and do some shopping. Pat took this opportunity to take Lizzie and Liam fishing at one of the many lakes in the region. They were thrilled not to be shopping (that includes Pat) – and even though they only caught two fish (I think Lizzie caught them both) – I was informed this was the best vacation Lizzie and Liam had ever had in their ENTIRE lives! I’m pretty sure that is because the time fishing also included lots of candy, donuts and soda – nothing like being on a sugar high to make the vacation the best ever! We also have one more college graduate in the family – and no, it isn’t Lizzie – although at age 7 she is smarter than some college graduates I know – and she thinks she is actually 20 years old at times! No – this year, we celebrated our son, Bob graduating from University of Nebraska at Omaha! We were a little worried that he had decided to become a professional student – but I think he got tired of actually having to do homework and attend classes! While all of this was going on, Lizzie and Liam appear to be in a competition to see who can lose the most teeth in the shortest amount of time. So far Lizzie is “winning” as evidenced by her toothless grin! I don’t think it is about the money left by the Tooth Fairy – but more of sibling rivalry thing. At least it keeps them from trying to knock each other’s teeth out when they are fighting – wouldn’t want to help the other person win at the Tooth Game!

Jenny, our oldest is now working as a Master Stylist for a local salon. She is having a great time and meeting lots of new people – in fact, she even had the “honor” of doing Elsa’s hair! For those of you who have lived under a rock for the past couple of years – Elsa is one of the main characters in “Frozen” – so now Jenny is a celebrity by association! OK – maybe not a celebrity, but her daughter, Lizzie thinks her mom is pretty important! Lizzie, age 7 and in the second grade has decided that she wants to be a fashion designer. With that in mind, she watched the recent Victoria’s Secrets Angels special (because it’s fashion – duh!). The only problem is that Lizzie has been designated Angel #5 in the Christmas play and we are a little worried about what she will want to wear as an “angel”. Liam, age 5 and in kindergarten has discovered the joys of irritating his sister. He spends a lot of time seeing how close he can get to her without actually touching her – and then sprints as fast as he can before she has a chance to hit him. He apparently likes to live on the edge – and one of these days Lizzie is going to push him over!

Bob, our oldest son has decided that after graduation he needs a change of scenery. He wants to pursue his stand-up comedy career and he is moving to New York City in January. Bob has already tested out some audiences in Berlin, Germany when he was there this summer for a class. He performed for two nights at a comedy festival to over 200 people – and yes, he told his jokes in English! I’m sure he was afraid to say anything in German to them since he had already been knocked out by a German the first night he was in town – apparently whatever Bob said to the German was not nearly as funny as Bob thought it was! I’m just hoping he gets paid real money before his liver gives out from all the free liquor – or before he gets a broken nose!

Tim and his wife Sanaz have been traveling all over the place again. They just returned from South America where they visited Manchu Picchu, Argentina and Chile. I asked for a penguin, but Sanaz wanted to save room in her suitcase for a llama. Selfish stinkers! Tim spent the summer in the Tetons battling forest fires, while Sanaz stayed in Omaha and completed her courses so she can start her accelerated nursing program in January.  They are both getting ready to go to Crete for Tim’s Navy Reserve duty – I’m not sure what they would do if they only had Omaha to explore!

Becky and her husband Pete have been busy with their two dogs, Gus and Hank and attending a lot of weddings. It seems like they are a wedding every other week – I’m sure they will be glad when all of their friends are married and they will have some money to do some traveling – or something for themselves instead of all those wedding presents! Becky is still a nurse at Methodist in addition to being an officer in the Navy Reserve. As an officer, her brother Tim now has to salute her – but he reminds her that as master at arms, he can arrest her any time – so they have come an understanding. Pete is the head of R&D Godfather’s Pizza – that means Research & Development – not Regular or Deep Dish – although I suppose that would work too!

As for Pat and me, we are doing fine. Pat is still at Catholic Health Initiatives – the new name for the Alegent Health Systems. I am still at Physicians Mutual. We haven’t traveled anywhere exotic – other than Duluth and Rhode Island – which says everything about our lives! We haven’t adopted any dogs, cats or other animals. We haven’t decided to move to a big city in search of fame. However – we both have all of our teeth unlike our grandchildren – and at our age that’s a REAL accomplishment!

May your year be full of excitement, laughter, and happiness. May you keep all of your teeth – and most importantly may you catch a FISH every once in a while!

I think I have A FISH!

I think I have A FISH!

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