Sometimes, you can know someone, but there are parts of them that can still surprise you. My younger daughter, Amy Royce is just like that. When she lived here is Casper, Wyoming, she wasn’t really much of a gardener, but now, in Ferndale, Washington, she suddenly has a green thumb. She grows the most beautiful flowers. Her yard would be the envy of any gardener here in Wyoming, because we just don’t have the right climate for the kinds of flowers she can grow. Suddenly, Amy has Calla Lilies, Bleeding Hearts, Day Lilies, Peonies, and so many other flowers. Her yard is beautiful. She says she couldn’t get things to grow in Casper, and I get that. She and her husband, Travis recently set up a fountain and pond in their yard. I don’t know if they will add fish to the pond, but it is beautiful anyway. I really never pictured Amy as a gardener, so that has surprised me…in a good way.

Amy, the insurance agent/account manager doesn’t surprise me one bit. She was an excellent agent when we both worked at The Stengel Agency, and we really hated to lose her. Our loss turned out to be Rice Insurance’s gain, and Amy just received an award for five years of service, where she is their largest account holder, and she has the privilege of working with her daughter, Shai Royce. I know how wonderful that can be, as I have been able to work with my daughter and my granddaughter. That is uncommon unless you are working in a family business, which we weren’t…it just felt like a family business.

I can’t say that I am totally surprised at just how much Amy loves the Ferndale/Bellingham area of Washington state. The weather there is milder, and Amy really doesn’t like the cold and wind in Wyoming. The rain forests of Washington have appealed to her since the first time she visited there after her high school graduation. For Amy, that trip sealed the deal, even if she didn’t move there until her children were grown, which was mostly for me, I know. I wanted to be close to my grandchildren, Shai and Caalab, and I will always be grateful that Amy and Travis gave that privilege before they all moved. In reality, I can’t think of a prettier place to go visit, and, we probably would go as often as we do if they didn’t live there.

For Amy, living near the water, be it a lake, the Puget Sound, Birch Bay, or the Pacific Ocean (when they take a weekend trip to the coast), is like a slice of Heaven. She loves the water, the lighthouses, the whales, the dolphins, starfish (especially the purple ones), and even the seagulls. She loves to go on whale watching tours, and of course, the casinos…not that Amy and Travis are huge gamblers, but they do seem to have some pretty good winnings on occasion. The beach is one of Amy’s Happy Places and you just can’t deny your child a happy place. I can’t think of a nicer happy place to have. Today is Amy’s birthday. Happy birthday my sweet daughter!! Have a great day!! We love you very much!!

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