My youngest daughter, Amy Royce has always loved plants and dreamed of having a beautiful garden. Unfortunately, the short growing season in Wyoming didn’t make that easy for her. Amy has always had a vision of what her brand of paradise would be like, and I’m certain that when she gets to Heaven, she will have a place that is a whole lot like the Butchart Gardens. As far as Amy is concerned, you can never have too many plants and flowers. Just going to the store for groceries can be a “dangerous” outing for Amy…financially that is. There are flowers everywhere this time of year. To make matters worse…Amy lives just one street away from a nursery with lots of exotic plants. Oh boy!! Fortunately, her husband, Travis is ok with all the flowers and plants…provided she does the watering and weeding…hahaha!! It’s a good thing that Amy likes playing in the dirt.

Amy is a Wyoming-born-and-raised…coastal girl!! Don’t ask me how that happened, but it did. All the years she was growing up, something was forming in the back of her mind…a calling to the coast. I have never seen her happier. There are side of her that are coming out that I never knew existed…the artsy side, for example. In addition to her “green thumb,” I have found that Amy has a talent for painting, and I’m not talking about rooms or houses. I find her paintings to be quite beautiful. Maybe she has been inspired by her chosen home in the rainforest of western Washington state. Or maybe it was a talent she has always had, but never did anything with until she found a place that inspired her.

Amy has always been a peace-loving girl. She likes things that are quiet and have an air of peace…like the country atmosphere of her current home. While she likes peace and quiet, she also doesn’t mind the loud music of a band…especially the one her husband, Travis Royce and son, Caalab Royce play in, and her daughter, Shai Royce sometimes sings with. Often the whole family has a family band night, and they have a lot of fun entertaining each other with their music. I enjoy that too. They all really have talent, and it is fun to listen to.

Amy is a seafood lover…another reason that being a coastal girl is nice. As anyone who has tasted fresh seafood, locally caught will tell you, the seafood that is trucked in frozen…just can’t compare to the real deal. Amy even loves sushi, which I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around, as well as escargot, which I seriously can’t wrap my head around. I love seafood with the best of them, but I have to draw the line somewhere…and escargot is definitely the line drawn!! I guess all that is part of what makes the West Coast area of Washington home for my Wyoming-born-and-raised coastal girl. Today is Amy’s birthday. Happy birthday Amy!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

When my daughter, Amy Royce and her family moved out to the Pacific Northwest, it was initially to get away from the cold Wyoming winters, but it has been an amazing adventure for them in many ways. Amy always loved the rainforests and the beaches too, so the Pacific Northwest was the perfect location for her. In the two years since they moved to Washington, they have been hiking the amazing trails in the area, and of course, enjoying the sunsets by the water. Amy also had the opportunity to go to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, which is an awesome spring display of tulips…acres and acres of tulips. It is a beautiful sight. I got to see it years ago, when my sister lived in that area, but I look forward to seeing it again with Amy.

In the two years that Amy has lived in Washington, I have seen her creative side simply blossom. She has done a few sessions at one of the places where you paint and have wine, and she liked it so much that her husband, Travis bought her a set of paints and an easel. Amy’s creative side just bubbled out of her. Every new painting is better than the last. I wish I had such talent. She and her sister Corrie Petersen, both seem to have inherited that talent…but they did not get it from me, hahaha!! Amy also loves to take pictures of the area she lives in, and posts them to her Facebook. They are beautiful, and since I love photography, I’ll take a little credit and say that she inherited that ability from me…whether it’s true or not. The pictures she takes while hiking are amazing, and the subject matter doesn’t hurt anything either. Still, the eye of the photographer is the main part of great photography.

While we wish that she lived closer to us, we always look forward to the trips we take out to see her and her family. Since we love to hike too, we went on a few of the trails while we were there the last time, but the next time we go, it will be in the summer, and we are going to have her take us to some of the places she went last month, because those places were stunning. It’s funny, because Amy was never so much the hiker. She usually went to the gym for her exercise, and suddenly she likes to get out in nature too. Something I find totally awesome. Today is Amy’s birthday. Happy birthday Amy!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

grandpa spencer102My mom and dad never wanted their kids and grandkids to move far away, but sometimes, that can’t be helped. While Alena and I have always lived here, Cheryl, Caryl, and Allyn have lived away for at least a time. One nice thing about that for Mom and Dad…if there could be a nice thing, is that they made sure that they took trips to see their daughters and their families in the states they were living in. It was a great way for them to see new areas of the country too.

Caryl and her family lived away the longest, and so there were several trips made out to see her. Caryl and her family lived in a number of places too, so the trips weren’t always the same…a definite plus…at least for Mom and Dad. The rest of us didn’t get to see each other as much as we would have liked when we weren’t all in the same town. I am a lot like my parents in that I like that closeness with my kids, as well as my sisters. It’s funny how the parents always make a way to go and see their children, and the children come home to see the parents, but the siblings just don’t seem to work that out quite as often.

For Mom and Dad, their travels to visit the kids would take them, and us kids too, since we were still at home, to upstate New York, and along the eastern coast; Colorado, in the Fort Morgan and Pueblo areas; San Diego, California; Seattle, Washington; and Twin Falls, Idaho. They always turned those visits into vacations, taking the family they were visiting along. Since Caryl, was away the longest, they went to see her the most. They have many great memories of those visits. I think they especially loved the Seattle area, because of it’s beauty. Caryl showed them all the sights in the area, including Mt Saint Helens, after it blew…interesting, but sobering too, I’m sure. And there was, of course, the beautiful Puget Sound, the Pacific Ocean, and the rainforest, all of which would and do, draw the attention of people all over the country. It is a beautiful area.
Visiting Caryl
Although Mom and Dad really enjoyed the trips to visit their children who lived far away, it was always their preference to have them living close to home. When Caryl married Mike Reed, and moved to Rawlins, where Mike lived, it was a move away from Casper once more, but this time, it wasn’t so far away. Now, when they retire, they plan to move back to Casper for good, and that is going to finally bring full circle the saga. At that point all of my parents’ kids will be living in Casper again…unless someone else moves away. Today is Caryl’s birthday. Happy birthday Caryl!! We look forward to the day when you like in Casper again. Have a great day!! We love you!!

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