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Grouse Hollow Journal

A new year with lots of resolutions and possibilities...

A new start maybe, a diet perhaps, for some of you a new spouse or a child or a son or daughter-in-law, retirement for some maybe, conceivably a dream trip come true and hopefully a celebration with the Lombardi trophy. Gas prices may even go lower and stay there (if you believe that one, I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you), it is possible that most of our troops will be home from overseas, and who knows, maybe the new Congress will actually do something just because it is the right thing to do. The possibilities are endless.

Looking back on 2014, life was mostly good for us. Last winter’s wind and cold may have lasted until May, but Ellen would say that also brought on some good snow shoeing and safe ice for fishing.

Ellen got to snow shoe in Colorado in February when she went out to visit the kids. The weather caused us to miss the addition of another family member in Seattle in January when nephew Travis Hauk married Tracie. I fished the Battle on Bago for the third year on ice so thick we could have run a railroad across it and the wind so strong, a sail on a locomotive would have moved it.

I spent a few wind swept days in South Dakota hammering the perch in March. In June we spent a week in Canada doing mostly the same thing only in a boat.

Ellen volunteered at Stoddard Elementary and at the Flying Horse. We photographed a number of weddings over the year, including two that added fishermen Dustin and Brent to the fold.

Ellen got to see her first Brewer game in Miller Park — they lost.

In Colorado, we took our first guided fly-fishing trip and while we were there, Ellen tried out standup paddle boarding. We got to meet Ben’s friend Christine, a lovely lady who enjoys the out-of-doors, gardening, reading, and is a chiropractor who works on animals.

Mark spent over a week camping and snowboarding on a glacier in Alaska, while Whitney chaperoned high-schoolers to Nicaragua for the Global Children’s Alliance. They relaxed along Cape Cod and watched the Packers game in a sports bar in downtown New York in October. They traveled to Machu Pichu in Peru and to Katmandu, touring the Annapurna region of Nepal, and two days after they got back to Colorado, they iron-manned a drive here for a few days at Halloween.

Ellen found lots of morels in the spring and she once again had a fantastic garden.

We bought a four-wheel drive tractor with a tiller so I tried my hand at making food plots with it.

I chaperoned high schoolers up at Jag Lake. My truck load dubbed me “OMG” (old man Greg) and they dubbed themselves the “K-Team.” I subbed at De Soto quite a bit and I announced all the home Pirate football Friday nights.

I spent a lot of time in a tree stand this fall but only killed mosquitoes. Ellen sat with me in our two-person stand a couple of evenings. Maybe in 2015, I’ll actually see a deer when I am hunting.

We were happy to hear that Ben shot a huge mule deer buck out in Colorado. El got her gun deer on opening morning before the fog and rain drove us inside. Our family group killed 11 deer and 12 coyotes!

If we have regrets about 2014, they’d start off with Travis and Tracie’s wedding and not spending enough time up north like we planned. We did not travel to some of the places we had put on our list for 2014. I regret not walking more and not getting nearly as many books read as I used to in a year.

Until next time, get out...

Our resolutions for 2015 include planning trips to spring training in Arizona, fishing in Canada, visiting the kids in Colorado, visiting Curt and fishing more up north, getting out on the river a lot more, and who knows where else?

Happy New Year everyone from Ellen, Scout, Gypsy, and me.

May it be prosperous, safe, healthy, and happy.

Enjoy.

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