Holidays are times for hanging out with friends, and drinking a beer or two. Holidays are also a time for a bit of reflection. Looking back, I realize how much our lives have improved (and -- honestly -- how much we're still dealing with).
Last year, I was feeling terribly isolated and lonely. It seemed to me that while lots of people kept up with us on the blog, we didn't actually have a whole lot of friends. The changes in our lives have made it much more difficult to have a "normal" social life. But heck! We've never been what anyone would call normal, right?
And the year before that? Well, Robb and I were pretty thrilled because for the first time since his accident, he actually sat on the ground. We had so much to overcome at that point, that any little milestone was worth celebrating.
And, now, if you will excuse me, we've got to eat breakfast and pack up out stuff. We're taking a ferry to hang out with Angela and her family and friends on the Olympic Peninsula.
I thought a little "fireworks display" might be fun. Everyone please practice saying "ooooooooooo.....aaaaaah!.......wooooooooow!"
From top to bottom:
A couple of Sunflower Stars. There were dozens and dozens of these gigantic animals, all over the place. I've only ever seen them singly in California. They are the only sea star that I've actually seen moving. By starfish standards, these guys are fast.
Another Sunflower Star. This time, out of water. These are about two feet wide. I learned that sea stars look more "nubbly" when they are stressed, so you can see that the Sunflower Stars in the first picture look almost fuzzy by contrast.
An Ochre Star (the most common sea star in our part of California) in the foreground, and a tiny, tiny Blood Star in the back. The Puget Sound Ochre Stars were easily twice the size of the ones I'm used to seeing. The Blood Star was maybe an inch across.
The tiniest star of the day. At this size, who knows what we're seeing!
Unlike some sea stars, the Sunflower Stars didn't seem particularly well adapted to hanging on to their perches when they were out of water. Maybe I'm projecting my own feelings onto this creature, but this seems painful! Look how distended the sucker feet are. Ouch!