Living the Good Life

As Pablo Neruda once said, “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”

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When I lived in Minnesota, my favorite season was autumn. I loved when the weather would cool down, the humidity would drop, the leaves would begin to change, the mosquitos would start to disappear. I loved the crisp nights and the cool breeze during the days.

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Northern Minnesota, Fall 2015
In California, my favorite season has switched – I love springtime here. LOVE IT. Over the past two weeks, we have done a lot of driving around, taking care of daily tasks and participating in some fun activities. Each day, with the windows zipped down in the jeep, I turn to Andy and say, “man, what a beautiful day.”

After my fourth day in a row of saying that, Andy said, “you know, you’ve been saying that every single day.”

And it is true. Every. Single. Day.

The sun is shining, the flowers are in full bloom, and the temperature is not yet too warm for my comfort level.

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This is one of the most beautiful seasons I have ever experienced anywhere.

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love.” – Sitting Bull

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Roses just outside our fence in the park.
So, how have we been enjoying this beautiful weather? We made another trip to the DMV (not very exciting, as you can see by little Theo’s reaction).

We took another trip to the dog beach.

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Though Teddy still barked at the other dogs, he did so much better than the last time. We want to try to take him here at least every other week to keep working on it (aside from taking him around the park and on hikes).

He is responding well to the love and praise we give him, and is allowing dogs to come a bit closer than before.

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Snoozing after a long day at the beach. It’s a hard life.
On Saturday, I volunteered at the campground at the end of town to assist with the annual Easter egg hunt. Unfortunately, Andy couldn’t come with this time but we still had fun!

On Sunday, we went down to visit Andy’s grandpa and aunt. We made a tasty lunch and spent time on the patio catching up and watching the dogs play.

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Snack time while we waited for the meal.
We made my mom’s yummy cheesy potato recipe and Aunt Kris spoiled me with one of my favorites: deviled eggs.

Piper and Ted were happy to come with us.

Yesterday, we decided to go on our first snorkeling adventure of the year.

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Putting my wetsuit on. The struggle is real.
In preparation for our upcoming birthday trip to Hawaii, we ordered new snorkel masks (the full-face kind).

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We wanted to try them out before the trip (and to try out our new underwater camera – thanks mom and dad!) to make sure we were happy with them, so we went down to Mission Point.

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Nice, sandy entrance into the water
The water was surprisingly comfortable – I was expecting to be an ice cube.

We struggled a bit at first but finally figured out how to make my new mask not fog up.

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However, we didn’t have any luck with Andy’s. We tried everything. He ordered a different brand than I did, so we decided that we are going to return his and get him the same one that I have. The reason he did not want the same one originally was because of the color (he wanted black, not white).

I made him try my mask to make sure that the fault didn’t lie in his facial hair or something else. But my mask worked! The seals are made of a nicer material, which makes the mask perform the way it is supposed to (for those looking, my mask is by Seereef, ordered on Amazon).

Visibility around the point was pretty decent. We could see about 3-4 feet down (that doesn’t compare to Hawaii’s visibility but it is good for the point).

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We saw several California black sea hares.

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And what I believe is a striped sea hare.

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We also saw a ton of fish – including some huge Garibaldi (the California state fish). They were a little shy for pictures.

As we were coming around the point, we noticed a cormorant on shore that was letting us swim surprisingly close. We thought this was odd until we noticed some fishing line wrapped around his body.

Andy and I looked at one another, nodded our heads, and said, “OK, let’s go help him out.”

I was hoping it would be an easy fix. I could see the line running from his body into the water and gently grabbed onto it. The cormorant, obviously, did not like this at all. He dove into the water and struggled for a while, wrapping the line around my body. I got untangled and held the line as Andy yelled to a man on shore to ask him for a knife. As we were waiting for a knife, the bird floated in the water nearby, keeping a close watch on us.

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Cormorant hanging around while we waited for a knife. Notice how his body isn’t on top of the water the way it should be? That’s the fishing line keeping him down.
The man climbed down to us and handed Andy the knife. Since Andy can dive deeper than I can, I gave him my mask, and he swam out toward the cormorant, talking to him the entire time. When the bird dove, so did Andy. He followed the bird down into the water, grabbing the line. As soon as the cormorant came swimming toward him, he cut the line as close to the body as he safely could. The bird swam away.

Andy wanted to get as much of the fishing line out of the water as he could so that this wouldn’t happen to another animal. He began pulling up the line, wrapping it around his hands and realized that it wasn’t attached to a rock or branch – it was attached to a fishing pole. He dragged it closer to shore and climbed onto the rocks. I dove down and unhooked the pole from the rocks below and he hoisted it onto shore.

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A successful day. Not only did we get a new fishing pole – large enough for Andy to go fishing out here – but we saved the life of a cormorant!

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Andy decided he was done snorkeling (his mask didn’t work well anyway) and I continued for a short distance before I came upon another large nest of fishing line that went down into the water. After a brief struggle and some cut up hands, I freed the line and climbed to shore. It is just amazing how much trash, etc. we find out there! So much that we started bringing a mesh bag with us on our snorkeling trips to collect large pieces of trash from the water.

After what we felt was a semi-successful snorkel adventure, we had a picnic on the beach.

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It was a beautiful day and I told Andy how happy I am that we are lucky enough to have this life.

He said, “We are lucky, but we made choices to get us here – so we kind of made our own luck.”

It was nice to get back in the water. It was nice to listen to the waves crashing to shore. It was nice to spend time with my favorite person doing some of the things I love the most.

On the drive home, as we watched the sun set behind us, I turned to Andy and said, “Today was another beautiful day.”

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Every day, I am so thankful that we decided to go on this adventure together, to take this leap of faith, to take this risk. I am thankful we are living a good life and I am excited to go on more adventures!

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“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”  – Maya Angelou

 


2 thoughts on “Living the Good Life

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