Today is what I think of as a not quite day. Not quite cold enough to snow, just enough to have a frigid rain. Not quite sick enough to stay home kid, just enough to make sure Mama’s pockets are loaded with tissues for the walk to school. Tank not quite ready for a water change, just dirty enough for me to be kicking myself for not asking Mitchell Lama Papa to pick up fresh salt water on his way home from work. You get the idea. I suppose if I were a different person, I would think of this as a just enough day.
My daughter was sick enough to stay home from school yesterday, and needed a trip to the ped. I love the ped’s office in mid-winter; sniffling, snotty, coughing children, and moms clutching newborns to their chests while they glare at the sick kids who are daring to have appts at the same time. There is a separate waiting area for newborns, but for some reason it’s rarely used. Why? And why do these infants need an entourage with them for their well-checks? Mom, dad, nanny, grandma, all with coats, sweaters, blankets spread out over the two benches in the the waiting room. It seems so rude.
I’ve got a fairly new obsession, keeping a reef tank. I bought a used system, held together by zip ties and prayer. I never imagined anything could be such a perfectly balanced mix of tranquility and anxiety. I love staring into the tank, watching the critters and corals, seeing what’s new. A little while ago a hitchhiking stomatella snail started smoking. I’m assuming that was snail sperm. It’s all very cool to watch, but I never stop listening to the tank. Any unfamiliar water related sound and I’m freaking out, inspecting return pumps and feeling for leaks. Not so great for my sanity in an old building with noisy pipes.
I’ve got several types of snails in the tank, a clean up crew to make my maintenance minimal. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work. Actually, it does. They’re great for cleaning algae and detritus, but there is one type of snail in there that I’ve grown to hate. They are so dedicated to cleaning that they want to travel up the u-tube that carries water from the display tank to the sump, and eat the algae inside. They’re also the perfect size to completely block said tube, causing the system to overflow. Then they climb over the rocks, knocking corals down to the sand, pissing off the corals so they close their polyps during my prime reef watching time. Sometimes they climb up and over the rim of the tank, hanging out on top of the return pump. I’m ready to leave them there, go with a little natural selection, but one of the kids inevitably notices and insists that I return them to the safety of the water.
I wish I could live on a warm beach somewhere but I can’t, so this is it, my dream beach in a glass box.